Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

June 17th, 2012 kimbacaffeinate Review 89 Comments

17th Jun
Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness
Shadow of Night
by Deborah Harkness
Published by: Penguin
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Purchase: Amazon
Goodreads
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

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.

Shadow of Night is the second book from the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness. I could not wait to get back to Diana and Matthew’s story and unlock the secrets of Asmole 782. I am delighted to inform you that Shadow of Night delivered all that I hoped for and more. Harkness brings the past to life as we travel back in time and adds new depth to the characters that I adore. I literally consumed this and cannot wait for the final novel. If I had to sum up my opinion in three words they would be; captivating, beautiful and breathtaking.

The tale literally picks up right where Discovery of Witches left off. Diana and Matthew find themselves landing back in Elizabethan London. Diana is thrilled to be able to visit a period she has studied but finds herself woefully unprepared. She quickly realizes that even with her education she is completely out of her element. From her speech to her mannerism it is obvious to all; she isn’t from around here. With the aid of Matthew’s eccentric friends, they will work to assist Diana with these skills, secure a witch to train her and find the lost copy of Asmole 782. The tale that unfolds is absolutely breathtaking, filled with suspense, romance, danger and iconic characters throughout Elizabethan history.

The characters in the All Souls Trilogy are flawed, fleshed out and I absolutely adore them. Diana finds herself out of her element. Her witchcraft is acting all sorts of bonkers. She is living in a time when witches are burned at the stake, the clothes are barbaric and women have no rights. In this novel we get to see tremendous growth in Diana. Her love and understanding of Matthew grows. She becomes more confident in her own skin and continues to be loyal, fearless and stubborn. I loved watching her discover her talents as a witch. This provides both funny and frightening scenes as her inability to control them creates mayhem. Then of course there is Matthew *swoons*. In this novel we learn so much about him and what has molded the modern day version. His history is both fascinating and sad. We get to see a darker side of Matthew as he confronts his past. He loves Diana but things are holding him back. I loved discovering his inner-workings. Diana peeled back his layers, bringing them closer together. The soft, tender side of Matthew was beautiful. There are a few flash forwards to present time and the characters we love. This provides insight into how Matthew and Diana are changing the future. We spend most of the novel in the years 1590 and 1591. This affords us the opportunity to witness history, attend the queen, and meet many historical characters. Harkness did a fantastic job of weaving them in the tale and giving them voice. I adored getting to know Gallowglass and Matthew’s father. The Queen and other characters gave me the chills and I feared for Diana.

Harkness has an incredible gift for world-building. She brought the Elizabethan era to life. Her interpretation of the queen, the atmosphere, and the smells of London lifted the tale right from the pages and I become completely immersed. It is immediately evident that a tremendous amount of research went into writing this novel. I was delighted by the historical accuracy and believability. From the buildings, merchants and furnishing, Harkness’s imagery was enthralling. The characters she introduced were fleshed-out, and my feelings toward them reflected that. Shadow of Night held my attention and kept me up late two evening in a row, but it was worth every sleep-deprived minute. Harkness spun twists and turns into the plot that completely captivating me. We travel all over Europe and I loved all the little details. The fear of discovery and the atmosphere of the times, especially towards witches made this tale very suspenseful. The romance between Diana and Matthew was genuine and beautifully portrayed. There was coupling and it was done beautifully. Even the most delicate reader won’t be offended. Watching their growth as a couple kept me spellbound. Together they share loss, love, fear, jealousy and a binding that will last forever. I found myself completely invested in their story. While I am once again drooling for the next book, it is also bittersweet for me. The knowledge that its publishing will bring this tale to an end is a sad one. I am not yet ready to let go of Matthew and Diana. While it did not end on a huge cliffhanger you are left knowing things are developing and this tale is far from over.

I recommend Shadow of Night and the entire All Souls Trilogy to everyone! It has elements that will appeal to a large audience; history, witchcraft, vampires, daemons, time-travel and romance. For my YA fans, if you loved Grave Mercy and Harry Potter you will enjoy this trilogy. Deborah Harkness is on my auto-buy list and I look forward to book three which is not yet titled. I will bring you news as I receive it.

Copyright (c) 2011-2013 Caffeinated Book Reviewer

About Deborah Harkness

Deborah Harkness

Deborah Harkness is the number one New York Times bestselling author of A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night, and The Book of Life. A history professor at the University of Southern California, Harkness has received Fulbright, Guggenheim, and National Humanities Center fellowships. Her publications include works on the history of science, magic, and alchemy. Her most recent scholarly book is The Jewel House: Elizabethan London and the Scientific Revolution. She lives in Los Angeles.

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. She's a self-professed Whovian, as well as a Supernatural, and Sherlock Holmes junkie, She enjoys sharing books, tips, recipes and hosting the Sunday Post. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat... Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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89 Responses to “Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness”

  1. Danny

    Wow this book sounds amazing… as does the whole series. I heard just the most awesome things about these books and your glowing reviews reminds me to read this series? And.. you say Harry Potter? Woooho!?!?

  2. Tanya Patrice

    I LOVED A Discovery of Witches and I’m so excited to read the follow up. If I win, I promise to love this book … hard 🙂

  3. Rebe

    I loved the first book (as I think I mentioned on Twitter the other day!), so I can’t wait to read this one! This sounds awesome – I’m sooooo jealous you’ve already read it!

  4. Melissas Eclectic Bookshelf

    Your review makes me want to leave work rush home and finish it today!! I love this story so much…and Deborah is the consummate storyteller. I already have the book…but I’m tempted to enter just for the cool buttons!! lol (not an entry)

  5. Melissa

    I want to win because from the very first page of A Discovery of Witches I fell in love with the whole story. I knew with all the different elements of history, witchcraft, vampires, all of it, that it would be an amazing story. I can’t wait to see what happens next in Diana and Matthew’s story. I’m especially looking forward to learning more about Matthew and his history, and seeing his tender side.

    Amazing review Kimba!

  6. erin

    Thanks for the fabulous giveaway! I’d love to win this book, b/c I loved the first one 🙂

  7. Tobi Helton

    I’ve been told this is an amazing series and I’m asking for the first book for my birthday! I can’t wait! Crossing fingers!
    <3Tobi

  8. Carl

    I’ve been anticipating the release of Shadow of Night for quite a while. Winning a copy would be perfect. Thanks

  9. Red Headed Bookworm

    I just got Discovery of Witches and would love to have the second! I have been dying to read this series for a while now. thanks so much for the chance!

  10. Maggie K

    Kim,
    Great review, I can’t wait to add this to my reading pile. I need a break from Vampires and Shapeshifters, I think Witches is the change I need. I bought Discovery of Witches after reading your review, I am looking forward to reading Shadow of Night!

  11. Heidi

    I can’t wait to dig into this one especially when the last one left off just as they were leaving. Looking forward to a trip back to the Elizabeth England. And now I am curious about Matthew’s history!

  12. Christina K.

    I want this one because I love the lore and the characters and the whole world and history:)

  13. Melissa

    I loved Discovery of Witches and this series is turning into one of my all time favorites.

  14. Jennifer

    I have been really interested in reading a Discovery of Witches, and after seeing both your reviews on these books, I really feel that these are MUST READS! lol

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  15. Samantha R.

    I’ve heard this series is awesome. If I win this, then there’s no excuse not to run out and buy A Discovery of Witches!

  16. cyn209

    i want to win Shadow of Night because it sounds like something i would enjoy!!

    thank you for the giveaway!!

  17. Erica

    The more I read about this book the more I want it!!! Thanks for the chance to win.

  18. Na

    A Discovery of Witches is one of my favorite reads and I can’t wait for the next installment!

  19. Chelsea

    Ever since Mom started talking about this book, I knew that it was going to be simply amazing. I can’t wait to read it!

  20. Wanda

    I loved reading ADOW and was so drwan into the book that I cannot wait to read SON. I cannot wait to get my hands on it and start reading.

  21. Chi Kittie

    I have heard such amazing things about this novel from friends and other book bloggers. I would love to own a copy. I have the first book on my Kindle. 🙂

    Thank you for this great giveaway, Kimberly!

    – Beckie

  22. Kristin

    Absolutely awesome giveaway, Kimba!!! I want to win b/c I’ve heard nothing but great things about this series and I’m frustratingly waiting for my free copy of A Discovery of Witches from BBPOC. I might as well try for the second book. Besides, if you gave it 5 cups, I’ll like it, too 😉

  23. Ems

    I want to win because I am DYING without my dose of Diana and Matthew, especially Matthew. I devoured A Discovery of Witches, and then, because I was allowed to keep the book for 3 weeks, I read it again and then again. I can’t get enough!

    Hi. My name is Ems and I’m an addict…to this series, that is!

  24. mary

    I saw the author at watermark book sand learned how and why she chose aspects of discovery. Having the buttons would give more depth to shadow of the night as I uncovered their meanings while reading. I plan if I win to use them on a sweater I am knitting. think of the conversations they would start— a chance to lead people tothe books.

  25. Margaret A

    Loved the first book so I’m sure the second one will be equally amazing! I’d love to win…I never win anything!

  26. Ceri McCandless

    I absolutely devoured A Discovery of Witches and have been anxiously (maybe even obsessively?) awaiting the second book. Would love to win a copy!

  27. eridun

    I adored the first book and the second one practically comes out on my birthday… so excited!!! I am on tenterhooks waiting for this one!

  28. Stéphanie

    I absolutely loved Discovery of Witches so obviously, I NEED to read the sequel. So to win a finished copy would be pretty awesome! I’m a huge fan of supernatural books and wine so this book is the perfect combination for me. I can’t wait to see what happens to Diana and Matthew next (in the past).

  29. Danielle D

    I’d like to win this book to add to my collection, and to better motivate me to buy the first one 🙂

  30. Anonymous

    The suspense is terrible…I hope it’ll last. (Willy Wonka) Actually I can’t wait another minute! -Lori McMullen Byon

  31. Dianna D

    I was in love with the series with the first book! Can’t wait for SON to come out in just 3 short weeks!

  32. Anonymous

    I read Discovery of Witches in a day – the first time. I read it slower the second time and then again in real time. Can’t wait for July 10th!

  33. Jozette

    I’ve been waiting to read this book since I finished Discovery of Witches. I can’t wait!! Thanks for the give-a-way!

  34. Nicola

    July can not come soon enough! Reading DOW again now (3rd time) getting ready for the big day!

  35. Donna

    DoW was awesome and I can’t wait for SoN. I have recommended this book series to everyone I know, but I won’t share mine!

  36. S.Sabia

    I can’t wait to read this book! The first one absolutely had me facinated and your review here has me very excited for Sahdows!

  37. Danielle

    I’ve been counting down the days for this to come out and telling everyone at the local bookstore how awesome it will be! Also, this is silly, but I got pins last year when the first book came out and I’d like the second set of pins to go along, you know?

  38. Jennifer

    I can’t wait to read this book. Loved the first one, and have been waiting a year for this one!

  39. Marie

    As an avowed ADOW addict, I cannot wait for Shadow of Night to come out so that I can once again live in Matthew & Diana’s world.

  40. Anonymous

    Loved the first one, but I want to read the second now! I need to know what happens. I hope I win, fingers crossed.

  41. Carole

    Just finished rereading ADOW. Can’t wait to continue to story…

  42. Anonymous

    You have a way with words! I would never have been able to describe the characters as you have! I’m so excited for Shadow of Night! Discovery of Witches is definitely at the top of my favorite books list and from your review I’m sure Shadow of Night will be too!

  43. Between the Bind

    I need the book on my bookshelf so badly I can’t stand it!!! My husband has made me promise not to buy any books over $15 for the summer…I buy waayyy too many books which is totally not good for him while being great for me. So I would LOOOVE to win this book! I’ll even video you my *happy dance*!

  44. Melanee

    I am so excited to read this! I finally purchased the first one (after borrowing it from the library a few times)… but I can’t wait to read Shadows of Night!! Way excited!!

  45. princess06

    I really enjoyed your book The Discovery of Witches…and can’t wait to get my hands on Shadows of Night! I’ve been waiting a long time. You are an excellent writer, Deborah! Your books are a fantastic read..very difficult to put down! I really WANT this book!!

  46. Nette

    Great review!! I have read ADOW 4 times already! I cannot wait to continue on with their story. Thanks!

  47. London Judge

    I read Discovery of Witches and absolutely loved it, I have been dying to read this ever since I heard it was coming out! Thanks for the giveaway 🙂

  48. mudepoz

    The combination of my favorite subjects genetics and history of science with a well-developed plot authored by a truly nice person is irresistible.

  49. Anonymous

    I love this story…the mystery, romance, and history are fascinating. Your review makes me even more anxious for Shadow.

  50. Patsy

    I can hardly wait to read this book! Last week, I finished A Discovery Of Witches and I loved it! I’m certain this book will be just as good.

  51. Chapter by Chapter

    I’m only hearing awesome things about A Discovery of Witches, and will def. need to follow that up with Shadow of Night! I love reading books about witches. Thanks for the giveaway 😀

    MaryAnn
    Chapter by Chapter

  52. Racer

    I cannot wait to.read this second book. Eager to hear more of Matthew and Diana’s love.

  53. Rikki

    I really need to know what’s going to happen. Hoping to hear more about Diana’s abilities 🙂

  54. Natalie

    Loved A Discovery of Witches and would love to have a signed first edition of Shadow of Night!

  55. Nikki

    I have been counting down the days til this book comes out! I’m so excited that it’s practically here!!

  56. KansasCityGypsy

    ADOW was the best book I’ve read in ages – I can’t wait to own the newest installment of this story.

  57. Dr. Debs

    Thanks for all the kind words, everybody–and for entering this great contest. Good luck! (this is me–Deb, aka Dr. Debs but really Deborah Harkness) 🙂