David's Reviews > Shadow of Night

Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness
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's review
Jul 29, 2012

really liked it
Read in July, 2012

I bought two Deborah Harkness e-books on my Kindle a week ago. Both were listed as USA Today best sellers. I read "Shadow of Night" after reading a sample of the first book in the series, "A Discovery of Witches".

"Shadow of Night" refers to the leading male character, Matthew. Shadow - he's a spy for Queen Elizabeth I. That part of the story is set in 1590/91. We meet him in the 21st Century in the first book. He's a vampire. Dianna Bishop is a witch, a 21st scholar with credentials, obsessed with studies of alchemy. A strong female lead character, she uses her time weaving skills to move to a precise time and place to track down a lost book she needs, and she fits right in with 16th century culture as if she had been born to royalty.

I like historical fiction. Deborah Harkness tells it as if she had been the confidant of the famous characters of London, France, and Prague. I also like the way she tells the mythology of vampires, witches, and goddesses, and in this case, their creation story. She gives a nice twist to the common barrier that you can't change the past without causing chaos in the future. She shows how to do it in major ways, and at the end, by a simple change in a line written by Shakespeare.

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