SON Guide

The Daemon Guide to 'Shadow of Night' 


Presenting “The Daemon Guide to Shadow of Night", Book 2 of the All Souls Trilogy.

This guide assumes you have read ‘A Discovery of Witches’.  If you haven’t, you can go back to our Daemon Guide to ‘A Discovery of Witches’ and pick it up from there.  This guide will be much longer than the last, as there is a ADOW recap, many characters and a substantial amount of subject matter to cover.

1. A Discovery of Witches Recap

Oxford University featuring the Radcliffe Camera
- In ADOW, Diana and Matthew met (because—you know—Ashmole 782) and became rather close, rather fast—through breakfast, yoga, dinner, more yoga, a lab visit and dinner again.  The meetings began with the intention of finding and figuring out Ashmole 782. However, they quickly evolve to being an atmosphere that fosters an odd, somewhat formal (Matthew is old-fashioned), unexpected relationship!  Whoops!  They inevitably caught the attention of the Congregation (Peter Knox), and received an ominous threat via anonymous letter (delivered by Peter’s minion, Gillian). With Matthew's strong recommendation, they fled to the safety of Matthew’s familial home—Sept-Tours—in France.

Deborah Harkness's inspiration for Sept-Tours,
-  Diana meets Ysabeau and Marthe and sees she’s got a lot to learn about vampires! She enjoys the mini-retreat with Matthew under Ysabeau’s scrutiny.  Diana has the luxury of sleeping in, studying a rare manuscript, doing some horseback riding, having dinner with the family and dancing with Matthew!  What’s not to enjoy?

- Matthew and Diana get a visit from Domenico, who brings with him a strong warning from the Congregation.  Marcus calls from Oxford afterwards and tells Matthew that the labs, as well as Diana's rooms have been broken into. Matthew decides he has to protect Diana, and leaves her with Ysabeau at Sept-Tours while he goes back to Oxford to investigate.  Diana believes that Matthew may decide all the trouble their relationship brings to the table may not be worth it.  She fears he may leave her for good.  She has an episode which reveals that she can call witchwater. A lot of it! It isn't pretty.

- Ysabeau, in an attempt to distract and calm Diana after her crazy tsunamic episode, decides to dish out a bunch of dirt on Matthew's past—his human wife, his human son, and how/why she made him a vampire.

- Diana wants to know more.  One evening in his study, she lets curiosity get the best of her.  She goes snooping through Matthew's ledgers only to find out about the secret order he currently heads: The Knights of Lazarus.

-  Diana and Matthew both miss each other terribly and during a phone call in the middle of the night, Matthew finally admits that he's done running from all of the intense feelings, and they mutually decide they are going to do this inter-creature couple thing!  He returns, and after declaring their love for one another, they are considered “mated” by vampire tradition.  Ysabeau realizes this is happening whether she likes it or not and accepts Diana into the family.

-  After a night of bundling bliss, Diana’s captured and tortured by Satu (a Congregation member), then is rescued by Matthew and Baldwin.  This forces the newly minted couple to reevaluate their situation. They decide to seek refuge at Diana’s childhood home (the Bishop house) in Madison NY. 

Madison, NY
Harkness noted that her inspiration for the Bishop house was identical to this one.
- They receive a letter via the Bishop house from her dead parents; it contains a page from Ashmole 782.  The page depicts an Alchemical wedding, and they come to the realization that it actually represents them.  If you’ll remember in our last guide we mentioned the span of 40 days from the beginning to the end of Book 1.  It correlates to an alchemical wedding (40 days is the common number used for such operations). 

- Diana finds out from her Aunt Sarah that she has inherited the power to timewalk from her father and that she did it often as a child.

- They are joined by Miriam and Marcus from Oxford. There was some disturbing findings with Diana’s DNA, and they didn’t want to relay this information over the phone.  Based on their DNA testing, they believe she may have ability to to carry a child by Matthew and speculate that perhaps one of the reasons the Congregation is after them is for her power to do this and + other things.  They also wonder how many more creatures are out there in a similar situation.

-  Matthew and Diana survive an attack by Juliette (sent by Gerbert), and they realize that they are not safe in this current world; they make plans to go back in time—a time and place with which Matthew is familiar.

- Sophie Norman and Nathaniel Wilson (a married couple with different last names) join them at the Bishop house.  They are seeking refuge with Diana at Agatha Wilson's urging.  Sophie is pregnant with a witch—she and Nathaniel are both daemons!  Yes, that could be a problem.

- They are then joined by Hamish (the House is really being tested now!), and they all proceed to hash out of plan of action.  Marcus will take over as Grand Master of the Knights of Lazarus; Hamish will take on a more prominent role to help him.  Nathaniel will join the Knights using his computer skills as a tool to keep tabs on the Congregation. Sarah and Emily will both join Ysabeau in France, utilizing Sept-Tours as shelter.  A leave of absence for Diana is drawn up, as well as a will.  It is at this time that we find out that Matthew had granted Diana 1/3 of his estate while he was away in Oxford.

- On the eve of the timewalk—Halloween—Matthew and Diana exchange vows to each other.  Matthew presents Diana with Ysabeau’s ring (a gift from Philippe de Clermont) as a pledge to Diana. They leave the A782 page with the Bishop house along with a note of assurance to Sarah.

Back in time they go!  That brings us to Book 2!  SON picks up right where ADOW left off—after the timewalk, where they land in a “heap of witch and vampire” into the past.

^ Please note, that this recap is just skimming the surface.  There is so much more to the story, and the details count!

Other things to keep from ADOW:
- The phrases quoted from Aurora Consurgens were eerie in their similarity to Diana's and Matthew's thoughts about one another.
- Marthe’s song: In Occitan - “Vos etz arbres e branca, On fruitz de gaug s’asazona” translates to “You are the tree and branch, where delight’s fruit ripens.”
- Keep the chess references in mind - what both Hamish and Ysabeau said about Matthew always protecting his queen.
- Hamish’s statement that Matthew will not be the same person as he is in the present when they go back in time.
- That inscription that Matthew didn’t remember making?  There’s a reason, and we’ll touch upon it in the last section “Things to ponder after reading SON”
- Marcus’s ‘easy-breezy’ attitude in ADOW.  You will see a whole different side to him in SON.
- Remember the phoenix depicted on the page from Ashmole 782?  “The whole scene was gathered within the outspread wings of a phoenix, its feathers flaming at the edges and its head curved down to watch the scene unfold.” The Bennu is an ancient Egyptian deity linked with the sun, creation, and rebirth. It may have been the inspiration for the phoenix in Greek mythology.  The Bennu is a grey heron.  That’s all we’ll say for now.

On to Shadow of Night!

video credit: Pudding Lane Productions

2. The Characters 

 Let's review the following character concepts before proceeding to our character biographies:


Daemons - According to Diana:  “…creative, artistic creatures who walk a tightrope between madness and genius. ‘Rock stars and serial killers’ was how my aunt described these strange, perplexing beings.”  To explain further, daemons can be creative, brilliant but often misunderstood.  Think of someone who is extremely high functioning, smart, creative, but occasionally, socially, they may seem quite…’off’.

Witches -  Witches in this series are depicted pretty much the same in lore as most.  Witches are gifted with power.  Some have more than others.  Many of the rituals/ceremonies they discuss in the entire series are recognizable, especially if you are familiar with pagan/neopagan traditions.  Witch power varies from one witch to another.  Some have the power to fly, call the elements, move objects, read minds, predict the future.  Some are talented at spell casting/potion making for healing, removing negative energy, and many other tasks from the mundane to the fantastic.

Vampires - Vampires are what you would imagine - beautiful, predatory, and mysterious.  In the AST universe, vampires do not have fangs, have a heartbeat (albeit a slow one), come out during the day, are long-lived, and don’t age from the time they were changed.  They can eat *some* solid food, and liquor and wine are favorites.  Also, they tend to gravitate towards the field of science: “If it went bang, involved blood, or promised to unlock the secrets of the universe, there was sure to be a vampire around.”

The creatures consist of 10 percent of the population (1 in 10 people in this universe will be a creature).  

The Creature institutions

The Congregation - We’ll cite Ysabeau’s quote for a quick summary of what the Congregation is, and the reason it was established: “A council of nine—three from each order of daemons, witches, and vampires. It was established during the Crusades to keep us from being exposed to the humans. We were careless and became too involved in their politics and other forms of insanity.”  Too many creatures were using their power to influence politics and government for their own gain.  Also, creatures mixing was bringing human attention to themselves.  To keep creatures safe from the humans, the Congregation was formed, and a covenant was drawn.  The covenant states that creatures must abstain from interfering with human politics, religion, and no mixing of the different creatures, especially in terms of romantic relationships.  When creatures break the covenant, it’s the Congregation’s responsibility to right the wrong.

The Knights of Lazarus - By now, we know from ADOW that the Knights of Lazarus is an order founded by Matthew’s late father, Philippe de Clermont.  When Diana went snooping through Matthew’s study, she found all sorts of ledgers and records of their history (she is a historian, after all!  She sinks her teeth into this stuff!) When the Knights Templar went under, the Knights of Lazarus absorbed what was left - its money, and much of its power.  Later we find out — through Matthew’s dialogue with Baldwin — that the Knights of Lazarus is an organization originally built to protect and help creatures when they are in need.  We discovered that Matthew held the title of Grand Master (twice) prior to traveling to 1590.  When we left ADOW, Nathaniel had joined, Hamish took over as seneschal (previously he was the ninth knight), and Marcus had taken over as Grand Master, replacing Matthew.  The Knights of Lazarus have been charged with keeping Diana’s family, Sophie/Nathaniel/their child, and the de Clermonts safe, and to recruit new members to fight for their cause in Matthew’s absence.

Main Characters

Diana Bishop - SON is written mainly from her POV.  She’s a professor, a historian, a scholar and a witch.  When she travels back in time, she transitions from being all of those things to being merely Matthew Royden’s wife.  What?!  Imagine being a modern woman having to depend on your husband for everything!  She falls right from modern times into The Old Lodge (you’ll remember the place from ADOW’s yoga scenes), where she encounters a medieval frat-boy type setting, starring many of Matthew’s old friends from this time-period.  Her and Matthew have taken private vows at this point, and they consider themselves married.  She has come back in time to learn from witches who may have the knowledge to train Diana to use her powers that modern-day witches do not, and if they can find Ashmole 782 in tact, all the better.  But first, she has to meet Matthew’s old friends, and attempt to actually blend in with the people in this time period in order not to draw unnecessary attention to herself.  And then there's Matthew.  Every wife has the moment where she looks at her husband and thinks: "Who are you?!" Her new husband and his expected role of head of the house grates on Diana, but she's here with him now and has no choice but to deal with it.  Diana has a lot to learn.  Let the games begin!

Matthew Clairmont - We know that he is a vampire and was a carpenter, a mason, warrior, a doctor and now a scientist.  We find out now he's had many other 'jobs' in his 1500 years of life! Known as Matthew Royden in this book, a member of “The School of Night,” he falls right into his old patterns when he meets up with his old friends.  He's got the tough job of trying to keep up appearances of his old life in 1590 while finding a witch teacher for Diana.  It turns out Matthew is not as well-equipped to handle the task as he originally thought.  Add the fact that his wife isn't exactly the model of a wife for those times—she's older than most brides, she's tall for the time, and...well, she's a bit mouthy (modern women, eh?).  Needless to say, some of his old friends don't take kindly to her (one of them, especially).  He also has the added burden of dealing with his vampire relatives, presently dead or alive.  Matthew's storied past comes rushing at them, full-speed, only to hit them both squarely in the face!  His need to control the different situations reveal his struggles and many of his 'tells'.  Lucky for him, his relatives help him out, and together Matthew and Diana manage to cobble their way through the past.

Character notes on these two
As we go through this book, we realize that as much as ADOW was about Diana, her past and her discoveries, this book arguably covers much of Matthew's journey, his self acceptance and his role in the future.  Diana really gets a grasp of who she is, and finally gets a true understanding of her powers.  In the end, they are more a couple than they ever were and are ready to go back to face the many challenges that the present time will serve them.

The rest of the players

The character list has been taken directly from the Libri Personæ, located in annex of SON.  It made character sorting much easier on us!  If you only have the audio version, you didn't have this list available to you—hopefully, this will help you out.  *Our* comments will be in bold italics, with "DN" preceding it (~means 'Daemon note!').

Libri Personæ

The People of the Book
Those noted thus * acknowledged by historians.

DN - We've added the available Wikipedia links to the players that were acknowledged by historians (they were real people!).  If a Wikipedia link exists, it was added.

 Part I: Woodstock: The Old Lodge

* Christopher Marlowe, a daemon and maker of plays - DN - Aka 'Kit.'  If you remember from ADOW they used his play—'Dr. Faustus'—as one of the items needed to travel back in time.  Do you remember Diana's observation about his inscription to Matthew?  Needless to say, Kit causes some problems!
Françoise and Pierre, both vampires and servants - DN - Both are very involved in Matthew's and Diana's lives.  A perfect demonstration of how servants become indispensable to people of a certain class.
* George Chapman, a writer of some reputation and little patronage - DN - You may recall from ADOW that Matthew left Chapman’s poem, “The Shadow of Night, Containing Two Poeticall Hymnes devised by G. C. gent. 1594” for Sarah to let her know that Diana was safe.
* Thomas Harriot, a daemon and astronomer
* Henry Percy, the Earl of Northumberland - DN - Henry is a patron of Thomas Harriot and also known as the “Wizard Earl” of Northumberland.  He's the one that made Diana feel the most at home initially.
* Walter Raleigh, writer, poet, soldier, politician, courtier, spy, and explorer
Joseph Bidwell, senior and junior, shoemakers
Master Somers, a glover
Widow Beaton, a cunning woman
Mister Danforth, a clergyman
Master Iffley, another glover
Gallowglass, a vampire and soldier of fortune - DN - Matthew's nephew by Hugh de Clermont.  He describes his background as the following "[...]Besides, my people were Úlfhéðnar, not berserkers. And I’m only part Norse—the gentle part, if you must know. The rest is Scots, by way of Ireland.”
* Davy Gam, known as Hancock, a vampire, his Welsh companion

Part II: Sept-Tours and the Village of Saint-Lucien

* Cardinal Joyeuse, a visitor to Mont-St-Michel
Alain, a vampire and servant to the sieur de Clermont
Philippe de Clermont, a vampire and lord of Sept-Tours - DN - Matthew's father, Ysabeau's husband
Chef, a cook
Catrine, Jehanne, Thomas, and Etienne, servants
Marie, who makes gowns
André Champier, a wizard of Lyon. - DN - Used as an instrument to test Diana's loyalty to the de Clermont family

Part III: London: The Blackfriars

* Robert Hawley, a shoemaker
* Margaret Hawley, his wife
* Mary Sidney, the Countess of Pembroke
 Joan, her maid
* Nicholas Hilliard, a limner
Master Prior, a maker of pies
* Richard Field, a printer
* Jacqueline Vautrollier Field, his wife
* John Chandler, an apothecary near the Barbican Cross
Amen Corner and Leonard Shoreditch, vampires
Father Hubbard, the vampire king of London
Annie Undercroft, a young witch with some skill and little power
* Susanna Norman, a midwife and witch - DN - acknowledged by historians – Deborah Harkness being one.  She is mentioned in her book, The Jewel House: Elizabethan London and the Scientific Revolution.  She is noted as Sir Hugh Plat’s parish midwife.
* John and Jeffrey Norman, her sons
Goody Alsop, a windwitch of St. James Garlickhythe
Catherine Streeter, a firewitch
Elizabeth Jackson, a waterwitch
Marjorie Cooper, an earthwitch
Jack Blackfriars, a nimble orphan
* Hugh Plat, vintner who lives in St. James Garlickhythe; also a an English writer on agriculture and inventor
* Doctor John Dee, a learned man with a library
* Jane Dee, his disgruntled wife - DN - She has her own article, but she is also mentioned in her husband's article above, as John Dee's third wife: "In 1578 he married the 23-year-old Jane Fromond: Dee was fifty-one at the time. Jane had her own connections to the Elizabethan court: she was a lady in waiting to Lord Admiral Howard, a position she gave up when she married Dee."
* William Cecil, Lord Burghley, the Lord High Treasurer of England
* Robert Devereux, the Earl of Essex
* Elizabeth I, Queen of England
Elizabeth (Bess) Throckmorton, maid of honor to the queen - DN - Note her last name when you click her link...

Part IV: The Empire: Prague

Karolína and Tereza, vampires and servants
* Tadeáš Hájek, physician to His Majesty
* Ottavio Strada, Imperial librarian and historian - DN - The link will take you to his father's wiki page, however Ottavio is mentioned in it.
* Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Bohemia
Frau Huber, an Austrian, and Signorina Rossi, an Italian, women of Malá Strana - DN - How Diana gets her intel about that thieving daemon, Edward Kelley.  Nothing is better for intelligence operations than a pair of gossips!
* Joris Hoefnagel, the artist
* Erasmus Habermel, maker of mathematical instruments - DN - Wiki article is in German
* Signor Miseroni, who carves in precious stones
* Signor Passetti, his majesty’s dancing master
* Joanna Kelley, a woman far from home
* Edward Kelley, a daemon and alchemist
* Rabbi Judah Loew, a wise man
Abraham ben Elijah of Chelm, a wizard with a problem
* David Gans, an astronomer
Herr Fuchs, a vampire
* Melchior Maisel, a prosperous merchant of the Jewish Town
Lobero, a Hungarian dog sometimes mistaken for a mop, probably just a Komondor
* Johannes Pistorius, a wizard and theologian

Part V: London: The Blackfriars

 * Vilem Slavata, a very young ambassador
Louisa de Clermont, a vampire and sister to Matthew de Clermont
* Master Sleford, who watches over the poor souls of Bedlam - DN - Roland Sleford is mentioned in this Wiki article under “Management” -- "In 1598 the long-term keeper, Roland Sleford, a London cloth-maker, left his post, apparently of his own volition, after a 19-year tenure[...]"
Stephen Proctor, a wizard
Rebecca White, a witch
Bridget White, her daughter

Part VI: New World, Old Worlde

Sarah Bishop, a witch and aunt to Diana Bishop
Ysabeau de Clermont, a vampire and mother to Matthew de Clermont
Sophie Norman, a daemon
Margaret Wilson, her daughter, a witch

Other Characters in Other Times

Rima Jaén, a librarian of Seville
Javier López, - DN -According to Rima: "...the charming yet entirely unqualified person hired by the last of the Gonçalves to transform the family’s house and personal effects into a library and museum." Appears to be Rima's boss.
Daniel, building maintenance person at the library in Seville.
Emily Mather, a witch and partner to Sarah Bishop
Marthe, housekeeper to Ysabeau de Clermont
Phoebe Taylor, very proper, who knows something about art
Marcus Whitmore, Matthew de Clermont’s son, a vampire
Verin de Clermont, a vampire
Ernst, her husband
Peter Knox, a witch and member of the Congregation
Pavel Skovajsa, who works in a library
* Gerbert of Aurillac in the Cantal, a vampire and ally of Peter Knox - DN - Yes!  Gerbert was real!  And a pope!
* William Shakespeare, a scrivener and forger who also makes plays

3. The History

Before we go any further, let’s talk about what, for some of you, is the elephant in the room – the history woven throughout the story. We realize there is reluctance to tackle Shadow of Night.  Perhaps you just don’t “do” historical fiction/romance. Trust a Daemon when she tells you that “Shadow of Night’ is not your mother's historical romance!  We think you will love it! 

In a way, it’s Matthew’s story. You'll get a glimpse of what made him the man we all fell for in ADOW – the good, the bad, the rabble rousing friends, and the sometimes overbearing father – in some of the same settings as ADOW – Oxford, London and Sept Tours.

Regardless of how much or little you know about European history, you will be able to appreciate the richness of the story and all the new characters we meet in 1590 – but we will address them in a bit. The intertwining of a fictional vampire and witch’s courtship with real life historical events makes the story richer and vivid. From the our perspective, it makes it easier to suspend your disbelief and get lost in the story.

Elizabeth I and the Three Goddesses, 1569.
Variously attributed to Joris Hoefnagel and Hans Eworth.
© The Royal Collection.

1590. Matthew chose that year as the destination of their time walk because he remembered it as a quiet time where they could get in and out without drawing attention. But as we learned in ADOW, Matthew doesn’t always think things through and this was no exception.

Elizabeth was in the 32nd year of her reign. While she had turned back the Spanish Armada a few years prior (purportedly with the help of England’s witches) she was still dealing with festering conflicts with Spain and Ireland, a depleted treasury and infighting among her courtiers – one of whom was Matthew.

Pope Urban VII had died twelve days into office, and they were picking a new pope for the second time in a year.

Witch hunts were under way in Trier, France, with his mother in attendance.

James IV of Scotland was conducting witch trials in North Berwick.

The English would soon learn that the Roanoke colony, established under the direction of Walter Raleigh as a potential source of wealth for the Queen's coffers,  had disappeared.

Rudolph the II was the Holy Roman Emperor whose bumbling leadership would lead to The Long War with the Ottoman Turks and Thirty Years War.  He was also a devotee of occult arts and learning, a patron of the arts, and a lecher.

You get the picture. The Fall and Winter of 1590 – not so quiet.

Just know that our Pinterest Boards for SON will be there to help you along if you find yourself curious about the historical details woven into the story – we are a one stop shop!

4. Themes

As you may recall from our ADOW guide, themes such as self-acceptance, tolerance, empathy, family, friendship and not least of all, love were awakened in A Discovery of Witches.  In Shadow of Night, those themes run even deeper and expand even further.   Matthew examines his past deeds and thinks about righting wrongs while Diana learns more about herself more than ever before—all the while trying to juggle being a proper 16th  century wife into order to fit in and a witch learning to empower herself for the future.  To add more to the heap, they go back to a time when tolerance for anyone perceived to be or labeled "different" was scarce; empathy is was hard to come by.  Does all of this sound a bit stressful?  It is! As a result, Diana and Matthew’s relationship see some steep highs and lows!

From Deborah Harkness’ website:
Q. In this novel, Diana learns to use her magic and Matthew comes face–to–face with his past. How does this empower and change them?
A:  Facing who you are is the most empowering thing a person can do, so it isn’t surprising that their experiences in 1590 change Matthew and Diana enormously. And long–lasting relationships are built on honesty and acceptance, so this changes not only Diana and Matthew individually, but also who they are as a couple.

5. Literature within Literature

As poetry was woven throughout A Discovery of Witches, the tapestry of literature gets larger.  Poets, writers, playwrights and other literary figures emerge in Shadow of Night. This installment is rich with references and allusions to literature come naturally in SON as the book events primarily take place during the Elizabethan Era when the arts flourished -- not to mention that Matthew’s own father, Philippe, has lived a very long time and even inspired a tale or two himself.

In Shadow of Night, there are not just mentions of literature (e.g., Psalm Seventy-one, Doctor Faustus, The Lie, etc.), but the famed people that penned some of the greatest works come to life on the pages of SON.  You will bump into Christopher Marlowe, George Chapman and Sir Walter Raleigh in one chapter and then be greeted by Mary Sidney in another.  Queen Elizabeth I herself was quite the poet too!

6. Things to ponder after reading Shadow of Night

Spoilers ahead!  Stop here if you haven't finished yet, and don't wish to know any more!

Time travel: There are several theories out there concerning time travel.  Deborah Harkness used the "multiverse" theory.  Essentially in terms of time, the theory is that there are parallel timelines with different events and outcomes.  There are several books and articles covering this, but for a couple of us, some simplistic diagrams from the book, "The Illustrated Brief History of Time" by Stephen Hawking, helped in understanding how the timelines worked.  Time travel can make your head spin!  If you are not a time-travel enthusiast and thinking about it makes you dizzy, then no worries! Use the following to help you out:

Click to enlarge - Images from "The Illustrated Brief History of Time"
Knot magic:
Yes, this is a thing!  It's popular in Celtic traditions as well as Chinese mysticism.  There's lots of information available if you are looking to explore.  We won't provide too much, but here is an image containing basic knots, which amazingly is used as a common model to demonstrate the symmetry in mathematics and science.  It's all connected!

Basic knot patterns

In European folklore and folk-belief of the Medieval and Early Modern periods, familiar spirits (sometimes referred to simply as "familiars" or "animal guides") were supernatural entities believed to assist witches and cunning folk in their practice of magic.  In this story, familiars only serve weavers (what Diana finds out she is).

- Goody Alsop had a fetch as a familiar. - A fetch defined: 2. Fetch /feCH/archaic
noun: fetch; plural noun: fetches The apparition or double of a living person, formerly believed to be a warning of that person's impending death.
- Diana had a firedrake as a familiar.  Simply defined as a fiery dragon (affinity with both fire and water)
- Stephen had a heron.  Named Bennu.  Do you remember what we said earlier about what to keep from ADOW? Have you put it together? :)

The anomalies:
If you remember, there were sections of the book that changed to third person narration in between Diana and Matthew's different locations.  Those actually were demonstrations of how the anomalies (discussed between Emily, Sarah and Ysabeau at Sept-Tours) occurred when Diana and Matthew made decisions in the past that affected the present time.  We'll go over all of the anomalies.

1.  The book with Matthew's inscription (actually this occurred at the very end of ADOW) - Oh that crafty Shakespeare!  If you are saying "Wait! What?!" read the last chapter of Shadow of Night again to see where that inscription actually came from and why Matthew didn't remember writing it!
2.  Diana's commonplace book - This wound up in the Gonçalves library in Seville.  Stay tuned to see if this anomaly wound up in the right hands or not!
3.  Philippe's letter to Ysabeau - Message received, as intended.  It also clues us in to the possibilities of mixed-creature existence in the past.  Stay tuned for that in The Book of Life!
4.  The miniatures - Marcus was able to snatch this up before anyone got their hands on it.
5.  The lab article about Mary Sidney - Verin read it in the paper, and it was her signal to head back to Sept-Tours.  It was an anomaly she was warned about by her father.
6.  The letter from Rabbi Loew to Benjamin - The anomaly that got away! This one wound up in Peter Knox's hands.  It was the catalyst for so many actions that will affect Diana and Matthew in the future.
7.  The telescope - A deliberate message from Diana to the present that she and Matthew were returning home.

The tree symbolism:
From the Bishop house to the lab to Marthe's poem, you'll see it all again in The Book of Life.  See how the symbolism ties in with Diana's fate.

A set of wooden runes
Gallowglass's runes:
Nyd - Names- NYD - need or distress, NAUTHIZ - need, NAUTHS - necessity or need, NAUDH - distress, need or constraint.
Odal - Names - OTHALA - ancestral property, OTHAL - property, ETHEL - homeland property, ODAL - nature or inborn quality
Rad - Names - RAIDHO - Wagon, RADH - riding, a riding path, RAIDHA - wagon or ride, REIDH - wagon or chariot, RAD/RAED - wheel or vehicle

From chapter 26 of SON - "When his fingers stilled, he drew out the rune that would tell him where matters stood now. Nyd, the rune for absence and desire. Gallowglass dipped his hand into the bag again to better understand what he wanted the future to hold. Odal, the glyph for home, family, and inheritance. He drew out the final rune, the one that would show him how to fulfill his gnawing wish to belong.   Rad. It was a confusing rune, one that stood for both an arrival and a departure, a journey’s beginning and its ending, a first meeting as well as a long-awaited reunion. Gallowglass’s hand closed around the bit of wood. This time its meaning was clear." What will these mean for The Book of Life?

Additional information from Deborah Harkness's website that may help prepare you for your journey back in time: 1590s FAQ for Shadow of Night

We hope you enjoyed reading 'Shadow of Night'! Stay tuned for our guide on 'The Book of Life' -- coming soon!
Download/print in printer-friendly .pdf format for a quick reference while reading - SON reading guide
You can read our previous guide here:  The Daemon Guide to 'A Discovery of Witches' 
You can read the next guide here: The Daemon Guide to 'The Book of Life'