Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

Title: Lord of Shadows
Author: Cassandra Clare
Published by: Simon and Schuster
Publication date: 23rd May 2017
Pages: 699
Genres: YA Fantasy/Paranormal/Romance
Format: Paperback
Source: Review copy from the publisher.

Would you trade your soul mate for your soul?

A Shadowhunter's life is bound by duty. Constrained by honour. The world 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 to never 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 him. 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, Christina; 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 Julain's screts 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 devices 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.

Ohmygodohmygodohmygod, it's only that book I've been awaiting like mad for over a year... That's right, it's the second book in Cassandra Clare's latest trilogy, The Dark Artifices - and the first book, Lady Midnight, ripped out my heart and trampled all over it. Repeatedly.

Lord of Shadows is no different. Strap in, kids, because this is an emotional roller coaster and a half... although I'm not sure why anyone would expect any different from the Shadowhunter world. Once again, Clare astounds me with how believable it is, this world that has so many layers to it, so much depth and history. I was once again reminded of how intensely her writing draws me in, and how every single emotion felt by any of the characters can immediately be felt by the reader.

This book may even change how you previously felt about characters in Lady Midnight. In the first instalment, I wasn't that bothered about Mark, Kit or Kieran. I don't know what else to say except I just wasn't that drawn to them. Cristina was cool, but I think in Lady Midnight, my focus was definitely on Emma and Julian.

However, in Lord of Shadows, my opinion completely changed. I came to love Kit, who in this instalment is getting to grips with being not just any Shadowhunter, but a Herondale, and the nostalgia was real as I recognised bits of Jace (The Mortal Instruments) and Will (The Infernal Devices) in him. Mark, Kieran and Cristina piqued my interest much more this time round, too, likely because they had more going on this time.

That's another thing - if you thought Lady Midnight was action-packed, you haven't seen anything yet. Lord of Shadows switches between Los Angeles, London, and Cornwall, and the contrast of these awesome settings not only kept me interested for the entire 700-page novel, but also provided insight into different Shadowhunter locations around the world. It was especially interesting to see this new generation of Shadowhunters stay at the London Institute, the setting for one of Clare's other series, The Infernal Devices. As you'd hope and expect, it's full of sneaky references...

Something else which struck me was the amount of parallels with our current political climate. We don't appear to live in the most tolerant or open-minded world at the moment, and as it turns out, neither do Shadowhunters or Downworlders. Offensive views are challenged by a few characters in Lord of Shadows, hitting the nail on the head each time. It's subtle enough to still provide escapism whilst obvious enough to make you want to do lots of mini fist-pumps.

And... this wouldn't be a sufficient review without mentioning Emma and Julian, would it? I'm not going to go into detail about them because fans will know that their relationship is a complicated one, and there are lots of things to spoil that I'm not going to. Just let it be known that they remain my ultimate OTP and they DESERVE HAPPINESS, DAMMIT.

Anyway. The third and final book isn't out for two years. I'll be nearly 21?! Like, I'm an adult, but 21 is a proper adult... so that'll be weird. Not sure I can wait that long for the next book, but I'll have to, won't I? And it'll give my heart some time to recover from this one. This is an author whose books you need to read, people. I've never been more invested in another book than I am in anything Clare writes, and I read a lot, so that's saying something. Come on, get your heart smashed into pieces. Join the club. You know you want to...

1 comment :

  1. I'm so incredibly excited for this one becuase I adored Lady Midnight :)
    Megan @