Shadow of Night (Harkness)

Shadow of Night: (All Souls Trilogy 2)
Deboroah Harkness, 2012
Penguin Group USA
592 pp.
ISBN-13: 9780143123620



Summary
"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. (From the publisher.)

The first book in the All Souls Trilogy is A Discovery of Witches (2011), and the third is The Book of Life (2014)



Author Bio 
Birth—N/A
Raised—outside of Philadelphia, PA, USA
Education—B.A., Mount Holyoke College; M.A.,
   Northwestern University; Ph.D., University of
   California-Davis
Currently—lives in southern California

Deborah Harkness is a professor of history at the University of Southern California. She has received Fullbright, Guggenheim, and National Humanities Center fellowships, and her most recent scholarly work is The Jewel House: Elizabethan London and the Scientific Revolution. She also writes an award-winning wine blog, Good Wine Under $20.  (From the publisher.)

More
In her words

I grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia and have lived in western Massachusetts, the Chicago area, Northern California, upstate New York, and Southern California. In other words, I’ve lived in three out of five time zones in the US! I’ve also lived in the United Kingdom in the cities of Oxford and London.

For the past twenty-eight years I’ve been a student and scholar of history, and received degrees from Mount Holyoke College, Northwestern University, and the University of California at Davis. During that time I researched the history of magic and science in Europe, especially during the period from 1500 to 1700.

The libraries I’ve worked in include Oxford’s Bodleian Library, the All Souls College Library at Oxford, the British Library, London’s Guildhall Library, the Henry E. Huntington Library, the Folger Shakespeare Library, and the Newberry Library—proving that I know my way around a card catalogue or the computerized equivalent. These experiences have given me a deep and abiding love of libraries and a deep respect for librarians. Currently, I teach European history and the history of science at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

My previous books include two works of non-fiction: John Dee’s Conversations with Angels: Cabala, Alchemy, and the End of Nature (Cambridge University Press, 1999) and The Jewel House: Elizabethan London and the Scientific Revolution (Yale University Press, 2007). It has been my privilege to receive fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Science Foundation, and the National Humanities Center. And I was honored to receive accolades for my historical work from the History of Science Society, the North American Conference on British Studies, and the Longman’s/History Today Prize Committee.

In 2006, I took up my keyboard and entered the world of blogging and Twitter. My wine blog, Good Wine Under $20, is an online record of my search for the best, most affordable wines. These efforts have been applauded by the American Wine Blog Awards, Saveur.com, Wine & Spirits magazine, and Food & Wine magazine. My wine writing has also appeared on the website Serious Eats and in Wine & Spirits magazine. (From the author's website.)



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


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


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 summer reading list complete.
Miami Herald


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.
People


Propelled by her successful fiction debut, A Discovery of Witches, historian Harkness concocts an energetic if chaotic sequel filled with witches, daemons, vampires, wearhs, weavers, and warm-bloods (aka humans) racing to retrieve a lost manuscript that details the origins of supernatural species, which, in the wrong hands, could hasten their extinction. The first novel culminated in the mixed marriage of vampire/scientist Matthew de Clermont to historian/untrained witch Diana Bishop. This novel opens with the newlyweds time-traveling to Elizabethan England so Diana can study witchcraft; never mind they’re burning witches in Scotland or that in London an educated American woman doesn’t exactly blend in. There, they hope to retrieve magical manuscript Ashmole 782, last seen in Oxford’s 21st-century Bodleian library. Diana gets in touch with her inner firedrake, Matthew with his father, but they can’t find a tutor for ages, and they can’t rescue the manuscript without a trip to Prague. Supporting Diana and Matthew in their quest is a secret society that includes dashing Walter Raleigh and dangerous daemon Christopher Marlowe. Harkness delights in lining up the living dead and modern academic history, as in her explanation of how a forger named Shakespeare, with supernatural prompting, takes up playwriting. This tale of a feminist Yankee in Queen Elizabeth’s court charms amid the tumult, as the gifted heroine and her groom fight for generations and another sequel to come in order to protect the magical world that’s all around us.
Publishers Weekly


Picking up where...best-selling A Discovery of Witches left off, geneticist and vampire Matthew Clairmont and Oxford scholar and witch Diana Bishop travel back in time to Elizabethan England to hunt for the enchanted Ashmole 782 manuscript and to seek magic lessons for Diana. VERDICT Readers who enjoyed the first book's striking detail and complex world-building will be equally as thrilled with this second book in the trilogy, as Harkness, a scholar herself (history, Univ. of Southern California), focuses her lens on the denizens, culture, and geography of late 16th-century Europe.
Library Journal


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.
BookPage


[T]hanks to the magic of time travel, Harkness' (A Discovery of Witches, 2011) latest finds witch and Oxford professor Diana Bishop and her lover, scientist and vampire Matthew Clairmont, at the tail end of Elizabethan England, when Shakespeare's career is about to take off. There, by happenstance, they meet Christopher Marlowe, who commands an uncommonly rich amount of data about the ways of the otherworld. Asked why the odd couple should attract attention, he remarks matter-of-factly, "Because witches and wearhs are forbidden to marry," an exchange that affords Diana, and the reader, the chance to learn a new word.... it Marlowe gets to do some petticoat lifting...[and] Will Shakespeare comes onto the scene late, but there's good reason for that.... Clearly Harkness has great fun with all this, and her background as a literature professor gives her plenty of room to work with, and without, an ounce of pedantry. Sure, the premise is altogether improbable. But, that said, there's good fun to be had here, even for those who might wish for a moratorium on books about vampires, zombies, witches and other things that go bump in the night.
Kirkus Reviews


Discussion Questions
1. Harkness opens Shadow of Night with a quote by Queen Elizabeth I. How is the quote significant to the book?

2. The Elizabethan era is made vivid in the novel through the everyday details that Diana must contend with. What did you find most surprising, funny, or intriguing about life in the sixteenth century?

3. When Diana arrives in 1590, she is thrilled to experience firsthand a world that she had studied as a historian. If you could go back in time, what era would you visit? What would you do while there?

4. There is no question that Matthew is a compelling character, but is he a traditional romantic hero? Compare him with some of your favorite leading men in literature.

5. Who were the School of Night? What is the meaning behind the title Shadow of Night?

6. In Shadow of Night Harkness cheekily refers to Shakespeare’s plays without naming them. Can you recognize which work she’s referring to?

7. What does Diana learn about the materials used to make Ashmole 782?

8. If Shadow of Night was a film, which celebrities would you cast in the starring roles?

9. Did you read A Discovery of Witches? If so, in what ways has Diana changed since the last novel? If not, how did your own opinion about Diana change through the course of the book?

10. A Discovery of Witches ended with a cliffhanger. At the end of Shadow of Night, what do you think lies ahead?
(Questions issued by publisher.)

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