Author: Deborah Harkness
Publication Date: July 2012
Genre: Adult Fiction
Series or Stand Alone: Series, Book Two
Synopsis can be found here.
This second installment picks up where A Discover of Witches left off- Matthew and Diana, having to escape some very dangerous witches in the present, travel back in time. Not only are they trying to find the elusive book they are after, but they also hope this will give them a little space for Diana to hone her skills as a witch. At least, that is what they hope. But what they find for them in Elizabethan England may be just as dangerous as the dangers in modern times.
I don't want to give too much away as most of the drama and urgency in this book is based on everything we learned about in the first.
So if you haven't read the first book, go buy it right now. It is exquisite.
That said, Shadow of Night is a solid and moving sequel. The plot flows slowly, developing rich characters and deep histories. Remember, Matthew did exist in this world, and his former self is now not in Elizabethan England. Instead, current day Matthew has replaced him. And of course, that will change certain things about the present. I loved how Harkness devoted one chapter at the end of every section to the time travel changes that were popping up as Diana and Matthew moved through time.
If Discovery of Witches is Diana's book, then here is Matthew's story. His many faces, loyalties and masks are all there for Diana to figure out. Adding another layer to Matthew isn't easy, as he could be taken as a very possessive and haunting vampire. But Harkness explores Matthew's human side, his fears and desires making Matthew even more the romantic hero. And that doesn't bother me at all!
The book is on the longer side, coming in just shy of 600 pages. And while a part of me says it could have been shortened, the same part of me says that it would have lost all that beautiful description and secondary character development. And that would have taken away the magic of Harkness's writing and world. At the beginning it did take me a bit to get back into it, but the book really picks up and then I couldn't put it down.
Get a cup of tea, and settle down for the night.
I am only sad now I have to wait til 2013 for the last book.
Rating 8 Cookie Worthy