Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

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☆••*´¨`*•.☆•• 4.5-stars ☆••*´¨`*•.☆••



Historian Diana Bishop, descended from a line of powerful witches, and long-lived vampire Matthew Clairmont have broken the laws dividing creatures. When Diana discovered a significant alchemical manuscript in the Bodleian Library, she sparked a struggle in which she became bound to Matthew. Now the fragile coexistence of witches, daemons, vampires and humans is dangerously threatened.

Seeking safety, Diana and Matthew travel back in time to London, 1590. But they soon realize that the past may not provide a haven. Reclaiming his former identity as poet and spy for Queen Elizabeth, the vampire falls back in with a group of radicals known as the School of Night. Many are unruly daemons, the creative minds of the age, including playwright Christopher Marlowe and mathematician Thomas Harriot.

Together Matthew and Diana scour Tudor London for the elusive manuscript Ashmole 782, and search for the witch who will teach Diana how to control her remarkable powers..


Shadow of Night is “Act II” in the All Souls Trilogy, and it is just as wondrous and well written as the first book, A Discovery of Witches. Deborah Harkness has woven her knowledge and love of history into this magical work of fiction.

The story transports the reader back in time along with the main characters. The vivid descriptions will make you feel like you are also in Elizabethan England!  The loved characters from A Discovery of Witches all have rolls in this book, albeit smaller ones. The new characters are delightful and just as well developed. Shadow of Night is filled with artists, mathematicians, mystics, and narcissistic emperors.  The tale of Matthew’s and Diana’s travels in search of the Ashmole 782 manuscript is sure to keep you up reading until the wee hours of the morning!

The author, who is more experienced at writing scholarly papers, has made the transition to fiction seem easy. She is a talented and disciplined academic who also happens to have a whimsical, creative side. She must be a very popular professor as well, because she has made learning history fun for her ever-growing worldwide fan base. It is truly a joy to read Deborah Harkness’ novels!

Speaking of Goody Alsop’s magical knots…

“With knot of one, the spell’s begun.
With knot of two, the spell be true.
With knot of three, the spell is free.
With knot of four, the power is stored.
With knot of five, the spell with thrive.
With knot of six, this spell I fix.”

If you’ve read this series already, you will undoubtedly devour the details in these devout fan sites:


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