Shadow of Night (Harkness) - Book Reviews

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



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