Book- Lord of Shadows (#2 from The Dark Artifices)
Author- Cassandra Clare
Publisher- Simon and Schuster
Publication Date- May 23rd, 2017
Okay guys, grab some coffee and make yourself comfy- this is one long review.
Three words which come to my mind when I think of this book- all consuming, dark and utterly torturous and heart wrenching with so much pain and joy at the same time. Was that more than three words? Oops, my bad. I loved EVERYTHING about this book. From the dynamic characters, to the intricate plot, the humour, the shivers up your spine romance, the diversity- someone save me, I can drown into the Shadowhunter world forever.
For those of you who haven’t read Lady Midnight, the first book of the series, you can first read my review on that and then read this- there may be a few spoilers from the first book but they’ll be minor and I’ll try to be as vague as possible on them.
Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorn are parabatai. They can be everything to each other, but they can never fall in love. Obviously, that’s exactly what they do. Emma learns that the parabatai curse can destroy her and Julian, so she does everything to try to end Julian’s feelings for her. But nothing can break a bond so strong. Their only hope is the Black Volume of Dead, an ancient and cursed book which in the wrong hands, threatens humanity. The search for the book leads them to the forbidden faerie lands, where no one and nothing can be trusted, and then to the London Institute, home of their ancestors. Driven by a dark bargain with the Seelie Queen, the survival of the Blackthorns now depends on the book. But at the same time, the Cohort, a nasty and extremist group of the Clave arises, who are set on dissolving rights of all the Downworlders (vampires, werewolves, warlocks, faeries) no matter how loyal they are to the Clave. They will do anything to expose all of Julian’s secrets and seize power for themselves. And even worse, a new and darker threat- the Lord of Shadows- the Unseelie King arises. Intent on procuring the Black Volume before the Blackthorns so as to start a war against Shadowhunters, the king sends his best hunters to find the book, forcing Julian to devise a dangerous scheme relying on an unpredictable enemy. Will the book be found? Will the parabatai curse be broken? And will the Blackthorns survive?
What I liked:
The plot was brilliant. Let me be a Potterhead for a second- it was bloody brilliant! Though it was a 700 page book, it still seemed short- I was never bored, even for a second. I loved that there were POV’s from almost all the characters, it makes the book so emotional as you connect to all the characters. The plot twists- oh my god. Everytime I relaxed, thinking nothing can shock me more now, I was proven completely wrong. There were so many “WOAH” moments which left me stunned. Clare makes every line significant and meaningful, nothing is mentioned just casually- each sentence ends up having some importance. The humour was perfect- dry and sarcastic, these lighthearted moments were necessary as a reprieve from the building darkness in the book. I adored the references to all their ancestors- the visit to the London Institute brought back a flood of memories from The Infernal Devices. I also enjoyed all the visits from the old characters- it makes the book more emotional and refreshes the old books.
I love how this book subtly hints at reality. The Cohort, which is a group of shadowhunters, are prejudiced against Downworlders and want their rights restricted. When you actually think of it, this is so close to reality, for just like the Cohort, people are prejudiced against muslims or lgbtq’s. So it ends up highlighting issues in the real world as well, which is something not many books do.
There is a lot of diversity in this book- we have a gay couple, a lesbian couple who were there in previous books as well, a few bisexuals, a trangender, and an autistic person. Who do we not have? I love how Clare includes everyone making this so much more than a book- it becomes a platform to raise awareness.
Now let’s start with the characters. Emma- oh I love her. I cannot emphasize enough on how real she is. Reckless, sassy, fiery- she’s such a strong personality. One of the best shadowhunters of her generation, Emma does so many near impossible things in this book. I love her protectiveness for the Blackthorns- there’s little she wouldn’t do for them. Her friendship with Cristina is great- they both balance each other out so well.
Coming to Julian, I love him, but I’m also a bit scared of him. People seem to think that he’s a sweet and gentle bunny, but in reality, he would destroy the world to make sure his family lives. He deceives, schemes, cons and lies to people so guilelessly that it frightens me. He is ruthless and will sacrifice anyone and anything for his family. He’s one of the only protagonists I’ve read about who is almost evil, but doesn’t realise it. He tip toes a fine line between good and evil, and I’m curious to see which way he’ll sway after the end of Lord of Shadows. God, I love him.
On to Ty, Livvy and Kit. This is probably my favourite friendship. Ty and Livvy were such a perfect unit that I never thought anyone else could fit with them, but Kit was such an easy fit into their group. Aloof in the beginning, Kit grows into such a Herondale that I want to cry. His attachment to the Blackthorns tugs at my heart, because he’s never loved anyone like that before. I love how he accepts Ty’s autism without a blink of the eye and I love Ty’s fascination for him. These three together are basically Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson and Mary- oh the perfection! Dru was also a more developed character in this book. I wasn’t that invested in her in Lady Midnight, but she really grew on me. You can’t not sympathise with her- always left behind on missions, always having to babysit, because she’s considered too “young”. But she does have her own secrets to hide so it’s all worth it.
And oh! How could I forget the witch of this book- Zara Dearborn. Let me be a Potterhead once again- THE FOUL, LOATHSOME, EVIL LITTLE COCKROACH. She has to die. Not exiled, not suspended, no mercy, nothing. She is a taint to shadowhunters and is a cruel, evil, scheming horror who has to die painfully. I’ll stop before I throw the laptop against a wall.
There are many great characters who I haven’t mentioned but I won’t because they are a bit of a spoiler. Let’s just say that Dru has two very important secrets, and I have a very big hunch about the identity of one of them. Then we have some people from the previous book who aren’t exactly what we expected them to be. I won’t name them so you’re gonna have to read the book to find out!
On to the romance, oh there were so many couples! Starting with Jemma- if you thought Lady Midnight was painful, you’re in for some real torture. Who was the idiot who said words can’t hurt? Cuz the words here will stab you over and over again. There is a lot of angst in here, but it never annoyed me, it just made me ship them harder. Their alone time in Cornwall was much due and exactly what we needed. 😉
Now to Mark, Cristina and Kieran- well they’re entangled in a complicated but beautiful mess. Even though there were lies and secrets on the way, I’m really rooting for these three. Yes, three, not two. Though it won’t seem like it in the start, these three are made for each other and I’m eager to see how they play out.
And now to our youngest ship- Kit and Ty. Give me a second to squeal. These two are so adorable. Ironic that the sarcastic Herondale seems to be falling for the boy who doesn’t understand sarcasm? It’s a great match. Kit understands Ty in a way not many people do, and Ty trusts Kit the way he trusts very few. The openness between the two cracks my heart and I really hope their close friendship turns into more.
Over this book, many secrets are brought to light, which drives the family even closer than before and ties their bonds even stronger. It’s beautiful and touching to read about and makes you feel warm and fuzzy.
And finally, coming to the end- it left me emotionally drained. If you thought the ending of Lady Midnight was bad- I don’t know what you’ll think of this. I was shattered and ruined and had run out of tissues by the time I finished- I’m never going to heal from that. It left me stunned, I was practically a zombie once I had finished the book. If I was the kind of person who threw books, I would be flinging this book across the room everytime I thought of the ending, and then probably running over to make sure I didn’t read the ending wrong. I think what happened will be a driving force in the next book and I’m unsure if what happens next will be good or bad.
What I didn’t like:
I hated the ending. It’s what is expected from Cassandra Clare but I hated it. I hate that I will have to wait two years for the next book. But in all seriousness, there is NOTHING I hate about this book. It was perfect.
5 out of 5 stars. Clare has outdone herself and presented us with a masterpiece. It’s a must read for everyone and nothing that I can fault. I’m sorry this review was so long but there were a lot of things I had to talk about, so thank you for reading the whole thing!