"Together we lifted our feet and stepped into the unknown." (From the thrilling sequel to the New York Times best seller A Discovery of Witches)
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' cliff-hanger 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.
©2012 Deborah Harkness (P)2012 Penguin Audio
I preferred her first book, A Discovery of Witches, and the mystery surrounding Ashmole 782 (or however that is spelled). This book instead moved in more of how difficult it is to love a vampire. I love books about the unknown, lots of mystery, a little romance...this became all about the romance. Or at least it did until I just could not take it anymore! I stopped little more than a quarter of the way through and have NO desire to finish. Too bad, I would have loved the mystery!
I was reluctant to read A Discovery of Witches. I am kind of "witched" out, I think. I have never found them as interesting as other fictional non-human staples. There were parts of that book I found fairly dull and a few times I had to convince myself to keep reading. Parts of it really dragged.
But after I finished the book I found myself thinking about it frequently. My thoughts were more about the questions and issues raised and the developing mystery than they were of the characters, who didn't seem to click. But the further I moved from the finish of the book the more I decided I enjoyed it. A lot. I found myself recommending it to others and then stopping and asking myself if I'd really meant to do that. I found that I did. The book just grew on me.
I finished Shadow of Night about a week ago. I had the same experience. There were parts that really slowed the pace of the entire book down. Parts I wanted to skim through or skip entirely. But a week out, I have to say I enjoyed this book, rather a lot. And I will recommend it to others.
Again, it wasn't the characters that drew me. I still don't think the connection between the two main characters seems particularly strong. And I was disappointed that many of the historical characters weren't developed more fully. However, just as in the first book my favorite character was Matthew's mother, in this book it was his father Phillipe. He is worth a book or ten.
But the ideas touched upon, the questions that drove the book and the characters forward were fascinating to me. And the more I thought about them, the more interesting they have become. I believe I have to admit that, if I am thinking about a book a week after I read it and I find myself liking it more the more I think about it, even if I cannot explain what I liked about it, then it meets my definition of a good book.
I will read the next in the series. By now my expectation is I still won't have sympathy or empathy for the characters. But I will think about it for a long time after.
I think I will revisit the first two books right before I get the third book.
My favorite character has to be Phillip. He wasn't in much of the book but I grew to really love the man with his 'win me over'/ 'prove yourself' attitude, protectiveness, humor, forgiveness, compassion and protectiveness. I wish we had more of him.
Don't think so. Not sure. She has a pleasent voice to listen to and I didn't find anything annoying about her reading. So I gave her a good score.
Contemporary Romeo and Juliet meets Outlander by Diana Gaboldon.
For those who are reading this for a plot review:
D and M go back in time, meet friends, juggle some witch hunts, meet M's dad, get married again, get pregnant, run around England, France, and another country (it has escaped me), meet D's dad, and come home to family. Of course I left a lot of the details out but gave enough to make you wonder about each person/place.
I liked the historical fiction but some areas were less interesting than others, so it seemed long and wordy. I'm sure this is only me having issues. I like a lot of action and fast moving plots to hold my interest. I can't wait for the next book!
Yes. Awesome story, great reader. Starts a little slow, but then you can't stop. Best audiobook reader I have found - and I have listend to about 300 books in the last few years. She can do both male and female characters, which is a rare talent. She is amazing at accents. She is very good at inflection and emotion.
The idea of time travel and the anomalies that occur in the present as a result of their visit to the past.
Gallowglass was awesome, I love the mental image I got of the character based on how the reader performed his dialogue. The only voice I didn't like was Rudolph, but then his character was supposed to be unlikeable.
Laughed at several points, witty dialogue. Cried when it was over, thinking how long I'm going to have to wait for the third book in the trilogy.
Can't say enough good things about it. Really loved it.
Maybe, but there is a lot that one has to wade through... expecting something to happen with nothing ultimately "important" taking place.
Cut some of the unneccessary discriptive embelishment and leave a little more of the picture scene up to the listener's immagination.
I'll read anything good. I'm easy that way.
Please tell me this is a trilogy. Deborah Harkness has written an absolutely beautiful sequel to Discovery of Witches. I read the first book when it came out, and in my review I said that I loved the book, but the ending felt rushed. Well, I have to eat those words because I just reread it in preparation for Shadow of Night, and I realized that I had been rushed, not the book. I took the time to really savor it this time and it was amazing.
So it was with real pleasure that I began Shadow of Night. If the first book was amazing, this follow-up is sublime. Diana's introduction into the past is surprising and frightening, and Harkness conveys the period without belaboring it. It's such a rich age, full of interesting characters, that she could have easily been bogged down in description, but the action moves along at a perfect pace. Yet there is plenty of description. The scent of a quince, the shimmer of candlelight on silver. The feel of fabric against the skin. I was captivated and enthralled.
i really dislike reviews that give too little information, but there is so much that is lovely and surprising about this story that it would be ruined by knowing too much in advance. I will say that I found certain passages so lovely that I became emotional, something that happens very infrequently for me when reading, and it kept me listening long, long past my bedtime.
Jennifer Ikeda was simply perfect as the reader. She does a beautiful job with Ms. Harkness' gorgeous book.
Oh how I waited for this sequel to "A Discovery of Witches." The first book was quite interesting and I looked forward to how Ms. Harkness would work out the timeline shift as Diana and Matthew time traveled. Instead....ick. I got nothing more than a simpy, whimpery, utterly boring attempt at a bodice ripper. Almost all of the auxillary characters were flat but the flattest characters by far were Diana and her insipid Matthew.
Honestly...the first fourteen chapters (FOURTEEN CHAPTERS!!) were so awful I kept fast forwarding to get through them. The exposition about the whole wedding thing was bad enough but the "wedding night" slog was worse than a Harlequin Romance. Boring, boring, boring! We don't even start to get to the meat of the tale until after we are flogged by all the maudlin bits.
The remainder of the tale (which I almost didn't bother with) barely pulled together but not enough for me willing to spend a single sous on the last book of this sadly under developed and lacking tale. I sort of cared about Diana and Matthew in the first book, but lost any interest in them or Ashmole anything well into the first few chapters of this book.
I would love to say that there was a redeeming quality in the narration but really...not so much. I wasn't bothered by Ms. Ikeda's voice and pacing when listening to the first book but, with the lack of any interesting storyline, her narration just added to my frustration.
Skip it. :-(
I was disappointed with this book and I really enjoyed A Discovery of Witches. There is nothing as nauseating as a maudlin vampire. Nor is there nothing as redundant and boring as two people proclaiming and doubting their undying love countless times within the same chapter.
Deborah Harkness not only emasculated a vampire (Mathew is always brooding over the fact that as a vampire, he has a dark side, and ohhhh it is not his fault. Grow a pair Mathew) she removes what vampire lovers enjoy about vampires. Most of the vampires in Mathew's circle do not drink from humans!
These vampire have the same malaise as humans personality disorders (bipolar, schizophrenia, depression), bigotry and genocide. Their Longevity is their only downside and they bemoan that fact through out the book. Heck if you are the “chosen” vampire you can have children!
So you have these two lovers when they are not having the love you, love you not conversation, Mathew is gushing over the fact that Diana is soooo intelligent and Diana is racing around doing exactly what she is told not to do. Mathew is being the predator who cannot share well with others and Diana is doing the stare down with the baddest of the bad vampires and she wins!
Even though there will be a little witchy/vampire child, I will not read the next installment in this series.
This book seemed a bit slow getting started, but once it did, it took off. I love the alchemical references, the intricate and believable characters, the historical settings... My only complaint is that the main character, Diana, seemed to have times when she was believable and other times when she'd seem to have a wild mood swing and be someone else entirely. I'm not sure if this is something that plays out in the story eventually and it's deliberate, or it's because the author didn't have a good feel of how her main character would act in a certain situation. Overall, though, I highly highly recommend this book. It's incredible, and the narrator was absolutely perfect for this book (seriously, her 'voices' are amazing, and her pronunciation mostly spot-on). I look forward to the other 2 books in the series by this author and this narrator.
Yes, it's very entertaining and written in a intriguing and clever way.
Fight with Luisa
I thoroughly enjoyed it
I can't wait for the last book in trilogy
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