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Shadow of Night: A Novel [Hardcover]

Deborah Harkness
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
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Book Description

July 10 2012 All Souls Trilogy (Book 2) Editors' Pick: Best Books of 2012

"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.

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Shadow of Night: A Novel + A Discovery Of Witches + The Book of Life: A Novel
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 Praise for Shadow of Night

“A captivating and romantic ripping yarn.”
—E. L. James, “Books of the Year 2012: Authors Choose Their Favourites,” The Guardian

“The joy that Harkness, herself a historian, takes in visiting the past is evident on every page. . . . A great spell, the one that can enchant a reader and make a 600-page book fly through her fingertips, is cast. . . . Its enduring rewards are plenty.”
Entertainment Weekly

“Fans of Harkness’s 2011 debut A Discovery of Witches will be delighted. . . . Harkness delivers enough romance and excitement to keep the pages turning. Readers will devour it.”

“Deborah Harkness takes us places we’ve never been before. . . . Shadow of Night isn't just about wonderfully detailed descriptions of England in 1591, it's about being there. Readers time-travel as precisely and precariously as Diana and Matthew do. . . . Shadow ends as Discovery did with promises of more to come. Lucky for us.”
USA Today

“Harkness exudes her own style of magic in making the world of late 16th century England come alive. . . . Enchanting, engrossing and as impossible to put down as its predecessor, Shadow of Night is a perfect blend of fantasy, history and romance. Its single greatest flaw is, after almost 600 pages, it’s over. If you’ve already read and enjoyed A Discovery of Witches, picking up Shadow of Night is an absolute requirement. Otherwise, pick up both, and consider your reading list complete.”
—Miami Herald

“Picking up where she left off in last year’s A Discovery of Witches, Harkness proves she’s not suffering from a sophomore slump with this addictive tale of magic, mayhem and two lovers.”
Chicago Tribune

“Rich, period fun, particularly delightful in its witty characterization of historical immortals . . . Shadow ramps up the supernatural suspense.”
—New York Daily News

“This novel is as much a love story about a bygone era as it is about Matthew and Diana. It overflows with a colorful cast of characters, many of whom Harkness has plucked straight from the history books, and Harkness renders the late 1500s in exquisite detail. . . . The writing is so rich, the characters so compelling . . . and best of all, Harkness manages to execute with aplomb the act of answering old questions while posing new ones that will intensify anticipation for the final installment. Readers who have been counting down the days, take heart: The wait was most assuredly worth it.”

About the Author

Deborah Harkness made her fiction debut with book one of the All Souls trilogy, A Discovery of Witches, which was a New York Times bestseller and has been translated into more than thirty languages. A professor of history at the University of Southern California, Harkness has received Fulbright, Guggenheim, and National Humanities Center fellowships, and her most recent scholarly work is The Jewel House: Elizabethan London and the Scientific Revolution.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Could Have Used More Editing Aug. 12 2012
By Aly
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I am more than slightly disappointed with this book. I loved the first book so much, one of my favourite books, of all time, but this one seemed to be rushed and should have spent more time on the editor's desk. I would have preferred to wait six more months for a better book. There were many unnecessary characters in this book that had nothing to do with the plot. I can see a really good second book here, hiding among all the useless story lines, but it needed so much more work and editing. I enjoyed learning about the authors views of England in the 1500's, but I found some conclusions arrogant and the books ending - with Shakespeare - give me a break!

The actual story line - Ashmole 782 and Diana's witch training seemed to be almost a secondary plot in this book. Mathew, who I fell in love with in the first book, seemed selfish and basically horrible in this book. I know we were warned his character would change, but this wasn't an overall change, he flipped back and fourth so many times, I feel whiplash coming on. As for Diana... seriously? Can she really be that stupid? She's a historian, it's hard to believe that a highly educated, intelligent woman could make the stupid decisions she made. In the first book she did stupid things, but not knowingly, so it was believable. In this book her stupidity is unbelievable, because she knowingly makes these decisions. The authors treatment of a central character being killed off is appalling and unforgivable. I feel we're owed a short story addition to this book with some explanations, before the third book comes out.

To the author and publisher: please, please, please take your time with the third book and end this trilogy with the same excellence it started with.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous novel Sept. 16 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It is so good- I can hardly wait till bedtime so I can read more. I love the historical aspect of the story. This is my first taste of how times were at the beginning of the witch hunts. Such a scary time for women who connected with nature/spirit/ etc.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wonder filled! Aug. 21 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Best book this summer...a deliciously romp through time. Descriptions of Elizabeth I were fabulous. I truly felt as if I was standing just off to the side of the room watching and listening to Matthew and Diana speaking to the queen. The descriptions of London 1590 style were exciting and extremely well done. This was great entertainment. I highly recommend it as well as the first book in the trilogy, A Discovery of Witches.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shadow of Night July 3 2013
I love this series stayed up all night reading both books in the trilogy that have been published without even realizing it. One minute it was 10 pm and the next thing I knew it was 6:30 am and the sun was starting to come up.

I can't wait for the next book to come out.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Really, really boring Aug. 15 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Compared to her first novel, Discovery of Witches; I found this book. Dry boring. I skimmed a lot of it to get the idea and trust me, it didn't take much to get it. The anticipation I felt when I was waiting for it to be released was crushed when I read it. Very disappointed. It started to get my attention near the end of the book and ended on the same note as the first. Debating on if I should continue on to read the third when it is released.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic July 26 2012
When I read Discovery of Witches I was thrilled. With all of the witch, vampire, werewolf hype out there I wasn't expecting much...well it was excellent. Smart, funny, just great. Then the sequel and I was hopeful...well I think it was even better than the first. Strong characters, excellent plot and I'm drooling for number 3. Harkness is a fantastic writer and I look forward to reading other things that she comes up with....BRAVO!
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Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
An excellent second book in the trilogy. You will find the time travel to 16th century England, replete with all the well-known historical figures and commentary on life for that period, especially interesting. Who knew that witches and vampires could be such sympathetic characters--well, some of them, anyway.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed Feb. 7 2013
By Emily
As I got towards the end of this book, I decided to read the reviews. You see I could not work out how this story could be so poorly written. I had read the first book and enjoyed it so much, I could not put it down. So I was eager for the story to continue in this one - but, it didn't. I felt sure I was missing something.

Diana and Matthew duly arrive in the 16th century. They then, rather than get on with the important tasks at hand, proceed to set up house and take in two children and a dog. We then find Diana, who has been warned of dangers, striding around the streets as though she were born to the era.

The story of their quest to find a book and for Diana to understand more of her magic abilities, became buried under day to day trivia and when they did make a break through, it generally led to an anti-climax.

All in all, I found it rather confusing, I have never lost my way in a story before and at one point, when the story switches centuries, I had to check my kindle to make sure I was still reading the same book.

One reviewer mentioned that they would have been happy to wait another six months for the book to be properly edited. I whole heartedly agree and I hope they take the time to do that with the next book. I am not sure if I will be looking out for it, as unlike the end of the first book, the ending of this one has left me feeling flat and disinterested.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
A very intriguing plot line, very 'outside' our daily lives. A truly enjoyable read!
Published 6 days ago by Tavigirl
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Enthralling novel that includes history, romance, and battle of dark and light within and without
Published 15 days ago by Patricia Ross
4.0 out of 5 stars great vacation read
Well written and researched, great vacation read.
Published 17 days ago by Kelly Bender
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
excellent series
Published 1 month ago by sherry
5.0 out of 5 stars nice book
Great book. Could not put it down
Published 1 month ago by PariOomar
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
2nd in a awesome series a must read
Published 1 month ago by Heather
5.0 out of 5 stars It keeps getting better
I wasn't sure she could top the first book but the second just deepens an already fascinating story. She makes you fall in love with the characters. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Lulu
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Refreshing Modern Tale
I love all the characters and the realism was really refreshing. I could imagine this story really happening (and actually wish it could). Read more
Published 3 months ago by Frances Asselin
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazon is great
These were purchased for my sister, She has enjoyed the Harkness novels and is pleased with the prompt delivery. She looks forward to the next book in the series,
Published 3 months ago by grotta
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Disappointed
What a page turner! The story line never slows, something that doesn't happen often as stories go. I loved the way the story is laced with history, witchcraft and vampirism yet the... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Christine
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