Book Review: Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

Title: Shadow of Night (All Souls trilogy #2)
Author: Deborah Harkness
Pages: 584
ISBN: 0670023485
Publisher: Viking Adult
Source: Netgalley

Shortly after Diana Bishop and Matthew Clairmont timewalk to London, 1590, they discover that the past may not provide a safe haven after all. Reclaiming his former identity as poet and spy Matthew Roydon, the vampire falls back in step with a group of radicals known as the School of Night who share dangerous ideas about God, science, and man. Many of his friends are unruly daemonsn – the creative minds of the age who walk the fine line between genius and madness – including playwright Christopher Marlowe and mathematician Thomas Harriot. Matthew, himself, is expected to continue to spy for Queen Elizabeth, which puts him in close contact with London’s cutthroat underworld.

Together, Matthew and Diana scour the bookstalls and alchemical laboratories of London where they follow the elusive trail of Ashmole 782 – and search for the witch who will teach Diana to control her powers.


Harkness has did it again with Shadow of Night, book two of the All Souls Trilogy. I have read and reviewed A Discovery of Witches last year and I immensely enjoyed it and Shadow of Night didn’t disappoint.

Shadow of Night immediately picks up from where A Discovery of Witches left off and the idea of living in old London was a dream come true for a historian like Diana. The couple are still on the mission of looking for Ashmole 782 and their journey didn’t stop at the present but rather continued as they travelled into Matthew’s past time.

Shadow of Night introduced a lot of interesting characters that are somewhat overwhelming for me. The descriptive presentation was also a lot to grasp it can be very difficult if you don’t have the dedication and love to pull through the novel. It was information overload at some time which is also why I had a hard time getting into the story but that didn’t affect my “relationship” with Shadow of Night.

A romantic plot wouldn’t be complete without the drama and Shadow of Night had those, plenty of those actually. Harkness really played with Diana and Matthew’s character and I must admit that it was absolutely enjoyable to read. It made Harkness’ characters more multidimensional and not just Matthew and Diana/vampire and witch. The sub-plots were as exciting as the main plot and like other seconds in trilogy, not all questions were answered in Shadow of Night but that’s another reason to wait for the final installment right?

What I greatly admired in Shadow of Night is the world building. I adore novels that can give me a picture of what I should be seeing and I admire authors that can provide the details efficiently and effectively. Harkness has gone beyond my expectations for Shadow of Night. Highly recommended trilogy to follow and Harkness is one of those authors that readers should give high praises for providing us with a novels worth keeping in our bookshelves.

VERY MINOR THING: I am not feeling the cover of Shadow of Night though. It lacks that appeal like A Discovery of Witches but as I said this is a minor thing. 🙂 They don’t match either. *sigh*

All Souls Trilogy

1. A Discovery of Witches


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