With Shadow of Night, Deborah Harkness continues the complex tale she began in A Discovery of Witches, the first book of her All Souls trilogy, tracing the search of Matthew Clairmont, a centuries-old vampire, and Diane Bishop, a witch, for the magical manuscript Ashmole 782 throughout the continent of Europe, and through time itself. Time-walking back through history to the Elizabethan period, when Matthew was a very different man (and vampire), Diana must learn how to control her burgeoning powers without destroying herself or those around her as she searches for the elusive manuscript.
Matthew’s personal experience of the past and Diana’s historical expertise allow them to navigate the tumultuous time period they walk into. Through England, France, and Czechoslovakia, they interact with historical friends and foes, trying to keep Diana’s cover and gain the information that they need.
There’s much less tea-drinking in this book than the first, but more historical fact and action. Matthew and Diana must learn (and relearn in Matthew’s case) how to act in a very different time. Their relationship is pushed to the limit as they become accustomed to their new roles in society and the danger they face as a married witch and vampire.
If you loved A Discovery of Witches, you’ll eat up this second book of the trilogy. Following Matthew and Diana on their journey, you become caught up in their lives together as husband and wife, watching Diana as she struggles with her unpredictable and potentially dangerous powers and Matthew as he meets old friends.
- Lindsay Ly