Dec 122013
Review: Shadow of NightShadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy #2) by Deborah Harkness
Published by Viking Books on Jul 10, 2012
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Time Travel
Format: Hardcover from BEA 2012
Find the book: Amazon, Goodreads
Rating: four-stars


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 realise 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…

While I had a hard time enjoying the first book because I found it slow and burdensome, this second book was quite smooth and enjoyable. It starts right where the first book ended, with Diana and Matthew arriving in 1590 Elizabethean England.

I think this setting is what made the difference. To me, this felt more like a time travel story with paranormal elements, with very few ties to the first book. The focus here is for Diana to understand and learn to control her abilities. Yes, she is still looking for Ashmole 782, but that is not nearly as important this time around.

I liked this new focus of self discovery. It relaxed the story and allowed the setting and characters to take center stage. I still immensely dislike Matthew, but I did enjoy his friends. Jack and Annie stole my heart, and I wanted more of them. Philip was a pleasant surprise, and may be my favourite vampire from the entire series so far.

Overall, this book had a completely different feel from the first one, and it was much more enjoyable. I loved the setting, and am almost unsure whether I want to read the last book as Diana and Matthew have moved back to the present time. I just enjoyed the Elizabethean setting so much that I’m afraid the last book will be disappointingly like the first.

  One Response to “Review: Shadow of Night”

  1. I absolilutely adore this series and am eagerly awaiting the Book of Life. There’s a fun movement around the casting for the movie. You should visit

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