Shadow of Night – Deborah Harkness

This is the second of the All Souls trilogy. I read the first, A Discovery of Witches last year. I wasn’t sure what to make of the first one, but liked it well enough to continue with the series. And I think the second might be better than the first.

Here’s the blurb …

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.

The action has moved back to 1590, which gives Ms Harkness a chance to weave her historical knowledge into the story and she does a fabulous job – I felt immersed in 1590 London and Prague. There is lots of action, tension and changes of scene which keeps the story moving and a reader turning the pages. The relationship between Matthew and Diana matures and I have to say I like reading what happens after the ‘happily ever after’ ending.

I’m eagerly awaiting the third installment.

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