Published July 10th 2012
"Together we lifted our feet and stepped into the unknown"—
At the start of Shadow of Night, Matthew Clairmont and
Diana Bishop, time-slip back to sixteenth century England in order to discover
more about the mysterious manuscript Ashmole 782, which featured so
predominantly in A Discovery of Witches.
Fraught with danger, and
malicious intrigue, their search is never going to be uncomplicated, as 1500
year old vampire Matthew, already familiar with Elizabeth’s England, must stand
back and watch Diana take her first tentative steps in learning her skill in witchcraft.
In an age where superstition and malevolent conspiracy was rife, Matthew and
Diana must learn to negotiate through a social and political minefield. It is
interesting to observe how this formidable combination of witch and vampire
coalesce into a stunning portrayal of an unconventional relationship.
With this long awaited second
volume in the All Soul’s Trilogy,
Deborah Harkness has used her undoubted skill as a historian to successfully
recreate the world of Elizabethan England. She has combined the fascinating and
troubled history of the sixteenth century, with a believable and often
mesmerising view of the parallel world of vampires, daemons, and witches.
Interspersing the story with real historical figures is inspired, and gives a
real insight into the period, and makes the story all the more believable.
There is always the possibility
that book two in a series will be less powerful than the first novel, rest
easy, there is no such problem with Shadow
of Night. If anything, this book is even better than the first, and whilst there
is a tendency to want to read all 592 pages in one sitting, this is definitely
one of those books which is better savoured, and enjoyed slowly.
Just be prepared to do nothing
until you have finished it.
Thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Group for an advance e-copy to review.