Title: Lord of Shadows
Author: Cassandra Clare
Published by: Simon & Schuster UK
Publication date: 23rd May 2017
Pages: 701, paperback
Genre: YA, fantasy, romance
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.
Lord of Shadows was, without a doubt, my most anticipated release of 2017, and I have been looking forward to reading it for so long. My excitement for this book is older than this blog, in fact. So when I finally sat down to read it this September, I had high hopes, and was ready to delve back into my most-loved fictional world.
Pretty much immediately, this book launched back into the angsty romantic plotline, which was what I had been waiting for (and dreading) since finishing Lady Midnight. I am in love with Emma and Julian’s relationship; more so than in any of her other books, Cassandra Clare managed to depict romance in such a passionate, and at times painful, way. I would literally have to pause to absorb the sheer intensity of Emma and Julian’s feelings, and it still didn’t feel overdone. I love the forbidden romances in this book series, and I’m very interested to see how she solves this particular one!
This story was developed in so many ways, and moved in so many directions – having already read eleven of Cassandra Clare’s books (including City of Heavenly Fire, which was somehow even bigger than this book. And a masterpiece in itself, in my opinion), I was able to keep up! Every scene change, there was a new friendship or romance forming and developing, and a little more detail was added to a subplot. Of course, most of these tied together beautifully at the end of the book! I also loved the small details from other books that were laced throughout the story – great world-building is essential in a fantasy novel, and with each book Cassandra Clare gets better and better at this!
The half star I deducted from my rating (which actually made Lord of Shadows the lowest out all of the Shadowhunters books, for me), was because this book was so. Freaking. Long. To be honest, if I had more time to read at the moment, and if there wasn’t so much else I also wanted to read, this probably wouldn’t even have bothered me. As it was, I felt slightly rushed and daunted by the size of this book.
The Blackthorns in Lord of Shadows are definitely my favourite Shadowhunter family; of course, they are not a very conventional family, but their unconditional love for each other was so heartwarming. Julian’s determination to protect his family, at whatever costs, went beyond any idea of strong family loyalty portrayed in a character, and his role as a father, brother, and overwhelmed teenage boy is written flawlessly. I also loved how the family itself is divided into smaller groups (for example, Ty and Livvy), as this is exactly how it works in large families!
Although I have been super busy this month, and my reading has been very rushed, this book was something I looked forward to every evening. Hilarious, heart-wrenching and utterly magical, this is an excellent addition to the Shadowhunter universe.