Shadow of Night is the second book in the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness. It follows the immensely popular A Discovery of Witches.
Shadow of Night picks up where A Discovery of Witches leaves off. The witch Diana Bishop and her husband, vampire Matthew deClermont, have time-travelled from the present day United States to Matthew’s Oxford, England home, the Old Lodge, in the fall of 1590. They have done this so that Diana may safely study her supernatural powers. They also hope to locate the mysterious book Ashmole 782, which began Diana’s journey in ADofW.
Diana is surprised to find that Matthew’s circle of friends in 1590 includes Sir Walter Raleigh and playwright Christopher Marlowe. The couple are both surprised that it is not so easy to find a witch eager to share knowledge with Diana. Soon after their arrival in Oxford, Matthew is summoned by his father Phillippe to Sept-Tours, the deClermont family home in France.
The journey to Sept-Tours is difficult. And Diana is not initially warmly received by Phillippe, who is disappointed that Matthew’s bride is a witch.Phillippe’s acceptance of Diana is helped by the fact that Diana wears Ysabeau’s ring. Even in France it proves difficult to find a witch to tutor Diana. Eventually, the couple and their household travel to London, where much of the action in this novel occurs.
Shadow of Night is a fitting sequel. It is not the page turner that ADofW was, but it really explains much more about the creatures that inhabit the world. There are some great new characters introduced, and we learn more of Diana’s background and ancestry. And it is a great set-up for the final book of the trilogy.
Unfortunately, there is no information available about the third book. And the only negative I have to say about Shadow of Night is that it has been too long coming. I should have re-read at least parts of ADofW to refresh my memory of the characters and the plot. I think it would be great to read these books back to back.
Published in hardcover-Viking-2012