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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

The last book of this trilogy, The Book of Life, was published about a month ago but because I read Shadow of Night so long ago I had a hard time getting into the last book. This series is all about the details, and since there's so many and I didn't want to be confused with The Book of Life, I decided to reread the second book, in order to refresh my memory. Surprisingly, I never posted a review on the blog so this is the perfect opportunity to tell you to read it, because it's full of magic, intrigue, history and amazing stuff. I absolutely love this series so I really hope the last book doesn't disappoint. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

This second book of the trilogy starts off exactly where book one ended, and I mean the exact moment. At the end of book one, the two main characters Diana and Matthew decided to travel back in time for multiple reasons, and that's where Shadow of Night begins. Diana and Matthew are seeking shelter in 1590 since they're being hunted in present day because of of their relationship. Diana being a witch and Matthew a vampire, their romantic relationship is a big faux pas and other creatures are trying their best to prevent them from being together. Other witches also have attacked Diana because of another unclear reason so traveling to the past is a great way of hiding out, according to Matthew who has already lived in the 16th century. However, more trouble arises in the past, such as human suspicion of magical creatures, witch trials and political deceit.

Another reason for travelling back in time is for Diana to find a suitable teacher to learn how to control her magical powers. As a strong and powerful untrained witch, she's seen as a danger, and taking control of her magic is high on her to do list. However, the witch trials of the period prevent witches from openly advertising who they are, which makes it way more difficult than expected for Diana to find someone to help her. Finding the right witch to help her takes a long time and that's one of the things I like less about the book because it takes such a long time to get to that point. I can't really complain because it's definitely worth the wait but I wish there would have been more magic in the first couple hundred pages.

There is a lot of information in this book, which definitely shows in its length but I wouldn't go without all the small details. It's obvious the author is an historian because all the little historical fact embedded in the book, which makes the story come to life. I'm not a historian myself so I take it for granted that the historical details are accurate, but even if they aren't, it sure feels truthful. I admire the author for including so many small details because even if she is an historian, it must have taken a lot of research and fact checking to complete the novel. Especially since she included known historical figures like Queen Elizabeth I, Christopher Marlow, Walter Raleigh, William Shakespeare and Henry Percy to name a few. Including these famous people makes it that much more believable because we know they lived in that time period, and they're manifestation makes the past feel attainable.

Every time I read a love story between a vampire and a witch or a human, I feel like the relationship is doomed from the start because the vampire will certainly outlived the "warmblood." However, in this case, because we travel back in time with Diana and Matthew, their relationship feels timeless and unforgettable. Their love for each other is obviously present, and sometimes I almost forget I'm reading fiction.

I've enjoyed this second book even more than the first. The story keeps building and we learn something crucial in every chapter. I might be a little bit biased because my guilty pleasure is historical romances and when you add paranormal elements to the mix, you get a wonderful surprise. I'm not joking when I say every paranormal reader should check out this series. Obviously you're in for a long read but it's definitely worth it!


Read an excerpt

Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

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  1. I love this trilogy. It is very complex and I had to pay attention more than I normally do when I listened (I did the audiobook, which I loved). It was so great. Book three wraps the whole story up really well. I'm sure you'll love it. Great review.