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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
2,3951872,602 (3.93)129
  1. 101
    A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness (virtualval2001)
    virtualval2001: 1st installment of All Souls Trilogy
  2. 102
    Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (becksdakex)
    becksdakex: Time travel, Romance, Historical....

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English (185)  Dutch (1)  All languages (186)
Showing 1-5 of 185 (next | show all)
In a trilogy, I tend not to like the second book - it always seems a bit dull compared to the first and the third. In contrast, I found this book to be excellent - just as good as the first book. Lots of drama, enough action, and the author's ability to have me completely lost in the story is something I just love. Once again, I felt like I was watching the story in my head as I was reading it on the page.

Shadow of Night takes place primarily in 1591, but the author doesn't get bogged down in too much historical detail - or at least, the historical detail is woven seamlessly into the story itself. Most of the detail is in passing observations made by Diana, so it's easy for non-history lovers to take in. I loved the Libri Personæ at the back of the book, detailing the characters, and noting which ones were known to actually exist at the time. I think it makes the fiction that much more fun to read when notable figures in history are interwoven into the story.

There are a couple of plot lines that run through the book, and there were a few times it felt like one or the other might be getting a bit lost. Most of the questions raised in the book are answered by the end, with one or two hanging out there to be answered in the third book. But what I really appreciated was this book felt like it ended - no gigantic cliff-hangers. There are upcoming events and confrontations that you know will appear in the third book; major events that need to be explained, but Shadow of Night, I think, has enough of an ending that early readers like myself won't get too irritated with having to wait another year/18 months for the final book. I was able to close the book at the end with a sense of satisfaction, not frustration.

NB: I loved the last chapter - it made me smile. ( )
  murderbydeath | Oct 26, 2016 |
As the second book in a trilogy, Shadow of Night can't help but be a little unsatisfying, since the real action won't take place until Book Three. Like the first book in the trilogy, this one takes awhile to get started, and there is much more drama and dithering in the beginning than I would have liked. It is also really cheesy in parts. But just when I got frustrated with the pulp-fiction quality of the story, it would go back to being intelligent and interesting. So overall I enjoyed reading it, and I especially liked the immersion into the past (1590) and the author's detailed imagining of life in that period. It was a good summer read and I am looking forward to the story's completion in Book Three. ( )
  trwm | Oct 6, 2016 |
Fun follow up to Discovery of Witches. I particularly liked that Walter Raleigh, Christopher Marlow, Willie Shakespeare, and other real characters of 1591 were contemporary characters in this travel back in time story. The complexity and historic accuracy of Harkness' story are amazing. ( )
  asawyer | Sep 9, 2016 |
Beware of some spoilers? I don't know.

Oh...this book....this loooong amazing book.

At times I loved it (I did love most of the first in the trilogy) and at other times I wanted to tear it up and chuck it out the window. But then...I don't know.

At any rate, here's what I loved:

- The firedrake. Okay, so it got a little annoying at times but I loved every scene in which Diana actually got to use her magic. She was more independent, powerful, and admirable in these scenes, especially when she was without Matthew. Don't worry, I'll get to that.

- I did finish it in the wee hours of the morning. That was half because I was enjoying it and half because I didn't want to have to read it the next day because it was so bothersome.

- It was well written (for the most part).

- The humor. Oh Gallowglass. You make me giggle.

- Ashmole 782... I have a thing for books about books, which is one of my favorite components of this series. That is all that's going to keep me going to book 3. This part of Book 2 gave it life and is, besides Diana's magical schooling, the only thing worth reading some of those historical passages.

There are a few more things I liked, but these are the ones I found most worth mentioning.

Now...the things that made me claw my own eyes out:

- Dialogue. Oh, good God, does no one realize that there is no trace of Elizabethan English in this?

- Shakespeare. NO NO NO NO NO. NOOO. You cannot throw William Shakespeare into a HF novel and not address the mystery surrounding him. It's like he's just hanging out talking to other historical characters in the novel. We don't even know if this guy was ONE guy! You can't just... oh dear I should stop now.

- That damn queen of England. Oh my good gracious this book was overly long. Get an editor. Get a better dose of how good of a writer you are. There is not enough substance to this novel to make it more than 500 pages! Nothing much happens yet she still found a way to drag it out. And yes, one way is by tossing Elizabeth into the mix. Why? Just why would we have diplomatic discussions and be forced to leave England, then Prague, then back to England.

- Matthew. I abhor this man, this vampire, this character. He is a misogynist. Yes, I realize that's just how thousand year old vampires are, but no. Use your damn author's license and make the man a nice guy. The dominance made me gag. His protectiveness was appropriate at times, and obnoxious at others.

- Did I mention this book is excessively long? It really could have been 300 pages.

- As much as I loved seeing him...Stephen Proctor. He seemed like he'd been flung in there, just to, may I say it, make it longer. He has his purpose. Diana misses him, there are things he can tell her, he's good comic relief, but still. Is that necessary to the plot?

- And that was the main problem with all of these things and the length. What is the purpose of each of these things that make it longer? [b:Anna Karenina|15823480|Anna Karenina|Leo Tolstoy|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1352422904s/15823480.jpg|2507928], as real literature, had scenes in which everything (almost) was important. Everything is put there for a reason. And that makes this one frivolous novel.

It also makes this novel fall into that terrible category of MID-LOW fantasy. This is not high fantasy, but it certainly cannot be called crap. It has so much goodness in it. Yet I still could not fully love this one, and for that I am highly repentant. ( )
  cemagoc | Aug 8, 2016 |

This book had a great ending, but the first two parts were incredibly slow. I was having a hard time getting through it until I reached about 250 pages. ( )
  Ahtoosa | Aug 3, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (12 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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Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
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.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

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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No descriptions found.

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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Deborah Harkness is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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