Book Two in the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness

Shadow of Night - Deborah Harkness

I received a copy of Shadow of Night from the publisher via netgalley in return for an honest review.


Click here for my review of book one.


After finishing the book I read some of the reviews that others posted, I read many complaining about how undetailed the sex scenes were. Is it weird that I actually find this refreshing? This book is a fantasy novel, not erotica, you want detailed sex scenes then you're reading the wrong genre folks! It's nice to pick up a book that leaves something to the imagination rather than overly described and cliche sex scenes written across several pages.


Sure, Diana despite her education makes the odd silly comment, as she was guilty of in the first book, but who cares! I don't understand those who pick a book apart to point out every little detail that's not historically correct, or point out every dumb statement, perhaps they get more enjoyment from the process of picking a book apart than reading itself. Personally I find as long as it works within the tale that's being told and in the end makes for an enjoyable read, then I can ignore the odd cliche or stupid statement made, it's not the end of the world, authors are human too.


So now that I got that little rant out my system... I was itching to know what happened to Diana and Matthew after the cliffhanger at the end of book one and was keen to get my hands on this one as soon as possible. Like the first book, I found the start of this one slow, but again like in the first book, we are introduced to a whole set of new characters and a new environment and era, so there was a lot of stage setting.


For starters there was a lot more witchcraft, magic and spellcasting in this book, which was great. The descriptions of daily life and scenes of Elizabethan England were really well detailed, I could easily picture how different it was to live in that time period. The fashion however sounded rather uncomfortable, thank god we don't have to wear that get up now lol.


The amount of characters in Matthews group and some of the dialogue between them was however a bit much. I feel like it would have been a lot easier to follow had there been less characters in the group. A lot of the dialogue between these characters really didn't relate to the story itself and I think the book would have been better without them. I really enjoyed the section with Phillipe, he was quite a character and it's a shame that he's not a part of the story still to come.


I'm looking forwards to book three to find out the next part of Diana and Matthews journey.