Lord of Shadows had a lot going on which means we have much to discuss. 😍
In my opinion, the second books in Cassandra Clare’s series are not as strong as the first. City of Ashes was not as good as City of Bones. Clockwork Prince was not as good as Clockwork Angel. Lord of Shadows was not as good as Lady Midnight. Don’t get me wrong. ALL of Cassie’s books are great, and I would recommend everyone to read every single one of them. However, since the second books are more informational, the plotline and the pacing do not complement each other as well as the other books in her series.
One thing I absolutely love about this book is how politically and socially relevant it is. 🙌 It’s her most developed and mature book to date. Cassie uses the Shadowhunter world as a parallel to our own where she’ll address topics such as racism and being prejudice towards those who are unlike ourselves.
I give this book 4.5/5 stars, basically 5/5 stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Everyone needs to get on this series, so we can all be fangirls (or fanboys) about Queen of Air and Darkness when it’s released this December.
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
I think one of the defining marks in Cassie’s development as a writer is how she’s able to weave real-world issues into her storylines. The Shadowhunter world is used as a parallel to our own to illustrate the subject of institutionalized racism. It’s well known that Shadowhunters view themselves as superior to Downworlders and mundanes throughout Cassie’s other books, but this book tackles the subject head-on.
“When a decision like that is made by a government, it emboldens those who are already prejudiced to speak their deepest thoughts of hate. They assume they are simply brave enough to say what everyone really thinks.”
The Cohort, a radical group of elitist Shadowhunters, wants to create a registry of Downworlders. Does this not sound frighteningly familiar? It’s literally what Donald Trump wants to do with Muslims in America. It’s literally what Hitler did with the Jews. Cassandra Clare sends a clear warning that those who do not understand history are doomed to repeat it. I really applaud Cassie for highlighting such an important and realistic topic, and it just goes to show how much she has matured in her writing.
Kit is probably my FAVORITE character in this series. 😍 I mean, how could you not love him? He’s got that signature Herondale sarcasm, and his friendship with the twins is one of the most precious things ever. Throughout this book, we were really able to see his character develop from someone who is against being a Shadowhunter to embracing it.
“Maybe he could frustrate the Shadowhunters by refusing to work out and sitting around eating carbs. I defy you, Shadowhunters, he thought, thumbing the top off the container and popping a cookie in his mouth. I mock you with my sugar cravings.“
Now, this book had a lot of location switches. We jump from the Los Angeles Institute to Faeireland to London to Cornwall to Idris.
In the Los Angeles Institute, we get a cameo from Clary and Jace. I love how they’re mentors to this generation of Shadowhunters. Clary’s a mother/sister figure to Emma. They’re both able to connect on a more personal level because they live with the guilt of killing someone who they know was evil but also had the potential for good. We also learn that Clary turned down Jace’s proposal because she had a vision she was going to die soon. A part of me has a feeling that she’s going to die during the war between Shadowhunters and the Unseelie King…
When the Centurions arrive, we learn that Diego is engaged to Zara Dearborn. First off, I freaking hate Zara with a passion. She’s such a bitch. 😤 She is the Umbridge of this series, and she and her Cohort need to S T O P. Second, I loved seeing Emma be the supportive friend and all protective of Christina.
“I’ll crash the wedding. I’ll just out of the cake, but not in a sexy way. Like, with grenades.”
Mark gets the news from Gwyn of the Hunt that Kieran is going to be executed at the Unseelie Court for murdering Iarlath, so Mark, Julian, Emma, and Christina venture off to rescue him. There were so many intense scenes in Faeire. Emma is chosen to fight a faeire soldier but she breaks down because the soldier is an illusion of her father. Julian learns from the Seelie Queen how to break a parabatai bond but doing so would sever all bonds. Of course, Kieran is rescued, but he doesn’t remember his actions from Lady Midnight.
Meanwhile, at the Institute, Malcolm returns and is, unsurprisingly, not dead. This would’ve been a perfect time for someone to kill Zara off, but instead, we get Uncle Arthur sacrificing himself to save the Blackthorn children. 😭 He was seriously underappreciated. In the end, Annabel is raised from the dead, but she kills Malcolm because she was essentially kept buried alive for five years when his necromancy spell first worked.
We get to the London Institute, and I’m squealing with happiness. There are so many references to The Infernal Devices that my heart is bursting. 💕 Kit is wandering around for things to steal. Furniture is too heavy. Weapons were too heavily guarded. He finds valuable first edition books but “most of them had been scribbled in by some idiot named Will H.” *fangirls*
Jessamine’s ghost is still there, too! I like her more in this series because we see her mature from someone who was mean to Will to someone protecting his prized books and the London Institute. Emma also stays in Jem’s old room. *fangirls (again)*
My second favorite character has to be Ty. He is such a cinnamon roll. 😍 While he is autistic and is treated differently because of his lack of understanding social cues, he is one of the most intelligent and sensible characters in the book. He’s a mini-Sherlock, seeing things others don’t notice. He’s the first to realize the Centurions are snakes, and his letter to Annabel was extremely touching because he sympathizes well with her and showcases his love for his brother. I’m really rooting for KitTy to be canon, so the Livvy and Kit kiss THREW ME OFF.
We get a couple POV’s of Dru in the last half of the book, but I still don’t feel like I know her character. She spends her time hiding Jamie until he can speak to Christina, but I don’t fully trust Jamie either. You don’t just attempt to take an Institute from someone then pretend that everything’s okay. 😑 She’s definitely going to be more important in the next book simply because she’s found a portal to Faeire. Also, that boy she meets there…could he possibly be the Sebastian Morgenstern and Seelie Queen demon spawn??? Gwyn was awesome. He’s a lot more understanding of Diana being transgender (A+ to Cassie for diversifying her characters) simply because he doesn’t have a lot of preconceived prejudices a Shadowhunter would. Watching Gwyn court Diana was just so sweet, and seeing Diana reveal her secret to him was so emotional. 💕
Alrighty, Julian and Emma. After countless failed attempts to avoid their love for each other and burning down a stone church with the strength of their parabatai bond, they finally admit their true feelings. 🔥 Both characters are honestly so kick ass in this book. Julian: the boy who does what has to be done because no one else will. This boy is fearless. Emma, his counterpart, is such a freaking bad ass. She kills a Rider of Mannan, something no one has ever done.
The last few pages of this book were extremely chaotic–Magnus is ill, the Cohort won’t shut their damn mouths, Annabel is scared and on a rampage…
Let’s talk about the two deaths first:
Robert Lightwood, the Inquisitor, is stabbed by Annabel with the Mortal Sword. Emotionally, this is heartbreaking because Alec and Izzy are losing a father. Logically, the Blackthorns are losing a major ally. We know that the Council appoints the next Inquisitor, and since the Council is made up of many of those wackjob Cohort supporters, it’s unlikely the next Inquisitor will be of any help. There’s no doubt in my mind that Robert Lightwood’s death and the shattering of the Mortal Sword 🗡 are important symbolism. It represents the state of the Shadowhunter world going into the next book.
Livvy’s death was the most devastating. You can’t just break up The Three Musketeers! She was going to be Ty’s parabatai. 😭 Julian is going to feel so defeated and guilty for losing one of his siblings when he’s devoted his life to protecting them. There’s honestly so much to address that I can’t wait until Dec 04, 2018! I know Cassie is going to knock it out of the park, so all we can do it bear the unbearable wait.
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HAVE YOU READ Lord of Shadows? WHAT WERE YOUR THOUGHTS? LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS! 💕