Shadow of Night, Deborah Harknesss, The All Souls Trilogy


Back Cover Blurb:


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.


Well, I’ve finished this series and I will give a review on the second book of the All Soul’s Trilogy now, with the third book review after.

Without a doubt, this is a better written, more intriguing book compared to the first. The research done to make setting and characters genuine in this 2nd installment, is obvious throughout the entire book. I give kudos to Ms. Harkness in bringing classic characters to life. I found her insight to their personalities wonderful and believable.

Her main character’s arc is developing nicely as this part of the trilogy progresses. She is easier to relate to and believable. Her constant inner struggles are a bit annoying but I understand their purpose to the story-line.  This protagonist is becoming a very interesting segment to the trilogy as you continue to see her development from a weak, self-doubting girl, into a strong, defiant and self-surviving woman.  I enjoy the character of Philippe very much too, and in fact, all the supporting secondary characters are brilliantly portrayed except for one–Matthew. Ugh! He’s still annoying, bossy and boorish.  His arrogance is suffocating. I found myself skipping sections where he was the main focus, only to become annoyed with myself and go back to read them.

The elements of surprise were laced among all the flowing structures of the plot. You learn a lot about both vampires and witches, but not so much about daemons. (spoiler) The sudden reappearance of “daddy” was shocking but if you think about it, his being in the past makes sense if he’s a time walker too. I suppose you can get all caught up in the past affecting the present and the ability of those to manipulate time if you let it, but Harkness did a very good job in keeping things relatively simple and focused.

A couple things I wondered about though. If (spoiler) Diana could go back to the past, as could her father, then why didn’t they do so to rescue Philippe. I know Harkness laid out her story in the way she did to show Philippe’s insight of the future and how he planned for it, but, frankly I think having him walk through the door at the end of the trilogy would have been far more entertaining (if not more unbelievable) than having his ghost finally appear.  If there was a reason why she couldn’t do this, then I would have welcomed reading it and thus, dousing my curiosity. Since I didn’t write the story, and Harkness is a bestseller, I guess it’s a good thing she wrote it the way she did. 🙂 Anyway, I enjoyed learning about witches, covens and historical events. I love Corra! I just wish we got to see more of her.

I was greatly entertained and definitely was excited to begin the third and final book of the series.

I give this book:




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