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Book Review: Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare, The Dark Artifices #2


I love Cassie Clare's books and have done since I first read City of Bones when I was 10 years old. Her world building is incredible - everything about the shadow world is enchanting and dangerous and captures your soul. As scary as this world sounds, I'd love to be a part of it.

Full warning, this review will contain spoilers. Generally with series I try to write my review of the first book with minimal spoilers, but it's just too hard to do that for subsequent reviews

Ok first up - the Emma/Julian/Mark/Cristina situation. Argh they're all making my heart ache! Having the law that forbids parabati love explained through the curse makes sense, but it's so incredibly unfair. You would choose your parabati because they are your other half, the person you work the best with and trust with your life - surely it would stand to reason that you might fall in love? I'm really hoping that book 3 sees Emma and Julian work out a way to sever the bond, although with Robert Lightwood being killed at the end of book 2, I'm not sure how that will play out. I am also very saddened by Robert's death - he had a lot of growth in TMI despite not being a particularly key character, and I adore Alec and Isabelle - they've already lost their brother, and now their father too.

I like Mark and Cristina together. I wasn't too sure what to make of Mark in book 1, but he has more than redeemed himself by now. Hopefully they can work through the obstacles standing in their way.

Livvy, oh my goodness. I kind of saw it coming, it seemed unlikely that all of the Blackthorn children would survive, and I had a horrible feeling it would be her. Ty is my baby and he lost his twin, and I can't imagine how agonising that will be.

I think that CC touches on a really important topic throughout all her shadowhunters work. The shadowhunters are the Nephilim, descendants of the angels, and so are expected to be pure and rid the world of evil. But despite their angelic blood, evil lurks within their own society. There will always be those who let power corrupt their minds, and believe themselves to be the dealers of justice. The bigotry present in these stories disgusts me, but I think it is a very important aspect of them. No matter how pure your blood may be, you are still liable to corruption. Nobody should be considered above others, despite whom your ancestors may be.

I'm excited to see how the trilogy finishes off, but I also don't want it to end! I'm loving the presence of some of my old favourite TMI characters, and also the references to ones from TID and TLH as well - CC is fantastic at linking all of her timelines together, weaving all these separate tales into one large story


Read the summary below:

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.

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