(Published by Margaret K. McElderry – 2017)
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.
*Disclaimer – this was written last year after I had read the book but previously has not been published*
Oh my Lord (of Shadows) I had to wait to write down my thoughts on this one, it was intense!
Following on from Lady Midnight and leading on to Queen of Air & Darkness which will complete The Dark Artifices Trilogy, Lord of Shadows is not your ordinary, run-of-the-mill middle novel; oh no. Lord of Shadows is fast-paced and filled with the adventure, sword fights and relationship woes that we have come to expect from Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter novels. You almost forget how big it is. Almost.
I’ve read on another review that it would be handy to have read The Infernal Devices trilogy which I have not yet done (I read the first one and didn’t get the buzz so I did not continue that particular branch of the Shadowhunter tree) before reading The Dark Artifices however I haven’t had any issues, some references have probably just passed me by. I am now prepared for The Infernal Devices and will be giving them another go, I promise J
So, before I move on too much I am aware I haven’t reviewed Lady Midnight so in brief: I loved it. It’s a huge book but it has such endearing characters and a fast plot that I read it pretty quickly for me even though I couldn’t carry the great tome around in my bag for fear of causing long-lasting back issues. The same happened with Lord of Shadows, once I started I wanted to devour the whole thing in one go and drool my way to the library to pick up Queen of Air & Darkness (which isn’t in stock yet so I have to wait *sigh*).
Lord of Shadows is a seamless transition from book one to book two and I was definitely still in the zone when I got around to reading it. The narrative moves quickly and although you might not be into the teenage love story drama undertones there is plenty more to keep you going in my opinion. The severe detail in this world astounds me, Cassandra Clare must live, sleep and breathe these plotlines she has thought of everything and she’s releasing multiple books this year too, what a machine!
Reading Lord of Shadows was definitely an immersive experience to say the least, nothing is glossed over; every character is developed with fears and agendas of their own. While there are several ‘main’ characters the plot revolves around Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorn who I do enjoy reading about and I am looking forward to seeing where their story goes but I definitely prefer the chapters surrounding Mark, Christina and Kit. Just personal preference I think – luckily they get a decent amount of page time and hopefully their stories will be completed in the last novel as I am filled with intrigue about them and their connections in the Shadowhunter World.
In terms of plot development, Lord of Shadows moves the story on nicely without making a pointless new storyline to keep us going as you often find with trilogies. The characters are continually developed and overall it is a genuinely enjoyable read. I will say however that the end of this book felt slightly rushed, as if Clare was so excited to give you her big finish that she just couldn’t hold it in any longer and you instinctively read faster as you reach that crescendo. Luckily, I haven’t had long to wait for the release of the third novel but I imagine for those that did, it was quite a painful struggle to be patient.