Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare | Book Review

Rating: 8/10

Format: Audio-book – Library

Buy it Here: Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices)

Cassandra Clare again brings us into the complex world of our friends the Shadowhunters. Her cast is enormous, but I didn’t find it difficult to follow. If you weren’t fully immersed in her world, though, I think it would be more tenuous. This is also one of the longest books I read this year (I know, bless me), and a lot of things go down in this book. I also didn’t feel like I did when I read Riordan’s Blood of Olympus: that there were too many characters and their stories were thin. It’s a well-woven tapestry of magic, romance, and politics.

Emma will provide you with the warning for this book:

You are headed for a faerie threesome. Or some kind of war.” ~Emma Carstairs

Okay, so that’s the TLDR of our friend Christina’s book. Plus Perfect Diego. She is not lacking for choices in this tale, no she is not. That scene in the ballroom with all the dancing?! Seriously. I was with Emma on this one.

Onward: Emma Carstairs, you are a terrifying creature and I am so proud of you. You are a masterful shadowhunter. You took down a Rider and broke the Mortal Sword. DANG GIRL. You are not messing around. Not even a little. Good on you. Way to stand up for blondies everywhere by being ridiculously dangerous.

Even as Emma could kill me with her pinky finger, somehow her Parabatai manages to be even more terrifying.

I know Julian and Emma love each other with a desperate passion of a thousand fiery passion things, we mere mortals cannot fathom, red string of fate (I guess that one’s Mark and Christina), etc. But if Sweetheart ever said, “I mean, we could just destroy the concept of relationships for the rest of time if it helped us,” and I had any inkling that he was being serious, I would voice a much louder concern than Emma did. Quite frankly, Sweetheart would not be my sweetheart any longer.

That is some unhealthy nonsense there, Julian. The Parabatai bond is not for you to mess with, dude. It’s just not. Even thinking about removing it from everyone so you can be with Emma is borderline sociopathic. Straight up cruel. Read the end of A Clockwork Princess. Go do it. I’ll still be here. Now say you’re comfortable taking the Parabatai bond from others. You know, Julian, people keep referring to you as ruthless and cold, and you are a masterful liar and manipulator; it makes you dangerous AF. It also makes you my least favorite part of this book, and makes me glad Emma is exiling herself away from your terrifying face.

Mark my words, folks, Julian is going to be dangerous in the next book. ALSO, now Livy’s dead, which will only make it worse.

Speaking of poor sweet Livvy. I knew she was toast. I waited for it all book long, starting with her kissing Kit. Maybe it was the kiss that gave it away for me, but I knew this spunky, dangerous, amazing little lady was going to eat it. I am just so heartbroken for Ty. It’s just such a heinous thing. Ave atque vale, Livia.


Okay, yes, where was I. Okay, Magnus Bane, one of my favorite people. Honestly, I feel like the whole Shadowhunter world revolves around him. He’s the only one in all of the books! He can’t be sick!!! I won’t allow it! I won’t! I have to go read The Bane Chronicles again, guys. I do.

Now that I’ve gushed about a bunch of characters, let’s talk about this intricate braid of a plot. There are so many moving parts to the story, and it’s lovely how it all manages to build on the things that have happened in The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices (for the record, I think the Infernal Devices are better than TMI by about a million points, even though they seem to be less popular).

I had hoped that Malcolm Fade was done for, and he wasn’t. I had hoped we’d all had enough of Nazis for 2017, but we hadn’t (thanks, Zara, you sketchface). I had also hoped to see Tessa, but it was not to be. But if those three things and Julian being terrifying are my only complaints about this book, I feel like it accomplished what it needed to.

Annabel Blackthorn was acceptably piteous, mad, sad, tragic, brave, and creepy.  I was elated when she killed Malcolm. I really didn’t want this book to turn into a remake of The Mummy Returns, and it didn’t! She struck off on her own, and I would really like to know what she was up to during those times.

I would also like to see more of the wild hunt. Holy snacks does that sound interesting. I loved the glimpse we got when Diana went with Gwyn in the night. It was also adorable that Gwyn thought her jammies were dress-up clothes. I love those little cultural struggles between the faerie folks and shadowhunters.

The most stark of those differences in this book is the focus on truths and lies. Having a background in couples therapy makes me particularly sensitive to the matter of communication. I’m often infuriated in books when the characters could solve a problem by just being honest with one another. Honestly (ha), there was some of that in this book. The we’re in mutual love but are too ridiculous to tell one another was incredibly strong between Emma and Julian. Emma, just tell him there’s a curse. Julian is a Slytherin for sure but just tell him!!!

Mark, the same goes for you. Do you know how much better it would have been if you just told Kieran what happened? I think it would have gone much smoother. Perfect Diego, you had damn well better be listening in the back, there.

Okay, I’ll be done lecturing imaginary teenagers about their poor life choices.

All in all, this book was well-paced, detailed, interesting, and of course, full of the romance we’ve come to expect from Cassie Clare. I’m already excited for book 3!

Objective Hearts: ♥♥♥♥ 4/5

Subjective Hearts: ♥♥♥♥ 4/5

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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