Book Review: Shadow of Night (Re-read)

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All Soul’s Trilogy #2


Author: Deborah Harkness

Pages: 584

Goodreads Synopsis: Picking up from A Discovery of Witches’ cliffhanger ending, Shadow of Night takes Diana and Matthew on a trip through time to Elizabethan London, where they are plunged into a world of spies, magic, and a coterie of Matthew’s old friends, the School of Night. As the search for Ashmole 782 deepens and Diana seeks out a witch to tutor her in magic, the net of Matthew’s past tightens around them, and they embark on a very different—and vastly more dangerous—journey.

Review: Shadow of Night reminds me of a lot of second novels in a trilogy — it’s really setting you up for what’s to come. At some points, I found this story dull but at other points in reading, I found it interesting and full of fantasy which makes it hard to review. In the end I gave it 3 out of 5 stars because even now, I’m not sure how I felt about the story overall.

Here’s what I really enjoyed about the story, Matthew and Diana go back in time, to 1590 England to try and help Diana understand her magic better, keep her safe and try and find The Book of Life. It’s an interesting twist in a story that could have stayed in modern day but I really enjoyed that Harkness did this. Also, reading this story made me a little jealous of Vampires, I mean, they get to experience every different century — how cool is that? Anyway, while there, Matthew and Diana get to understand each other better, remember, Matthew was around in 1590 – he was a different Vampire then, he had a life that he has to keep up appearances with while grappling with the fact that he is no longer the same kind of Vampire as he was.

Meanwhile, Diana is accepting who she really is, a witch and a powerful one. She cannot hide from her abilities any longer and she recognizes this during her time in the past as well as understanding who she is and what she means to the world and Matthew. It’s also interesting to see her interact with people from 1590 and how her scholarly side really comes out, she realizes the things she thought she understood about the past is no where near what it truly was.

While the story has all of these awesome points and Harkness really did her research on history — having Matthew be friends with real people from that time period, accurately describing them and their contributions to our modern day world, I found there were instances when I really wanted the story to end so I could get to the finale. It’s not that it was interesting, and a fun read, there were just chapters that I wish were shorter.

Overall Rating: 3/5 stars

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