Emma Carstairs has finally avenged her parents. She thought she’d be at peace. But she is anything but calm. Torn between her desire for her parabatai Julian and her desire to protect him from the brutal consequences of parabatai relationships, she has begun dating his brother, Mark. But Mark has spent the past five years trapped in Faerie; can he ever truly be a Shadowhunter again?
And the faerie courts are not silent. The Unseelie King is tired of the Cold Peace, and will no longer concede to the Shadowhunters’ demands. Caught between the demands of faerie and the laws of the Clave, Emma, Julian, and Mark must find a way to come together to defend everything they hold dear—before it’s too late.
*Warning: There will be spoilers about Lady Midnight in this post. Read at your own risk!*
I have been waiting for this book for what feels like the longest time and, unlike some other highly anticipated releases, Lord of Shadows did not disappoint me. I don’t even know where to begin.
Let’s start with that cliffhanger in Lady Midnight. I went into this novel expecting and Mark-Emma-Julian love triangle and that didn’t really happen in the way that I thought it would. I expected a bit more angst and instead it was kind of easily resolved, though I promise you there’s still plenty of conflict and romantic angst if you’re into that kind of thing, which I totally am.
In fact, the ships that kind of start off this book get upended pretty quickly, which I found interesting and fun. It kept things interesting and I never felt annoyed because, to me at least, there never seemed to a real love triangle. What I mean is, you can pretty much guess who everyone’s going to end up with and even if the characters themselves don’t.
Plus, I really liked how everyone loves each other. For example, Emma and Mark become really close and I liked their friendship. I also love how much Julian loves his siblings, as was evident in the first novel, but especially how he’s willing to swallow his feelings for Emma if it means she and Mark are happy together. It’s nice that not only are the Blackthorns so close but they’re family also includes Emma, Cristina, and even Kit now.
This book wasn’t just about the relationships, however, though I thought they were great. There’s various plots going on that kept be very engaged throughout the book. First of all, this book brought a lot of new characters, mainly in the form of the Centurions. These people are like the elite Shadowhunters. They train at a special school called the Scholomance. They’re also incredibly annoying, especially their quasi leader Zara.
Someone on Tumblr referred to Zara as the Dolores Umbridge of the Shadowhunter world. I saw her more as Tomi Lahren but either way, she’s literally the worst. I don’t want to spoil anything so I’ll just say she’s very annoying and her ideas about Shadowhunters and Downworlders are so outrageous. She, and the people that hold her same ideals, call themselves the Cohorts and honestly, it gave me serious Trump supporters vibes. At one point I think Kit even refers to them as fascists. This book got real political and I kind of loved it.
Besides that though, there was also a lot of other stuff going on, mainly with the hot mess Malcolm laid the foundation for in Lady Midnight. Everyone wants their hands on the Black Volume of the Dead, which Malcolm used to raise the dead previously, and, of course ,every one wants it for different reasons and for their own agendas. There are also some other problems brewing that get revealed throughout the novel.
I’d also like to point out the incredible LGBTQ representation in this novel. II thought Clare did an incredible job with it. She hits almost every part of the spectrum in this novel in such an organic way that while I was surprised by some things it still felt authentic, again unlike some other books I’ve read recently.
There was also such incredible character growth and development in this novel, not just for the teens like the Blackthorns, Emma, and Cristina, but also for Diana, and I totally loved it. I also really enjoyed the new friendships we got in this novel. The end of Lady Midnight hinted at something between Kit and Ty but I loved that they, along with Livia, became this amazing team. They were so cute together.
I also really liked that we got to see a bit more of Dru. I’d like to see more of her in the third novel but this was a great start into seeing more of her and what life is like for her. She was also great body positivity representation. Seriously, the rep in this book is a 10/10 in my opinion.
Also, there are so many callbacks to The Mortal Instruments, The Infernal Devices, and Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy. It made me want to reread all the books all over again because of all the references and appearances by some of my faves. This book was such a fan made book and by that I mean if you’ve read every Shadowhunter book and have been a fan for years you will totally love this book. It’ll give you all the feels, honestly. Additionally, there’s already tons of theories about what all the callbacks mean and I’ve got a few of my own, which made this book even more fun.
Lastly, I feel like it would be a disservice to my readers if I didn’t warn you that this book will break you. I saw people talk about how they needed tissues and how heartbreaking it was and I was like, “Okay, I’m ready for what Cassie is going to put me through.” But I was not and you won’t be either and that’s all I’m going to say.
If you’ve read Lord of Shadows, let me know what you thought of it in the comments below and if you haven’t read this book yet, what are you waiting for?
Borrow or Buy: Buy it!
“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.”