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Shadow of Night (2012)

by Deborah Harkness

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: All Souls (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,0752651,873 (3.92)174
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.
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» See also 174 mentions

English (262)  Dutch (1)  All languages (263)
Showing 1-5 of 262 (next | show all)
There are a TON of characters to keep track of in this series, but overall I am enjoying it. Lots of history here, you can tell the author really did her homework~ ( )
  Rekki | Mar 10, 2023 |
Just as good as the first. You can tell that these books were researched well within the writing. Great addition to the story. Can't wait to finish the series but nervous about how it's going to end! This segment definitely added suspense to the over arching storyline. There was great character growth within this book, and questions left un answered. ( )
  SabethaDanes | Jan 30, 2023 |
La trilogia delle anime vol. 2
Un viaggio nel tempo per trovare e riportare alla luce l’Ashmole 782 e la storia si fa sempre più complessa e intrigante. Molto bello.
( )
  Raffaella10 | Jan 28, 2023 |
One of my favorite series. It has an inventive storyline that uniquely blends fantasy with people and events from history, and it's complex enough to keep me in suspense yet it's easy to read. I turned the last page then immediately opened the final volume of the trilogy. Entertainment at its best! ( )
  AuntieG0412 | Jan 23, 2023 |
Shadow of Night is book two in The All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness. The first book of the trilogy, A Discovery of Witches, burst on the scene last year and I very much enjoyed it. However, I had a hard time getting into Shadow of Night and reading its 577 pages often felt like a chore. At times I wondered why I was continuing to read. Now that I've finished it I know that I kept reading because there were some wonderful scenes that kept me going.

I also kept hoping for something to happen that would put some energy into the story and give it direction, but that "something" never came along. It is probably coming in book three. And that's the problem with trilogies: the second book either makes it or breaks it for readers and I'm leaning toward Shadow of Night breaking it for me. But we'll see when book three is released (no date set yet). I'll probably be curious enough to read the first few pages of that one and take it home if it grabs me.

Sometimes a slow plot can be carried along by strong characters, but Shadow of Night didn't do anything to cement my appreciation for Diana and Matthew, the central characters. If anything, the interest I had in them from A Discovery of Witches has been eroded by hundreds of pages of wishy-washy behavior that didn't seem to match the words or intentions of the characters, or even what's at stake (their own lives and the survival of their species) or what's learned in their time travel (specifically about Diana's power as a witch).

Diana and Matthew time travel back to 1590/91 where they're determined to not alter history in any significant way, yet they spend seven months traipsing around London and then Prague, meeting interesting characters, both historical and fictional, who are left to languish on the page. As a whole, none of the characters really stick out as significant and while all of the characters seem to have great potential they never quite develop into well-rounded, memorable characters.

Although the book is well-written and there are some wonderful scenes, cool time-travel concepts, and neat historical tidbits, overall the novel seems too safe and amorphous. However, several of my friends who loved A Discovery of Witches have read Shadow of Night and all of them liked this book more than I did, so my advice (as always!) is that you check it out for yourself.

p.s. Harkness is a professor of history, focusing on the history of magic and science in Europe from 1500-1700, so if you're into reliable fictional representations of Elizabethan England you won't want to miss this one.

( )
  Chris.Wolak | Oct 13, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 262 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Deborah Harknessprimary authorall editionscalculated
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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Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

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.

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

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Average: (3.92)
1 22
1.5 4
2 73
2.5 11
3 284
3.5 72
4 595
4.5 53
5 405

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An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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