Dark Supernatural Academia With Shadow Of Night!

As the second installment in Deborah Harkness’s spellbinding All Souls series, Shadow of Night continues the enthralling journey of Diana Bishop and Matthew Clairmont, transporting readers into the heart of the Elizabethan era. Following the dramatic events of A Discovery of Witches, Diana and Matthew embark on a perilous quest through time to uncover the secrets of Ashmole 782 and to hone Diana’s burgeoning magical abilities.

Harkness, a historian by trade, masterfully blends historical fact with imaginative fiction, creating a vivid and immersive backdrop where intrigue, danger, and romance abound. In Shadow of Night, the stakes are higher. Join us as we delve into the intricate layers of this historical fantasy, exploring its compelling characters, evocative settings, and the timeless themes that make Shadow of Night a standout continuation of Diana and Matthew’s epic saga.

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For Fans of R.F Kuang’s Babel: Check out Oxford-Based ‘A Discovery of Witches’

The All Souls Series

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The All Souls series by Deborah Harkness is a captivating blend of historical fantasy, romance, and mystery that spans centuries and continents. At its heart is the story of Diana Bishop, a reluctant witch and historian. She soon discovers an ancient manuscript, Ashmole 782, in Oxford’s Bodleian Library. This discovery thrusts her into the hidden world of magical creatures and into the path of Matthew Clairmont, a vampire geneticist with a dark past. As their forbidden relationship deepens, they must navigate a world against them. The series intertwines the present and the past, delving into alchemical texts, historical events, and age-old conflicts.

Harkness’s meticulous attention to historical detail has earned the series critical acclaim and a devoted readership. The narrative is richly layered with references to real historical figures and events, adding depth and authenticity to the magical world she has created.

The books in the fan-favorite series are as follows:

  • A Discovery of Witches (2011)
  • Shadow of Night (2012)
  • The Book of Life (2014)
  • Time’s Convert (2018)

Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

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In a world of witches, daemons and vampires the fragile balance of peace is unravelling. Diana and Matthew’s forbidden love has broken the laws dividing creatures. To discover the manuscript which holds their hope for the future, they must now travel back to the past.

When Diana Bishop, descended from a line of powerful witches, discovered a significant alchemical manuscript in the Bodleian Library, she sparked a struggle in which she became bound to long-lived vampire Matthew Clairmont. Now the 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 realise 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…

Our Overview

Shadow of Night, the second novel in Deborah Harkness’s All Souls series, picks up immediately after the events of A Discovery of Witches. Diana Bishop and Matthew Clairmont embarking on a journey back in time to Elizabethan London. Their goal is twofold: to find a powerful witch capable of teaching Diana to control her magic, and to locate the elusive Ashmole 782.

As Diana and Matthew navigate the complex and perilous world of the 16th century, they encounter historical figures. They take refuge with the mysterious School of Night, a group of radical thinkers. This includes the likes of Christopher Marlowe, Sir Walter Raleigh, and Thomas Harriot. Their presence also brings complications, as Matthew’s past affiliations and relationships surface.

In London, Diana is introduced to Goody Alsop, a powerful witch who recognizes Diana as a weaver. Under Alsop’s tutelage, Diana begins to unlock her potential. She is learning to weave spells and gaining greater insight into her unique abilities.

Matthew, meanwhile, grapples with his past and the responsibilities of his position in the Elizabethan era. As a member of the Congregation and a spy for Queen Elizabeth, he is pulled into political intrigues and old vendettas. This complicates their mission.

Their quest leads them from London to Prague. There, they continue their search for Ashmole 782, navigating the court of Emperor Rudolf II. The Emperor’s obsession with the occult presents both opportunities and dangers, as Diana and Matthew maneuver through court politics and supernatural threats.

Throughout their journey, the bond between Diana and Matthew deepens, but they also face significant challenges. Diana’s growing powers and her determination to uncover the truth about Ashmole 782 drive much of the plot. Soon leading to revelations about her lineage and the manuscript’s significance.

Our Review

Shadow of Night, the second book in Deborah Harkness’s All Souls series, is a captivating continuation of Diana Bishop and Matthew Clairmont’s journey. This skillfully blends historical fiction, romance, and fantasy. Picking up where A Discovery of Witches left off, this novel transports readers to the vibrant and perilous world of Elizabethan England. Now the stakes are higher and the mysteries deeper.

Harkness’s expertise as a historian shines through in her meticulous recreation of the 16th century. From the bustling streets of London to the court of Emperor Rudolf II in Prague. The historical detail not only provides an immersive backdrop but also integrates real historical figures such as Sir Walter Raleigh into the narrative. These characters are brought to life with depth and authenticity.

At the heart of “Shadow of Night” is the evolution of Diana’s magical abilities and her relationship with Matthew. Diana’s journey of self-discovery and empowerment is compelling. She learns to harness her powers under the guidance of the formidable witch Goody Alsop. This aspect of the novel is particularly well-crafted. It offers readers a detailed and fascinating look at the lore and practice of witchcraft in the All Souls universe.

The pacing of Shadow of Night is deliberate, with a balance between action, historical exploration, and character development. Some readers might find the historical detail overwhelming at times, but for those who appreciate a deep narrative, it adds to the novel’s depth and authenticity.

With its complex characters, detailed settings, and engrossing plot, Shadow of Night is a worthy sequel that sets the stage for even more intriguing adventures to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the book Shadow of Night about?

Shadow of Night follows Diana Bishop and Matthew Clairmont as they travel back to Elizabethan England to further uncover the secrets of Ashmole 782 and to help Diana master her burgeoning magical powers. Immersed in a world of historical intrigue and danger, they navigate political and supernatural challenges, seeking the aid of notable figures such as Christopher Marlowe and Goody Alsop.

Which year is Shadow of Night set in?

The novel is set in 1590, when Elizabeth is queen and Europe is aflame with witch burning.

Is there a fourth book to Discovery of Witches?

Yes, the fourth book in the All Souls series is Time’s Covert.

Is Shadow of Night part of a series?

Yes! Shadow of Night is the second book in the All Souls series. The full series is as follows:

  • A Discovery of Witches (2011)
  • Shadow of Night (2012)
  • The Book of Life (2014)
  • Time’s Convert (2018)

Shadow of Night is a mesmerizing continuation of Deborah Harkness’s All Souls series, weaving together history, magic, and romance into a richly textured narrative that captivates from beginning to end. With its meticulously researched setting, complex characters, and gripping plot, this novel offers a compelling exploration of love, power, and the enduring quest for knowledge. As readers journey alongside Diana and Matthew through the corridors of time, they are transported to a world where the boundaries between past and present blur, leaving them eagerly anticipating the next installment in this enchanting saga.

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