Lord of Shadows
The Dark Artifices 2
So Lord of Shadows happened. I had to take some time after reading LoS before I was able to write this review. While I was reading I did take some notes, most of the time just some reactions or ideas I had, but I also did put sticky notes basically everywhere, whenever I saw a beautiful quote or a scene, that broke my heart.
Of course this review is full of SPOILERS and you should not read it, if you have not read all the Shadowhunter books. But I can assure you LoS was amazing and I don’t know how I am going to survive 2 years of waiting for Queen of Air and Darkness.
But let us get into my review, or rather my fangirling over every scene.
(Hence I am not a native English speaker there are most likely going to be some mistakes and I am sorry for that. I hope you do enjoy this review anyway.)
I did not take any notes while reading the first 50 pages, because they were released as a sneak peak earlier. So I read them in during a lesson in school on my phone.
But I loved the beginning when Kit was trying to steal weapons from the weapons room in order to sell them because he wanted to run away. But them Jace came in and talked to him about being a Shadowhunter and a Herondale and it was so cute. Kit reminded me of Jace in a way that they both didn’t know who their parents really were and they had a hard time finding out where they belong after all. But I will say more about Kit growing fond of the Blackthorns later.
And wow, when Clary talked to Emma about Jace’s proposal, and her reasons to say no.
Basically, Clary thinks she is gonna die, because of dreams she had and she thinks her death would hurt Jace more, if they were married. Which I think is stupid, he is either way going to be devastated. And how could Cassie tell us something like that and then just not give us anything more about Clace? Even though I am not the biggest fan of Clary, I can’t bear the thought that she survived the dark war just to die as a side character in TDA or TLH. Please Cassie, do not do this to us.
So our group goes to the Santa Monica Pier to hunt a sea demon and we get a first amazing fight scene on the wheel. We also get some Emma and Mark dinamics. At the end of Lady Midnight Emma asks Mark to play her boyfriend so that Julian falls out of love with her. But he asks why to pretend. And even though I ship Jules and Emma like no tomorrow, I did like the idea of Emma and Mark. Anyway, soon we see that they are in fact only pretending and Mark tries to really play the role of the cute boyfriend by winning a goldfish for Emma. That was so funny. We also learn that Mark and Emma kissed once and while they kissed, Emma started to cry and didn’t even realise it.
Of course Mark doesn’t understand why. Emma did not tell him about the parabatai curse and not even that she is in love with Julian. But Mark is absolutely cute and just keeps pretending while he also forms a friendship with Emma. He sleeps in her room and they talk a lot. I just really loved the way their relationship evolved.
All the Blackthorns go through a hard time. After the showdown with Malcolm did sea demons start to crawl out of the ocean and the think it is because the black book is still somewhere in the ocean. Hence the demon activity, the clave sends centurions to Los Angeles and with them is also Zara Dearborn, Diego’s fiancée. I was so angry at Diego. But this break up with him made a relationship with Mark more probable.
Over the course of the book, Emma and Jules’ bond becomes stronger and stronger. They can almost read their minds, so when Julian went up to the attic to talk to Arthur, Emma sensed he needed her and she followed him. Arthur then said something very important. He tells them the story of how Cortana once was broken by an angel, so Cortana’s bearer wouldn’t kill a man because “Mercy is better than revege”. Emma then reacts by saying that Cortana was never broken and Arthur says: ”There is truth in stories. [ ] Fiction is truth, even if it is not fact. If you believe only in facts and forget stories, your brain will live, but your heart will die.”
Early in the novel Gwyn ap Nudd, the leader of the wild hunt, comes to the Institute to ask Mark for help. Kieran, Mark’s exboyfriend has been sentenced to death by his father, the unseelie king, for killing Iarlath. Since Gwyn is not allowed to interfere with the courts businesses he hopes Mark’s love for Kieran would make him resurrect Kieran.
Kieran first pretends to not want to go to fearie, but of course he does and leaves only a letter for Cristina. She tells the others and they go after Mark with the help of a family heirloom of Christina’s. It turns out the Rosales are very close with fearies and I am super curious what this connection will have to do with the current situation between the fae and the shadowhunters.
A lot of crazy stuff goes down in fearie. Most of them have to do with illusions that they do fall for. Like Julian kissing that girl.
But what shocked me the most was the blight. I immediately had those Carry On vibes.
If the unseelie king can create those blights, the shadowhunters have to fight like mundanes.
They succeed at saving Kieran, but only because Kieran and Helen’s aunt takes them to the seelie court.
The seelie queen offers them a deal. If they bring her the black book, she would help them with her army against the unseelie king and she would end the cold peace, so that Helen and Aline could come back. While they are staying at her court, Julian and Emma have to share a bed and they have a hard time doing so. It was so infuriating that they did not talk for so long about their relationship. Guys you need to DTR!
On the other hand, Kieran was hurt after the torture and Cristina looked after him. That was just the beginning of a very strange relationship. Mark has feelings for Cristina but also for Kieran, and while Cristina does no longer love Diego that much, she also really likes Mark. Same for Kieran. But Kieran and Cristina grew on each other in a way that I think is not platonic. But we will see what happens there in two years …
At the end of part one, Julian finally realises how much Mark loves him and the rest of the family: “For the first time he thought in wonder of how much his brother must love him after all, to have given up the sky for his sake.”
And a few pages later they come back and Mark assures Ty that he will always come back to him.
No need to mention that I cried.
Our group flees to the London Institute because Malcolm Fade, surprise, is not acutally dead and still needs Blackthorn blood to raise Annabel. Only Arthur stays behind and eventually sacrifices himself. I was glad Arthur got a redeeming ending.
The seelie queen shows this scene to Julian and they both see how Annabel comes back from the dead and straight up kills Malcolm. Slay gurl! And then she goes off with the black book.
A little out of context, we get a beautiful quote that was written on the back of a photo of a Carstairs girl, and the quote says: “The wound is the place where the light enters you.”
The London Institute is full of references to The Infernal Devices. Will H. scribbled in library books and Jessamine, still living as a ghost there.
Kit can talk to ghosts, because apparently all Herondales can do that, did I miss this before? So he asks Jessie about his father, if he was in heaven. And Jessamine says she doesn’t know what comes after death and that Tessa used to ask her the same question, for she wanted to know where Will was. (As I am writing this know, I am again crying, this scene broke my heart. I have yet not read anything that made me feel such real emotions as TID.)
I feel like while they were in London, their bonds as a family and also between them as individuals got so much stronger. Like when Livy told Jules, that she wants to be like him, that she wants to take care of others and run an Institute. And Julian realises that his family know about his lies and they love him for it.
Because they have to bring the black book to the seelie queen, Emma and Jules go off to Cornwall in the hope to find Annabel there in Malcolm’s old cottage. To get there they take the train and in this train was a scene that made me laugh out loud. Ty had previously given drawing tools he bought to Julian as a gift and Julian started to sketch on the train, when Emma flung herself on the seat and said: “Draw me like on of your French girls.” It was so random but exactly the kind of comic relief Julian and Emma’s relationship needed.
So while Emma and Jules are on their mission Livvy, Ty and Kit are investigating on their own. Kit convinces them to go with him to the London shadow market, actually to flee from there, but things do not work out as planned.
But more importantly, I caught up two little details; there was a description of a thin werewolf with white hair, who sold bottles of a silvery powder, that must be Yin Fen; and before they were attacked by Barnabas a green warlock helps them who calls himself Shade, does that ring a bell? I am pretty sure Shade was the name of Mortmain’s parents in TID and I think his father was green. But as far as I know it, they both were killed, so who is this man? I hope this question will be answered soon.
I think the time has come to talk about my favourite part of this book and no it is not Jules and Emma and it is also not Kieran, Mark and Cristina, even though I liked them a lot more than Jules and Emma in Los. The absolute best part is Kit, Ty and Livvy.
The three of them get really close in LoS and we do not really know in what way those relationships evolve.
There was the kiss between Livvy and Kit, which was cute but kind of not a great deal, and also tha fact, that Ty slept in front of Kit’s door for days.
Tiberius is different from the other siblings, not only physical, with his black straight hair, but he also thinks different and as soon Kit arrives he mentions autism. He thinks it is completely normal and also mentions that there is medicine and therapy that helps, but shadowhunters are not allowed to use mundane medication or visit doctors other than the silent brothers.
So we see Ty dealing with his mind and a very powerful scene was for me, when he opened all those pixie cages on the shadow market and let them fly away. He cares so much for little creatures and wants to protect them. Ty is just so precious.
Later Ty blames himself because Livvy was hurt and he could not put an Iratze on her. (For all runes take power from the person they are put on, except for those put on by your parabatai, they take the strength from the parabatai.)
We know that Livvy wanted to be parabatai with Ty, but he refused, because he dreamed of going to the Scholomance and you can’t have a parabatai if you want to do so. But in the moment Livvy is hurt he says to Kit that the Scholomance does not matter, that only Livvy matters.
And soon later he asks Kit to hug him and they have this absolutely cute hug, and Kit understands Ty and wants to help him and just straight up accepts and likes him like he is.
I think this is a good moment to say that Cassandra Clare brings so many important topics up in TDA. Diversity, racism, fascism, there were also takes on these things in earlier books but TDA and especially LoS did such a great job at pointing at these problems that are so often ignored, especially in fantasy books.
We finally get to know Diana’s secret and I tell you, I was blown away. So Diana was actually born as Daniel and she tells Gwyn the whole story. Needless to say I loved it. I hope we get to see more of her in QoAaD and the way she deals with her secret.
So 550 pages into the book, Emma FINALLY tells Jules the truth about her feelings for him and Mark. That she loves him, Julian, and only pretended to be in love with Mark because of the parabatai curse. I don’t even know what to say about the curse, I don’t know how they can prevent it, especially with Robert Lightwood now dead. They both had talked to Magnus about the curse and he advised them to talk to Robert; he could exile one of them and it would weaken the bond. Of course what they did was illegal, but he hoped that if they told the truth and asked for help, their marks would not be stripped off and they could stay shadowhunters. So they talked to Robert and Emma decided to be exiled, for Julian to be able to stay with the kids, but then in the final show down Robert is killed by Annabel and what are they going to do no? I don’t think there is a way to stop the curse, except for Cortana. We have heard so many times that there is nothing that Cortana can’t cut. Why not a parabatai bond? There is hope, guys.
I left out a few things (actually a lot of things) earlier. Zara Dearborn, Diego’s fiancée is part of the cohort. A group of shadowhunters that wants to restrict the rights of downworlders, and in order to do so, they want to take over the Las Vegas Intstitute. Zara built herself the image of a great shadowhunter by taking the credits of other people’s successes, like killing Malcolm Fade.
Julian asks Annabel to tell the clave that she was the one who killed Malcolm and not Zara, so they could reveal Zara’s lies. He promises Annabel an easy life in Blackthorn manor for that, and of course he asks her to give him the black book. She agrees to do so, if Magnus stays with her at the questioning and only after she got Blackthorn manor.
So they are at the meeting and Magnus suddenly collapses. Alec tells the others that he and also Tessa were getting weaker. So only Julian can go with Annabel. And at first everything seems fine, but then the cohort attacks Annabel and she freaks out. She kills Robert with the mortal sword and fights the Blackthorns. Emma manages to break the mortal sword with Cortana but Annabel stabs Livvy with the broken blade. Annabel then vanishes with the black book in a dark fog, produced by the unseelie king.
And here the story just ends.
I was unable to do anything else until I had read all 700 pages. What am I going to do now? We had Arthur’s and Robert’s death, both were sad, but Livvy dying broke my heart. Tiberius is left without his twin now, and Jules is going to blame himself for letting Livia be killed.
We have so many open questions. What is Jaime up to? I forgot to mention, he is actually a good guy and helped Diego. Diego pretended only to be with Zara, so Jaime could take away the weapon, Zara wanted from them. What is this weapon exactly? Is it the boy we saw when Dru was sucked into fearie? Who is this boy? Why does he look like Jonathan Morgenstern? What is the unseelie King up to? Is there an other way to break the parabatai bond than to just break all parabatai bonds with the black book? What is happening with Jace and Clary? Kieran, Mark and Cristina? Kit and Ty, will they be lovers or parabatai?
I wrote 5 pages and there are still so many things I left out. But it felt good to go through all of this again. I am beyond excited for Queen of Air and Darkness.
Of course I gave Lord of Shadows 5 out of 5 stars.