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Shadow of Night: A Novel Audiobook, by Deborah Harkness Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Deborah Harkness Narrator: Jennifer Ikeda Publisher: Penguin Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Series: The All Souls Trilogy Release Date: July 2012 ISBN: 9781101564202
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Deborah Harkness is a history scholar who took it upon herself to write a book of popular fiction. The result was the first book in the All Souls trilogy, A Discovery of Witches. The heroine, Diana Bishop, is an academic like the author but comes from a family of witches, a heritage that she tries to deny. However, when she discovers an ancient manuscript in Oxford's Bodleian library, she is besieged by witches, vampires and daemons. The alchemical manuscript, Ashmole 782, which has been hidden for so long, might explain many things in the past and the future and everyone wants to get their hands on it, including vampire Matthew Clairmont with whom Diana ends up having a forbidden romance.

In book two of the series, Shadow of Night, Harkness once again thrills us with her knowledge of the past. She takes the two main characters back to Elizabethan times where they meet many important personages including playwright Christopher Marlowe and the queen's right hand man, Sir Walter Raleigh. Eventually, they even bump into Shakespeare who is depicted as a scrounger running after Marlowe looking for ideas to write about.

By going back into the past, Diana seeks to find someone who will help her control and use her powers as a witch. She and Matthew are also looking for the complete manuscript of Ashmole 782 in hopes that it may explain why vampires have become a dying species. But before they set about on their quest, they must first get used to being thrust into a different century. Diana can't help noting the difference between her and other women at the time. She speaks with an out of place American accent and is thinner than women in the late 16th century. With Matthew, the problem arises because, being a vampire, he has lived through this time period at a younger age and is constantly tempted to change the things he has done without altering the course of history altogether. Finally, Diana discovers what differentiates her from other witches—the fact that she can create spells instead of just casting them. Diana and Matthew also travel to the Holy Roman Emperor's court in Prague where Ashmole 782 is hidden.

Harkness has done a great job mixing the supernatural element with historical facts and it's amusing to see her take on historically great people. Although her books have been compared to the Twilight series and the Harry Potter books, Harkness says that she was not influenced by any of these. Instead, her depictions of the supernatural owe a great deal to Anne Rice whose fiction she devoured in the 80's.

Deborah Harkness grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia but went on to live in various parts of the U.S., finally settling in southern California. She also spent time abroad, in Oxford and London, which gave her the background she needed for the setting of her novels. She studied history at Mount Holyoke, Northwestern University and the University of California at Davis. She now teaches European History and the History of Science at the University of Southern California. She is also a wine connoisseur whose blog, Good Wine Under $20, has been favorably reviewed by and various wine and food magazines. Additionally her novels have both made it onto the New York Times bestseller list.

Download Shadow of Night from The Audio Bookstore for the perfect blend of historical accuracy and fantasy. This an audio book that has something for everyone—the history aficionado, the romantic, the fantasy geek and the adventure seeker.

The #1 New York Times–bestselling sequel to A Discovery of Witches, book two of the All Souls Trilogy—“as enchanting, engrossing, and impossible to put down as its predecessor” (Miami Herald).   Look for the hit TV series “A Discovery of Witches” airing Sundays on AMC and BBC America, and streaming on Sundance Now and Shudder. J. K. Rowling, Stephenie Meyer, Anne Rice—only a few writers capture the imagination the way that Deborah Harkness has with her New York Times–bestselling All Souls trilogy. A Discovery of Witches introduces reluctant witch Diana Bishop, vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont, and the battle for a lost, enchanted manuscript known as Ashmole 782. Picking up from A Discovery of Witches’ cliffhanger ending, Shadow of Night takes Diana and Matthew on a trip through time to Elizabethan London, where they are plunged into a world of spies, magic, and a coterie of Matthew’s old friends, the School of Night. As the search for Ashmole 782 deepens and Diana seeks out a witch to tutor her in magic, the net of Matthew’s past tightens around them, and they embark on a very different—and vastly more dangerous—journey. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “Deborah Harkness takes us places we’ve never been before… Shadow of Night isn't just about wonderfully detailed descriptions of England in 1591, it's about being there. Readers time-travel as precisely and precariously as Diana and Matthew do…Shadow ends as Discovery did with promises of more to come. Lucky for us.”

    USA Today

  • “The joy that Harkness, herself a historian, takes in visiting the past is evident on every page…A great spell, the one that can enchant a reader and make a six-hundred-page book fly through her fingertips, is cast…Its enduring rewards are plenty.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “Fans of Harkness’s 2011 debut A Discovery of Witches will be delighted…Harkness delivers enough romance and excitement to keep the pages turning. Readers will devour it.”


  • “Harkness exudes her own style of magic in making the world of late 16th century England come alive…Enchanting, engrossing and as impossible to put down as its predecessor, Shadow of Night is a perfect blend of fantasy, history and romance. Its single greatest flaw is, after almost six hundred pages, it’s over. If you’ve already read and enjoyed A Discovery of Witches, picking up Shadow of Night is an absolute requirement. Otherwise, pick up both, and consider your summer reading list complete.”

    Miami Herald

  • “Picking up where she left off in last year’s A Discovery of Witches, Harkness proves she’s not suffering from a sophomore slump with this addictive tale of magic, mayhem and two lovers.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “Rich, period fun, particularly delightful in its witty characterization of historical immortals…Shadow ramps up the supernatural suspense.”

    New York Daily News

  • “This novel is as much a love story about a bygone era as it is about Matthew and Diana. It overflows with a colorful cast of characters, many of whom Harkness has plucked straight from the history books, and Harkness renders the late 1500s in exquisite detail… The writing is so rich, the characters so compelling…and best of all, Harkness manages to execute with aplomb the act of answering old questions while posing new ones that will intensify anticipation for the final installment. Readers who have been counting down the days, take heart: The wait was most assuredly worth it.”


  • A New York Times bestseller
  • Selected for the July 2012 Indie Next List
  • A USA Today bestseller
  • Amazon Best Book of the Month, July 2012
  • A 2012 Barnes & Noble Best Book for Fiction

Listener Reviews

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  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Keri | 2/16/2014

    " Again Deborah Harkness with the amazing! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Duncan | 2/7/2014

    " The sequel is even better than the first book. Loved it and can't wait for the third book this fall. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lorie | 1/23/2014

    " Can't wait until she writes the third book in the series! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joan | 1/21/2014

    " This is an adult series, but in a sense it is Twilight at Hogwarts. I was eager to read it since the the first installment was suspenseful and entertaining. This one is less so, but I still read it as quickly as I could. The characters and the situations are so thoroughly drawn that I was completely taken in. I cared about what was happening, and that is important because this is a long book. The author uses her expertise to add in historical, geographic, and even scientific knowledge. It is interesting detail, but requires the reader to do quite a bit of work to get into the story and keep up with it. That's why I gave 4 rather than 5 stars. I'm an avid reader, and this was work! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heather | 1/20/2014

    " It could only have been better if I could read the third book NOW! :) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mindy | 1/12/2014

    " I've just finished reading it, and already I miss reading it. I can't wait for the third book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cassondra | 1/7/2014

    " The second book in the All Souls trilogy was hard to get into. Wait until 120 pages in or so for anything exciting to start happening. Overall, good book. Can't wait for the release of the last book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ruth | 12/21/2013

    " Cannot put these books down. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Victoria | 12/11/2013

    " I adored this book as much as the first in the series. Harkness kept the pace moving along while managing to infuse every scene with luscious details of the setting. Absolutely captivating. The only bad part? Now I have to wait until the final book in the series is published. Meh. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elizabeth | 12/2/2013

    " Middle book in the All Souls Trilogy. Another great read. They travel back in time and a good deal of the book is spent in Queen Elizabeth's England which is really fun and interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ynez | 11/2/2013

    " i enjoyed reading it. Love the mix of history & magic . cant wait for the 3rd book . "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Muriel | 8/22/2013

    " Love this series. Waiting for the third and final book to come up. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Suzy | 6/18/2013

    " I like the way Deborah Harkness writes, I just have a hard time with a book this big and the time traveling back and forth. She expects us to remember a character added on page 120 who doesn't show back up until page 650. Sorry I am not that good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lia | 6/3/2013

    " Almost as good as the first one, which is high praise because I usually think the second in a series is a let-down. Really looking forward to the third! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alexandra | 3/3/2013

    " Loved all the characters in this period piece, although the constant name dropping did get old after a while. Excited to see how this all ends. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Silje | 2/8/2013

    " A good sequel with good backstory and important filling for what comes next, but I'm just hoping for that something extra in the last installment. Will read the next one for sure!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tressa | 1/27/2013

    " Historically it was very interesting. Loved the characters and setting. Wouldn't recommend for those that want a clean read. It wasn't descriptive, but there is violence and some sexual content. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rondi | 1/25/2013

    " Didn't like it as well as the first in the series "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jen | 11/18/2012

    " I'm glad Diana toughened up and finally stopped letting Matthew boss her around. I'm still not sure why but I prefer the historical aspects of this story to the romance. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelly | 10/31/2012

    " I really enjoyed this book. I find historical fiction fascinating and including vampires, witches, and demons in the mix makes for great entertainment! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tammy | 9/28/2012

    " I enjoyed reading more about characters from the first book and meeting new ones. There is a lot of historical people wrapped up in this tale. Can't wait for the next book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Crystal | 9/1/2012

    " Not nearly as good as Discovery of Witches. Long and tedious. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heiderworld | 8/12/2012

    " Great series. Can't wait for the third! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Katy | 7/24/2012

    " Every bit as good as the first! I loved it. "

About the Author

Deborah Harkness is a #1 New York Times bestselling author of Shadow of Night and The Book of Life, among other titles. A history professor at the University of Southern California, she has received Fulbright, Guggenheim, and National Humanities Center fellowships.

About the Narrator

Jennifer Ikeda has been narrating audiobooks since 2002. Among her readings are When My Name Was Keoko by Linda Sue Park; Just Listen by Sarah Dessen; and After the Wreck, I Picked Myself Up, Spread My Wings, and Flew Away by Joyce Carol Oates. She has won six AudioFile Earphones Awards.