Shadow of Night, by Deborah Harkness

4 Stars
Deborah Harkness exploded onto the literary scene with her debut novel, A Discovery of Witches, Book One of the magical All Souls Trilogy and an international publishing phenomenon. The novel introduced Diana Bishop, Oxford scholar and reluctant witch, and the handsome geneticist and vampire Matthew Clairmont; together they found themselves at the center of a supernatural battle over an enchanted manuscript known as Ashmole 782.
Now, picking up from A Discovery of Witches’ cliffhanger ending, Shadow of Night plunges Diana and Matthew into Elizabethan London, a world of spies, subterfuge, and a coterie of Matthew’s old friends, the mysterious School of Night that includes Christopher Marlowe and Walter Raleigh. Here, Diana must locate a witch to tutor her in magic, Matthew is forced to confront a past he thought he had put to rest, and the mystery of Ashmole 782 deepens.
Deborah Harkness has crafted a gripping journey through a world of alchemy, time travel, and magical discoveries, delivering one of the most hotly anticipated novels of the season.

Deborah Harkness is a scholar and writer specializing in the history of science and medicine. She has received numerous awards, including Fulbright, Guggenheim, and National Humanities Center fellowships. Currently a professor of history at the University of Southern California, her most recent academic publication is The Jewel House: Elizabethan London and the Scientific Revolution.  

 Oh I was soooo excited to get this book to review! I had been waiting so long. I liked it, but... I didn't love it as much as I loved Discovery of Witches. Even though D.O.W. was a long book as well, it didn't feel long to me. It just flowed and every page was interesting.  This one (592 pages) felt long to me. I really don't think it needed to be that long. It did seem to drag in spots.

It still was a very good book. Deborah Harkness certainly does her history homework! Traveling back to the 16th Century, Elizabethan times, we get to meet with characters such as - Shakespeare, Sir Walter Raleigh, and Queen Elizabeth the first.

I loved Diana in this book. She was still quirky, strong, yet sensitive. She was the shining star of this book! I, on the other hand did not like Matthew as much in this book. In the first book Matthew shined, he didn't shine for me in this one. In this one he seemed overbearing, over protective, bossy, and just too macho for me. But I guess that's what 16th century Vampires were like??? LOL

The descriptions in this book are excellent -
 "Matthew's throat moved as he struggled for control. Something red and bright appeared in the corner of his eye, then slid down his cheek and splashed onto the folds of his collar. A Vampire's blood tear."
These books are not your quirky, fun, light Witch/Vampire books. Although there are a few quirky fun lines, these are some of my favorites-
"Sex and dominance. It's what modern humans think vampire relationships are all about, their stories are full of crazed alpha-male vampires throwing women over their shoulders before dragging them off for dinner and a date."
"She is English and therefore very strange. And her wine bills are much larger than they should be." - Heehee I loved that line.
"Matthew had run his fingers through his hair so many times he was starting to resemble a porcupine."
And this line (when talking about a way to see the stars and moon), a more serious one was one that stood out for me -
"If a simple pair of spectacles can make a man see God's words in the Bible, surely they could be made more complex to help him see God's works in the Book of Nature."
"Discovery of Witches" & "Shadow of Night" are serious, mysterious, suspenseful, and full of historical facts. So if you love Historical fiction and especially 16th century England you will probably love this one.
There are a few sex scenes but nothing too graphic. I just don't think a younger reader would really be interested in this book.

Thank you so much "Netgally" and "Edelweiss" (somehow I ended up with 2 e-copies) for copies of this book to read and review.


  1. Discovery of Witches is my favorite book that I've read in the past few years. I absolutely love i!!!

    1. Yes, I loved Discovery of Witches! Do you plan on reading the whole series?
      I did enjoy the second book just not quite as much as the first, but I am still glad I read it and do plan on reading the 3rd.
      I am just hoping the third is not quite so long, LOL.


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