Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness
Published by Viking Adult, an imprint of Penguin
The present has become far too dangerous for Diana and Matthew. A vampire and a witch are not supposed to be in relationship with one another, and Diana and Matthew’s marriage puts their very lives at risk. With others out looking for them, it would be impossible to find a witch who can help Diana master her long-dormant powers, and her powers must be mastered if the couple and their friends and family are to be safe, and if they are to ever find Ashmole 732.
With so much at stake, staying in the present is not an option. Instead, Diana and Matthew timewalk about to Elizabethan England, stepping into the life that Matthew once lived. For a historian, this seems to be the opportunity of a lifetime – particularly once Diana discovers that Matthew’s circle of friends at the time included the infamous School of Night – but fitting in in the past is more difficult than Diana would have ever thought. Still, being able to see some of the people and events that shaped the Matthew she knows in the present, as well as the possibility of finding Ashmole 732 while still intact and that of learning more about her own abilities, is too great an opportunity for Diana to pass up.
It is no secret that I adored Deborah Harkness’s debut novel, A Discovery of Witches. Shadow of Night picks up exactly where A Discovery of Witches left off and, is perhaps even the better book. Many times, the second book in a series serves more as a connector between the first book and the second than a story worth telling in and of itself. Shadow of Night, however, is a strong story on its own, and does not require the extensive character and world building that A Discovery of Witches had, thus allowing Harkness to jump straight into the story – after all, we were left with a bit of a cliffhanger at the end of A Discovery of Witches. There is a bit less of her vampire/daemon/witch mythology here than there was in the first book, which is mildly disappointing, but only in retrospect. While reading, there is no time to wish for anything more, what with the witch hunts lurking ever present in the background, and meeting Matthew’s father.
The one problem with Shadow of Night? I don’t even know how long I’m going to have to wait for the end of the trilogy.
Source: Publisher, via Netgalley.
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