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Book Review: Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare (Spoiler Free)

Saturday, June 3, 2017


June 3, 2017

"...Fiction is truth, even if it is not a fact. If you believe only in facts and forget stories, your brain will live, but your heart will die.” ― Cassandra Clare, Lord of Shadows

Just when I thought these books couldn't get any more damn emotional...

I mean, I should have known, right? Never have I read a Shadowhunter novel that I thought was happy and completely heartwarming, ha! Don't get me wrong, there were tons of happy and adorable moments, but this is the Shadow World, it has to get a little dark and boy did it! Lord of Shadows is the second book in The Dark Artifices series by the amazing Cassandra Clare. This series follows Emma Carstairs, her parabatai Julian Blackthorn, Christina Rosales, and the rest of the Blackthorn family. Other characters like Clary, Jace etc. make appearances, but it's mostly the Los Angeles gang!

The synopsis is as followed: FROM GOODREADS: A Shadowhunter’s life is bound by duty. Constrained by honor. The word of a Shadowhunter is a solemn pledge, and no vow is more sacred than the vow that binds parabatai, warrior partners—sworn to fight together, die together, but never to fall in love.

Emma Carstairs has learned that the love she shares with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, isn’t just forbidden—it could destroy them both. She knows she should run from Julian. But how can she when the Blackthorns are threatened by enemies on all sides?

Their only hope is the Black Volume of the Dead, a spell book of terrible power. Everyone wants it. Only the Blackthorns can find it. Spurred on by a dark bargain with the Seelie Queen, Emma; her best friend, Cristina; and Mark and Julian Blackthorn journey into the Courts of Faerie, where glittering revels hide bloody danger and no promise can be trusted. Meanwhile, rising tension between Shadowhunters and Downworlders has produced the Cohort, an extremist group of Shadowhunters dedicated to registering Downworlders and “unsuitable” Nephilim. They’ll do anything in their power to expose Julian’s secrets and take the Los Angeles Institute for their own.

When Downworlders turn against the Clave, a new threat rises in the form of the Lord of Shadows—the Unseelie King, who sends his greatest warriors to slaughter those with Blackthorn blood and seize the Black Volume. As dangers close in, Julian devises a risky scheme that depends on the cooperation of an unpredictable enemy. But success may come with a price he and Emma cannot even imagine, one that will bring with it a reckoning of blood that could have repercussions for everyone and everything they hold dear


Now if you have read Lady Midnight then you know just how crazy this series is getting! It's even more insane in book 2. In the much anticipated sequel, I found the beginning to be a bit slow. Now, I don't know if that is to do with the content or the fact that I was dreading reading 720 pages...I don't mind big books per-say, but there is something so daunting about a large Shadowhunter book, you just know things will go down! The novel is split into two parts and I have to say I prefer the second part much more than the first. 

When it comes to the characters, I definitely saw growth throughout most of them especially Julian, Kit, and Ty. Tiberius has become a character that I can't get out of my head. The way he thinks and how he sees the world...it brings a whole new layer to the Shadowhunter world. And it's not just that. His friendship with Kit is something that I hope Cassie will expand on because their dynamic through the novel was beautiful and intense.

My favourite thing about the Shadowhunter books is that they are all connected, so yes, you will be seeing old characters, locations, and there are many blanket references from both The Infernal Devices and The Mortal Instruments. I think that helped fuel the story immensely and I for one loved trying to remember and figure out all the Easter Eggs. 

Overall, it was a very fast paced book, but there were some moments that I definitely wanted to skip. I tend to do that when books have multiple POVs, but I managed to stay on track. A lot of questions arose in book one and if you don't read closely, you won't get those answers. Before reading this book, I had so many theories. Mostly about who would die, what characters would make cameos, etc. I was only right on two of the deaths, but do not worry, I won't spoil it! 

However, I will say that I am betting that because of the deaths and revelations that occurred, book 3 is going to be a whirlwind of emotion and plot twists ladies and gents. I CAN'T WAIT TILL 2019...how am I supposed to survive? The struggle...oh wait, first book in the MALEC trilogy comes out in November, okay yes, I can wait!

Throughout the novel, we see many sides of characters that had been hidden somewhat in book 1 and the other novels. We see a more relaxed Mark, a more confident Drusilla, and a more vibrant Ty. I still can't really get a read on Julian though. His character is one that I can't predict where Cassie is going with him. He kind of reminds me a bit of Jem in that way because I couldn't guess Jem's fate when I first read TID either. So I am really looking forward to better understanding Julian more in the future books. 

Another thing I really enjoy about The Dark Artifices is that Faeries are explored more. In the previous two series, it's been about Shadowhunters, vampires, werewolves, warlocks, and the occasional faerie aka Meliorn, Kaelie, and the Queen. We never really got to know the Fair Folk as anything but soldiers of Sebastian in the Dark War. We never saw the good in them or understood the way Faerie worked or the true extent of their powers. 

In Lord of Shadows we get that! In both books, we get to see more of how the Faeries are and how the Cold Peace has affected them. I also think book 3 may expand on the life of warlocks, based on the foreshadowing at the end of book 2.

I really liked that every character was not only given a purpose, but more depth in book 2. I have always been curious about Dru and if you are too, you get to know her a bit better as well as the twins and Kit Herondale. I can't wait to read more about all of them! I give this book 5/5 stars because it was beautiful, well written, heart warming, heartbreaking, and overall truly magical. The last 150 pages really get you and I think this book will make a lot of reader re-think past opinions of characters from past books. 

If you are a fan of the Shadow World, you will love Lord of Shadows, I guarantee it! Who is your favourite Shadowhunter Chronicle character? Mine is Magnus Bane, but Ty is slowing moving up there!

Happy Reading!

- Haley

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