Shadow of Night
Vampires, witches, and daemons once again unite and wage war in this second of Deborah Harkness’ All Souls trilogy. Beginning in A Discovery of Witches, Matthew Roydon (de Claremont or Clarimont in the 21st century) and Diana Bishop both seek a magical text, Ashmole 782, which will hopefully reveal the magic of life and death.
Now they time-travel to England in the year 1591. There Diana first meets the characters in the School of Night: “The Great Playwright Christopher Marlowe (Kit). George Chapman, poet and scholar. Mathematician and astronomer, Thomas Harriot.” Sir Walter Raleigh, adventurer and writer, as well as Matthew complete the list of notorious members. All are not as we contemporary readers known them; some are human and some magical creatures. The tale takes off to a riveting style from this point as Matthew’s father, Phillippe, tests Diana’s mettle on whether she can live with the “blood rage” coursing through Matthew’s being. Their real wedding follows, with Phillippe making Diana his adopted daughter in a grotesque ritual that is amazing and which will serve to protect her innumerable times in future days. Husband and wife continue their quest for the book in Prague, where Rudolph, King of Bavaria, lusts after Diana; where the book is found and its stunning secrets are partially revealed; where Diana continues to learn more about her skills and spells; and so much more.
Although there are more allusions than depth to the historical figures, the history of vampires and witches is given more focus herein. Words could not possibly briefly summarize the central and minor conflicts weaving their way through the mysteries replete in these mesmerizing pages. A page-turner for sure, and amazingly crafted!