Katherine's Reviews > Shadow of Night

Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness
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Mar 14, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: vampires, top-shelf-fantastic-reads, witches-magic, books-that-own-me
Read from July 13 to 18, 2012 — I own a copy

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 at that time. All of his friends and cohorts are a bit to deal with and remember, but as we get to know them through out the story, most of them I can remember fondly, except for one that does not have Diana or Matthew's (despite what he might think) best interests at heart. What's interesting about these people is that they are fairly well known in history, as artists, scientists, and historians. Having Diana keep her composure when meeting Shakespeare and Queen Elizabeth made me proud, because I don't think I could have done that! I also like that Diana wants to just blend right in with everything around her, but struggles to do so. As Diana learns about what life was like back then for women and witches especially, she learns about her true self and gifts in the process.

Second, Matthew de Clermont, or Roydon in most of this book. He is by far, the most complex and interesting characters that I've read in a long time. Who ever gets to play him in the movie, will have quite a challenge a head of them. (I see Henry Cavill myself) We get to see him in a different light in the past. The rules are different, and he struggles to keep his relationship with Diana the same as it was in the present. His relationship with his father, Phillippe, was difficult to read at times, because I would forget that vampire families aren't like human families. Phillippe is not his maker, he is the husband to his "mother" Ysabeau. It was interesting to read about some of Matthew's siblings/relatives and see Diana interacting with them, learning to love them in her own way. At any rate, one of my favorite lines in the book comes from Matthew, "After all my searching, I discover that I am who I always was: Matthew de Clermont. Husband. Father. Vampire. And I am here for only one reason: To make a difference." I am not sure that any male character I read about going forward, is going to be able to remove this amazing man off of the top of my favorite list. At this point, I am FINALLY saying, Edward who?

Third, Deborah's talent for writing like her readers are intelligent people, pleases me so much. She understood that with each event that Diana experiences or changes, it is going to change the future in some way. I loved the chapters that would reveal how the family left behind, deals with tidbits of information that would reveal itself. My favorite would have to be Marcus' interaction with Phoebe, an assistant at Sotheby's. UST to the max there. Can't wait to maybe read more about those two in the next book.

Lastly, Romance. I had thought that maybe I had missed something, when almost half way through the book, nothing was hinted at or mentioned about Diana and Matthew's physical relationship. Apparently, having sex with a vampire, no matter what book you are reading, is going to be dangerous, and if left up to the male, might not ever happen. As funny as this sounds, it is Phillippe who brings attention to the fact, they had not consummated their "marriage". So he is the one who encourages Matthew to make it happen, so that the rest of the world will know that Diana is his. Deborah does not disappoint when things do take their proper course, and I love that she takes it to a different level later on. Matthew warns Diana about what would happen if they crossed that line, and he doesn't hide his possessiveness for long. One aspect of their relationship is never completely forgotten. Matthew's desire for Diana to know herself and her magic. He expresses it so clearly in this passage, "You tell me that magic is just desire made real. Maybe spells are nothing more than words that you believe with all your heart. He loves you. Forever. So do I." Diana's thoughts, "His words wove through the threads that connected us, witch and vampire. They carried the conviction of his feelings with them: tenderness, reverence, constancy, hope."

Not sure, there is much more to say after that. I do want to say to Deborah, thank you so much for creating this amazing world, and sharing the incredible relationship between these two very powerful and intelligent people. It has been quite the ride, and I am not ready to get off it just yet.
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Reading Progress

07/14/2012 page 203
35.0% "I am so loving this story..."
07/18/2012 page 469
80.0% ""After all my searching, I discover that I am who I always was: Matthew de Clermont. Husband. Father. Vampire. And I am here for only one reason: To make a difference." *swallowing lump in my throat*" 5 comments
02/15/2016 marked as: read
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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Lucia Wow, beautiful review! I cannot wait to get back home and continue reading this wonderful story


message 2: by Leslie (new) - added it

Leslie Lovely review, Katherine.

Okay, so I was in love with A Discovery of Witches and COULD NOT WAIT for this sequel...but when I got this book, I couldn't get past all the characters to keep up with and also, wanted to know about Matthew and Diana's...ahem...time together since they waited. I never finished it...

Maybe I should give it another try?


Katherine Leslie wrote: "Lovely review, Katherine.

Okay, so I was in love with A Discovery of Witches and COULD NOT WAIT for this sequel...but when I got this book, I couldn't get past all the characters to keep up with a..."


I remember being frustrated about the time passing with regards to their physical relationship. At one point, I thought I missed something. *giggle* it is definitely worth the wait.
As for all of the characters, they do start to define their roles in Diana's life. It feels like there is more than one book happening at times. That's why I wrote my review the way I did. Matthew is by far the BEST reason for reading this book. His character completely blew me away.


message 4: by Leslie (new) - added it

Leslie Okay, thanks for letting me know! I need to definitely pick this book back up. I'm beta-reading at the moment and have two books in line waiting for a review, but soon...very soon I will dive into Matthew's world again. #ilovehischaractertoo ;)


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