Diana’s and Clairmont’s adventures continue in Shadow of Night, as we follow them to 1590s England and learn the origins of the divisions between supernatural creatures.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
[Some Spoilers; For Mature Audiences]
The story of Diana and Matthew continues in Shadow of Night and remains a fascinating and compelling one! It’s amazing to see their relationship develop and strengthen. The secondary characters and stories are awesome, and furthermore, the backdrop of 1590 Elizabethan England is amazing to behold. This is an epic sequel to A Discovery of Witches, with tons of action and intrigue, lots of answers and eye-openers, but I have SO many more questions now. Deb Harkness is a dynamo, and this book with ALWAYS be a MUSTREAD.
In Shadow of Night, Clairmont and Diana travel to Elizabethan England in order to provide her with an opportunity to learn from the witches of that day and hone her skills.
I love seeing Diana in Elizabethan England. How interesting that it’s in the past where she learns to fully become herself. Watching Diana learn about being a weaver, about Matthew’s past, and seeing her interact with various historical figures is incredible. (For example, Diana being wooed by the Holy Roman Emperor?! O.o INSANITY!)
And then there’s darling Matthew…I think Diana says it best when she characterizes him as Scientist, Vampire, Warrior, Spy, and Prince. Matthew is like a triple, quadruple agent of some sort…it’s incredible. With that said, it’s, again, interesting how Matthew learns to forgive himself and move on from his past mistakes while IN the past. This is particularly true of his punishing himself for the deaths of his first wife and son (Blanca and Lucas) and his guilt and feeling unworthy. This is also true in Matthew’s relationship with his vampire father, Philippe.
And as always, the all consuming way Matthew loves Diana slays me…It’s almost desperate!
“Philippe told me that mating was destiny. Once I found you, there would be nothing to do but accept fate’s decision. But that’s not how it works at all. In every moment, for the rest if my life, I will be choosing you–over my father, over my own self-interest, even over the de Clermont family.”
“Once I lose myself inside you, there will be no other lovers and no separations. You need to be sure I’d being wedding to a vampire is what you really want.”
HAVE. MERCY. And actually, chapter 12. particularly pages 189 – 192 are EPIC in terms of sexy times:
“Looking deep into each other’s eyes, we exchanged our final vows with flesh and spirit until we were as soft and trembling as newborns.”–*DIES*
Going back to Philippe, he is one of my most favorite characters, which, in the end, comes as a surprise. I mean, he’s hilarious! In particular, Philippe and Matthew’s relationship is something to behold… it’s so explosive! And it’s like Philippe knows that when Matthew and Diana go back to the present/future they will have a battle on their hands. So he’s trying to prepare them for the fight.
Philippe tries to rid Matthew of his guilt: “Te absolvo Matthaios.”–*CRIES*
I love how he encourages Matthew to be with Diana, enfolding her into the family:
“You have found a woman who is worthy of you, with courage and hope to spare, Matthaios… Know this too: you are equally worthy of her. Stop regretting your life. Start living it.”
Annnnnnnd this is where I fell in love with Philippe! This emerges as a wonderful relationship between Philippe and Diana: “With this mark you are reborn, my blood-sworn daughter and forever a member of my family.”
And then there’s one of my favorite Philippe mantras: “Think and stay alive.”–I plan to incorporate this into my daily life!
We’re introduced to a group of secondary characters that are pretty intriguing. Christopher Marlow AKA Kit is a mess. I want to feel bad for him because I know how unrequited love feels… but Kit goes too far! On the other hand, Henry Percy is a great friend and my LOVE for Gallowglass knows no bounds!!!!! (especially when he calls Diana Auntie *giggles*)
We also get a chance to meet someone important to Diana… her father!
Finally, the more we learn about Ashmole 782, the more questions I have…this book…THIS BOOK!
In particular, we come to learn that the reason intermarriage of supernatural creatures has been banned is tied to the children that will be produced. Diana and Clairmont are going to find out something about that…
I enjoy the ending of the book, especially with Shakespeare. It’s so interesting how we already see history adjusting itself: Annie and her Aunt have the chess piece which will be passed down in their family until Diana needs it…same with Diana meeting Rebecca Bishop in the street and giving her Ysabeau’s earring.
BUT WHAT DO WE DO NOW???
For me, everything boils down to this: why is the Congregation so desperate to prevent intermarriage of the species? And why is Ashmole 782 the key to epic change/possible destruction?
I’m incredibly desperate to read the third book. As you can tell, I have tons of questions, but that’s what makes this book one of my favorites. It makes me think and reason and speculate and puzzle…it’s the very best gift I could ask for from an author.