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Deborah Harkness Shadow of Night

Time walking is a wild ride you don’t want a miss.

A few hours ago I finished reading my arc copy of Shadow of Night; book two of the All Souls Trilogy. Since I got an arc copy I’m not going to comment on the structure or writing issues I found. Why because this was an arc and I’m betting the issues I found will be corrected by July 10, 2010.

Shadow of Night is just as riveting as Discovery of Witches was, though this time I had to put the book down so I could help Flyboy with household issues before he takes off again. When Discovery of Witches came out I was staying at my Mom’s while he was deployed, so I had plenty of time to read and do nothing else. This time even with my late night/early sun rise reading, I had to put the book (iPad) down. So it took me a little longer than three days to read it. Even so I really didn’t want to put it down or sleep.

The last few weeks/months I’ve been re-listening to Discovery of Witches to prepare for the release of Shadow of Night. I think I’ve listened to it twice considering the other two book series I’ve been listening too. These other series are coming out this summer. Because of that I was ready whatever Shadow of Night threw at me. Shadow of Night begins right were Discovery of Witches left off, as it should have. One minute we are in the present, Discovery of Witches, and the next we are in the past, Shadow of Night. Pacifically Matthew’s past in 1590, and all that his life entailed. This trip, however, is not the trip of a life time that Diana had hoped. She had originally been excited to time walk, since it would be a historians dream come true to meet the most influential men and women of the time. Needless to say Diana didn’t get the warm reception she wanted. Many of Matthew’s friends welcome her though they are a little stand offish but one of his friends tries to bring Diana down. Some prejudice can never be overcome and some people will never change. As hard as Diana tried she couldn’t change the minds of a few, and she had to work hard to fit it. Even so some people never accepted her.

Just like in Discovery of Witches, Matthew and Diana keep secrets not just from everyone else but from each other. There were times because of these secrets that I wanted to scream. But something would happen and we’d have to move onto the next issue. There came times just like in Discovery of Witches where they had to “spill” the beans and tell each other their secrets, and some of these times were life and death situations.

Overall I truly enjoyed Shadow of Night, as I said before. My three true complaints would be that we don’t get any chapters from Matthew’s perspective, we have one perspective that I couldn’t figure out who’s it was and someone dies off screen. I understand why we don’t get Matthew’s perspective since he’s with Diana most of the time but it would have been nice to know his thoughts. Especially since Shadow of Night had so much going on. We meet even more people, though everyone we meet, for the most part, are from the past and will remain in the past. At least those with Matthew and Diana will remain in the past. We see how people and places are connected and how Shadow of Night brings us to Discovery of Witches and vice versa. The nice part about having other perspectives was we got to see what was happening in the present while Matthew and Diana were in the past. We got to see some changes that they made. As for the one time I wasn’t sure whose perspective we were in, we do learn a little, and we start to see the changing ripples as Diana and present day Matthew make their mark on history. I’m not going to talk about who dies, it’s a huge spoiler and as I said it’s off screen. I do hope we learn more about it in the next book though.

Shadow of Night does have a little more of a romantic take then Discovery of Witches but there is a lot of history in this book. We really start to see Diana grow into the witch she’s supposed to be. She learns so much about herself and about Matthew. We also see growth in Matthew, I think, and how his lookout changed now that he’s in love with a witch. Along with their growth and day to day lives we see the history, not just the history Diana has studied, but the history of witches. We see who they were as a posed too who they’ve become. It’s a first glimpse of the witch trials in Europe. Issues arise on who can be trusted and who cannot. 1590 is not an easy time and with friends and foes lurking trouble isn’t far from Matthew and Diana’s door. Shadow of Night is truly a time walking tale of our new lover’s life together, their past and their future. And it’s a story you’re not going to want to miss. So take a historical walk with Matthew and Diana and I’ll meet you on the other side.