Title: Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices #2)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Synopsis: 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.
Rating: 5 Stars
Review: I started this book with high expectations, and those expectations were exceeded. Let me explain just how amazing this is.
Lord of Shadows takes place a short while after Lady Midnight, and the Shadowhunters of the LA Institute have been kept busy by sea demons appearing from the sea – until the Centurions from the Scholomance arrive, and bring a whole set of troubles with them. That’s not even taking into consideration the emotional problems amongst the teenagers.
Okay, so I’m going to split this up into various ships, because that’s where all my feelings are. Starting off with….
Gwyn and Diana
Oh my god, this came out of nowhere, but I ship it so effing much now! Gwyn’s this big bear-like guy, and he’s intimidating, and rough, but he’s also a total gentleman, and he woos Diana like she deserves to be. He brings her flowers, and he listens to her backstory – representation by the way! – and ugh, they’re just so perfect!
Ty and Kit
This ship has now become my favourite out of the entire universe (except for Malec, obviously) and I’m dying for them to actually become a thing. Argh, slow burn relationships! So good, yet so hard! I mean, how could you not hardcore ship them after these parts:
He grinned, and the grin changed his face completely. Ty when he was still and expressionless had an intensity that fascinated Kit; when he was smiling, he was extraordinary.”
“You want a … wait, you’ve been sleeping outside my room because you want a sort of Watson for your Sherlock Holmes?”
Ty smiled. It was a genuine light-up-your-face-type smile, and it made Kit remember the first time he’d met Ty.
If Ty was someone else, Kit would have tried to catch his eyes, but he knew Ty wouldn’t look at him directly.
I mean, Kit actually understands that Ty’s autistic, and it doesn’t faze him one bit. In return, Ty sees past Kit’s brave facade, and he gets to the scared boy underneath – just, they really work well together, and I’m in love with my adorable boys.
Her eyes were much bluer than the Thames. Ty’s eyes were really more the river’s colour.
“Waste of a perfectly good starfish,” muttered Kit, and Ty laughed. The salt air had tangled his arrow-straight black hair, and his eyes glowed like the moonlight on the river. Kit just stared, unable to think of anything else clever to say.
Kieran and Mark
I have so many feelings about these two that there aren’t actually words for it. I’m just going to use a whole load of gifs, which actually express my emotional state better than words could right now. Also, this:
Intellectually, he knew the word “lover” was part of traditional speech, but he couldn’t help it: He was from Los Angeles, and as far as he was concerned, Kieran had just said, Hello, I have sex with Mark Blackthorn. What about you?”
Julian and Emma
To be perfectly honest? Meh. Parts of this relationship just felt like Jace and Clary, circa ‘City of Ashes’ and I wasn’t especially into them this time around. I loved them a lot more in ‘Lady Midnight’, especially Emma, but in this book they just seemed more interested in their romantic problems than anything else – even Emma, and I loved how defiant and badass she was in the first book. It was a little disappointing, but because I enjoyed this so much, I’m not going to take any stars off for it.
As for the writing overall though, I am still a huge Cassandra Clare fan, and I love how she always has a twist around the corner – still dying over that cruel, cruel ending – which always keeps me on my toes as a reader. Seriously, she could write anything, and I’d read it.
If you like fantasy, well-written LGBT characters, and complicated teenage relationships, this is a series for you.
Now, to whet your appetite, here’s a few parts from it – enjoy.
“All I am saying is give it a week. After all”—Jace grinned—”Herondales can’t resist a challenge.”
“You know my rules about forsoothing in my room. Also the use of the words ‘howbeit,’ ‘welladay,’ and ‘alack.’”
“What about ‘zounds’?”
“The punishment for ‘zounds’ is severe,” she told him.
“I wonder what other family mottoes are,” Emma mused. “Do you know any?”
“The Lightwood family motto is ‘We mean well.’ ”
Julian looked over at her. “No, really, it actually is.”
“Seriously? So what’s the Herondale family motto? ‘Chiseled but angsty’?”
He shrugged. ‘If you don’t know what your last name is, it’s probably Herondale’?”
Emma burst out laughing. “What about Carstairs?” she asked, tapping Cortana. “ ‘We have a sword’? ‘Blunt instruments are for losers’?”
“Morgenstern,” offered Julian. “ ‘When in doubt, start a war’?”
“I mean, your house is pretty screwed up, what with your agoraphhobic uncle and your weird brother.
Julian’s hands tightened on the wheel, but the only thing he said was, “Ty isn’t weird.”
“I meant Mark,” said Kit. There was an odd pause. “Ty isn’t weird,” Kit added. “He’s just autistic.”
The pause stretched out longer. Kit wondered if he’d offended Julian somehow. “It’s not a big deal,” he said finally. “Back when I went to mundane school, I knew some kids who were on the spectrum. Ty has some things in common with them.”
“What spectrum?” Julian asked.
Kit looked at him in surprise. “You really don’t know what I mean?”
“Come to the library,” she announced. “The tentacle is starting to dissolve.”
“You drive me wild with your sexy talk,” said Jace, pulling on his gear jacket.
“Whoa, sexy weirdness,” said Emma. “This may be more sexy weirdness than I can handle.”
“It is not weird!”
“It is,” said Emma. “You are headed for a faerie threesome. Or some kind of war.”
“Hot faerie threesome,” said Emma cheerfully. “I can say I knew you when.”
But to me everything about him said “Love me, because nobody else has”. It was all over him, like fingerprints.”
“Move, Kit. I want to get a closer look at that bust.”
To Kit, bust only meant one thing, but since the only breasts in the room belonged to Ty’s sister, he stepped aside with alacrity.
“I can’t believe you’re going,” she said to Julian. “The minute you leave, Livvy and Ty start treating me like a servant.”
“Servants get paid,” Ty observed.
[Mark] was standing with his hands behind his back, exchanging a mistrustful look with a carved stone gnome. “Your pretense does not fool me, gnome,” he muttered. “My eye will be upon you.”
Kit recognised the words as Latin, which he’d taken three months of in school before he decided there was no point in knowing a language you couldn’t converse in with anyone but the Pope.
There was no reason to sail down Sexy Thoughts River to the Sea of Perversion when it wasn’t going to go anywhere.
“The Herondales have always been famous for their good looks,” said Bridget, “but if you ask me, the Lightwoods are the more sexually charismatic of the bunch.”
Alec spit out his tea. Magnus seemed to be keeping a straight face, but with an effort.