By Deborah Harkness
Viking Adult,$28.95, 580 pages
This is the second book in the All Souls trilogy by Deborah Harkness. In the first one, historian and witch, Diana Bishop, met and fell in love with 1,500-year-old vampire Matthew Clairmont. Their relationship threw the world of vampires and witches into upheaval, forcing them to time travel back to the late 1500s to try and recover an ancient manuscript, as well as find a suitable mentor for Diana and her burgeoning but uncontrolled powers. The mysterious manuscript, known as Ashmole 782, may include the origins of all otherworldly creatures and is violently sought by each faction.
In Shadow of Night, Harkness continues to show a masterful attention to detail, moving from the court of Elizabeth I to that of Emperor Rudolf of Austria and introducing numerous historical characters and details, all without losing the pacing that makes this a difficult (if not impossible) book to put down. In addition, she navigates the increasingly complex love relationship between witch and vampire and its impact on everyone they meet. In the same way that Diana weaves silk threads to create her spells, Harkness weaves a world that ensnares the reader. The only downside to this book is that it ends, and the third installment is not available yet. Once started, you will not want to leave the gripping world of Diana and Matthew.