Title: Lord of Shadows
Author: Cassandra Clare
Genre: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
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 have also reviewed Lady Midnight if you want to check that out first, click here)
Get ready for a damn mess of a review because I’m still trying to gather my thoughts and work out how and what I’m feeling. Okay? Y’all ready?
Let’s just start off with this; I love Cassandra Clare. You should all know this about me by now. I will forever love the Shadowhunter Chronicles and every book in it, because I am addicted and obsessed. The world she has created and the complexity of all the events and characters and history is just absolutely mind-blowing. I have no idea how she makes them all connect so well and makes it all work but damn she is good.
I was super hyped for this book. I mean, any Cassie Clare book being released is immediately my most anticipated for the year. But I admit I was so nervous to read this one. I have not been let down by Clare’s novels yet, and after the amazingness that was Lady Midnight, I wasn’t sure she’d be able to top it.
Unfortunately, I don’t think she did.
Don’t get me wrong, I still loved this book, but I don’t think it was as good as the previous one. I don’t even know what it was about it, I just didn’t feel as enthralled by it. Some parts seemed to drag and be a little boring, which very rarely happens in a Cassie Clare novel. It hurts me to even say that, but it’s okay. I didn’t hate the book and this was the only minor thing that I had an issue with. I also think it may have something to do with me forgetting a lot of what happened in Lady Midnight. I wanted to reread it before Lord of Shadows was released but I just ran out of time. I think if I read them closer together then I probably would’ve loved LoS more than LM.
And let’s be real if I wasn’t so utterly obsessed with the Blackthorn family and all their close friends I don’t think I would have enjoyed this book at all. But the Blackthorns are one of my absolute favourite fictional families, ever. As a reader, you literally feel like you are apart of their family and their struggles and their drama, and it’s so wonderful and painful at the same time. Each one of them has gained a special place in my heart, and I’m both excited and absolutely terrified to see what happens to them all in the next book.
Once again, I also loved seeing characters from Clare’s other series’. Any mention of them makes my heart fill with joy and pain and literally, I can’t help but relive all the feels all over again. And that wasn’t the only pain I endured. This book, particularly the last 100 or so pages, hurt my damn soul. So many feels. So much happened. So many questions still to be answered. And TWO DAMN YEARS TO WAIT FOR THOSE ANSWERS. I don’t know how I’m going to do it, but at least we get another Shadowhunter story while we wait.
I also quickly want to mention the diversity in this series, because Cassie is an absolute gem when it comes to including diversity in her works. We have POC characters, a character with autistic spectrum disorder, a (possibly two?) bisexual character, a transgender character, and many other lgbtqiap+ characters and relationships and I believe she’s done such a good job with their representations (though I cannot really speak for any of the minorities mentioned so I could be wrong).
Overall, I couldn’t help but love this book. Although I don’t think it was as good as Lady Midnight, I am Cassandra Clare trash and there’s a 99% chance I will love every book she writes no matter what.
Have you read Lord of Shadows yet? What were your thoughts? Lemme know!
Until next time,