Monday, October 29, 2012

Book Review: Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

Book: Shadow of Night
Author: Deborah Harkness
Hardcover: 592 Pages
Publisher: Viking Adult
"Together we lifted our feet and stepped into the unknown"—the thrilling sequel to the New York Times bestseller A Discovery of Witches Deborah Harkness exploded onto the literary scene with her debut novel, A Discovery of Witches, Book One of the magical All Souls Trilogy and an international publishing phenomenon. The novel introduced Diana Bishop, Oxford scholar and reluctant witch, and the handsome geneticist and vampire Matthew Clairmont; together they found themselves at the center of a supernatural battle over an enchanted manuscript known as Ashmole 782. Now, picking up from A Discovery of Witches’ cliffhanger ending, Shadow of Night plunges Diana and Matthew into Elizabethan London, a world of spies, subterfuge, and a coterie of Matthew’s old friends, the mysterious School of Night that includes Christopher Marlowe and Walter Raleigh. Here, Diana must locate a witch to tutor her in magic, Matthew is forced to confront a past he thought he had put to rest, and the mystery of Ashmole 782 deepens. Deborah Harkness has crafted a gripping journey through a world of alchemy, time travel, and magical discoveries, delivering one of the most hotly anticipated novels of the season.

There are some stories that stay with you forever. All Souls Trilogy is such a story for me. When I finished ADoW, I was waiting patiently and was wondering what is going to happen next. Is Diana going to succeed in timewalking back to Elizabethan England in 1590? When finally the book was out. I saw that the answer was yes and I was at peace. 

In this book we get to see not only some very famous people from that Era, as friends of Matthew, but we get involved into their web of lies, secrets and everyday life. I was really shocked to see how it helped the plot and throughout the book I was really impressed by some parts. 

For example, the whole part with Philippe at Sept-Tours is by far my favorite. And not because Philippos is indeed of Greek origin! Mostly because he was so smart and precise that he was always ahead of everyone. 
Matthew got his closure. Diana learned a lot not only for Philippe but also about Matthew and that helped them along the way to understand their deep feelings. Consequently that solified their relationship even more by the end of the book.

As per usual I won't say more about the plot. Of course, there are more in this book that I love and I haven't shared with you. For now, I will only say that along with Philippe, my second favorite is Gallowglass. When you read about him, you will understand why. I do hope that we will see more of him in book #3 but also  more information of what happened in the present, when Diana and Matthew were trying to find the witch that would help Diana with her magic. 

The only thing I would like to pinpoint is that Deborah Harkness is indeed a storyteller. She can create the scenery, the atmosphere even a pseydo-character, for all those real and historical figures she used in SoN. And that is her magic too. Also, I was not familiar with Elizabethan England or alchemy before reading these series. But even though of my ignorance, I had this feeling that I was taking a very good peak from that Era. 

Finally, for all those people who are still children in their hearts, this story is for you. You will laugh, hate, cry and love the characters even more in the end of the book. Just give it a try and you will be mesmerized. 

And when you will finished it. "Enjoy the Club that waits for Book #3."

You can also read my review on "A Discovery of Witches"

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