Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness
Published by Viking, an imprint of Penguin
Review copy provided by the publisher

From the publisher:

Deborah Harkness exploded onto the literary scene with her debut novel, A Discovery of Witches, Book One of the magical All Souls Trilogy and an international publishing phenomenon. The novel 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’ cliffhanger 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.

Deborah Harkness has crafted a gripping journey through a world of alchemy, time travel, and magical discoveries, delivering one of the most hotly anticipated novels of the season.

I really enjoyed the first book in Harkness’ All Souls trilogy, A Discovery of Witches [my review], so I was anxious to get to this second installment. I was happy to discover that I enjoyed Shadow of Night just as much as (maybe more than) the first novel in this series.

This book picks up right where the first left off, so if you are foggy on the details of the first novel I suggest you go back and reread the last few chapters before moving on. The action in this book is even more amped-up than in the first book, and the reader is introduced to LOTS of new characters. In addition, much more is learned of Matthew’s history and why his personality has developed into what it has over the many, many years he’s been alive.

I enjoyed the relationship between Diana and Matthew much more in this book than in the first. Matthew is much more relaxed about things, treats Diana more like her own person and less like his property that he needs to protect, and their connection grows deeper still over the course of this book. It was much more believable, to be honest, and I actually started to really like Matthew.

Much is learned over the course of this book and I don’t want to say much else about it for fear of spoiling something important. I am even more invested in these characters and their fates now than I was after finishing the first book, and now I’m incredibly anxious for the third one! If you enjoyed A Discovery of Witches, you must read Shadow of Night.


5 thoughts on “Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness”

  1. I actually enjoyed Discovery of Witches a lot more than I expected to, and I’m very excited to listen to the second one. I’m glad that dude lightened up…he is way too much of a control freak.

  2. I think it’s interesting that you mentioned you may have liked this one better than the first installment. This is actually a recurring theme that I am noticing all around. Most people are saying Discovery was pretty good but that they couldn’t out down Shadow. Have you seen all the negative reviews on Amazon for the first book? Can’t believe it, I am sure they are great! These are definitely on my to read soon list!


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