As this is the sequel to A Discovery of Witches, I’m not gonna rehash the plot. Partly because it’s a sequel, but mostly because there isn’t much of one.
As I mentioned on twitter, I loved this book…even if I consider it mostly irrelevant. Which is a weird way to feel about a book, I know, but Harkness can really bring the past to life.
As far as setting and characters go, this book kicks some serious ass. I loved reading about everyone (both new and returning characters), and I especially loved reading about them as they gallivanted around Elizabethan London, and France, and Prague. It was fun getting to know most of the secondary characters (even if a certain someone with the initials C. (“K.”) M. was a complete and total dick), and getting Harkness’s spin on a good many real-life historical characters (well, not that they’re real now…but they were real then). Philippe and Gallowglass were special favorites. And Queen Elizabeth, although I wouldn’t want to be BFFs and hang with her.
But. In terms of plot progression? Not a whole lot was happening here, people. In fact, almost nothing of any significance happens, other than some witch training (that took ages to get to) and the finding of a certain book. So while it was entertaining as hell, and interesting to boot, it was also a bit of a head-scratcher. Diana and Matthew spend seven freakin’ months in the past, and they spend most of those seven months socializing. And getting dressed to go socializing. Seriously. Ruffs got some major print time.
Also (you know I’m not happy when I toss out the Also.). Not that I wish to dwell on the unpleasantness of 16th century life, but you can’t live 500 pages of life in the past and NOT mention the inconvenience of life without modern plumbing. You can’t tell me Diana didn’t find it hard to adjust to a sudden lack of toilets and hot showers. Because if I landed in the past, as fascinating as I would find it, you can damn well bet that I’d be bitching my head off about the lack of a toilet and hot shower.