Lisa Wolf's Reviews > Shadow of Night

Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness
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's review
Jan 19, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: historical-fiction, time-travel-and-timey-weirdness, vampires, witches, love-stories, favorite-characters, elizabethan-england
Read from July 11 to 16, 2012 — I own a copy

Shadow of Night is the long - and long-awaited - sequel to A Discovery of Witches, one of last year's hottest books. Sadly, it's only the second out of a trilogy, and you know how I feel about trilogies...

Putting that aside, I must say that I was very, very pleased with Shadow of Night. It picks up the story of Matthew and Diana just seconds after the end of ADOW, as they step out of the 21st century and walk through time into the year 1590 in Elizabethan England.

Author Deborah Harkness's passion for history shines through, as she lovingly recreates the sights, sounds, and (often unappetizing) smells of the 16th century. The cast of characters grows dramatically, with people both fictional and historical making appearances. Hello, Christopher Marlowe! Nice to meet you, Walter Raleigh!

Matthew and Diana's love story continues to blossom, as they grow closer while dangers new and old close in around them. They are tested by a barrage of external threats, while struggling to reestablish their relationship in a new world with new dynamics and new gender roles.

I missed the large group of secondary characters from ADOW, who make only brief appearances in SON. I also didn't quite buy the author's approach to time travel, in which the time traveler essentially takes the place of the version of himself who belongs in the time period.

These are minor quibbles; overall, I was completely caught up in the narrative and barely looked up from the book from start to finish. I hate that we have to wait for #3! SON ends at a major turning-point, and I am desperate to find out what happens next. If you read the first book, then no doubt you've already gotten your hands on Shadow of Night. And if you haven't read A Discovery of Witches, now is a great time to jump in!

Highly recommended, for lovers of historical fiction, time travel, supernatural creatures, love stories, or just plain old high-quality storytelling.

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Reading Progress

07/11/2012 "So excited!" 3 comments

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