Tag Archives: all souls trilogy

Review: Shadow of Night

Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy #2) by Deborah Harkness

My Rating: 4.5/5 stars



Wow, I really don’t know what to say about this book.  Not because I don’t have anything to say but more because I just don’t know where to start and if / when I start, I probably wouldn’t be able to stop!  And then, I would have to placed a red blinking *spoiler* signs all over the post!  In saying that, I’d have to note there are minor spoilers (for the first book) below so if you haven’t read the first book, please do read my review for A Discovery of Witches intead.

Remember the ending of the first book ended with Diana & Matthew lifting their feet to take a step?  This book started right after they put their feet down.  There is no time lapsed in between which is so good as it means we’re not missing anything.  We’re with them each step of the way.

I know I’ve said this about the first book in my review the other week but this book is also just as absorbing as the first book. It draws you completely into the story – it’s one of those books that when you are reading it, you are completely in that world and have absolutely no idea what’s going on around you.  I don’t mean just literally ‘reading’ it, I meant from the time you start and in the in betweens where you’d have to put it down just to do that necessity of life like going to the WC, you’d be haunted (ie. you’re totally out of this world type of feeling). I just couldn’t stop thinking about it.

It’s a pretty hefty book so it’s really unlikely that you’d read it in a single sitting or even in a day.  There were parts that I’d re-read just cuz I like it so much…

“Vampires reckon time differently than warmbloods do,” he said, still unwilling to release me.

“How long is a vampire minute, then?” I asked, snuggling under his chin.

“It’s hard to say,” Matthew murmured.  “Some length of time between an ordinary minute and forever.”

The funny thing is I prefer the ‘romance’ in the first book.  I just like reading that beginning bit where everybody is unsure and discovering of one’s feelings etc.  Nevertheless, the relationship between Diana & Matthew are still in its early stages and therefore, there were many things they learnt about each other in this book – a bit more steamy, of course 😉 but it’s lovely to read that Matthew being the overprotective alpha vampire and Diana, an independent intelligent modern woman are working things out to find the balance for a healthy relationship.

The pace of the book is actually quite slow.  I felt that it was even slower than the first book but maybe that’s because I wanted more action!  There were some but I wanted MORE! –I’m hoping that the third book will grant my wish 😉 Noting the time period this book is set in though, it’s really not surprising and again, due to the time period and Matthew being who he is, Harkness has this wide ranging possibilities to include in her stories and oh, did she use them!

Deborah Harkness has definitely surpassed herself in the complex weaving of this story.  The story moved in such a way that everytime I felt lulled, when I felt the story is just “settling down”, another element is being introduced.  I felt the rug under feet kept being pulled from under me all the time, I think my bottom must be a bit bruised.  Okay, so not each element was that dramatic but some of them were so subtle that a page or 2 later, you realised that she’s just added another dimension to the story!  This is a most admirable characteristic of this book.  I’m totally head over heels in love with it.

This series is definitely high on my recommended list so if you haven’t read it yet, DO!  I really can’t recommend it enough 🙂

And just for the fun of it…

“Sex and dominance.  It’s what modern humans think vampire relationships are all about,” I said.  “Their stories are full of crazed alpha-male vampires throwing women over their shoulders before dragging them off for dinner and a date.”

“Dinner and a date?” Matthew was aghast.  “Do you mean…?”

“Uh-huh.  You should see what Sarah’s friends in the Madison coven read.  Vampire meets girl, vampire bites girl, girl is shocked to find out there really are vampires.  The sex, blood, and overprotective behavior all come quickly thereafter.  Some of it is pretty explicit.” I paused.  “There’s no time for bundling, that’s for sure.  I don’t remember much poetry or dancing either.”

Matthew swore.  “No wonder your aunt wanted to know if I was hungry.”

Thank you Viking and NetGalley for the opportunity to view and review. 

Review: A Discovery of Witches

A Discovery of Witches
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book Blurb: (Taken from Goodreads)

A richly inventive novel about a centuries-old vampire, a spellbound witch, and the mysterious manuscript that draws them together.
Deep in the stacks of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.
Debut novelist Deborah Harkness has crafted a mesmerizing and addictive read, equal parts history and magic, romance and suspense. Diana is a bold heroine who meets her equal in vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont, and gradually warms up to him as their alliance deepens into an intimacy that violates age-old taboos. This smart, sophisticated story harks back to the novels of Anne Rice, but it is as contemporary and sensual as the Twilight series-with an extra serving of historical realism.

My Blurb:

Diana Bishop is running away from magic. Or at least, she thinks she is. Magic though will not be letting her go anytime soon. Without knowing it, she called a most coveted book in magical history and now, she is being sucked in to the world of magic, whether she wants to or not.

Many creatures are drawn to Diana now and the first one to show himself was Matthew Clairmont, a vampire. He wants the book but he finds himself protecting Diana. Diana, on the other hand, is the modern female and insisted that she can take care of herself until one day, she realised that to survive she needed an ally… a protector…

Diana lives in a world full of creatures that are segregated to their own kind and regulated by a covenant that is being enforced by the Congregation. What would they think of a witch & vampire combo? What is more important to them, the book or to keep this segregation of creatures?

This is one of those books that grabbed me right from the beginning, completely absorbed me into its one and only world, and did not let go til the end. Hell, not even at the end cuz that’s how much I love it!

All right, I have to admit that for some people it might be kinda slow but I actually enjoyed this slow wordiness (did you notice that it’s a bit thicker than the average sized book?). I felt that I was savoring the book real slow too – like one of those slow motion part in the movie and I never wanted it to end. End it had to, of course, but I’m glad the next instalment is nearly here! I’m actually kinda glad I didn’t read this book last year, even though I got it last year, cuz it feels great to be able to jump into the next book almost straight away!

It was just soooo rich in its descriptions of everything. All your senses are practically invaded especially when it comes to smell! From the smell of things to food to wine to other beings, I found this to be really lovely and very atmospheric. I was able to just drown in this world which became my world for a few days 

The smell of the library always lifted my spirits – that peculiar combinations of old stone, dust, woodworm and paper made properly from rags. Sun streamed through the windows on the staircase landings, illuminating the dust motes flying through the air and shining bars of light on the ancient walls. There the sun highlighted the curling announcements for last term’s lecture series. New posters had yet to go up, but it would only be a matter of days before the floodgates opened and a wave of undergraduates arrived to disrupt the city’s tranquillity.

The romance was… slow but oh, so very…sweet! This might not appeal for some of you but I really really loved it. I love the suspense and the wait for the first **swoon** moment and the next and so on. It was seriously romantic!
My first swoon moment:

“You’re welcome.” He tucked my impossible piece of hair back behind my ear, fingers lingering on my cheek. “Come to dinner tomorrow,” he said softly. “My turn to cook. Can I pick you up here at half past seven?”
My heart leaped. Say no, I told myself sternly in spite of its sudden jump.
“I’d love to,” came out instead.
The vampire pressed his cold lips first to one cheek, then the other. “Ma vaillante fille,” he whispered into my ear. The dizzying, alluring smell of him filled my nose.

Right now, though, I’m totally conflicted! I mean:

The gorgeous blond blue-eyed Viking, Eric Northman – Hubba Hubba!

description OR description

The handsome dark French Knight, Matthew Clairmont – **Swoon**!

What say you?

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