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22 June 2013

Shadow of Night (All Souls #2)

Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness is the second book in her All Souls trilogy.

Diana needs a teacher. She has tried to deny that she is a witch for most of her life, but now she needs to learn to use and focus her magic. Her aunts, who are also witches, cannot teach her enough to face what is coming. She needs someone who is like the witches of old.

Matthew would do anything to protect Diana, but he cannot teach her magic. His centuries of knowledge and super-human strength will not be enough. But as a vampire who has lived so long, he can help guide Diana to a place in time that was (relatively) safe for witches and help her find the right teacher.

The 1590s were not the safest time and people are suspicious of outsiders, especially ones who speak so strangely. But Matthew knows that at the time he was not in London, so it should be okay to travel through time and carefully hide in the city while Diana learns to control her magic. However, after more than 400 hundred years, he may have forgotten some of the obligations he had at the time. After all, anyone who sees him will assume he is the 1590s Matthew, not one from the year 2012.

Harkness is a brilliant writer. Though the series has supernatural elements it reads like historical fiction. Her stories will suck you in and hold your attention until well after you finish the book. As a history professor, she is a master of research and it is reflected in her work. Run to a bookstore and buy the first two books now! Then wait impatiently with me for her to finish the third (but also know that they are so good because of the time it takes her to research the layers of history she includes).

Harkness, Deborah. (2012). Shadow of Night. New York: Viking.

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