I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher.
Fans of A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES rejoice! Harkness returns with the second book in her ALL SOULS trilogy. I was dubious when I picked up the first book in the series. Don't we have enough books about witches and/or vampires? I was so surprised that Harkness managed to find something new and compelling to say on the subject! In the first book, Harkness sets the stage with witch/scholar Diana discovering a long-missing text in the Bodelian Library. It appears that this text could explain the origins of creatures---witches, vampires and daemons. What followed was a whirlwind race among the various creatures to secure the lost text while Diana began to learn about her own past and the powers contained within. Coupled with a romance with a vampire, A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES promised much more adventure to come.
With SHADOW OF NIGHT, Harkness really delivers.
**SPOILER ALERT for those who have not read the first book**
The first book in the trilogy ended up with Diana and Matthew making the leap into timewalking in an attempt to escape their pursuers and to learn more about the mysterious Ashmole manuscript. SHADOW OF NIGHT picks up right where it left off. We follow Diana and Matthew into Queen Elizabeth I's England where they encounter enough historical figures to fill a history book. I love how Harkness cleverly wove the historical characters into Diana and Matthew's story. It made me feel as if I had time-traveled with Diana and Matthew. The pacing of the story is excellent and the details are wonderful. I especially enjoyed the scenes with Matthew's family. (don't want to give away too much here!!!) I thought this book was really really enjoyable.
**END OF SPOILER**
BOTTOM LINE: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. I loved SHADOW OF NIGHT even more than A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES. The setting and historical figures really made the story. There was so much more to the story whereas the first book was more action driven. I am so looking forward to the final book in the trilogy. It will be hard to wait. This book (and its predecessor) would be great vacation reads for the Summer.