Shadow of Night | Deborah Harkness | Review

“Memories were short and history unkind. It was the way of the world.”





Shadow of Night takes Diana and Matthew on a trip through time to Elizabethan London, where they are plunged into a world of spies, magic, and a coterie of Matthew’s old friend, the School of Night. As the search for Ashmole 782 deepens and Diana seeks out a witch to tutor her in magic, the net of Matthew’s past tightens around them, and they embark on a very different – and vastly more dangerous – journey.


I am really at a loss for words with this review as I absolutely loved A Discovery of Witches so this was very much anticipated for me and I could not wait to pick it up.  Whilst I didn’t dislike the book I just found that I was bored reading it. 600 pages is a long book in my mind and not a lot of action really happens. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy following Diana and Matthew and I love seeing their characters develop but Shadow of Night really fell short for me and I found myself struggling to pick it up and when I did pick it up I felt like I was forcing myself to read.

I love that this book is set in a historical period and Diana and Matthew have to go back in time and adjust to a time that they know about but have clearly never lived in. I enjoyed reading about the barriers that Diana faced and the way that she had to change as a person to fit in with the time and not raise suspicion. The new characters in the book made me smile and I really enjoyed meeting them and getting to know them.

I enjoyed seeing the journey that Diana and Matthew go on in their relationship. I have been very sold on them as a couple from the start and I am still routing for them. I hate the heartbreak that they have had to go through but I love how strong they are as a couple to overcome things and continue with their lives and the mission that they are on.

That takes me nicely to Ashmole 782. In A Discovery of Witches, this was a very exciting and unique concept which I felt hooked on. As we got into Shadow of Night I was excited to find out what happened next with this, routing for the characters to get their hands on it and change the future. It quickly stopped when I realised that this was going to be another book that was dragged out. Whilst Ashmole 782 is mentioned it is very much in the background for me and I feel like it should be at the forefront. I’m bored of it now, just find it please!

This is very much a slow burn book, I could cope with it in the first book as there is a lot to learn and a lot of character to get to know. However I expected more from the second book, after reading the first 100 pages and actually not a lot happening I realised that it was most likely going to be the same throughout. I found myself skim reading just so I could potentially get to something a bit exciting. That was not the case.

I am sad to say this as I have invested a lot of my time reading this series, however this is the end of the road for me. I won’t be picking up the next book as I want to spend my time reading something I enjoy. This series is just not for me.




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