Author: Deborah Harkness
Date of Publication: July 10, 2012
Formats Available: Hardcover, Paperback, E-Book
Synopsis: In order to protect themselves Diana and Matthew find themselves plunged into Elizabethan London, hoping to get a better understanding of Diana's powers and discover more of the secrets of Ashmole 782. Surrounded by Matthew's old friends, the mysterious School of Night, Diana begins to learn things about Matthew and his past that she never could have imagined as he begins to transform into a different person before her eyes. With the help of several witches as well as someone she never would have expected, Diana begins to master her magic and is able to strengthen the relationship between her and Matthew. As she struggles to form a spell that will take them home the time she discovers more about herself and the great power she possesses.
I absolutely loved A Discovery of Witches, as soon as I had finished I eagerly anticipated Shadow of Night. Unfortunately as with most middle trilogy books I found myself disappointed in this novel. Definitely not living up to the first, I became more and more frustrated with the lack of action and the boring, but essential, plot.
What annoyed me most about this novel was that the entire plot was talking. The story line centered on Diana and Matthew traveling around 16th century Europe talking to people as Diana learned to control her magic. With little to no action I found myself getting bored with the constant talking. I realize the plot was essential for the trilogy to move forward, but reading 500 pages of talking with no action becomes a little irritating after a while.
I still love Diana and Matthew, their relationship and ability to work as a team makes me love to read about them. I absolutely adore both of their characters and their complete devotion to each other always makes me smile. This book was huge on character interaction and Diana and Matthew went through everything from fighting to working together, strengthening their relationship and making them and even more impressive couple.
One of the most interesting parts of this novel was definitely Diana's magical training. She really started to accept her nature and become a true witch. Something that will she will undoubtedly need in following novels. Even though it always felt that the author cut off every time something exciting happened the novel did have its exciting moments, though they were few and far between.
Despite my dismay with this novel in the trilogy I'm still excited for the next novel to come out. Now that most of the taking and Diana's magical training has been taken care of the next novel is free to focus on the impending conflict between the Congregation, Peter Knox, and Matthew and Diana.
While Shadow of Night definitely wasn't my favorite book fans of A Discovery of Witches will find this novel crucial in the series as it sets up for the final conflict in the next novel. While not the best it gets the job done, hopefully the next one will have the same action and excitement that the first one had!