Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness
The Book is Better!
The second book in the All-Souls Trilogy picks up where the other left off with our heroes traveling back in time. Most of the story takes place around 1590 but the future (or present) is never too far away. What I liked most about this story; it never lets you forget that everything happening in the past was connected to the current or present struggle. I also loved that the magic and the study were present in this one as well since that was my favorite aspect of the first book.
So, we have Diana and Matthew taking on vampire clan relatives, the School of Night and other London societies, witch covens, and even creation. A lot is happening in the story, but not a lot happening for long periods of time. This story seems to focus on the universal theme of relationship drama, which usually boils down to communication issues. Diana with all her magic and Matthew with all his might, the two of them get caught up in a lot of drama that could have been avoided. But that is the story being told and if you love these characters, it all sucks you in.
In this book, I found that many of the side and supporting characters were my favorite parts. I loved the collaboration of like minds despite their faiths. Seeing the cooperation between Pagan, Christian, Jewish, and more was refreshing.
Where the first book teased you with sensuality without leaving you wanting, the second book takes you into the bedroom of a deeply committed couple and holds nothing back. While not suitable for teens and below, this isn’t an explicit romp of ‘how much can the author get away with?’
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this story, but there was still something, not quite tangible, that kept me from loving it. In any case, I must finish this series at some point. Now that I have finished the second book, I can watch season two of the show and see how I feel about it. For now, in my opinion, the books are better than the show.
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