Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Shadow of Night

Sometimes, being a librarian is useful. Ok, a lot of the time it is. Specifically, when you have access to great websites like Netgalley. I qualified for receiving an early ebook of Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness, which basically thrilled me because I couldn't wait to read it after reading a Discovery of Witches. A lot happens in this book - it's almost 600 pages long and includes visits with Royalty, Scholars, Witches, Vampires, Daemons (but not a Werewolf. The Werewolf is a lie) (Werewolf? There wolf. There castle) (Sorry).

I'm gonna throw this out there, and I realize it will be a little contentious. I think this is more a series for grown ups. Not because there's all sex, all the time like Laurel K, but because this really is an intense historical book. I am completely willing to acknowledge I am a huge history nerd - I did my undergraduate in History, specifically Fin de Seicle France (guys, they had museums, where they would dress dead bodies found in the river up and make up stories about dramatic royal fiascos) (and there was a whole problem with women throwing acid in men's faces. It was a big problem.) and I generally like anything remotely having to do with history. So a book that takes place in the past, when Kit Marlowe and Shakespeare were alive? Yes. Please.

... Anyways... I do kind of wonder if people who aren't into history as much as I am will find all of the details a little overwhelming. That being said, I think a large part of why I like Harkness and this series is because what she writes about is what I studied, and when I read her I can't help but feel her writing of the past is reflective of the History profs I loved most. The ones who make history come alive, turn it into something more real then primary sources can make it. The story behind the document if you will. I'm digressing. I do that sometimes. (Also, I totally see this in Diana, so I empathize with her. History is written by the winners guys - seeing it first hand would be... interesting at the very least).

I did find this book did somehow ... drag(?) a bit more than A Discovery of Witches. I hesitate to say drag, because I really did enjoy it - I didn't feel like there were unnecessary parts of the book, and I didn't want to skip through sections to just finish it. Maybe it's I still stand by my earlier I should hate this book but I don't review of the first of the trilogy. I almost want to say this trilogy is a grown up Twilight, but I've never actually read Twilight (really. I haven't. I know, it's a little awkward) and Harkness is a thousand times a better writer then Meyer (ok, that's contentious to say when I haven't read the books. But I can make that statement. My blog.). It wasn't an "easy" read, and by "easy" I mean I didn't plow through it in a night, which I have been known to do.

Pick it up in July. Or now, if you're a librarian and can. But if you can't pick it up in July - I'll be grabbing a "real" copy of it when it's released!

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