Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Book Review: Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices #2)

Lord of Shadows by Cassandra ClareAbout the Book:
Title: Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices #2)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Pub. Date: May 23, 2017
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Pages: 701
Rating: 5/5 stars


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.


“Everyone is afraid of something. We fear things because we value them. We fear losing people because we love them. We fear dying because we value being alive. Don't wish you didn't fear anything. All that would mean is that you didn't feel anything.” 

It's been several weeks since I finished this book and I still don't know what to do with my life after that ending (and really the entire book). Before reading this, I was warned about the insane and heart-stopping cliffhanger that I can only tolerate from select authors...Cassie Clare being one of them...and the fact that it's going to be 2 years (2 YEARS PEOPLE!!!) until the next book is released. But did that stop me? Heck no!! I definitely slowed down my reading a bit to savor the characters, the story, and the Shadowhunter world a bit longer, but I had to read this and have Cassandra Clare's words affect me like no other author can. I put myself through the emotional turmoil and the rollercoaster feelings that are associated with any book set in the Shadowhunter world, and now am still wondering how can other books compare to something this EPIC!


I could go on and on for days about how amazing this book is, but given the current overall rating of this book and the 2000+ reviews stating the same thing, I think you get the gist that it's freaking awesome! Cassandra Clare has come a very long way in her writing since her first novel set in the Shadowhunter world, City of Bones, and it is clearly evident on each page how much she cares and loves these characters as if they are her own children. She wants the best for them, but she knows that they can't have the best unless they go through trial after trial of suffering and not getting what they want. Plus, that's the thing about life...it doesn't always give you a happily ever after. This is one thing that I have always loved about Cassandra Clare's writing. She doesn't shy away from brutally ripping your heart out and making you suffer along with the characters. Her stories are realistic (to a certain point obviously, since this whole series deals with supernatural/paranormal elements), and she seeks to remind us with every story that at the end of the day, her characters are human. 

“There is truth in stories,” said Arthur. “There is truth in one of your paintings, boy or in a sunset or a couplet from Homer. Fiction is truth, even if it is not a fact. If you believe only in facts and forget stories, your brain will live, but your heart will die.” 

This entire book is gorgeously written and it comes through the most in her characters. Emma is becoming a stronger and stronger Shadowhunter and is never afraid to take on the seemingly impossible mission. She doesn't back down from a challenge and is willing to go to any length to protect the ones she loves the most. I honestly love Emma so much, and to see how much she has grown since she was featured in TMI is mindblowing. Her relationship with Julian is both heartbreaking and wonderful. You can't deny the chemistry between them, and even though it doesn't seem like there is any way for things to work out between them (unless they do the unthinkable that is), I'm still rooting for them to be together. I want Cassandra Clare to come up with a way for them to be together that doesn't involve tragedy and complete disruption of the Shadowhunter world...but this is Cassandra Clare, so there's bound to be some sort of tragedy involved in making their relationship be okay. 


Julian, while only 17, seems so much older. He carries himself as an adult, and that's largely due to his situation growing up. However, in this one, we see more of how that weight he is constantly carrying, is affecting him in multiple parts of his life. Just like Emma, Julian is also willing to do anything, be anything, and sacrifice everything to ensure his family is safe. Honestly the characteristics you admire about him the most are also the most heart-breaking aspects of his character. If any character in this series deserves a happy ending, it's Julian (and I'm not just saying that because my love for him knows no bounds).

“I need to be whole again. Even if it doesn’t last.”
“It can’t last,” she said, staring at him, because how could it, when they could never keep what they had? “It’ll break our hearts.”
He caught her by the wrist, brought her hand to his bare chest. Splayed her fingers over his heart. It beat against her palm, like a fist punching its way through his sternum. “Break my heart,” he said. “Break it in pieces. I give you permission.” 

Kit Herondale, aka the lost Herondale, is a stand out character in this novel. I honestly wasn't sure if I was going to like his character all that much, but Cassandra Clare really made me love him. I am very interested to see where his character goes in this story. Kit doesn't just accept his role as a Shadowhunter. No, he questions everyone and everything. He makes is clear that this is not at all the life he wants. He goes along for the ride though because he's hoping for some sort of loophole to get him out of it. But, over the course of the book you see him begin to shine as a Shadowhunter. You see him become more and more immersed in this world and realize that this is the life he belongs in after all. His relationship with Ty is absolutely extraordinary and one of my favorite pairings in this book. I personally love that Cassandra Clare has a character with autism in this book, and Ty is phenomenally represented. She does an amazing job at writing Ty's character, and it brought tears to my eyes because this is not something that is easily done. For someone who does not let many people become close to him, Ty allows Kit into his world, and it is seriously one of the best things in this entire novel. 


Clary, Jace, Magnus, and Alex all play roles in this story as well. I missed Simon and Isabelle, but it didn't really make sense for them to be in this installment in TDA. Cassandra Clare has said they will play a larger role (similar to the role Magnus and Alex played in this one) in The Queen of Air and Darkness, which is something that I'm very much looking forward to. Even though I didn't think it was possible, Cassandra Clare expands on the Shadowhunter world even more, and you could definitely see some parallels to the current situations going on in our world and nation. 

“When people die, our dreams of what they could be die with them. Even if ours is the hand that ends them.” 

The entire conclusion of this book blew me away and left me on the edge of my seat. Sure, there were plenty of twists and turns throughout the book, but seriously....the ending was just a wham bam thank you ma'am ending with twists and turns coming left and right! And then that cliffhanger...why do you do this to us Cassandra Clare?!?! Why do you mend our hearts and give us hope, only to destroy all of it with a couple words?!?! 



Read this book as soon as you can because you will not want to miss out on the epic journey that Emma, Julian, and the rest of the gang go through during this book. I still don't know how I'm going to make it until 2019 for the third book in this series, but it's going to be a LONG wait is all I can say! 

Happy reading :)


No comments:

Post a Comment