SHADOW OF NIGHT – Deborah Harkness
Book Two of the All Souls Trilogy
A Perfect 10
ISBN 10: 0670-0-23485
ISBN 13: 978-0-670-2348-6
England, America, Europe – The Past and The Present
Diana Bishop and Matthew Clairmont have traveled to the Elizabethan era from the twenty-first century to, among other reasons, find a book that may tell them many secrets about themselves and others. Diana is a witch, and Matthew is a vampire, and they are trying to find Ashmole 782, a magical compilation that other creatures like them would kill to obtain. Daemons, vampires, and witches will stand in their way, although many of Matthew's “old” friends from the past will help. Because Diana was brought up in a sheltered situation, she is not confident in her powers, so this trip to the past will also include a search for someone to guide her in how to use her hidden abilities.
Is it normal for a witch and vampire to be friends? Not really! In fact, the 1500 year-old Matthew has hated witches for most of his life. That is, until he met the curious Diana after she inadvertently discovered Ashmole 782 in the Bodleian library at Oxford, setting off a stampede of all creatures determined to gain access to the manuscript. The book ended up back on the shelves, hidden from all before Diana realized what she'd found. Upon meeting Matthew, a geneticist, they ended up working together to find the significance of the book's information. And, consequently, ended up falling in love.
Their time-walking trek deposits them in Matthew's old haunts where his friends work with him, and some against him. Some of these friends are Christopher Marlowe, Walter Raleigh, and Henry Percy, the Earl of Northumberland. As Diana carefully begins her training, all the while trying to appear “normal” due to the witch burnings in Scotland, and the threat of exposure in London, she must come to terms with secrets that Matthew, now her husband, keeps from her. His membership in one organization threatens her own life, while his espionage for the Queen of England makes everyone suspect. When Elizabeth sends Matthew to the continent to meet with the Holy Roman Emperor, things begin to get very tense, not only for the travelers, but between Diana and Matthew.
The second book in the All Souls Trilogy , SHADOW OF NIGHT is exciting, humorous, romantic, and filled with amazing characters. Diana and Matthew continue to evolve as they discover things about themselves that they've stifled for years (or in Matthew's case centuries). The good guys are brave, intelligent, and honorable. The bad guys are truly evil. And all of the players are beautifully rounded, and realistic. Detailed descriptions of life in the Elizabethan era show the in depth research the author went to to make this story so credible. Be prepared for some graphic descriptions—this is, after all, a book about vampires, witches, and daemons!
Terrific writing and an equally terrific storyline kept me up late last night as I finished SHADOW OF NIGHT. Readers must read the first book in the trilogy, however, to really know what's going on in this book. A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES is equally un-put-downable!