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De schaduw van de nacht by Deborah Harkness

De schaduw van de nacht (2012)

by Deborah Harkness

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Title:De schaduw van de nacht
Authors:Deborah Harkness
Info:De Boekerij
Collections:Your library

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Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness (2012)

  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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Picks up exactly where the previous book finishes (oh joy)! But wait it wasn’t an entirely painless experience reading this weighty tome. There is not much back story in this book and it is as though the author is expecting the reader to read each of the trilogy in order rather than, say, starting at book two, going back to book one and then ending on book three. For this series one needs to read them in the correct order or you will be really confused.

The two main characters have time travelled to 1590 and instead of the feisty witch in the previous book in this book Diana depends on her 21st century Matthew.

In contrast, Matthew seems to be having trouble being a 21st century character and thereby reconciling the actions of his 16th century self, especially his actions with regards to the Scottish witches trials and although he attempts to change his actions history has a way of carrying on along its own path in certain regards. I found it strange how readily everyone was willing to accept 21st century Matthew and his new 21st century wife (which he did not have the week before!). Surely, having lived this time line already wouldn’t Matthew be able to guide Diana in her search of a witchy teacher instead of placing an advertisement for one!!! Indeed this reader (a confessed sci-fi geek) found the way the author dealt with the arrival of the 21st century Matthew strangely confusing. Surely, there would be two of them roaming around not just one. It seems too convenient that the 21st century Matthew is not constantly avoiding 16th century Matthew, which could have led to an interesting story line! Let alone how his wife’s disappearance would be dealt with on his leaving? Or am I looking into this a bit too closely?

Another element that was a big jarring was how Diana was constantly surprised by the number of historical figures her Matthew knew. He had lived the time before and was a member of the School of Night which included Thomas Harriet, Sir Walter Raleigh, and the entirely unlikeable Christopher (Kit) Marlowe. Yet all these people seemed to have the same personalities. One must not forget Queen Elizabeth I, John Dee and the Emperor of Prague. All in all this reader felt there was one historical figure too far perhaps. This does not include all the minor characters who (apart from the children) all collapse into one another.

Initially the two main characters are concerned about altering history yet every interaction they have with people of this period has an effect in some way. But these are explained away as being signposts for the modern family members to look out for and which would mean that they should prepare for their return which is dealt with at the end of each section. Initially I did not see the point of these sections but found it lovely to be reunited with the people of the present day and from book 1.

The main aim of this book, apparently, was for Diana to get to learn her craft and find a book. However, it was spent on re-establishing the fact that she and Matthew are the epitome of the marriage of alchemy which was repeatedly mentioned during the alchemy experiments that Diana took part in. It appears that the search of a suitable witchy teacher takes a back seat until two-thirds into the book. Their journey to Prague made her refocus on the original reason for their travel thereby she starts to learn her craft.

It seems as though the author was throwing all her known historical ideas into one book which weakened the focus; instead of focusing on one or two properly. Although there was some character development of Diana and Matthew this could have been dealt with entirely differently thereby creating a more intensely enjoyable book for the reader. In all it seems as though this was a self-indulgent book which needed to be trimmed by a good editor.

This reader found the ending rushed, abrupt and disappointing. However, I am able to read the next instalment immediately. Hopefully book three will fill the void that was left by book two. There was a great sequel in there somewhere – quite where this reader count not fathom.

Full Disclosure: ARC received from Netgalley for an honest review.
  | Aug 29, 2014 | edit |
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 |
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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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