I came to Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness by my usual path. A year ago, I bought a book that caught my magpie eye at the local Barnes and Noble, A Discovery of Witches, also by Deborah Harkness.
It was a near thing.
I noticed the author photo was of a pleasing-seeming woman of a certain age.
I noticed that the book is the author’s first work of fiction and the first of a promised All Souls trilogy.
So far, good and better.
I noticed my personal associations with other authors of the genre as I imagined it and almost put the book down.
Historical fiction usually does not interest me.
However, I do like reading about witches, and vampires, and I did like the fact that books and libraries figure strongly in the story. I find it hard to pass up books about bookshops and libraries, and manuscripts.
So I bit.
Glad that I did.
- … a professor who spends a lot of her time with rare manuscripts …
- … with a scientist with an odd interest in genetics.
She is a witch. He is a vampire. They come together like oil and water. In this world, vampires can be Christian, witches can be clueless about their spells and gifts, and daemons exist to keep everyone in an uproar worthy of any penny-ante Borderline Personality type. The two books in the trilogy that are currently available have 600-plus pages apiece of pleasure for anyone who follows such matters.
Witch and vampire unite in every imaginable way, to save the world as they know it and all the creatures together. Plus us warmbloods.
I recommend starting from the top, with the first title. I do this as often as feasible (I seek first edition hardcovers with dust jacket intact, if I can afford the result. You may not be as picky. Important thing is to read and enjoy.)
Next (from my magpie eye): Books about books, bookstores, typography, and the plural of codex (gotta Google that) – comparing and contrasting Deborah Harkness, Robin Sloan, and Carlos Ruiz Zafon.
A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night, by Deborah Harkness, are available on Amazon. The first book in the series is available for Kindle and as a hardcover or paperback. The second book, newly released, is available for Kindle and as a hardcover.
(Note: I do not embed any link to an associate account when I link to books on Amazon or anywhere else.)