August 16, 2012

Review: Shadow of Night by: Deborah Harkness

Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy) by: Deborah Harkness
Publisher: Viking Adult
592 pages
Genre: Romance/History/Fantasy

Summary: Shadow of Night begins literally right where A Discovery of Witches ended. Matthew and Diana are now in Elizabethan London in search of a witch to help Diana understand and use her powers. On their journey they run into obstacles including old friends, spies, alchemy, and more.  My summary ends there because I want to give nothing away.

Review: I have been waiting a year for this book to come out and when it finally did I immediately purchased it on my Sony reader at midnight.  The wait was worth it.

In the second book of this trilogy Harkness doesn’t disappoint, although it did take a little while till the book really captured my attention. It seemed interesting and fun to read at first. Trying to keep track of all the historical characters and Matthew’s past kept my focus at the beginning of the book. Then after a few chapters the story doesn’t seem to really move forward. I understand that it will take Diana a while to adjust to a whole new century, but Matthew and Diana’s life seems unadventurous at the beginning of the novel. I loved the pretty much non-stop adventure, mystery, and love in the first novel.  This slower beginning shouldn’t deter the reader from finishing the book because it gets so much better.

Matthew and Diana’s relationship grows in the novel as they face new challenges and work together to find solutions to their never ending problems with alchemy, witchcraft and the past. The new characters introduced in this novel are not only always entertaining but also hard to pinhole.

When you hit the sweet spot of the novel you won’t be able to put it down. The adventure starts to take hold and Diana finally finds a witch to help her discover who she is. Most importantly an unexpected character emerges that will add to the delight of this novel.

Above all, we get glimpses into what is going on in the present day with the Ashmole manuscript and the other characters we met in the first novel as well. My only real complaint of this novel is that I wish we would have gotten a few more glimpses of the present, but at least we got some.

The ending will leave you wanting more. I can’t believe I have to wait another year or more for the next book. Once again, like the first one, the book ends with a cliffhanger you wouldn’t believe. Even though I strongly agree that you should pick up this book and read it as soon as you can I would understand if you want to wait awhile so the ending isn’t so excruciating. J  Not quite as good as the first, but amazing all the same. Fans of A Discovery of Witches won’t be disappointed.

Rating: 4.5/5

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