Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Witch & Witchcraft Reading Challenge: Shadow of Night

“Witches see the truth plainly—even if their husbands are full of nonsense.” 
- Deborah Harkness, Shadow of Night

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD

I read Shadow of Night with a little more enthusiasm than I did for A Discovery of Witches.  Witch Diana Bishop and Vampire Matthew Clairmont were time walking to the court of Elizabeth I and all of Tudor England was open to them.  We were going to see Shakespeare and John Dee and Christopher Marlow.  I could ignore the fact that formerly super-independent Diana was now no better than Bella in Twilight. I mean this part of English history was Deborah Harkness's forte, her area of expertise.

Well...I was not disappointed in the historical bits.  I would have loved more Shakespeare and Dee and much less Marlow to be honest.  Other characters are introduced but never rise above caricature to be honest; Gallowglass, is that your name or your job?   Plus the rules of Time Travel are very weird. Clairmont is in his own body from then, but where is his consciousness?  How can he remember in his own future? Why does Diana have her own body?  To quote Ron Stoppable, "time travel it's a cornucopia of disturbing concepts." 
Of course, they keep looking for Ashmole 782 pages and come no closer to finding it. In truth I can't even recall if they did or not since the ending pissed me off so much.

Here are the spoilers.
Diana and Matthew get back only to discover that the witches that have been pursuing them killed Emily “Em” Mather, Sarah Bishop's (Diana's aunt and foster mothers) partner.  Fucking great. Another dead lesbian.  Killed "off-screen" no less.

Look. This might not be an issue for you, but I made promises to people. So I emailed Harkness's publicist to ask if this is "undone" somehow in the next book, "Book of Life". I was told no.

So do not expect a review for Book of Life here. Like I said, I made promises and stick to them.

You can find Deborah Harkness on the web at http://deborahharkness.com/.

2018 Witch & Witchcraft Reading Challenge

Books Read so far: 4
Level: Initiate
Witches in this book: Dozens, more implied.
Are they Good Witches or Bad Witches: Good for the most part, but some evil.
Best RPG to Emulate it: I get a World of Darkness vibe here, especially the old WoD, Mage: The Sorcerer's Crusade.
Material for WotWQ: The historical setting is so much fun. Too bad the characters in it are not more exciting.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Lesbians should have Plot Armor?

Timothy Brannan said...

No. But I also don't have to read those books. I vote the Chicago way, "With my dollars and often".

Anonymous said...

Which books are "those?"

Matthew Skail said...

Interesting. Perhaps you might know. Are there any series that you know of with bisexual leads? I've only read one (which was pretty good) but only had two books (the first was blood mage or blood magic I think?).

Timothy Brannan said...

@Matthew Nothing that comes to mind right away. The Rachel Morgan series by Kim Harrison has a bisexual vampire, Ivy, who is Rachel's roommate. But that is the first one that comes to mind.

Anonymous said...

Since you won't answer, I'll assume "those books" you refuse to read are ones where lesbians are depicted as mortal human beings instead of the invincible, infallible goddesses you'd prefer.

In your opinion, should this Plot Armor extend to all homosexuals, or just female ones? What about other varieties of LGBTQ? Are they all on the endangered species list, or just the ones you have a fetish for?

Why encourage bad writing? How is it helpful to anyone to treat them like curiosities to be put on a pedestal and gawked at, instead of treating them like, you know, PEOPLE?

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