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Shadow of Night

(All Souls Trilogy #2)

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4.07  ·  Rating details ·  152,018 ratings  ·  14,432 reviews
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The #1 New York Times–bestselling sequel to A Discovery of Witches is as “enchanting, engrossing, and as impossible to put down as its predecessor” (Miami Herald) J. K. Rowling, Stephenie Meyer, Anne Rice—only a few writers capture the imagination the way that Deborah Harkness has done with books one and two of her New York Times–bestselling All Souls trilogy. A Discovery of Witches introduced reluctant witch and Oxford scholar Diana B(Miami ...more
Paperback, 577 pages
Published May 28th 2013 by Penguin Books (first published July 10th 2012)
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K. Cortese Ms. Harkness actually comments on the difficulty of understanding Elizabethan English through Diana whose voice we are reading. No, I can assure you…moreMs. Harkness actually comments on the difficulty of understanding Elizabethan English through Diana whose voice we are reading. No, I can assure you that the majority of "us" cannot handle it and would toss the book aside rather than attempt to plow through it. I've ready Chaucer ONCE because I simply did not want to "handle it". So, no, not bothered at all. In fact, I thought it was rather clever of her to note the character's difficulty with Elizabethan English and how long it took the character to be able to converse and be understood.(less)
Candice Ee-zah-boh.
I had to google it. It's is Medieval French for Isabelle.

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Kristina
Jul 15, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: masochists
Recommended to Kristina by: no one. I was dumb enough to tell myself to read it.

Request to Readers of This Review who LOVED the book

Please stop NOW & do not read this review. Based on the ridiculous & repetitive comments left by lovers of this trilogy, many of you cannot handle opinions that do not conform to your own & feel the need to call me stupid, tell me I have no right to read this book, & other nonsense. If you feel that way, FINE. Just stop telling me! I don't care! I don't troll lovers of this trilogy & tell them they are morons for liking the bo
...more
Wine Country
"You gave your life to me Diana Bishop. It's time to make use of it."

This is a hard review to write. How do I sum up all the intense emotions and thoughts that this book conjured in me? So please forgive me if this review is not worthy of the book for this was truly an incredible story and like the first book, one I will have to read again and again.

The book starts off exactly where A Discovery of Witches ended, Matthew and Diana have traveled back to Oxford 1591 in search of a witch powerful eno
...more
Merrie
Jun 28, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bonnie
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

Shadow of Night picks up immediately after A Discovery of Witches ends (and I do mean immediately with little to no refresher. This was my second attempt at reading and I attribute my success at completing it solely because of this recap I found online which was an immense help.) with Matthew and Diana traveling back into the past to search for Ashmole 782 and to seek Diana help with her powers. For those that don’t remember: Ashmole 782: the bewitched alchemical manuscript that Diana
...more
Natalie
Aug 21, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Cannot believe this book has 4 stars??? Have you read the same book I just suffered through?? (actually listened to as a 24 hour long audiobook!! should have been my first warning) I don't even want to read the 3rd book I'm so turned off by this LONG, confusing sequel. I can't imagine how she will be able to close the MANY loose ends she has floating out there. And by the way, did anyone else follow that crazy weaver business? Two more of many pet peeves about this was the lame jack be nimble, j ...more
Sean Barrs the Bookdragon
So imagine you’ve written a story about vampires and witches who hunt for a mysterious book full of power and life. The story is set in the modern day with much of the action taking part in the city of Oxford along with many memorable scenes occurring in the Bodleian library. It all sounds pretty decent.

Your central character slowly falls in love with a vampire: the feelings are returned. The two decide to pool their resources as they are both working for very similar aims. Their hunt for the b
...more
Frances
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kyla
Oct 16, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
I wish I could give this book more than 3 stars. To be honest it's receiving three only because I it piqued my interest just enough to finish it.

I was so excited to read the second installment to Diana and Matthew's journey after reading The Discovery of Witches a couple of years ago and absolutely adoring the first book!

This book, I found, was too long with too many unnecessary characters. Yes I became aware after reading the book that there is a glossary in the back of the book...
...more
• Lindsey Dahling •
A few non-spoilery things (if you’ve finished the first one) you’ll want to know before beginning this (or things I wanted to know and needed my future self to tell me):

1. 95% of this takes place in the past.
There are a few chapters that update you on what’s going on in the present, but those were kind of dull, sooooo...

2. The time traveling will never make sense.
It’s best to just let this go. The 16th century Matthew disappears while present day Matthew is there with his present day/>2./>1.
...more
M
Jul 14, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kristi
Dec 05, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
I'm bored out of my mind and just can't read another page. I've been reading this book for over a week, hundreds and hundreds of pages, and virtually nothing has happened. There has been so little forward progress, it's astonishing. Too many boring, insignificant characters have been introduced. The amount of historical information and intricate detail is remarkable, but also mind-numbing. So many times I wanted to scream "Just get on with the story already!". Farewell Diana and Matthew. I hope ...more
Erica
I received an advanced copy of this book through NetGalley, thanks to the helpful comments from friends here on GoodReads. Following is my review of the book.

This story begins at the same point where A Discovery of Witches left off, with Diana & Matthew landing safely in Elizabethan England. Diana is enthralled with the idea of “living” the historical events she has spent her life studying, and is a bit nonplussed by the fact that even with all her knowledge of the times and people, she
...more
E.L. James
Sep 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a wonderful, vibrant, rich exciting thriller/mystery/love story this is.
Loved how the supernatural is woven through the story as Diana and Matthew journey through Elizabethan Europe.
A cracking read, and a worthy sequel to DoW. Can't wait for the next one.
Samantha
As soon as I finished A Discovery of Witches, I immediately went online to find out when I should expect the sequel. It was a long wait, but completely worth it. Harkness' view of Elizabethan London and Europe is just awesome, and the trip to Prague was an added bonus that I had not expected. Not only did the plot line get more compelling, but Harkness was also able to weave in the difficulties of the newly wed. I savored every minute of this novel, and I can hardly wait to get it on audio.
...more
Bradley
Re-read 12/17/17

I didn't dislike this novel any on a re-read. Indeed, knowing what's going to occur in the next novel actually improved the overall plot for me.

I originally came to the conclusion that most of the historical plots were relatively inconsequential. After all, aren't we playing tourists with the time-travel bits? But no. The plots and the carry-through with a large cast of characters both vampire and other feels entirely justified on the re-read.

Other than that, I pret
...more
Karen Ng
Every so often, a book comes along. It’s everything you imagine a great fiction to be. It evokes the tremendous joy of just being able to read, to immerse yourself in a book so fully, to jump into a journey where every sense in your body is heightened, and your mind stimulated. Then the last page is turned, you sigh with sadness since you know you will not be able to find another book like this for a long, long time.

Shadow of Night is such a book.

I wrote these in my review of the first book
...more
Lucia
My Diana and Matthew:


Wow, what a sophisticated and remarkable story! Shadow of Night was like nothing I have ever read before and it surpassed all my expectations. This book offers the most amazing mixture of romance, history, paranormal and action. It was equally good (if not better) as first book and I enjoyed reading this book immensely.


Shadow of Night is that kind of book which you canimmensely.
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Wow,
...more
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
www.melissa413readsalot.blogspot.com

I'm not even sure where to begin. I didn't like this book as much as the first one. I loved the first one! I'm not sure what happened... my mood..the book itself. I do believe the last book in the trilogy will be as good as the first and I can't wait to read it.

There were so many people in this book, but the author listed in the back of the book who everyone was in case you got lost. Some of the things seemed to drag on but I can see where the author needed to add so much information. I didn't min
...more
Angela


Historical detail & slow pace drags down sequel

Though I had a rocky experience with Harkness' first novel, A Discovery of Witches, I began reading Shadow of Night with hopes that its setting in the past would add intrigue and excitement to the unfolding story. Unfortunately, it did not, and the story became more plodding and convoluted in this installment.



Historical detail & slow pace drags down sequel

Though I had a rocky experience with Harkness' first novel,
A Discovery of Witches, I began reading Shadow of Night with hopes that its setting in the past would add intrigue and excitement to the unfolding story. Unfortunately, it did not, and the story became more plodding and convoluted in this installment.

Shadow of Night suffered most from its almost obsession-like focus on detailing every aspect of the historical period in which it was set. From particulars about the floor coverings to the convenient inclusion of almost every notable figure of the time, I felt bogged down in the details and the name-dropping. Character development also progressed in fits and spurts and ultimately stalled. Though Matthew and Diana have some "breakthrough" moments in their relationship, Diana remains relatively incompetent and reckless and Matthew continues to be controlling and possessive. Slow pacing made the first 80% of the novel drag, and very little time or attention was given to the threats or worries of the present day. When action or plot movement did occur, it provided little tension or excitement. The couple's impetus to be in the past - to hone Diana's magic and to find Ashmole 782 - often got lost among historical notes and unrelated intrigue. The mythology regarding time travel and Diana's magical skills was also unclear and seemed to contradict itself at times.

Even though Shadow of Night didn't work for me, this book might be an enjoyable read for those who love history and detail. The time spent exploring Diana's magic and her special capabilities was interesting, as was the information revealed toward the end of the novel about Ashmole 782 and its related prophecy; I finished the book wanting to know more about each. The story also provided some insight into Matthew's character and how his past and his family had shaped him. Chapters set in the present day that were interspersed between sections also provided glimpses into what was happening in the present-day world and moved things along for the secondary characters. Of all of the different parts in the book, I enjoyed these infrequent additions the most.

While I can appreciate the ambitious nature of Harkness' series, I left this second book of the trilogy feeling unmoved again by the story or its characters. Even such, I will likely read the final installment when it comes out to see what happens to Diana, Matthew, and all those connected by Ashmole 782. As she wraps up her story, I hope that Harkness provides readers with faster pacing, clearer world building, and more character development.

Note: This review refers to an advance review copy.
...more
Laura
Jul 29, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I FINALLY finished this darn book - thank heavens. It was a struggle and I was so disappointed. It was OK in the very beginning, then got totally lost in all of the non-directional padding and finally had some of the earlier pizzazz in the last 10 pages. I'm sure I'll read the last one, but not with any of the excitement that I had while waiting for #2. When I turned over the last page I was furious to find that while I was struggling to keep all of the characters straight in my mind...they were ...more
☕️Kimberly
The tale literally picks up right where Discovery of Witches left off. Diana and Matthew find themselves landing back in Elizabethan London. Diana is thrilled to be able to visit a period she has studied but finds herself woefully unprepared. She quickly realizes that even with her education she is completely out of her element. From her speech to her mannerism it is obvious to all; she isn’t from around here. With the aid of Matthew’s eccentric friends, they will work to assist Diana with these ...more
Trish
Dec 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This is the second book in the All Souls trilogy and mostly takes place in 1590/1591 after Diana and Matthew have time-walked there to be safe from the congregation, find the manuscript of Ashmole 782, as well as a witch capable of teaching Diana about her strange magic.
It is thus that we meet characters like Walter Raleigh, Christopher Marlowe, Elizabeth I and even Matthew's father Philippe, who has quickly become my favourite character (along with Matt's nephew Gallowglass).
The book takes place in London (Blackfriars),
...more
Angela Cone
Nov 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you were infatuated with A Discovery of Witches (and if you weren't I seriously wonder about you), you will be head over heels in love with Shadow of Night. SON picks up right where ADOW left off with Matthew and Diana landing in Elizabethan times (1590s). Diana is shocked when she learns that Matthew, who goes by Matthew Roydon in this time period, was a player in the elusive School of Night (Marlow, Raleigh, Chapman, Harriott) as well as friend to Shakespeare. Diana has quite a time trying ...more
Melinda
Jul 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, audible
This book is an excellent follow up to A Discovery of Witches. I was afraid that the sequel would not live up to my expectations that have been building for a year since I read the first one. Luckily, that fear was incorrect.

Shadow of Night starts immediately where Discovery left off and begins to weave in various historical figures throughout the book right up until the end. In the first book there were many descriptions about the food and wine with great detail, in this one the det
...more
Stacee
October 2017: Changing my rating to 5 stars. When settling in to reread this one, all I could remember is that they were going to the past. There were so many things I was delighted to be surprised with, so many characters I loved, and a few I wanted to junk punch. I will definitely be starting book 3 right away.

Original review
4.5 stars

I definitely enjoyed it more than the first book. Love where it starts, where it ends and everything in between. I can't wait to see where book 3 is going to take us.
Jeann (Happy Indulgence)
I had high hopes for this book after hearing about all the interesting places Diana Bishop (witch and historian) and Matthew (her vampire husband) would visit using time travel. Unfortunately, what resulted in between the hefty 600 pages, was a lot of frustration, boredom, and just a general feeling of "make it stop".

The Discovery of Witches, the first in the series, had so much potential but just ended up having too much of a resemblance to Twilight and too much irrelevant waffle. S
...more
Emer (A Little Haze)
This book isn't great.
It's too long.
It's got some illogical thought processes from the main characters considering their supposed knowledge of all things historical.
It reads like the author wanted to show off everything she knew about this time period.
It's got far too many characters whose identities blur together.
It's got some dodgy AF sexual interactions.
And nothing much really happens despite the book's length.

But..... I give zero fucks about all of this because I had a blast. I am pure trash for this series so four stars it is

Terri ♥ (aka Mrs. Christian Grey)
Quick review:

Cover: Okay
Rating: R
Steaminess: Steamy
Thumbs Up: 4
Overall: The pacing was better. The story more interesting.
Characters: Well written
Plot: A step back in time to hopeful help the future.
Page Turner: Yes
Series Cont.? Yes
Recommend: Yes
Book Boyfriend: Matthew

SUMMARY (50 words or less)
Again the story was long but length wasn’t the issue here. The research details didn’t bog us down but I found myself missing them. The story wasn’t as predictable as the last. However, there were a few plot ho/>/>Book/>/>/>Page/>/>/>/>/>Steaminess:/>/>
...more
Katherine
I was so overwhelmed with emotions and thoughts in my head when finishing this book, that I wanted a day to sleep on it, before writing a review. It was the first thing on my mind when I woke this morning. I wish that I could recall my dreams, because I am sure that the characters were in them, and will be for weeks to come.

First, I love that the author continues the story right where the first book left us. Diana and Matthew traveling back in time. Right away we are thrown into Matthew's life
...more
Navessa
Mar 24, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: vampires
I was pretty disappointed with this book. I LOVED the first one. Sadly, I spent the entirety of this one wondering where the hell the main character's voice had gone. It felt like she just sat aside and let all the men around her do her talking for her. They even talked about her and insulted her in FRONT of her and she never stood up for herself. Not only that but there was almost no internal monologue. You didn't even know if she was insulted by their words.

And the end was a total
...more
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21,212 followers
My life has been a series of left turns that nevertheless took me in the right direction (though it didn't always seem so at the time). I went to college to be a theater major and ended up studying the Renaissance. I went to grad school to become a college administrator and loved to teach so much I became a college professor instead. I thought I wanted to be a Tudor-Stuart historian, and found mys ...more

Other books in the series

All Souls Trilogy (3 books)
  • A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy, #1)
  • The Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy, #3)
“Memories were short and history unkind. It was the way of the world.” 74 likes
“With knot of one, the spell's begun.
With knot of two, the spell be true.
With knot of three, the spell is free.
With knot of four, the power is stored.
With knot of five, the spell with thrive.
With knot of six, this spell I fix.”
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