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Picking up from A Discovery of Witches’ cliffhanger ending Shadow of Night takes Diana and Matthew on a trip through time to Elizabethan London where they are plunged into a world of spies magic and a coterie of Matthew’s old friends the School of Night As the search for Ashmole 782 deepens and Diana seeks out a witch to tutor her in magic the net of Matthew’s past tightens around them and they embark on a very different—and vastly dangerous—journey

10 thoughts on “Shadow of Night

  1. says:

    Reuest to Readers of This Review who LOVED the book Please stop NOW do not read this review Based on the ridiculous repetitive comments left by lovers of this trilogy many of you cannot handle opinions that do not conform to your own feel the need to call me stupid tell me I have no right to read this book other nonsense If you feel that way FINE Just stop telling me I don't care I don't troll lovers of this trilogy tell them they are morons for liking the books so I'd appreciate it you'd return the favor I've been REALLY patient for years but I'm kinda over that now ThanksBecause this is such a long book too long I'm going to give periodic reviews every 100 pages or so then write an overview of the book that wraps everything up about the book I hate I already say hate because it's apparent from the first 97 pages I've read that Harkness makes all the same mistakesrepeats all the same themes from the first book Warning my review will have spoilers I mean I will try not to divulge really important events if they actually happen ha ha but I may discuss things that you the future reader of this book may not want to know As for the first 97 pages of this novel nothing happens Matthew and Diana arrive in late 16th century England 1590 and we meet Christopher Marlowe Walter Raleigh Henry the duke who I assume is also a historical figure and assorted other characters some of whom are daemons and vampires Christopher Marlowe is a daemon whose nickname is Kit They spend a whole lot of time talking and trying to figure out why Diana is so weird apparently the two brainiacs Matthew and Diana are surprised that her 21st century American mannerisms speech and personality are out of place in Elizabethan England and when it is revealed she is a witch and a time spinner I think that is the term used a cover story is created to explain her sudden appearance in Matthew's life and where she came from What kills me about this story is that it is impossibly complicated bizarre and unbelievable and any good liar knows that the complex a lie the harder it is to remember So Diana who has yet to impress me with her intellectual abilities is struggling to remember her life story how to write the Elizabethan way the description of her practicing her script is ridiculously long and boring and trying to convince everyone that yes she is a witch ha haEventually Matthew decides to get to the business that brought them to this time period finding a witch professor for Diana so she can learn to be a witch Their whole method of going about this is idiotic Wouldn't you think they would have searched history before leaping into the past looking for a witch professor? Diana's a witch and a scholar wouldn't she know who in the past would have been a great teacher for her? Matthew lived in this time period so wouldn't he know? I mean he seems to freaking know everyone else historically important of that time period No they went into the past with no idea of who could help her and so Matthew decides to put out what amounts to a 16th century craigslist advertisement This is what Diana says about that The late 16th century really isn't a good time to openly ask around for a witch Matthew Ha you think so? The interview with the witch who resembles the cartoon version of a witch down to a wart on her nose goes as well as everyone expected that is it's a complete disaster So now the witch to protect herself from being labeled as a witch is now claiming that Diana made her sick yadda yadda yadda and while some members of this over peopled household are worried about the rumors Matthew is arrogant and says Eh it's just gossip It'll blow over He is supremely stupid for a vampire who has lived through many ages and has seen what village gossip can do it can get his wife burned at the stake So someone who knows which character because there are too damn many of them says hey the village elder and religious leader are coming to accuse Diana of being a witch which is hilarious because she is the most useless witch ever and Matthew is like eh no biggie and they all sit around bantering and exchanging witticisms as if they are at a cocktail party At the end of this chapter Matthew is summoned by his father to visit him and Diana goes too of course It is also revealed that not only is Matthew a vampire extraordinaire he is also a member of the Congregation a member of the Order of Lazarus and a spy I'm a little foggy on the spy stuff because I just didn't care and the explanation made no sense to me something about Protestants and Catholics blah blah blah Thus it is already obvious to me that this seuel is following the same path as the first book lots of extraneous details about clothes Diana's writing practice food and the idiotic conversations between the characters which I'm guessing the author thinks are amusing they aren't; Diana is still the most awesome ist witch everwho can do nothing practical; when trouble finds them they change location; and now apparently Matthew isn't just a highly intelligent vampire he is also friends with anyone who matters and a member of two at page 97 powerful secret organizations AND a spy My oh my he is a busy guy No wonder he hasn't had time to have sex with his wife yet I don't know why the author has to make these two characters so incredibly powerful and at least as far as Matthew is concerned influential They are like super paranormal heroes whose fatal flaws are their incredible stupidity and inability to plan ahead So from page 97 to page 298 guess what happens? A whole lotta nothing Well nothing that moves the plot forward whatever the hell the plot is in this book Here are a few noteworthy events1 Philippe Matthew's father who is also a vamp marries them again There are pages of the pre wedding ceremony the wedding the wedding partyand for those of you waiting with breathless anticipation I don't know who you are but you will be bummed for their passion ha ha to be consummated it is And it's the most boring sex scene ever Total snoozer These two have about as much passion and chemistry as worms mating Say what you will about the Twilight series but at least Bella and Edward had passion 2 Diana kills a witch Whoopsie Guess we have to relocate Again3 So I'm thrilled by thisthe reappearance of the stretchy black pants Woo How did this happen in 16th century England you ask? Well Matthew who is a tailor among all his other fantastical skills cut up and then sewed together a pair of his hose so she could have something resembling her beloved stretchy black pants I'm so happy for her 4 I have a problem with this sentence Matthew considered telling me that it was a secret but wisely refrained page 222 The book is being told from Diana's perspective so how does she know what Matthew is thinking? How does she know he wisely refrained from speaking? This is poor writing and eually poor editing 5 Another nitpick I could do this because the book is full of stupid sentences but I'm selecting the ones that really irritate me Diana is in London and comments that the carriages she sees in the streets look nothing like the carriages in Jane Austen films Oh Diana you scholarly moron Maybe that's because Jane Austen was born two centuries later late 18th century and the movie people did their research and used carriages appropriate to the time Sigh5 Gallowglass calling Diana Auntie is annoying as hellI can't figure out this book There's just no logic to it Diana and Matthew and their entourage of extraneous characters move from city to city while she shops and learns to be a 16th century woman and Matthew does whatever he is supposed to be doing I'm so bored with this book I detest both of the main characters because they are written completely without depth they don't have enough character in their characters for me to be interested in them or care about them They are vapid and boring and annoying And I don't understand what kind of vampires inhabit Harkness's world They apparently can eat and drink human foodliuids stay out day or night don't necessarily have to drink human bloodI mean they just aren't very vampire y The mythology of the creatures witches vampires daemons is so poorly defined that I don't know what they are supposedly capable ofwhat their powers are I'm about half way through the book and I don't see that the story has even started yet Is this the world's longest prologue? A Few More Bitchy Nitpicks and Overall Opinion of this Crappy BookI wasted a few hours of this partially sunny Saturday morning finishing up this book so I could be done with it Hell even 50 Shades of Idiocy is better than this book First a few nitpicks1 My confusion regarding the role of supernatural creatures in the world past and present continues It seems that almost everyone that is humans know these creatures exist but for some reason the creatures are concerned about keeping themselves undetectable but most humans seem to know they are around Huh? 2 Supposedly witches and vampires so powerful and scary yet Matthew and Diana and their crew of assorted humans daemons and vampires allow themselves to be bullied and ordered around by humans ueen Elizabeth orders them to Prague they go The Emperor of Prague or whomever Rudolf was pushes them around and they allow it I don't understand this These are the most ineffectual supernatural creatures in popular fiction3 In keeping with the above complaint the long drawn out nonsense of their visit to Prague is mind boggling stupid Rudolf wants Diana because along with all her other talents she is scrumptious eye candy and neither Diana nor Matthew like that So Rudolf pursues and she resistsbut why didn't they use this to their advantage? He has the Ashmole manuscript they want he wants Diana You're telling me they couldn't have used his desire against him tricked him and gained the book from him? Oh right that would presume planning and cleverness on their part skills they particularly lack Plus Diana didn't finish her witchy training since they went to Prague when she started learning how to weave her magical threads 4 This whole declaration grosses me out After all my searching I discover that I am who always was Matthew de Clermont Husband Father Vampire And I am here for only one reason to make a difference page 479 Well goody for you Matthew Make a difference in what? Eye roll5 That whole oh no Diana's in trouble again but this time she saves herself load of bs near the end was meaningless Kit Christopher Marlowe and Louisa Matthew's sister try to kill Diana but eventually the idiot remembers she's a witch with a firedrake living in her gut so she saves herself This whole scene is forced First Kit has betrayed Diana to other witches over and over again Why is he even still with them? He's in love with Matthew of course and it's clear he wants her gone Matthew is so uick to remove anyone who endangers Diana even friends but he allows Kit to remain? And Diana who knows Kit is perpetually up to no good willingly follows him to an area where they are alone and is surprised when he wants to do her harm Everything about this confrontation is false and dumb and for what purpose? For us to know Diana can save herself? Who cares6 Another first personthird person screw up And there's no chance my going any faster Matthew thought WTF First the obvious if the book is told in first person you know only the thoughts of that person That's why it's called first person If Harkness had wanted us to know what Matthew is thinking she should have written in third person omniscient And the two times she's made this idiot error it's to reveal thoughts that aren't significant or interesting Matthew's thought above is about how he can't possibly drive the car any faster Who knows why readers needed to know this but the book is full of stupidity so nothing surprises me 7 I'm not sure what the point of the last chapter was I found it to be a rather uninspiring and boring way to end the book I'm guessing Harkness wanted to show how her character Anne ends up being in Shakespeare's household Is this Anne supposed to be the Anne he marries? Anne Hathaway was about 10 years older than Shakespeare and they married when he was 18but whatever Harkness could also be implying that she didn't think Shakespeare wrote his own material that Christopher Marlowe at the very least inspired some of it This theory makes me crazy because it's been disproven over and over again but again whatever The author is making use of artistic license here so who am I to complain?This book has been a nightmare to read The first book had at least a story of some sort to keep me reading and Diana and Matthew at least in the beginning were interesting and likeable characters This seuel is awful Diana and Matthew are idealized creations they have all the best talents they are supremely uniue they will affect the future Matthew knows everyone and is involved in all sorts of intrigues plus he has time to be an architect and romance the ueen of England They are too perfect and have no real obstacles to overcome Nothing happens in this novel Diana and Matthew float through its pages and allow things to happen to them but they never take charge and make anything happen I don't see how they are any different at the conclusion of the novel than they were at the beginning Diana knows a little witchcraft their marriage is stronger so the author says but I don't see any difference but nothing substantial has changed They didn't learn anything from the Ashmole book except that the material it is made from is particularly gruesome They didn't seem to gain any knowledge or experience worthwhile the whole time they wandered around the 16th century This book is just one long description of food scents and clothes Which may have been okay if the author knew how to bring historical scenes alive but she doesn't This is a semi historical book with supernatural creatures thrown inThe number of historical figures who make appearances in this book is overwhelming The historical name dropping is annoying Making Christopher Marlowe a daemon and Walter Raleigh a knight in the Order of Lazarus added nothing to the novel In fact the addition of all the historical figures did nothing for the novel whatsoever They didn't move the plot forward again what's the plot? and these historical people popped up so often it became a game of Historical Whack A Mole I hated how Harkness tied these people into her characters' lives Like much of the novel's contents there was no need for it With this novel Harkness seems to have created her idealized version of an extended family the overly sentimental scene at the end had me gagging her idealized version of herself and her perfect mate and as a historian she of course added into the novel all of her favorite historical figures Well maybe she didn't like Christopher Marlowe since he was such a jerk But she stuffed the novel with a multitude of meaningless events too many forgettable characters and pages and pages of boring food and clothing descriptions What she neglected was a compelling plot Harkness seems to have written this novel merely to please herself and her interests and forgot about her readers This is a self indulgent book written by an author who is spoiled by a lack of editorial oversight An editor with any sense and skill could have shaped this shapeless lump of a novel into a compelling suspenseful read with intriguing characters Instead we got this mess There's no way in hell I will suffer through the next novel Life's too short to read another one of Harkness's bad booksPSI feel as if I should add something about the time travel part of the book It bothered me when I was reading it but so much of the book is wrong that I completely forget about it when writing this review I've read a certain amount of time traveling books but I don't really pay too much attention to the mechanics of it which is funny since I am a huge sci fi geek as long as it seems to make some kind of logical sense within the novel In this book I was okay with the current Matthew disappearing and his place being taken up by future Matthew however the idea that when he and Diana leave events will flow on as before unchanged left me banging my head on my desk Huh? Won't someone notice that he's missing a wife? Won't the 16th century Matthew come back and wonder what the heck's been going on? That made no freaking sense to me at all You can't just have your characters pop in change things up then pop out again and expect no one to notice or for them not to change future events Everyone with a brain knows that Again evidence that Harkness had no freaking idea of what the hell she was doing with this book At her author presentation I attended someone asked her how she wrote the book and taught and promoted the first book all at the same time Well yeah you can see how she did it the book reflects how little thought and re writing she put into it Where oh where was her editor? AdditionDespite my above statement that there is no way in hell I will read the last book in the trilogy I did I didn't hate it but I didn't love it either Here's the link

  2. says:

    You gave your life to me Diana Bishop It's time to make use of it This is a hard review to write How do I sum up all the intense emotions and thoughts that this book conjured in me? So please forgive me if this review is not worthy of the book for this was truly an incredible story and like the first book one I will have to read again and again The book starts off exactly where A Discovery of Witches ended Matthew and Diana have traveled back to Oxford 1591 in search of a witch powerful enough to teach Diana how to use her magic and a sacred book Ashmole 782 the book of origins But all does not go according to plan and once back in Oxford Diana and Matthew are caught up in his life at the time and the Shadow of Night the group of academics who all make a huge mark on history In 1591 England Matthew is a spy for ueen Elizabeth and a member of the Congregation and one of the instrumental people in the slaughter of many witches in Scotland and other parts of Europe But The Matthew Clairmont that has returned to this time with Diana is a very different Vampire and naturally his view of Witches has changed greatly So right off the bat we watch as Matthew struggles with having to carry out the actions of his past self wanting to right the wrongs he committed but fearing he will alter the future in some terrible way The aspect of time and how every little action affects the future left me feeling unsettled because I was looking back on my past actions and uestioning what would my life have been like had I changed even one thing Diana on the other hand gets caught up in trying to fit in in 1591 England She talks funny is taller and skinnier than the women of this time and if that's not all she has to contend with a bitter and jealous Christopher Marlowe and his love for Matthew and hatred for her Then to top it all off her magic is acting all sorts of weird So for the first part of the book Diana's magic and Ashmole 782 are kind of put on hold while my favorite couple deals with adjusting to the past While this might have annoyed some readers I found Harkness ability to bring the characters of the past to life so exciting that I too forgot the real reason they had traveled back in time But once we leave part 1 and head into the depths of Harkness's second book we are taken on an incredible emotional and thought provoking journey After thinking about this book for a few days I realized what really moved me about it She broke the book up into parts and each section had it's own message that really stuck with me In part 1 I felt frustrated because of the tension between Diana and Matthew but upon reflection I felt it was because they were trying to reconcile who they were individually with who they needed to become as a unit Their inability to properly communicate and their lingering insecurities are something a lot of new couples go through and part 1 ends with a lot of unsettling emotions leaving you and the characters uestioning everything However part 2 calms some of those fears as it focuses on love forgiveness and healing The growth of Matthew and Diana's relationship was incredible as they finally consummate their relationship and you begin to believe that everything is perfect with them they have overcome their demons but just like in real life consummating your relationship does not wipe out any lingering insecurities and while we end with a positive feeling about the direction of Matthew and Diana like all couples they still have hurdles to cross individually and as a couple Part 2 was special for me in other ways for it was not only love that was central in this section but forgiveness and healing It was the growth of Matthew and Ysabeau that really made this part special for me well that and Philippe who was an incredible character and one I will miss in the coming book Both are broken characters and through the events of this section begin to forgive themselves which leads to the beginning of healing whats long been broken inside I left this part in tears as it really moved me and made me think about the act of forgiveness and the toll that self hatred can take on ones life Part 3 was eual parts exciting as it was sad as Diana finally gets to use her magic and confront her fears but her and Matthew must battle a shared loss and learn how to cope with it together While in part 2 Matthew confront his demons part 3 is about Diana facing her own for she is still afraid of her power and herself and with the help of some fantastic characters she is finally able to confront those fears This is where part of the verse that begins Discovery of Witches comes into play as Diana must battle with herself and her fears that what she is might be evil or wrong It is here that she must break down the walls she has spent her life constructing and come face to face with the real Diana living inside her What comes of this revelation is absolutely spectacular and left me thinking a lot about the universe Harkness' ideas about the threads of life that connect everything around us really had me thinking a lot about my own beliefs In college I wanted to expand my mind and hallucinogenics was the route I took so when Harkness begins to describe the universe as different colored threads I could see what Diana was weaving as though it was I handling the threads of life Since I first stepped into that other world back in college I have always believed that we are all connected and that our every action is connected in some way to everything around us Part 3 really left me thinking about the universe and our connection to everything within it Part 4 had me wringing my hands with frustration as I hated the Emperor but it also brought a lot of uestions to mind about evolution and power and the destruction of too much knowledge I am always seeking out answers about the universe but what if you know to much? how does that affect you as a human can you move on or will it consume you? These were the uestions I have always had and this is what I felt in part 4 when they learn about Ashmole 782 Watching how the book affected those it came in contact with including Diana and Matthew brought all those old ideas and uestions of mine to the surface and left me feeling a little uncomfortable but this was also the section that Diana and Matthew truly become one and after everything that has come before it I felt that they had finally evolved as a solid and unbreakable couple The final two parts where the perfect winde down with Diana fully embracing her firedrake and being the ass kicking witch we know her to be getting to spend time with her father going on an actual date with Matthew and saying goodbye to all of her friends before heading back to her own time We get a glimpse of how her and Matthew have changed things in their present day and the sense that while Harkness has taken me on a graceful and gentle decline after the emotional and thought provoking roller coaster that I had been on the sense of bigger things yet to come still lingers in the air and has stayed with me these past few days It begins with absence and desireIt begins with blood and fearIt begins with a discovery of witchesThe All Souls Trilogy filled an absence in my reading life a desire for knowledge a need to understand the secrets in the blood that travels through my body and a fear that I might be permanently changed by what I learn It began with a Discovery of Witches and continued with a lot of uestions some answers and characters that I love and miss like dear friends When it comes to Deborah Harkness's amazing ability to weave an incredible supernatural love story with history and science who knows what it will end with

  3. says:

    My rating 25 of 5 starsShadow of Night picks up ​​ immediately after A Discovery of Witches ends and I do mean immediately with little to no refresher This was my second attempt at reading and I attribute my success at completing it solely because of this recap I found online which was an immense help with Matthew and Diana traveling back into the past to search for Ashmole 782 and to seek Diana help with her powers For those that don’t remember​​ Ashmole 782 the bewitched alchemical manuscript that Diana found in Oxford’s Bodleian library After the local witches daemons and vampires begin targeting Diana in order to find out how an unskilled witch was able to obtain the manuscript that they believe contains important information about the creation and future of all supernatural creatures​​Considering the fact that I loved A Discovery of Witches I was beyond ecstatic when I snagged an ARC copy of Shadow of Night Diving into it right away in hopes to devour it whole I realized immediately that that’s not how this was going to work Positively rife with historical detail regarding the Elizabethan era and historical figures as well Christopher Marlowe Sir Walter Raleigh John Dee William Shakespeare and of course ueen Elizabeth I this is one that will take some time to get through not just because of the amount of pages The historical tidbits were interesting but I felt they lacked any sort of purpose and ultimately overpowered the true story making it much dense and longer than it should have been The name dropping while interesting caused a bit of an eye roll for me because did Matthew not have a single uncool friend that failed to make it into the history books? Apparently not I can appreciate the obvious extent of the research the author conducted but including every interesting person from the time period felt a little like ‘everything but the kitchen sink’ and should have been scaled back a little to focus on Matthew and DianaShadow of Night definitely had a case of middle book syndrome Add to that there’s a real non ending that will likely cause some grumbles There was progress in the storyline but mostly things of little conseuence My favorite aspects by far were the slight glimpses of the present day and how Matthew and Diana’s actions were inevitably changing the future It was extremely interesting but those passages were so few and far between that I kept hoping for The evolution of Diana’s powers was the most fascinating Going back in time only resulted in throwing them into chaos and the slight control she did have over them dissipated but discovering the full extent of her powers was truly shockingShadow of Night was definitely my least favorite of the trilogy so far but I’m looking forward to some resolution and seeing how everything turns out I plan on picking up The Book of Life soon in case Harkness continues her non recap trend7222014 sigh Holy shit I did it 24 hours of audio is rough Review to come762014 Re try I couldn't get through this the first time I tried reading mostly because there's very little recap and I was having a hard time remembering what occurred in the first book Found a fabulous repap and am now ready to try this again Except this time on audio This? Totally made my day Or yearUpdate cries really flipping hard I got my hopes all up and everything This title is currently available for librarian bookseller and long lead media reuests All other reuests will be approved closer to the publication dateOn Netgalley I think I'd offer up a kidney in exchange for this if I thought it'd do any good

  4. says:

    Cannot believe this book has 4 stars??? Have you read the same book I just suffered through?? actually listened to as a 24 hour long audiobook should have been my first warning I don't even want to read the 3rd book I'm so turned off by this LONG confusing seuel I can't imagine how she will be able to close the MANY loose ends she has floating out there And by the way did anyone else follow that crazy weaver business? Two of many pet peeves about this was the lame jack be nimble jack be uick really? And the pointless last chapter it was like she had to slap that in there to justify the title How about focusing on a story next time Just because you can write 600 pages doesn't mean it all needs to be published Shame on the editor that let this slide through At this point I could care less what happens to these creatures as I smile wolfishlyis there any other way to smile? I suggest reading some of the other 1 star reviews for a accurate description of this book's flaws I have no idea what the 4 5 star reviewers read maybe they got a condensed readers digest version Right now I'm just so annoyed that I paid for this book To end on a positive note the actress who read the story did very well considering what she had to work withAnyway if you are insistent on reading it good luck

  5. says:

    So imagine you’ve written a story about vampires and witches who hunt for a mysterious book full of power and life The story is set in the modern day with much of the action taking part in the city of Oxford along with many memorable scenes occurring in the Bodleian library It all sounds pretty decent Your central character slowly falls in love with a vampire the feelings are returned The two decide to pool their resources as they are both working for very similar aims Their hunt for the book appears difficult with many people getting in their way The two appear dangerously close to achieving their aims and the plot feels like it is actually moving forward in a steady direction Such was the first novel A Discovery of Witches a novel that had an interesting plot but was drastically hindered by its lacklustre characters and the lifeless romance So as a writer how do you make this even worse?Randomly send the couple back in time of course The plot went shooting down the toilet at a dramatically high speed For some reason it takes a huge sweepingly random back step and transports the characters to the 16th century England under the reign of the Tudors I felt like the story was pushed to its absolute breaking point here It’s like she wanted to write a historical novel about the Elizabethan times but had already started a fantasy series so she tried to combine the two It was weird It was random And it really didn’t work There was little suggestion that such a thing was even possible in the first book and the reasoning for it here though painstakingly explained with caution and consideration felt like a justification than an actual logical reason It was like she was trying to persuade me for the necessity of such a thing Trashy writing and poor plottingThe series had some potential if Harkness tightened up her writing and gave us a little bit substance For me it was a massive case of telling us how powerful and dangerous her characters were without actually showing it to us Again Matthew the all powerful vampire had a chance to show us his worth which he failed so miserably at in A Discovery of Witches He was a spy in a former life supposedly cunning and delightfully skilful at subterfuge He shows us none of these abilities All he was good for was his knowledge of living in the Tudor times because he had already done it before which only gave Dianne another reason to follow him around like a long lost puppy So she's not the kind of woman I like to read about she's her man's shadow There is also too much going on and as she tries to wrap up her story it’s like one massive juggling act where all loose ends are forcibly tied off and made clean There was no need to complicate what was a very straightforward narrative It doesn’t make the writing better Instead it just dragged out the story for another book Personally this would have been a stronger story if it had been contained to one bookI read this back in 2014 and I’m still bitter about it At that time I was still a little unsure about what books I liked I’d not read much but reading books like this helped steer me on the right direction into the kind of books I rave about on here today So as much as I disliked this book it was not an entirely wasteful experience

  6. says:

    I was fairly eager to read Shadow of Night after reading Discovery of Witches I didn't hate it I didn't love it While I certainly had my ualms about the first book book you can read my review to see about that my review of Shadow of Night is eually ambivalent but for different reasons SPOILERS AHEADFirst the good Harkness finally utilizes her skills as an Elizabethan historian for than painting a sentimental picture of Oxford Taking her characters into Elizabethan England was smart because it allowed her to create a vibrant setting than before borrowing from a vast knowledge of tiny facts and details to transport the reader to 1590s Oxford and London I especially enjoyed reading about Diana's wardrobe and her initial difficulties mastering the dialects of the time In Shadow Harkness creates a version of Diana that is MUCH likable than the first Unlike the first book she is not ceaselessly crying nor does she seem as attracted to Matthew's Edward Cullen ish controlling tendencies Instead she creates a woman who is much believable as a strong capable bright academic one who is willing to stand up for what she wants and who doesn't let her husband bully her as he did in the first book The witchcraft writing is definitely stronger in this book than the last I enjoyed the weaving elements if the time travel was a bit weak We finally get to see Diana demonstrate some mastery of her craft and learn from witches who can do way cooler stuff than either of her aunts The firedrake could be a seriously fun character in the future Although Harkness takes a while to get to these scenes in the book about halfway through actually once she does the plot really starts to take off Oddly the fathers are the best new characters in the book which is sad because they are both dead in the present time Steven Proctor is delightfully foppish and I love that he takes the time to embarrass the hell out of his vampire son in law I wish there was a way we'd see him again because he might be my new favorite character Phillipe is also a vibrant new character whom I like most because of his arrogance He is larger than life in a way I think Harkness meant Matthew to be in the first book but didn't uite attain I'm sad he won't reappear in the third book at least it's unlikely unless somehow Diana and Matthew changed time enough to save his lifehmmnot impossible The bad Harkness still needs to work on her character building A lot people have remarked that they are not really in love with the characters and a big part of that is because of their inconsistencies Diana's fear of her own magic made a little sense when she was a crybaby although that never really jibed with her success as an academic I'm in that world and it's competitive Now that she's abandoned the tears for the second book it makes no sense that she is still scared of learning about her own magic and the world from whence she comes She's a HISTORIAN OF ALCHEMY for pete's sake She's the definition of someone who should be bending over backwards to learn how to use magic Matthew on the other hand seems to fade into the shadow after which he is nicknamed Despite the fact that we learn so much of his backstory in this book it often felt like he was a spectator in the scenes he was in rather than a protagonist As a result the emotionally wrenching scenes between him and Diana seem to come out of nowhere He was a crabby old man for the first half of the book often absent on unexplained spy work and then suddenly he turned back into Will Darcy His dialogue often came out of nowhere and his body never seemed to do than stand at windows and run his hands through his hair The moon between my thighs Enough said Too many of the secondary characters collapse into one another The School of Night all essentially had the same personalities the most irritating of which was Kit Marlowe I still don't understand why Matthew didn't just kill him All of the secondary vampires talked the same and looked the same male or female Francoise Pierre Gallowglass Hancock Benjamindoes it really matter? Just write INTIMIDATING VAMPIRE and be done with it All in all I think your ability to enjoy this book and the series as a whole depends on your willingness to cast a blind eye at the stuff you don't like on a regular basis For me the escape of the story provides enough to want to read it and finish the series I mostly just want to know what the writing is in the mysterious book I also wouldn't mind meeting their kids But if you're a stickler for things like pretty prose stable character development and sensible time travel writing this may not be the book for you

  7. says:

    A few non spoilery things if you’ve finished the first one you’ll want to know before beginning this or things I wanted to know and needed my future self to tell me1 95% of this takes place in the pastThere are a few chapters that update you on what’s going on in the present but those were kind of dull sooooo2 The time traveling will never make senseIt’s best to just let this go The 16th century Matthew disappears while present day Matthew is there with his present day wife When present day people leave 16th century Matt returns and probably has to say “Why the hell do y’all think I’m married?” a lot3 You will run into those two big historical figures you are hoping to run intoAnd I know you all know who I’m talking about4 It’s going to move from PG to PG 13Thank goodness tbh 5 The plot hardly progressesBut this is no different than the first book so I don’t know how you’re surprised6 This is like reading a Dickens novelYou’re going to meet 925338 characters who will never be relevant again It’s annoying and kind of blah and yet you’ll still keep reading because you’re invested in the hot British vampire scientist

  8. says:

    I'm bored out of my mind and just can't read another page I've been reading this book for over a week hundreds and hundreds of pages and virtually nothing has happened There has been so little forward progress it's astonishing Too many boring insignificant characters have been introduced The amount of historical information and intricate detail is remarkable but also mind numbing So many times I wanted to scream Just get on with the story already Farewell Diana and Matthew I hope you get your happily ever afterUpdate It's two days later and I'm even angry about not being able to finish this book I love long engaging epics Why why WHY couldn't this be one of those?

  9. says:

    I wish I could give this book than 3 stars To be honest it's receiving three only because I it piued my interest just enough to finish itI was so excited to read the second installment to Diana and Matthew's journey after reading The Discovery of Witches a couple of years ago and absolutely adoring the first book This book I found was too long with too many unnecessary characters Yes I became aware after reading the book that there is a glossary in the back of the bookbut on a Kindle you do not see that glossary or know about it until you reach the end of the book LOLThe first third of the book I found to be incredibly slow It involved the 2 main characters sitting around with other members of history simply spending time in a house babbling and arguing over what to do next? over and over while the author kept adding in and tid bits of history that did not advance the plot or build characters at all It began to read much like a history text book The plot I found disorganized throughout the book it always felt like there was something that I missed somewhere along the way It almost felt like rules kept getting changed as the author wrote the book so to suit her needs and the plot's needs which left everything choppy and disjointed I may very well be wrong but that was the feeling I had while reading I also became frustrated with the lack of character growth with Diana and Matthew There was a few cliched and contrived profound moments but they felt forced and a little bit eye rolling in a way The way things were described became slightly repetitive after awhile if I have to read and my witch's third eye opened again I will cringe lol and I always pictured a literal eyeball opening up in the middle of her forheadweirdness Along with the whole world being draped with embroidery floss and bits of ropes and string it became ludicrous than anything else to me I understand that it was maybe a way to write something different that no one has really written before in regards to vampireswitchestime travel etc but it came across as funny than effective Too many ideas written weakly than focusing on one or two and creating a really strong atmosphere throughout the book Sadly overall I was disappointed with the book It was far too long with too much extra writing that did not have anything to do with charactersplot which could have made the book far shorter and faster paced I know I know please don't throw stones LOL it's just my opinion and only that I did truly love the first book The redeeming character in this book was Phillipe and I do wish he had played a bigger part or that there is some way to re introduce him in the third book Somehow? and kudos to the author as it did hold my interest long enough to want to know ultimately what happened and read through to the ending

  10. says:

    I received an advanced copy of this book through NetGalley thanks to the helpful comments from friends here on GoodReads Following is my review of the bookThis story begins at the same point where A Discovery of Witches left off with Diana Matthew landing safely in Elizabethan England Diana is enthralled with the idea of “living” the historical events she has spent her life studying and is a bit nonplussed by the fact that even with all her knowledge of the times and people she is woefully unprepared for the smaller details of daily life Not to mention it is obvious to everyone around that she is not from there and does not belong though they assume she is from another place not another time It takes her awhile and not a few missteps to become familiar with customs and habits but with the help of friends and family she eventually passes for a woman of the timesOf course what good romance novel would be complete without a little relationship drama and this is no exception Though they have known each other only a short time and were married only a few days before traveling back in time Diana believes she knows Matthew better than anyone else She assumes he will remain the same man she knows from modern times and is surprised by the changes in his personality and behavior in this period This provides for some drama filled scenes of major mis communication but also allows for the relationship between the two of them to grow and mature ultimately bringing them closerI will admit I found it difficult to immediately delve into the story as the first several chapters introduce new characters based on historical figures some of whom I am only dimly aware but who I felt I should know better based on how they were presented I was reading the galley on my Nook so it wasn’t until I finished reading the whole thing that I found there is a glossary of characters included at the END of the book Of course when you're reading a digital copy you rarely think to skip all the way to the end to see what's there that feels like cheating so I didn't know about it when I needed itHowever this detail aside I enjoyed the twists and turns in the plot and the development of continuing characters as well as newly introduced ones I soon sorted out who most of them were and what their roles were though there were still some places where my brain would have trouble keeping some of the tertiary characters straight Also there is a short scene of amusing meta fiction towards the middle of the book that will give fans of paranormal romance something to chuckle overThere were a few plot lines that were not totally cleared up and tied nicely in a bow at the end I was left with uestions But I have faith in Harkness’ ability to do again as she did here and pick up the story where she left off answering all my ueries in the third installment May it come soon for I am not exactly known for my patience especially when it comes to really good books