Saturday, March 16, 2013

Review: Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy #2)

Together we lifted our feet and stepped into the unknown.

Shadow of Night, by Deborah Harkness, is the second novel in the All Souls Trilogy. In the first novel (A Discovery of Witches), Diana Bishop, a Yale history scholar, discovers that she is a witch with extraordinary magical abilities. She is inexplicably and romantically drawn to Matthew Clairmount, a 1,500-year-old vampire geneticist. Both embark upon a timewalking journey to understand the secrets inside a lost and enchanted manuscript known as Ashmole 782, which may hold the origins of otherworldly beings--daemons, witches, and vampires.

Diana and Matthew travel back into the final years of Elizabethan London (1558–1603) with two goals: 1) to find the traces of Ashmole 782, and b) to locate a witch who can help Diana gain control of her spellbound powers. They find themselves plunged into a world of spies and subterfuge as well as Matthew's old friends, the mysterious School of Night. However, their journey takes a drastic turn that pulls them closer into Matthew's darkest secrets and other unexpected dangers. Whatever actions they leave behind in the past will certainly impact the future.

When I finished the A Discovery of Witches, I enjoyed it so much that I had to obtain the Shadow of Night from my local library. English literature was never my favorite subject in high school, yet Harkness' writing style captivated me so much that I wanted to learn more about Elizabethan England. Diana and Matthew are a match made in heaven even though their love is forbidden. Readers will be pleased to learn that this book explores their ancestries. In the end, both become stronger individuals mentally-wise given what they encountered during their journey. Although this book is 575 pages, I never came across a dull moment. That's how much I enjoyed this series.

In the sixteenth century, monarchies (England, Spain, Portugal, France, etc.) were the dominant form of government in Europe. The Protestant Reformation had occurred, which was a huge blow for the Roman Catholic Church. The English were in the beginning stage of exploring North America. It had not established colonies in the present-day United States. You will also run across some famous names in the novel. I won't spoil it so you must see for yourself in this novel.

The All Souls trilogy has become so popular that it may become a film series! From the author's website:

Warner Brothers Pictures has secured the film rights to the All Souls Trilogy. Work is currently underway to adapt the first book, A Discovery of Witches, for the screen. Denise DiNovi and Alison Greenspan are producing the film. Playwright David Auburn, who has received both a Pulitzer Prize and a Tony Award, has been hired to write the screenplay.

Stay tuned for the final novel in the trilogy, The Book of Life
. It will be released on July 14, 2014!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Great review of one of my favorite books! Anyone with a love of history or travel will love these books - they have the paranormal element, but are so much more than that too. I always felt as though I was in the most fascinating history class - Professor Harkness is captivating. I'm very excited about the prospect of this being made into a movie. I can't imagine anyone else besides Richard Armitage as Matthew Clairmont though! You should check this out: or