Shadow of Night picks up right where A Discovery of Witches ended with Diana and Matthew traveling to Elizabethan England in 1590.
Determined to find the missing Ashmole 782 and find Diana a tutor to teach her essentially how to be a witch and learn her own powers, the couple are thrust into a world of intrigue and deception.
Shadow of Night is a fantastic follow-up to Discovery. It is again rich in historical details and the dynamics of inter-creature relations. As Diana and Matthew weave their way through 1590 and the mystery of the Ashmole manuscript deepens, their relationship grows. They begin to learn each other’s idiosyncrasies and their love begins to blossom into something deeper.
Shadow of Night brings an assortment of new and unforgettable characters into the fold, from the infamous School of Night, including prominent historical figures such as Christopher Marlowe and Sir Walter Raleigh to Matthew’s own family tree. I loved the new additions to Matthew’s family and to see the family relationships he has forged over his fifteen hundred years.
With Deborah Harkness at the reins, Shadow of Night leaps off the page. The characters come to life, the sights and sounds of Elizabethan London leave you with the lingering sense that you have been there before. Harkness’ ability to blend history and fiction are superb and the story reflects her thoroughly detailed research from the size of coins to the smells of the city.
Diana and Matthew’s love continues to grow and flourish throughout the book and as they peel back layers of each other and themselves, we are able to discover new facets of these wonderful characters we have grown to love. Seeing Matthew in the past, surrounded by friends and foes, gives the reader more insight into who Matthew is and it’s fascinating to discover more about the man.
Diana is able to find a group of witches to help her with her magic and as she learns more about who she is, she comes into herself and finally begins to understand who she is and what she is capable of.
While the mystery of Ashmole deepens, some questions do get answered but we are left with a few more at the conclusion of the book. Such as, what effects will Diana and Matthew’s time walking have on the future? I don’t want to share any more than that and give the plot away to those that have not read Shadow yet.
I was thrilled with Shadow of Night and wish I read a little slower so I could still savor it. There is definitely action and suspense throughout the book but it’s also building up to the third novel where I just have the feeling it’s going to be action packed when we learn everything Ashmole 782 contains within and Diana and Matthew face a showdown of epic proportions.