"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 ignore genre labels. Some of my favorite books are outside my genre comfort zone. Listening to audiobooks is still reading. Not theater.
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 must admit I didn’t enjoy this one as much as I enjoyed A Discovery of Witches. This one bogged down big time in the middle and by the time it did pick back up I was ready for a conclusion. That being said I will read the next installment just to see how it all ends. I just hope it will be worth it.
Also I would say the ending was unsatisfactory after all the time spent in the past, then no questions answered when they got back to the present but what we got at the end was Shakespeare? Ok I will try to be more succinct. Sometimes the past story felt like a who’s who and at times it got to be a little much. Plus as I said it really bogged down and almost lost me in the middle I think if I hadn’t been listening to this on audio it would have been easy to put the book down and step away.
So my dislikes were the middle and the ending…hmm…. That doesn’t make it sound like I liked this at all but I did… I like the story, but there are hopefully going to be some answers in the next book like what happened in the present while Diana & Matthew were gone…What happened when the 16th century Matthew came back to his life? This one seems like a biggy because of all the who’s who in history they met and the changes to his own past & personality at the time Matthew made how could he not find out what happened in those months he disappeared. Where did he go? Did he just cease to exist for those months?
So hopefully the 3rd book in this trilogy will answer my questions and get back to what I loved about the first book. I will read the next one.
Jennifer Ikeda does a good job again at the narration however there was one voice that annoyed me every time and that was the Duke of Northumberland his voice was so odd it just bothered me, also she did accents for some people and no accent for others, which as a listener I found an odd choice either do all accents or none at all not just wily nilly.
3 Stars- (Good Book but some things didn't connect with me)
I love to read, but I am time-limited. Audible allows me to keep up with all my favorite authors while on the hiking trail. Thanks, Audible!
This is the follow-up book to A Discovery of Witches. One of the most brilliant aspects of A Discovery of Witches is that Deborah Harkness did a really good job portraying what it is like to be a woman of letters. In Shadow of Night, she complete destroys the character she has built. She has turned her main female character, Diana, into a vacuous, anxious, and fearful extension of her husband, Matthew. Basically, she has gutted the best part about Diana turning her into a shadow of her former self. Skip this series.
Pronounced all the words right, and not used such an annoying cutesy voice for the "narrator" parts (as opposed to dialogue). Diana's dialogue voice is much better.
Yes, assuming the actors were interesting and not too young.
The author's first book was an OK read - had a story line that was entertaining. This one, however, was agonizingly slow-moving and the story line was boring.
Not another one by this author.
This would have been a better listen if it could have included various readers. Jennifer's voice changes were interesting, but male characters lost their masculinity with her voice.
I would not recommend this one for audio book. Perhaps it reads better on your own.
I really liked Discovery of Witches and waited impatiently for the sequel......having that said...
Sheesh! I was bored ! This was some kind of punishment Deborah Harkness thought her newly acquired readers needed, you think?
The time traveling thing for one, she can time travel at will when she's a toddler but now it's this complicated song and dance thing? Really?
You find contradictions and inconsistencies about Diana's magic AND thoughts, this also applies to Mathew's character .
Diana remains relatively incompetent and reckless and Matthew continues to be controlling and possessive. They were playing house in Elizabethan times! Very little time and even less attention was given to the threats of the present time.
I have so many problems with this book that I honestly don't feel like talking or writing about them anymore..
Two stars, after all I guess I will read the third installment in the All Souls Trilogy because I am curious (and hopeful?) about Diana and Mathew's story.
Just a book fool.
It's the King of the Jungle.
It would be impossible to pick a favorite. I loved every minute of this beautiful book and did not mind the endless details of their everyday life. I relished everything I learned about the "characters" from Kit's obsessive love and depression, to Queen Elizabeth's rooting teeth! I absolutely hated to see it end.
Philip definitely steals this show. He is a wonder to behold.
I need more ears!
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.
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.
5 stars is i love and i will read agani and again. 1 is i hate and i never want to hear about it ever again. YES = :))) - NO= :'(
I liked the first book, though it had a slow slow start.
the 2nd book though was slow all the way... it really was slow and long, I do understand the need for such a thing in a book were you are back in time and so on... but still.. the whole goal for going back in time is to learn how to use her magic, but that part was the shortest part in the book, it was just like a side story or something... i didn't like that... she meets who will teach her, and suddenly she knows how to do everything, and the rest of the book was their life in 1590.... i was hoping for the first half of the book to be in the past and the rest to be in the present.
anyways, i didn't like that much, but it gives a loooooong preparation for the next book, which hopefully will be EPIC!!!! and hopefully it wouldn't be about how they are adjusting back to their modern clothing and modern life for the first 90% of the book.
have a listen, so you will have a listen to the next one.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.