Monday, August 13, 2012

Review: Shadow of Night

Shadow of Night
Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4.5 Stars

GoodReads Synopsis: 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.

My Thoughts: Where to start…I had a really hard time getting into this one. It seemed to me that the story really took a while to get going. I think it was all the comparisons Diana did between her present and Elizabethan England as well as getting to know all of Matthew’s “School of Night” friends. The story did finally pick up for me once Diana and Matthew decided to head to France to see Phillipe.

It amazes me how Harkness can take famous historical figures and paint them so richly and with such vivid detail! I forget that I’m reading a novel.

Diana discovers who and what she is, one of the main reasons for traveling back to begin with. She and Matthew are able to learn a great deal about the manuscript, their other reason for traveling back in time. Plus we learn a lot more about Matthew in this installment…which I loved! Matthew’s son warned he was going to be different back in Elizabethan times…and he was. How Diana managed not to kill him, at times, still amazes me. We learned so much more about Matthew in this book, which was lacking from “Discovery”.

Harkness handled the time travel aspect of this story so well, I thought. We, the reader, kept getting glimpses of the present from the viewpoint of family members waiting for them to return, which I thought was brilliant. Also, Harkness always kept the timeline in mind so disruption was kept to a minimum, but yet there were small ripples seen through the eyes of the family left waiting.

Overall, I loved the book, though not as much as “Discovery”. I was left with a nagging question, What happened to Em? Did I miss it? Or is it one of those answers I am just going to have to wait for? I just can’t wait to see how the trilogy finishes up in the next book.

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