Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Fantastic! Deborah Harkness has done it again!! In this thrilling sequel to A Discovery of Witches we find ourselves transported back to Elizabethan England where magic and new age thinking are a foot...
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.
I absolutely loved this novel. I just can't seem to say it enough. It is very rare that you read something so gripping that you will sit in a car with no AC in the middle of the summer to finish it (my kindle wouldn't charge anyplace but the car of course). As with A Discovery of Witches the ending has left me wanting more, and hoping the last book will be out really, really soon.
Deborah Harkness has a unique ability. She is able to craft fantasy and history together forming a believable alternate world. A world where magic seems to live just under the surface of every day life. Being a huge fan of time travel I often find the subject poorly done. This is not the case with Shadow of Night. Harkness has done an excellent job making it clear what Diana and Matthews time travel may or may not have effected.
In regards to the characters themselves we are able to continue to witness the growth of both Diana and Matthew. Slipping into Matthews past has revealed many of the things that will shape him into the Matthew Diana knows. It also allows the reader a better understanding of the trials of living for centuries.
Finding herself in Elizabethan England is a dream come true for the Historian in Diana. She is able to truly understand a world she has studied and taught for years. Of course fitting in ends up being far harder than she would have thought. Of course there is trouble caused by the fact that there were few independent women in that time period and Diana is not the seen and not heard type. Diana is also finally able to understand her own magic. In doing so she is able to get closer to understanding Ashmole 782 and why it may be so important.
I don't want to give too much away and spoil it but you will not be disappointed! Deborah Harkness is touring the US right now so be sure to check out her page and see if she will be in your area. Sadly for me I don't think I will be able to make it to any of her tour stops :(