Lord of Shadows by Casandra Clare
THIS BOOK IS SO F***ING GOOD.
LIKE, FANTASTIC AMAZING UNBELIEVABLY AWESOMELY GOOD.
Okay, okay; I’m calm, I swear. Lord of Shadows is the second installment of Cassandra Clare’s The Dark Artifices trilogy and the far better sequel to Lady Midnight. It picks up not too long after Lady Midnight lets out, the crew now facing a growing number of sea demon attacks as a result of Malcolm Fade’s body and the Black Book’s banishment into the Pacific Ocean by Emma. Julian’s sad because Emma is with Mark, Kit wants nothing to do with all the obnoxiously hot people who tell him what to do, Cristina’s with Diego even though she wants Mark, Mark is mad at Kieran while he’s pretending with Emma and longing for Cristina, and whole lot of other issues that I won’t even begin to go over.
The focus of this novel is the retrieval of the Black Book and subjugation of Anabel (who, as we learned in Lady Midnight, is alive in some capacity). It starts off quick with the gang’s almost immediate trip to the faerie lands (I LOVE the faerie lands!!!) to save Kieran from the Unseelie king. What unfolds is an intricate plot connecting the Shadow world to both Seelie and Unseelie courts, that also screws with the Downworld and brings in surprisingly relevant political narratives through the Clave and the dickheaded asshats that are the Centurions (hat may be an under-exaggeration). There’s little to be said without spoiling something but just know that Lord of Shadows uses Lady Midnight as less of a basis than a bouncing point, and spins a whole new, more intense story from Fade’s actions not only in the present but also throughout his long lifetime.
There isn’t much in new characters or relationships in LoS (aside from Gwyn and Diana which I AM SO DOWN FOR) but there is a load of character/relationship development. Basically everyone is hiding something from someone for the majority or entirety of the novel which changes dynamic and makes each person both harder to figure out and easier to understand. They’re also very solidified in who they are at this point which enables them to be built on. Emma is Emma but more cautious. Julian is Julian but scarier. Mark is fully embracing his Shadowhunterness but also clinging to the faerie part of himself. Cristina is working through her past to fully accept her present. Ty is Ty but more confident and uses his disability not as a hindrance but as an asset. Kit is accepting his heritage. Dru is growing up.
As for the romance… I’m assuming it is a truth universally acknowledged that the more forbidden it is, the more delicious the temptation is and the more heated it gets. It does, but it also is rare and fleeting and, frankly, a long time coming. I mean that for all of them–I’m looking at you, Mark and Cristina!
Bonus points: THE. LONDON. INSTITUTE. For a good chunk of the book the Blackthorn kids are holed up in London, Will and Jem and Tessa’s old hangout. SO MANY EASTER EGGS. IT’S AMAZING. From library first editions inscribed with the initials W.H. to Jessamine’s ghost, every second of their time there is a callback to our beloved TID world.
In the spirit of honesty though I have to confess, this is also a very heartbreaking book. Like, punch-in-the-gut, cry-for-days, oh-no-she-didn’t kind of heartbreak. Be ready because I wasn’t. *sobs inconsolably*
In short, I loved it. I so loved it. I adored it. 10/10 would recommend. Seriously, this book was amazing; read it.
Click here for the book synopsis on goodreads!