(Warning: This will be long! Like very, very long. Also, lots of spoilers!)
Title/Author: Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare
Series: The Dark Artifices (#2)
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release Date: May 23, 2017
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
Would you trade your soul mate for your soul?
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.
I am so proud to say that this is the first book that I have ever bought on release day! And, it also wins the spot of the first book I have read this summer! I remember rushing into Chapters, after school on May 23rd to grab one of the copies off of their lovely 40% off display! Sadly, I wasn’t able to read it back then, but I finally got to it earlier this week and finished it literally a yesterday. It was amazing, and flawlessly written. Cassie worked her magic and wrote heartbreaking cliffhangers and multiple plot holes that should be resolved in future series. In the easiest way possible, I would say that The Dark Artifices is Cassie’s most mature series!
The mood of the story seemed to be a bit darker from what we saw in Lady Midnight. Instead of laughing, eating pancakes, and drinking coffee, The Blackthorns, Rosales and Carstairs seemed to be less excited. They weren’t grieving death in the first few chapters, but you could tell that they weren’t a super happy bunch of teenagers and children anymore. They seemed to be a bit off, and I didn’t find that they lightened up at all throughout the novel.
I also found that the whole storyline of Lord of Shadows was more detailed and complex compared to Lady Midnight’s. It was almost as if the first half of Lady Midnight was the story’s prologue, and then the actual story started during the second half and the continued into this book. Cassie also involved so many new types of demons and the introduction to Piskies! I loved how she featured Sea Demons since they were so close to the Pacific Coast. And they helped the first half of the story evolve into the second half.
A lot of the first half of Lord of Shadows was all about fighting demons, which was almost like a throwback to City of Bones. The Blackthorns spent most of the first half trying to figure out why there was an abundance of demons so suddenly. I loved how Cassie introduced us to some demon history in this portion of the story.
During the first half, we finally got our first look at the Centurions who attended the Scholomance. Of course, we had met Diego previously. But, we finally go to see Manuel, Zara, and all of the other highly educated LIARS. Zara definitely led the evil portion of Centurions and was a member of her father’s Cohort. If anyone earns a spot as one of the villains from this novel, it is definitely Zara Dearborn.
Then came Malcolm. Did anyone expect that, because I totally didn’t! I thought Emma killed him! But, I guess when they say “all the stories are true,” that does include resurrection. But hilariously, I was reading this part out loud (because I was bored holla), and I literally screamed at my book. I was just so shocked! Because, with Malcolm comes Annabel.
The resurrection of Annabel was probably the scariest scene of the novel. I was so happy when the Blackthorns fled for London, because I knew they would be safe. But then Arthur pushed Kit into the portal and left?! I didn’t think he would be brave enough to sacrifice himself. He was always seen as the fragile, sick uncle of the Blackthorns. Not the savior of their lives. Truly the ritual for resurrecting a dead Shadowhunter was dark, bloody, and evil. When Annabel told the story of her painful resurrection, I couldn’t believe what I was reading!
While the Blackthorns fled for London, Cristina, Emma, Julian and Mark were off in the faerie lands, on a mission of their own: to save Kieran. I really hated Kieran from when Emma and Jules were whipped in Lady Midnight. Although I still didn’t like him when they went to save him, I knew that it was what Mark truly wanted. He was still in love with Kieran and could not bear the death of him. Something I really hated from the seelie lands was that darn bonding “curse.” Like holy, Kieran and Mark are in love, let Cristina go dream about Jaime. Also, one of my favorite scenes from the novel was when the Shadowhunters, Kieran, and Gwyn rode out of faerie on The Wild Hunt horses. It was crazy to have Shadowhunters on fae horses! I wish I was able to snag one of the Bookcon posters of this scene because… LOVE!
Omg if there was anything that brought back all of The Infernal Devices feels, it was the fact that we went back to the London institute! I absolutely adored TID so going back was amazing for me. Although there was lots of tension during this time, I found that Ty had the time of his life! I don’t think he ever expected to be in the same room as first edition Sherlock Holmes copies. I also really loved that all of the books had “W.H.” initialed in them. Like, I was just imagining that one of those books was a copy of Great Expectations!
Ah, and then came Magnus and Alec. We haven’t seen these characters in a while, right? I’m pretty sure both of them were featured and mentioned at the end of Lady Midnight, but they fully made a big appearance in Lord of Shadows. AND THEY BROUGHT MAX AND RAFE!! Ah, the little Shadowhunter and Warlock were so precious! I absolutely loved the fact that Cristina sang Spanish lullabies to Rafe!
The ending of this novel was horrifyingly terrible! I hated how murderous Annabel became in her Clave trial of truth. When she killed Robert Lightwood, I swear I was in shock. He has been around since the first Shadowhunter novels! And then poor Livvy. My heart broke for her. I couldn’t even read the last five pages of the book because I had so many tears flowing down my face. I don’t know what to expect in The Queen of Air And Darkness, but I do know that the Blackthorns will not be the same.
All of the Characters in this book were so fierce! Julian Blackthorn never backed down from a chance to protect his family. Emma Carstairs slayed, killed and fought through terrible deaths. Can I remind you that she killed one of the Seven Riders with Cortana? That’s insane! Ty finally opened up to another person. Kit Herondale became accustomed to the life of a Shadowhunter so quickly! Livvy seconded nicely to Emma. Mark seemed to have finally fit into the Blackthorn family as he did before. And Cristina sipped her coffee, even in the darkest of times.
I found that the Parabatai conflict was even more emphasized in this novel. Emma and Julian’s separation in the beginning of the novel made them even more eager to get together. And, if I do say so myself, I love these two together! #Jemma has both sailed and sunk in this novel an I am just hoping that they pull through in the final installment!
I was really scared for the Kitty ship when I was going into the novel. I remembered how Ty used to sit outside Kit’s door at night, waiting for him to acknowledge him. And then when they finally started talking, they could never be separated. Kit was the only Shadowhunter that had heard of the mundane condition, autism. AND HE KNEW THAT TY HAD IT! When Livvy joined their group, the three of them were inseparable!
One of the parts of the story that shocked me the most, was the fact that Diana Wrayburn was transgender. I don’t think I would ever expect that. But, Cassie does an amazing job with LGBTQ+/mentality representation. She features many gay and lesbian couples throughout her stories and now we also have a transgender lady. If any author can write a great Pride representation, it is Cassandra Clare!
Overall, I cannot help but give this book 5 stars! It was phenomenally written and I found myself not being able to put it down! I don’t know how I am going to wait until 2018 for the final installment! THE WAIT BEGINS…
THAT’S IT FOR TODAY! I hope you all enjoyed my review of Lord of Shadows! Don’t forget to like, comment your thoughts and follow to stay up to date with all of my new posts!