Monday, August 13, 2012

Review: Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy, #2) by Deborah Harkness

Goodread summary:
"Together we lifted our feet and stepped into the unknown"—the thrilling sequel to the New York Times bestseller 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’ 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.

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.

I was reluctant to start this book because I do not like books set in the past. This one however proved to be very interesting, and I think it was easy to read it even to it was set in 1590s because the characters were from the modern world and they too needed to get used to the time line they were in.
Now that I finished the book I'm not sure it was a good idea to read it in the first place, but don't get me wrong, the book was Amazing! it's just that I somehow let go of book one and was able to move on easily but I think this time I won't be able to do that. The simple though that I have to wait about a year for the next book to come out is just too hard.
I absolutely loved the book. I was sucked right back into the world around Diana and Matthew de Clairmont and it was just as interesting and intriguing story as the one in the first book.
I have to admit that the vocabulary used in the book was out of my league and I had a hard time understanding some things but that didn't matter because I was in some kind of a trance and I couldn't let go of the story.
Now to be a little more informative... The story picked up exactly where book one left off. Diana and Matthew found themselves in the Old Lodge in 1590 and from there they started to build a life in the past. Not a good idea since they had to come back at some point but in the beginning of the book that was pretty much all the characters were doing.
Matthew had to settle back into the life he was leading back then and there were quite some secrets about that life that Diana didn't know about. It came as quite the shock when she figured out just how involved was Matthew in the events that took place all those years ago.
It was incredible to read from Diana's point of view because just like all of us she was struggling to understands the world she found herself in. It's one thing to study the way of life for the time, to study their language and their ways but it was a whole another thing to actually live in it.
Matthew even told her something that just stayed in my mind for a long time... It's not a quote but it was something along the lines that she should stop pretending she live that life like she would in a role, but she needed to start living it.
And she did, she got used to the place, the people, Matthew's friends in the Old Lodge... they all accepted them and Diana and Matthew were able to fit in... of course people talked and discussed the new woman in town and how strange she was and stuff like that but nothing more.
The couple had to travel quite a lot. We got to 'see' France in those days when they visited Philippe (Matthew's father) and then we 'saw' Prague and London... and whit every new place there were new people that just lived their lives and it was fascinating to read about it even though I know it's fiction. It looked and felt real.

The book was separated into a few parts, like the time when they were at the Old Lodge, than it was the time with Philippe at France, then London and so on.. and in the end of every part there would be a chapter from the present day, from the time they left behind and it was strange to read because I knew what was happening but the characters there were trying to fit the pieces of the puzzle that was in front of them.
Some people from that present time had known about Diana and Matthew's time travel. Philippe had once known, before his death, Gallowglass had known and he wasn't even in the first book. It was incredible how the story was connecter, present and past.
It all made sense at some point but it took some getting used to.

I loved it. It was beautiful and well written and interesting and mysterious. There were so many things happening and just when I though that things were getting somewhere, some new obstacle would come out of nowhere and pose another treat.
It was truly amazing book and I had a lot of fun reading it. It was great, it really was. I'm fascinated by this trilogy and I don't know how I'm going to wait for the next book. It's going to be a torture but I'm sure it's going to be worth it. There is so much more to come... I can feel it!

I want to thank NetGalley and PENGUIN GROUP Viking for the e-ARC.

 I give it:

You can find the book on Goodreads,

And purchase it from:

 The Book Depository, Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
And you should check out the author on Goodreads and her website.

Here are the other covers I found:

See the rest of my reviews here.
Until the next time,

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