Shadow Of Night (Review)

Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy #2)
by Deborah Harkness
584 pages | July 10th 2012 | Viking Adult

Historian Diana Bishop, descended from a line of powerful witches, and long-lived vampire Matthew Clairmont have broken the laws dividing creatures. When Diana discovered a significant alchemical manuscript in the Bodleian Library, she sparked a struggle in which she became bound to Matthew. Now the fragile coexistence of witches, daemons, vampires and humans is dangerously threatened.

Seeking safety, Diana and Matthew travel back in time to London, 1590. But they soon realize that the past may not provide a haven. Reclaiming his former identity as poet and spy for Queen Elizabeth, the vampire falls back in with a group of radicals known as the School of Night. Many are unruly daemons, the creative minds of the age, including playwright Christopher Marlowe and mathematician Thomas Harriot.

Together Matthew and Diana scour Tudor London for the elusive manuscript Ashmole 782, and search for the witch who will teach Diana how to control her remarkable powers...

This book and I have a complicated relationship. I got it from the local library because, come on, this cover is amazing. I wanted A Discover of Witches but alas, they didn't have it. So I got this one instead because, much to my dismay, it does not indicate inside what the order is! So I began to read this second book in the series without having ever read the first. It was a wild ride. The book picked up with two characters I've never met before time traveling to 16th century London. Cool! As I continued reading, I found that the author did a pretty good job of catching me up on things.

I found that there were a lot of unnecessary characters that were getting too much attention. It was nice to have the historical plugs here and there, but for the first little while I found I was getting a little bored with these people. It was exceptionally frustrating because I really liked Marlowe before I read this book, and this fictional interpretation of him sort of made me hate him.  It was however, interested to see how Matthew adapted to his old world, as a man who had been drastically changed by so many centuries having to fit in with these group of people who remember him as someone different.

The funniest part was trying to see modern Diana trying to fall into the roll of an Elizabethan woman. Especially as a witch, since apparently everyone hates them! Over all I really enjoyed the book. I definitely want to read the first, and the next! I would recommend reading them in order. There were things that were referenced in the book that I had no knowledge of.

Then, that's pretty much common sense. Because I had checked it out I decided to read it, and then I never returned it. So I paid $40 in library fines for this book! I better have liked it. (I should have just bought it.)

If you like witches, fantasy, historical fiction then I think you'll love this tale. It's definitely a great read.

My life has been a series of left turns that nevertheless took me in the right direction (though it didn't always seem so at the time). I went to college to be a theater major and ended up studying the Renaissance. I went to grad school to become a college administrator and loved to teach so much I became a college professor instead. I thought I wanted to be a Tudor-Stuart historian,and found myself a historian of science. I started blogging because a friend needed help on a project in 2006 and am still blogging about wine today.

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