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Shadow of Night: A Novel Hardcover – Jul 10 2012

4.2 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Viking; 1st Edition edition (July 10 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670023485
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670023486
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 4.1 x 23.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 816 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #82,265 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


 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.”

Praise for A Discovery of Witches:

“A wonderfully imaginative grown-up fantasy with all the magic of Harry Potter or Twilight. . . . An irresistible tale of wizardry, science and forbidden love.”


“Romantic, erudite, and suspenseful . . . Harkness attends to every scholarly and emotional detail with whimsy, sensuality, and humor.”

O, The Oprah Magazine

A thoroughly grown-up novel packed with gorgeous historical detail and a gutsy, brainy heroine to match. . . . Harkness writes with thrilling gusto about the magical world.”

—Karen Valby, Entertainment Weekly


“Harkness conjures up a scintillating paranormal story. . . . Discover why everyone’s talking about this magical book.”

USA Today


“Delightfully well-crafted and enchantingly imaginative . . . It has some of the same ineluctable atmosphere that made Anne Rice’s vampire books such a popular success.”

Miami Herald


“A debut novel with a big supernatural canvas . . . Its ambitions are world-sized, ranging across history and zeroing in on DNA, human and otherwordly. Age-old tensions between science and magic and between evolution and alchemy erupt as Diana seeks to unlock the secrets of Ashmole 782.”

Los Angeles Times

“Harkness, an eloquent writer, conjures this world of witches with Ivy League degrees and supernatural creatures completely—and believably—while maintaining a sense of wonder. . . . A Discovery of Witches is that rare historical novel that manages to be as intelligent as it is romantic. And it is supernatural fiction that those of us who usually prefer to stay grounded in reality can get caught up in. Pardon the pun, but Witches is truly spellbinding.”

San Antonio News-Express


“Readers who thrilled to Elizabeth Kostova’s 2005 blockbuster, The Historian, will note the parallels, but A Discovery of Witches is a modern Romeo and Juliet story, with older, wiser lovers. Blood will flow when a witch and a vampire fall for each other. Author Deborah Harkness, a UCLA history professor, brings vast knowledge and research to the page.”

Cleveland Plain-Dealer

“Harkness works her own form of literary alchemy by deftly blending fantasy, romance, history, and horror into one completely bewitching book.”

Chicago Tribune


“A Discovery of Witches becomes increasingly charming as it goes along. . . . A shrewdly written romp and a satisfying snow-day read for those of us who heartily enjoyed the likes of Anne Rice and Marion Zimmer Bradley. By the book’s rousing end . . . I was impatient for the sequel.”



“A captivating tale that will ensnare the heart and imagination of even the most skeptical reader. This fantastic first novel will leave you anxious for the next installment, and sad to leave the remarkable world Harkness has created. Simply put, A Discovery of Witches is literary magic at its most potent.”

—Stephanie Harrison, BookPage

“Set in our contemporary world with a magical twist, this sparkling debut by a history professor features a large cast of fascinating characters, and readers will find themselves invested in Diana’s success at unlocking the secrets of the manuscript. . . . Harkness is an author to watch.” —Library Journal (starred review)

“Harkness creates a compelling and sweeping tale that moves from Oxford to Paris to upstate New York and into both Diana and Matthew’s complex families and histories. All her characters are fully fleshed and unique.”

Booklist (starred review)


“Harkness brings this world to vibrant life and makes the most of the growing popularity of gothic adventure with an ending that keeps the Old Lodge door wide open.”

Publishers Weekly


A Discovery of Witches is a strange and wonderful novel of forbidden love and ancient spells that turns every preconception about magic on its head. Deborah Harkness has written one of the most exciting novels I’ve read in years. . . . I fell in love with it from the very first page.” —Danielle Trussoni, author of Angelology


“Deborah Harkness’s novel is a brilliant synthesis of magic and history. A gripping story of dangerous passion, intellectual intrigue, and fantastical beings.” —Ivy Pochoda, author of The Art of Disappearing

“A fleet-footed novel set in a vivid otherworld, richly peppered with scholarly tidbits. Huge fun—with serious underpinnings of history.” —Jane Borodale, author of The Book of Fires

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

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Kindle Edition
It took me over 300 pages to finally get into this sequel. It just drags and drags forever The first part of this book is so slow paced compared to the fantastic and original, fast paced Book 1; here there is such a slow development and a parade of unnecessary characters which I still do not know what their purpose is, plus not only the main characters travel back in time but it seems their personalities more defined in the first book, completely vanish in the past. There are also a few sintaxis errors in french, which surprised me a little bit.

Characters which I hoped would have a strong development and presence so far became so condescending...I have to say I am very disappointed, but mid books can be that way, hoping the conclusion is worth the while. Matthew also became super annoying and ridiculous.
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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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By Debra Purdy Kong TOP 500 REVIEWER on Sept. 29 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
In this second installment of the All Souls trilogy, Matthew and Diana travel back in time to 1591 for two reasons. One is to locate a witch who can teach Diana how to develop and control her powers. The other is to find an elusive book that allegedly contains the secrets to life and death, and knowledge of how vampires, daemons, and witches came to be. Neither search is easy. Witches are being burned, spies and enemies are watching, and a relationship between a vampire—even from a powerful family like Matthew’s –and a witch is considered obscene. As Diana and Matthew’s love grows, so do the challenges and the danger.

Shadow of Night is lengthy but riveting. Incorporating real-life historical figures adds an intriguing aspect as does the detailed depiction of life in that period of time for both rich and poor. Most appealing was the growing connection between Diana and Matthew. The doubts, misunderstandings, fears, and hopes were slowly and elegantly revealed the depth of their love. Their relationship transforms this book from a really good fantasy into one of the great and truly memorable fictional romances. Few authors can capture a complicated relationship so compellingly or blend descriptions with action and historical references as well as Harkness does. Needless to say, I look forward to the third installment!
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Format: Hardcover
Get all the urban fantasy news and reviews at urbanfantasyland.wordpress.com

I did not read the first book in this series, but that didn't put me at a disadvantage for jumping into the middle of the trilogy. Harkness does a good job of catching the reader up in the first couple of chapters while also laying the groundwork for the story to come.

This is a great book for anyone looking for more history mixed up in their magical tales-- or more magic mixed up in their history. The legendary Kit Marlowe and Thomas Harriot are daemons in Harkness's world. Henry Percy and Walter Raleigh are alchemists. Together these gents were known as the School of Night.

With great writing, intriguing characters, SHADOW OF NIGHT is sure to please anyone who likes historical urban fantasy.
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