Monday, July 16, 2012

Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy # 2) Review

Name: Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy # 2)
Author: Deborah Harkness
Publisher: Viking Adult
Release Date: July 10th, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Buy the book on Amazon
584 pages

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.-Goodreads

My Review:
Ever since reading the first book, A Discovery of Witches, I have been anxiously awaiting this sequel, and all I can say is that Deborah Harkness went above and beyond my expectations!  I completely adored this book!  It made me fall in love with the All Souls trilogy once again.  Shadow of Night followed Diana and Matthew into the past, where Diana was introduced to a variety of new (both fictional and historical) characters, was taught how to control her magic, and was finally able to break through Matthew’s carefully constructed barriers to discover his darkest secrets.

The majority of this book took place in Elizabethan London, with short trips to Prague and other countries.  Being a huge fan of London, I was delighted to see Diana and Matthew in the heart of the city.  In addition to many other renown figures, history buff Diana was ecstatic (as was I) to meet the infuriating Christopher Marlowe, the erudite Dr. John Dee, the proficient Mary Sidney, the enigmatic William Cecil, and last but not least the domineering yet regal Queen Elizabeth I herself.  Diana was also introduced to Matthew’s formidable father, Philippe de Clermont, who, after some time, I learned to love just as much if not more than Matthew’s mother, Ysabeau.

Diana and Matthew’s romance changes distinctly throughout the course of this book.  Diana dives deep into Matthew’s past, uncovering many of her husband’s darkest secrets along the way and learning to love and trust him even more despite what he has kept hidden.  Similarly, the overprotective Matthew learns to trust Diana in the face of her own secrets, which accumulate as her magic grows.  I thoroughly enjoyed watching Diana discover the true meaning behind her magic and find teachers who explained how to curb her erratic powers.  Deborah Harkness truly has a brilliant imagination and a unique writing style; I was impressed how effectively she was able to describe the intricate workings behind Diana’s magic.

I also loved reading the chapters from the present time that were weaved throughout the book few and far between.  It was interesting to note the small ways in which Diana and Matthew’s time in the past changed the future.

All in all, I absolutely loved Shadow of Night and cannot wait for the final book in the series!  Deborah Harkness is an excellent storyteller and I was never once bored through all 584 pages. I would very highly recommend this book and its precursor, A Discovery of Witches, to anyone who is even remotely interested in fantasy novels!  It will not disappoint!

My Rating: Five out of Five Stars


  1. Super exciting! I havent heard of this series, but it looks like something I would love! Now Ill just have to get the first book so I can start right :)
    Great review

  2. I have this book to review, but I never read Discovery Of Witches, do I really need to read it first or not? Thanks. It sounds good.

  3. This sounds so good. I have owned the first in series since it first came out, but have yet to read it. I have read positive reviews for both of the books in the trilogy that are out thus far. Thank you for your review and reminder to make the time to start this trilogy.


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