Karen's Reviews > Shadow of Night

Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness
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's review
Jun 23, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction
Read from July 24 to September 10, 2012

Absolutely no recap, so I had to go back to skim the end of book one. This one picks up second later, as they arrive at their destination.

When I got to the end I was torn between "Whew, made it!" and "Aw, when does the next one come out?". This book is really 4 books in one. The first section focuses almost completely on the School of Night historical figures, while Diana's story is completely ignored. This was very frustrating. Then Part two is set in Franc and all about Matthew's family, which is interesting, and of course we get the wedding of Diana and Matthew, which already happened in the future (book 1) but this way we get diverted by funny daily stories and romance. After two complete diversions, we are back in London and FINALLY meet some witches and get on with Diana's training, which is why we are in Elizabethan England after all. The intertwining of historical figures into our story is well designed and the author clearly understands the period well and has spent effort on the research. Just the fact that Matthew turns out to have a real identity in the School of Night means this was planned before book 1. Scenes with the Queen and Shakespeare are hysterical. I'm not sure I like Matthew anymore by the 4th part of the book in Prague. There are only a few short scenes of what is going on in the present time, and we are left with intentional gaps to fill in with book 3. After all, if you stay in the past for seven months (about the real time it takes to read this book) you are going to change the future. I mean the present, I mean, when is the next book coming again?

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