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Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

Shadow of Night (2012)

by Deborah Harkness

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: All Souls (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,6861354,238 (3.91)120
  1. 100
    A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness (virtualval2001)
    virtualval2001: 1st installment of All Souls Trilogy
  2. 71
    Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (becksdakex)
    becksdakex: Time travel, Romance, Historical....

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Showing 1-5 of 132 (next | show all)
Review contains spoilers:

There are incredibly long stretches of this book where nothing at all happens, and the cast of characters is about twice as big as it needs to be. I thought A Discovery of Witches was fun, well paced, and an enjoyable read. This book, however, seems like a bad fanfic of the first installment.

I'm getting incredibly tired of vampires in books that decide to make everything unnecessarily difficult because they need to protect their one true love. Most of the book seemed to be about clumsy communication between all involved parties, and Matthew hiding the truth while constantly professing that he trusts Diana. And Diana just goes along with it. Both of the characters radically change from the first book and become the worst, most shallow versions of themselves.

Also, can someone please explain to me what happens to Past Matthew while Present Matthew is in the past? The book's explanation didn't make any sense to me. It also seemed absurd that with all of the commotion that Matthew and Diana caused, the only repercussions it has on the present are a few insignificant historical objects being unearthed in the present.

I will end up reading the third installment. I want to find out how the series ends, and I sincerely hope that Harkness stays in the present. Time travel and period fiction do not seem to be her forte.
(This review also exists on Goodreads) ( )
  junerain | Aug 27, 2014 |
Diana and Matthew realize to move forward, they must find out about her powers. They travel back in time to England in 1590 at a time when witches are being threatened. Receiving a command from his father Phillipe, Matthew takes Diana to France. There they are officially married and work on trying to awaken Diana's powers. She finds that she is a weaver - a special type of witch who actually creates spells.

The story has moved forward bringing the characters further along in their relationship identifying their connections with others and with the future of the magical world. ( )
  cyderry | Jul 12, 2014 |
In Shadow of Night the middle volume of the All Souls trilogy, Diana and Matthew successfully time-walk to when and where they had intended at the conclusion to Discovery of Witches. Diana arrives excited to experience 1590's England and is slowly welcomed by Matthew's circle. She is distraught to discover all she does not know about Elizabethan England, her spouse, her magic, or the elusive Ashmole 782. Matthew struggles to reconcile his modern self to this time when he was just a vampire without a witch for a wife. While Diana was warned he would be a different Matthew in this time, the secrets she uncovers surprise her and strengthen their relationship.

While many flaws exist in this title, it is essential to the trilogy and is even an enjoyable reread. I most enjoyed the flashes to present-day and how those who waited on their return could track Matthew and Diana in their time long past if they knew where to look. I found the portrayals of parent's love and forgiveness one of the most touching aspects of this book. ( )
  pennyshima | Jul 10, 2014 |
The long-awaited sequel to [b:A Discovery of Witches|8667848|A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy, #1)|Deborah Harkness|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1322168805s/8667848.jpg|13190160] was certainly worth the wait! "Shadow of Night" picks up right where we left off - in a manner of speaking. At the end of the first All Souls Trilogy book, Diana and Matthew were stepping back in time. They make it and find themselves in 1590 England at Matthew's home, the Old Lodge. Diana and Matthew are soon surrounded by a host of literary and historical figures that, at times, sent my head spinning. Part one was, in effect, a somewhat long set-up to the action of the rest of the book. Harkness introduces so many characters whose names are familiar but about whom I, personally, now little. (Though it provides plenty of fodder for historical exploration!)

At the close of Part One, Diana and Matthew are packing up at the Old Lodge and heading to France because Matthew's father, Pierre, has summoned his son to the family estate of Sept-Tours. The sixteenth century Matthew had abruptly disappeared to make room for the future Matthew when he and Diana time walked to the Old Lodge and Pierre has had conflicting reports - is his son dead? Captured? Missing? But what I found pretty jarring was the jump back to present time at the end of the first part. I understand, in retrospect, that Harkness was tying up the loose end of what became of Diana's commonplace book, but it was really confusing at first to suddenly have an altogether unfamiliar narrator in Spain. She continues to do something similar throughout the novel and, while I got used to it, it was still a little off-putting in my opinion.

Over all, I really enjoyed the book. I'm curious to learn more about all of the historical people mentioned and anxious, of course, to find out what happens next. I did really like that Diana met her father and had some time with him. The introduction of Phoebe as a love interest for Marcus was also intriguing. I hope we learn more about her - and what about her attracted him so fast - in the final book. I'm also super curious to learn what happened to Emily! How can Deborah Harkness leave such a tease as mentioning that Emily is dead and not telling us any more? Torture! ( )
  Jenna.Czaplewski | Jul 3, 2014 |
A Discovery of Witches is the first novel of the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness. This is a hard

Lucky for me I had Shadow of Night, which is the second book of the trilogy at hand, right after finishing Discovery of Witches. In this book, Harkess picks up right where she left off in Discovery of Witches, and Diana and Matthew are soon whirling back through the threads of time. This has become necessary because Diana has discovered that she is one of the most gifted of the Bishop witches, and that even though she has remained untaught, and was in fact unable to control her powers due to an event that occurred before her parents died when she was seven years old. Much has changed in the world since their deaths, including Diane's view of magic. Her association with her soulmate, Matthew is partly to blame for their flight into the past.

Knowing that they were returning to Matthew's own past life made the journey even more dangerous and they had to be extremely careful not to make any changes that would affect the world we live in today. Especially, nothing that would affect their own lives. Much happens on this trip, More than they had ever expected. Diana meets many of those whose lives she has studied over the years.

This too, is a fascinating story with a very surprising ending, a bit of a cliffhanger in fact. This makes perfect sense as the author wants to finish telling her tale. I know that I want to be one of the first in line to read The book of Life where all of the threads will be woven together as will the lives of the characters that are so appealing. I look forward to seeing what will happen next! If you haven't read these two books, I encourage you to do so, so that you will be ready to see how their adventures end in the final bool ( )
  mckait | Jun 28, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Deborah Harknessprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Belanger, FrancescaDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Goretsky, TalCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ikeda, JenniferNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The past cannot be cured.
~ Elizazbeth I
Queen of England
To Lacey Baldwin Smith,
master storyteller and historian,
who suggested some time ago that I should think about writing a novel.
First words
We arrived in an undignified heap of witch and vampire.
You're impossible. Stop worrying what other women do. Be your own extraordinary self.
All that Children have need of is love, a grown-up to take responsibility for them, & a soft place to land.
~ Matthew Roydon
It was as Matthew said, Chidren needed love, a reliable source of comfort and an adult willing to take responsiblity for them.
~ Diana Roydon
One should find wholeness in marriage, but it should not be a prison for either party.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
"Together we lifted our feet and stepped into the unknown."

A Discovery of Witches, Book One of the magical All Souls Trilogy, introduced Diana Bishop, Oxford scholar and reluctant witch, and the handsome geneticist and vampire Matthew Clairmont; together they found themselves at the center of a supernatural battle over an enchanted manuscript known as Ashmole 782.

Now, picking up from A Discovery of Witches' cliff-hanger ending, Shadow of Night plunges Diana and Matthew into Elizabethan London, a world of spies, subterfuge, and a coterie of Matthew's old friends, the mysterious School of Night that includes Christopher Marlowe and Walter Raleigh. Here, Diana must locate a witch to tutor her in magic, Matthew is forced to confront a past he thought he had put to rest, and the mystery of Ashmole 782 deepens.

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A follow-up to the best-selling A Discovery of Witches finds Oxford scholar and reluctant witch Diana and vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont in Elizabethan London, where Diana seeks a magical tutor and Matthew confronts elements from his past at the same time the mystery of Ashmole 782 deepens.… (more)

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