*Warning this review contains spoilers for the first book in the series, Lady Midnight.*
Series: The Dark Artifices, #3
Publication: May 23rd 2017 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
Would you trade your soul mate for your soul?
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.
Lord of Shadows is everything a Cassandra Clare book we expected it to be and more! It is full of vivid characters, action packed plot and some romance and hits on some dark themes and let's be real it was heartbreaking.
I obviously love the plots of Cassie's books or I wouldn't have read all her books but to me it's her characters that really drive me to keep reading. They are all so vivid and we only scraped the surface of some of them in Lady Midnight. In Lord of Shadows we really get to know some of the other characters at a much deeper level such as Kit, Ty, Livvy, Dru and Diana. I loved Emma, Jules, Ty and Cristina in LM but now I love almost everyone! Kit is definitely a character that stands out in Lord of Shadows. The sass levels are real with this boy! He is hilarious, I lived for Kit's narration.
There are a few friendships that play a big role in Lord of Shadows which I liked. Romantic relationships are fun to read and ship but the relationships I live most are friendships and family so having new friendships develop was one of my favourite parts of the story. Livvy, Ty and Kit mesh so nicely together; I loved reading any scene with the three of them. I also liked how Emma and Mark's friendship was explored. I think it would have been easy for Cassie to go down the love triangle route and I'm so glad she didn't. Their friendship reads as very genuine.
It's a Cassandra Clare book so of course there is a lot of romantic relationships drama, but to be honest it was not as much as I anticipated. I loved how mature the characters were in dealing with the situations they were in. They came off as real people and not bratty annoying 15yr olds like some other YA books.
I loved the plot. We follow a few POVs in Lord of Shadows so it's actually like a few different storylines that all wove together! I loved how we got to spend more time with some characters who we didn't see a lot of in LM. All the different stories made the story fly by; especially when a chapter ended on a cliffhanger and hanged POVs. I couldn't stop reading.
Because there is so many POVs Lord of Shadows is set in a variety of places such as London, Cornwall, Faerie and Idris. TID fans will be over the moon as we get to spend a good chunk of time in the London institute! In LM we just stay in LA so it was fun seeing the characters interacting with new environments.
Clave politics comes to the forefront in Lord of Shadows- there is a big emphasis on how corrupt it is which we already knew but I think it's a lot more relevant to our characters in Lord of Shadows because they are interacting with some of these corrupt people. Some of the stuff going on in the story is kinda reflective of stuff going on in the real world and I liked how it kind of reminded me of the affects of world war 1.
There is no lack of diversity in the Shadowhunter Chronicles but Cassie stepped it up another notch in Lord of Shadows by introducing our first transgender Shadowhunter! I think it was dealt with very well and people will be happy with the representation.
Another note on diversity: Cassie has said that Ty has autism on multiple occasions but it was never explicitly said in the books, the characters merely said he was just 'special' or 'different' of 'just Ty'; but in Lord of Shadows the term 'autistic' is used. While labels aren't everything I think it is important to acknowledge them and this highlights to readers who weren't aware that Ty has autism.
I have to commend Cassie for all the risks she took in Lord of Shadows. She went in certain directions a lot of authors would shy away from and to be honest I didn't think she'd have the guts to do what she did in Lord of Shadows but she did. And it terrifies me that she has no problems being brutal to her main characters because it really means no one is safe!
There are a few cameos from The Mortal Instruments characters and a few nods towards Cassie's other series The Infernal Devices and her upcoming series The Last Hours which fans will love. I know I got excited any time a TID name popped up!
The ending was one of Cassie's best yet. I was complete thrown off guard and thoroughly distraught. I just wanted to remind readers that the next book in TDA isn't out until 2019 so if you are not one for cliff hangers probably wait until closer the time Queen of Air and Darkness is released.
Overall I absolutely loved Lord of Shadows but who's surprised? I had so much fun easing and am eagerly anticipating the third and final book in the series!
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Thanks for reading,