What a disappointment!
Series: All Soul's Trilogy
Author: Deborah Harkness
Publisher: Headline, UK
My ratings: 2 out of 5 stars
Released: 1st Febuaray, 2013
After enjoying reading the surprisingly good A Discovery of Witches, I was quite looking forward to reading Shadows of Night. A Discovery of Witches had an ending which demanded the reader grab the next book from the shelf and find a corner to continue the slow but intriguing journey of Diana Bishop, a witch of extra ordinary talent and her centuries old vampire husband.
A Discovery of Witches end with Diana and Mathew making a jump into the past to retrieve Ashmole782 and this is where all the trouble begins. I always had trouble coming to terms with the complexities of time travel and I am afraid that was one of the many shortfall of Shadow of Night. All the pillars on which A Discovery of Witches stood crumbles one after the other. First of all, the real Mathew is already in the sixteenth century and yet this Mathew is marauding about and when they finally leave, how will they ever be able to hide that there was another Mathew in London? Gallowglass knew the new Mathew in the sixteenth century and the he knew what was to come in the future.
On one hand they took pains to hide their marriage and then go on flaunting it in public. Then there is a host of characters which apart from adding to the already increased number of characters don't have much role to play in the plot line.
Furthermore while the amount of detail put into the world building was admirable and commendable, it felt cumbersome to me. It was rich in detail, so much so that it transported the reader into Elizabethan London but all that 'noise' was simply too much for me. It distracted from the story line and made the book unnecessarily long.
Overall, I did not enjoy Shadow Of Night due to the long narrative and conflicting inconsistencies which made progress really difficult for me. The 640 page mammoth took me 3 months to complete. Shadow of Night will be appreciated by reader who like their fantasy fiction extremely detailed and long winder but unfortunately, it was not to my tastes.