All I can say is that Lord Of Shadows was so so so so so so so so so so so so EXCELLENT.
And if you thought this review was going to start off with a coherent and emotionally charged sentence of passionate and triumph…hahaha. You’re adorable. LET’S JUST SAY I AM SHADOWHUNTER TRASH AND AM REDUCED TO A WILD MESS EVERY TIME I READ ONE OF THESE PERFECT BOOKS.
I AM CURRENTLY A BROKEN PIECE OF RUIN. I JUST LOVE IT THAT MUCH.
IT WAS SO GOOD.
NOTE #1: This is the sequel to Lady Midnight! There will be mild spoilers for the first book in this review. But NO spoilers for Lord of Shadows! (Or they’ll be hidden by tags anyway.)
Note #2: If you haven’t read The Mortal Instruments…can you read Lady Midnight? Why yes…yes you can. I think it’s better to have read both The Mortal Instruments and the Infernal Devices first, however, because there are small spoilers in Lady Midnight for them. But as an introduction to the Shadowhunter world — it can work on its own!
+ I AM ABSOLUTELY DYING. IT WAS JUST THAT GOOD.
It’s been like 4 days since I read it and I’m still obsessing about it. I’m basically an ANXIOUS WRECK because the story has so captivated me and ajfsdkaldajkd. I’m in that level of love for it. THAT LEVEL. I think all the Shadowhunter books are perfection, but Lady Midnight took it up a notch with the most beautiful Blackthorn family, faeries, mental health acutely accurate disability representation. It’s extraordinarily crafted, with plots tying in from older stories and everything stitching so seamlessly together I can only SHRIEK. And suspect Cassandra Clare is a warlock of great power. The humour! The sass! The beautiful sensory description! The complex and detailed characters! I JUST MELTED MY MIND EXCUSE ME.
+ As far as sequels goes? Lord of Shadows was perfect.
No second book blues here!! Except for, well, (a) the cover is blue, and (b) I’m kind of blue in the face from being so excited over it and falling over. I will admit it slowed down around the 70% mark, but when I’m so in love with the characters, I really don’t care if all they’re doing is eating toast in a cottage and sassing each other. I will take the lowkey scenes as eagerly as the action.
+ Plot? OBVIOUSLY I LOVED IT.
I swear it’s pure WIZARDRY how a small thing from the TMI series will mean something BIG here. And how this plot fits perfectly with that series and etc. etc. IT’S INCREDIBLE. THE SHADOWHUNTER WORLD IS SO INTENSELY COMPLICATED AND INTRICATELY DESIGNED. The foreshadowing (har har get it??? SHADOWS) makes my heart beat faster.
I also 500% admit my favourite thing about The Dark Artifices is how it’s very faerie-centric. I love how deliciously evil and terrifying the faeries are. THEY ARE THE BEST. Also the description for their culture and lands is marvellously gorgeous. A sky full of jewels? Like sure, just let my heart gallop out of my chest for appreciation for the description. I probably shouldn’t love the evil faeries so much but…hi.
+ Okay so let’s talk about the characters?!? WHAT WE’VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR.
I’m just gonna flail. For 900000 years. These are some of my all time favourite characters of ANY book.
- JULIAN: he is so so Slytherin in this book it’s kind of scary and I love it. <3 <3 <3
- EMMA: I think she has some secret badass magic powers that no one knows about yet?!? I suspect. And I actually appreciated how the book wasn’t JUST focused on Julian/Emma so much this time too. Also: Emma’s sass and sarcasm levels GIVE ME LIFE.
- MARK: MARK IS MY PRECIOUS AND MY FAVOURITE AND MARK MARK MARK HE IS THE REASON I LOVE THIS SERIES SO MUCH MY ULTIMATE FAVOURITE CHARACTER OF ALL NO I WILL NOT USE PUNCTUATION I WILL JUST SHOUT HOW MUCH I LOVE MARK. Although I aggressively ship him and Kieran. Just saying. (AND STILL NOT EVEN SLIGHTLY EXAGGERATING HOW MUCH I LOVE MARK.)
- KIERAN: Who is a Slytherin also and I love him and I know he’s such a vicious faerie…but he’s still precious. Don’t fight me on this. And I love how his hair changes colours. Such beautiful hair.
- CRISTINA: I always will like Cristina, who is a sweet and kind cotton fluff. But she’s really really…good. And I prefer characters who frolic in the dark side. Plus she’s interrupting my Mark x Kieran ship so I’m a peeved at her.
- KIT HERONDALE: OKAY MR. CHRISTOPHER HERONDALE IS MY THE BEST. He is such a mini-Jace! He’s also a huge thief, adorable, hugely sarcastic, will fight if needed, and is super sweet and supportive of Ty without question. The fact that his first reaction to Ty’s autism is “okay how can I support you” makes me want to cry. <3 <3
- Ty: The fact that there is an Autistic Shadowhunter who is not only accurately represented, but really beautifully and thoughtfully written — I JUST CAN’T STOP BEING SO HAPPY ABOUT IT. I’m also glad Ty (and Livvy) had more room to actually be badass Shadowhunters. Julian totally smothers them, but he is their brother and they are his babies. C’mon though. LET THE BABIES FIGHT. (Clary and Jace were 15 when they broke the world…oh wait. Maybe this is why you don’t let the babies out…)
- LIVVY: She isn’t such a big character, but her love and protection of her twin is gorgeous and wonderful. I still don’t really know her personality though.
- DRU & TAVVY: They’re kind of like the Blackthorn babies no one talks about. Dru unfortunately feels like a spare wheel most of the time. I hope she gets more of a plot soon?
- MAGNUS BANE: is here in a burst of glitter and narcissism and I love him. Also YES we get to see more of Alec and the kids! I also quite severely suspect that their blue adopted warlock child is actually the lost baby of Lazlo Strange. Excuse me.
- ZARA: I wish to would fall off a cliff.
- PERFECT DIEGO: He can join Zara on the cliff.
- ANNABEL BLACKTHORN: Is terrifying, dead, and therefore excellent. I have a soft spot for the dead ones. She has such severe PTSD and I kind of hate her but also think she needs to be understood.
- UNCLE ARTHUR: My feelings of caring are basically 0%.
- DIANA: I LOVED finding out Diana’s backstory! Although lowkey think her romance with Gwyn was kind of boring/distracting from MY PRECIOUS BLACKTHORN BOYS.
+ And I will always cheer appreciatively for the Autism rep!!
It is not only thoughtful and complex, it is so so accurate. Ty is so precious and I just love how carefully Cassandra Clare weaves in how different his brain is wired and his habits and tics, with the Shadowhunter world and magic. It’s perfect. I live for the day when all fantasy books have careful and loving disability rep, because we are in sore need.
+ So so much shipping is to be done.
Obviously Julian x Emma are an incredible ship of angst. Although I appreciate how the angst levels didn’t swallow the book. I hate hate hate the love triangle with Mark x Kieran x Cristina. Mostly because I FREAKING LOVE MARK X KIEREN and Cristina is boring. Plus I also think Cristina only likes Mark because he’s a fearie and she’s obsessed with faeries?!? So that’s not fair. Ty x Kit will make a super cute ship someday. But otherwise I ship Kit and cookies.
+ DIVERSITY IS A+.
We’ve touched on this already but I just looove the diversity. With featuring POC and queer romances, plus adding in mental health and disabilities in characters, and different cultures, including heavily featured Spanish characters.
+ Cliffhanger?? Haha…you didn’t want…to be calm…ever again…did you.
JFAKDLFAJDSKLJ AKLFSJDAKL JFKDASL THE CLIFFHANGER AJDKFLASDJFAKLDJ.
WHY ARE WE NOT GETTING THE 3RD BOOK FOR 2 YEARS WHAT IS THIS MADNESS. WHATEVER DID WE DO TO DESERVE THIS.
+ SPOILERS ABOUT THE ENDING:
So obviously DO NOT open these tags unless you want to see major spoilers. You’ve been warned, you grape.
+ Perfect book is perfect.
There is no other word for it.
I am so wildly in love with this series.
THANK YOU TO SIMON & SCHUSTER FOR THE REVIEW-COPY. Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices #2) by Cassandra Clare was published May, 2017.
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.