Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices, #2) by Cassandra Clare

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1.) City of Bones ★★★
2.) City of Ashes ★★
3.) City of Glass ★★★
1.) Clockwork Angel ★★★
4.) City of Fallen Angels
2.) Clockwork Prince ★★★★
5.) City of Lost Souls ★★★★
3.) Clockwork Princess ★★★★★
6.) City of Heavenly Fire ★★★★★
*.) The Bane Chronicles ★★★
*.) Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy ★★★
1.) Lady Midnight ★★★★★

“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.”

First and foremost, I am so thankful for Julian Blackthorn and I would do anything in the world to ensure that boy’s life is filled with nothing but all the happiness in the entire galaxy. I won’t lie, I didn’t enjoy LoS as much as LM. I honestly just loved LM with my entire heart and soul and I think the hype for the LoS ending just left this book off on a sour note for me, but I’ll talk more about that in my spoiler section at the end of this review! But holy moly, friends, I did it, I read thirteen Cassie Clare books in the last six months and I can finally read Queen of Air and Darkness with you all!

So, LoS picks up two weeks after the events of LM, and everything feels like it is in chaos mode. We have fake relationships, we have people thinking they might die, there are mini wars brewing all over, things are honestly wild. But the scariest thing is the gang being unable to locate a particular dead body.

Throughout the book we get to see not only the Los Angeles Institute, but also the London institute, and be still my TID loving heart. And we get to see another Shadow Market that has been making me more interested in the activities that go on at these locations! But a lot of very dark things are going on in the Shadowhunter world. (I’m trying so hard to be spoiler-free, friends!)

This book really highlights how generations of hate, bigotry, and fascist thinking easily gets passed down. I feel like a constant issue in this entire overarching series has been many Shadowhunters feeling like they are superior to the Fae, the Vampires, the Werewolves, and the Warlocks. I mean, they even call them Downworlders. But LoS really shows the hatred, and there are a group of people that actually even want the other paranormal beings to register just for being what they are. And this book talks about how fear mongering and hate speech can quickly turn into something so very ugly, and something so very hard to stop. I for sure think Cassie Clare pulls a lot of inspiration from history, but also current day, and some of the things in this book are really hard to read, because I know that there are actual human beings in our world that feel this way about other human beings. So, please use caution. And content and trigger warnings for talk of cancer, loss of a loved one, bigoted comments, hate speak, death of a child, death in general, torture, PTSD depiction, graphic blood depiction, sacrificial ritual, slavery, trafficking, captivity, battle scenes, and war themes.

I do want to take a minute to talk about how Cassie Clare and this world really are getting more and more inclusionary and this book honestly impressed me. Not only did we get the actual word “autistic” on page for Ty, we also got a trans character who now owns my entire heart. I feel like Cassie does a good job giving us with characters from all different races, even though there is always room to be more inclusive. And I think she’s getting a better at body rep and disability rep, too. But, Alec is still gay, Magnus is still bi, and they are prospering like the bright shining light that they are. Mark is still bi, I’m praying to every God and angel that Kieran will be pan (but he could be bi, too), and I even feel like we are going to get another queer relationship brewing on our hands. And I truly believe that Cassie Clare is going to give us the polyamorous relationship of my dreams, too. The blessings, friends, the blessings.

I will say that I’m side eyeing a bit because we are going to get two main m/m relationships and (so far) have only seen a m/m relationship, that better turn into a f/m/m relationship. So, that’s three m/m relationships, when the f/f relationships we get is literally exiled and just mentioned in the background every once in a while. Feels bad, man, feels really bad. Give me a sapphic main relationships that isn’t hidden in the background, you cowards. I don’t ask for much, okay? And you all know I’m always here for queer rep, and I honestly do love all the men in these m/m relationships, but when a cis woman is writing them, and not giving us f/f in the spotlight too, it feels a little like fetishizing.

Overall, it is really hard to talk about non-spoiler things in this section! But I really did love this book, even if I didn’t love it as much as LM. I just truly think that Cassie Clare is getting more and more talented as an author, and I expect she is going to give us the entire world with QoAaD. Like, I am so hyped that I predict it will make my top five of 2018. And again, I just want to thank every person, Shadowhunter fan or not, who has had to listen to me scream and gush over these books for the last six months. It was such an experience, but one that I’m truly so thankful that I was able to have. And it was such a bright shining light in my 2018.

Please use caution reading the rest of this review if you have not read this book and all the series leading up to this book! And as always, I’m going to do a little mini character breakdown on my thoughts and feelings on all the main characters in this book. Spoilers ahead!

“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.”

(Art by Haunted Duck Princess!)

Emma Carstairs – My hero, my savior, my everything, my Mortal Sword slaying queen. Damn. And the fact that she decided to be honest with Julian this book, proving again how she is one of the best character in all of literature? The blessings. I would die for this girl.

Julian Blackthorn – No words, only tears. And the one-liners that Cassandra Clare gave him? Breathtaking, so damn breathtaking. Also, Julian proves over and over how much I love soft main characters, and that you can be soft and still be brave and strong. Ahhh, I honestly can’t even coherently talk about this boy.

“Because if you threw me away and everything we had, it had better be for something that meant more to you”

Mark Blackthorn – I better get…

Cristina Rosales – …my polyamorous relationship…

Kieran – …or I will riot.

Jessamine Lovelace – I am still screaming. Ahhh! What damn character development this girl has gone through. I was showing heart-eyes at every mention, but when Kit was finally able to see and interact with her? Pure joy. Love, love, love.

“If you steal any of the books from the library, I will know, and you’ll be sorry.”

Kit Rook / Christopher Herondale – Okay, he’s growing on me. I feel like that’s the real Herondale curse, it takes a couple of books for me to fall in love with them. But when he snapped on Zara about Magnus with Alec? That added five years to my life, I swear.

Tiberius Blackthorn – Oh my poor, sweet boy. He is going to blame himself so hard because of the letter he wrote to Annabel and it is going to gut me.

Livvy Blackthorn – No words that I’m going to string together are going to be good enough, but it breaks my heart that this poor child has only known a life of war, loss, and destruction. Has never really been around other kids, had other friendships, has never known love but the love of her family, and now she never will. Honestly, it breaks my heart.

Dru Blackthorn – I just love Dru so much and I think she is such an important character, because she’s really the first character to not only be plus-sized, but to talk about body image and relationships with food, especially how she feels people perceive her with food. I can’t wait to see more of Dru, and I’d only love a spin-off from her point of view. Also, that teleport? That fae boy? I’m thinking the worst, and the best, about whose love child that is.

Octavian Blackthorn – I feel like we didn’t get to see Tavvy as much in this book, but my heart still always bleeds for this boy who has really only known a life of war.

Magnus Bane – Um, this man better be okay and quick, because his death would be the one that would undo me.

Alec Lightwood – When Alec put Zara in her place, and told her how lucky he would be to have Magnus love him forever, I was crying. So perfect, and it meant so much coming from everything that happened in TMI. But my heart is also mending and rebreaking, because he is building this amazing family with Magnus and living the life he wants, but he just keeps losing people. Him yelling for his dad. More tears, friends, all the tears.

Zara Dearborn – This bitch and her entire hateful family and friends, like, no words. Trying to register Downworlders? Disgusting. I hate her more than any other Shadowhunter villain, I swear to God.

Diego Rosales – I don’t even care about the heirloom. But if he hurts Kiren…. Boy, bye!

Jaime Rosales – This storyline was so sus. Boy, what?

“I had never realized before how much you can take from someone by not allowing them the words they need to describe themselves.”

Diana Wrayburn – God is a woman, and her name is Diana Wrayburn. I completely acknowledge that Cassie Clare is a cis woman, but Diana coming out to Gwyn as trans was one of the most beautiful things I’ve read all year. I was crying the happiest and the saddest tears at the same time, but it really made Diana one of my favorite characters in the entire Shadowhunter universe. And that quote above? That’s the best sentence that Cassie Clare has ever written. Ever.

Gwyn – And when Daddy Gwyn got down on his kness and told Diana that she was the strongest woman to ever walk on this Earth? Lord, I’m still swooning and will be forever. Perfection. And talk about a fucking OTP. The blessings.

Catarina Loss – Talk about the most underrated character in this entire series. Like, what a damn gem to the Shadowhunters. From saving babies, to making people not feel alone, to being a good friend, this woman is a gift from the actual angels. And I’m so scared because I know she is at Scholomance, but I am ready to protect her with my entire life.

Arthur Blackthorn – Okay, I feel so horrible for saying this, but I was so happy that he sacrificed himself so none of the Blackthorns would be killed… at that moment. Shit, now I’m crying again.

Jon Cartwright – Legit cannot believe I read all of Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy for this dude to just get decapitated and it never talked about again.

Malcolm Fade – I cannot believe this dude just got shanked after the resurrection. I honestly spit water. I still cannot believe it. But no body = no death is proven again. But I wasn’t expecting the demon murloc version.

Annabel – Give me all those morally grey villains. Like, I know I shouldn’t like her, but I’m honestly living for her. I know I also shouldn’t lust for revenge, but good lord do I want to see this girl get some peace, rest, and happiness.

The Unseelie King – I honestly like him as a villain a lot, too. I mean, he is obviously more chaotic evil than Annabel, but I can’t wait for the full story to come out with him and Malcom and the Black Volume of the Dead. Actually, I just can’t wait to learn more about the Black Volume of the Dead anyway.

The Seelie Queen – You know this bitch isn’t up to anything good. And if the weapon that Sebastian Morgenstern “left behind” is a baby with the Seelie Queen, I’m going to scream forever.

Clary Fairchild – Are we just going to act like she didn’t tell Emma that she thinks she is going to die? Like, my heart. I can fucking not deal with this information still. And honestly? I don’t want to see Jace in a world where Clary dies, because it is not going to be pretty.

Robert Lightwood – Okay, but what are Emma and Julian going to do now? *prays forever*

Like, for real, what in the world are Emma and Julian going to do now, since Robert was their only hope really. I mean, are all parabatai bonds going to be broken now? I kind of think they are going to, and that’s really going to change the game, and put a lot of warriors are disadvantages. Again, the Clave is so wild for letting kids make life altering choices at twelve, because look at this mess.

Okay, I know I touched upon it a bit above in the breakdowns, but let’s talk about the ending of this book. I’ll be honest, I didn’t love it. With the reactions that the end of this book gets, I really thought it was going to be either Clary, Julian, or Emma dying. Or even Julian and Emma spiraling into darkness because of the parabatai curse. But, no, Cassie Clare does what every single YA author does to evoke emotion from their readers, while still protecting the core cast that everyone loves. Like, they will never kill the main characters, just characters close to them, so we can be sad for them. Am I sad that Robert died? No. Am I sad that Alec has already lost so many and so much and now has to lose his father too? Yeah, extremely. Am I sad that Livvy died? Eh. Am I said that Ty is going to feel responsible and going to hate himself for it? And that Julian feels like he failed while refusing to let go of the corpse of his baby sister? Yeah, fuck yeah. So, I just have mixed feelings on the ending if I’m being really honest. And everyone else is all like, “YES QUEEN! SO BRAVE!” but I’m over here just side-eyeing and really not impressed. And I don’t even want to talk about the possibility of Livvy dying so that “kitty” can prosper. Friends, I’m tired. But when that clock chimed after her death, (in my eyes) to signify her going to Heaven? Okay, maybe I’m weeping.

Plus, these grown adults that are running the Clave and this meeting and just going to let fascist teens be outspoken with their hate speech? Like, Jia Penhallow should have been shutting that shit down and throwing people out, not warning them. And I’m not entirely sure if Zara isn’t able to hold the Mortal Sword, because I’m not sure if people that attended Scholomance and became Centurions are considered Shadowhunters, but if so I can’t believe that people were taking her obvious lies as facts and not making her hold the sword. But instead they make an obviously emotional, resurrected girl, who is showing signs of PTSD, to forcefully hold a weapon of immense power. No words, friends. But the ending of this book was a shitshow and I honestly wasn’t impressed.

And where the hell are Clary and Jace (besides taking a nap in a field Bella and Edward style, apparently) or Simon and Izzy? Why aren’t they are this Clave meeting? I am scared, friends. What are these kids up to? I need answers.

But let’s also talk about how Cortana has just been absorbing the power of all these things that it is cutting through. And now that bitch just cut through the Mortal Sword. That shock that Emma felt run up her arm? I’m more scared, friends. I can’t deal with this information. I really need answers.

“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”

So, what’s up with Magnus and the warlocks getting sick? Hold me, I’m scared. I know we are probably going to find out in Ghosts of the Shadow Market, but still, my heart is hurting already.

Okay, let’s talk about happier things. You know, things that had me screaming and living my best life. Malcom’s abandoned cottage. You all, I was whispering “risk it all” to my book as a mantra. I really believe that Julian and Emma have made it into my top five OTPs of all time, and I have no idea how this happened. But from Julian writing “I-A-M-R-U-I-N-E-D” to him giving Emma permission to break his heart, I was hollering like a banshee. I feel like I died and was resurrected myself in that cabin and I am already craving to reread those scenes. I’m a mess, friends. And if they don’t get a happy ending, I will riot. Also, pan culture is loving both Emma and Julian. Facts only here.

“Break my heart. Break it in pieces. I give you permission.”

(Art by Cassandra Jean!)

Also, I was loving every second that Mark, Cristina, Emma, and Jules spent in Faerie; both Unseelie and Seelie courts. Seeing glimpses of Faerie in TMI was always a highlight for me, but being fully emerged and on an adventure with these four? So much happiness. From Emma getting picked champion, to them each being told a secret, to magical bonds, to hidden visions, I loved it all. And I hope we get to see a lot more of Faerie in QoAaD! And like, did the Unseelie King teleport Annabel to Faerie at the end because of the half crown symbol? I highkey hope so.

Lastly, we finally got to see my favorites, Aline and Helen, and they better be such a big part of QoAaD now that they are finally back. I read thirteen huge books by Cassie Clare in the last six months, I deserve not only a sapphic relationship in the forefront, but seeing an Asian girl get the Fae girl of her dreams. Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.

(Art by Rikki the Artist!)

Okay, friends, I’m off to read the first eight stories in Ghosts of the Shadow Market, while waiting for Queen of Air and Darkness, because I am so in love with this series that I need everything. I don’t know how you all waited over a year after this book, but you all are the bravest souls on this Earth.

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23 thoughts on “Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices, #2) by Cassandra Clare

    1. This is me reading the next set of short stories. I’m like… we are going to have a Kit & Ty series, a Magnus & Alec series, she is supposed to be writing a brand new adult fantasy, AND we are supposed to get a series with James Herondale? SO MANY THINGS! But I love them all already, haha! 💛xx

      Liked by 1 person

  1. LOL in my comment for LM I said you would be calling Gwyn Daddy….I was right! And what a well deserved title!! Honestly Catarina Loss is really the reason everyone isn’t dead right now. And still whenever she pops up in a Shadowhunter book I’m like….who are you???

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who doesn’t hate Annabel!! Like the ending, that was horrible. But also, I totally understand why she FREAKED out. People just need to let her die in peace. I’m not worried about Clary at all. I just don’t think Cassie will kill off one her OG protagonist.

    If Cristina/Mark/Kieran doesn’t happen….will the series be for nothing?? Bc honestly that’s what I’m here for now. That, and Julian and Emma. I feel like Cortana might cut their parabatai bond? Because there is nothing Cortana can’t cut through? But I don’t know if that also words metaphorically..*sigh* They better not cut all parabatai bonds. I think it would be cool, but it would seriously fuck over everyone.

    I’m glad someone said something about all the m/m relationships and no f/f! I’m all for diversity, but I also think it’s getting to that fetish area. There Aline and Helen, but they’ve been pretty irrelevant and I just want a good old f/f romance to balance it out!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. GENNI! This is the best comment I’ve received maybe ever! Lmao! Yes yes yes to everything! And this is exactly how I feel about Clary. I’m like… she can’t, she won’t, right? Like… My mind just can’t believe it enough to be scared.

      And if Cristina/Mark/Kieran doesn’t work out… you will hear me scream from my rooftop in Vegas, I promise! Hahaha!

      But thank you so much for this comment! I can’t wait to read QOAAD with everyone! And we have to talk about it together when we both finish, love!

      Happy reading! 💛xx

      Like

  2. I just finished rereading this and your updates and review have been fantastic, so thank you for that! I forgot how crushing the end of this book is.
    Julian.. I love him with my heart and soul. You’re so right about soft characters.
    I will riot with you. Hard. Haha! Need that relationship in my life.
    11 more days!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha! I love this comment with the sum of my being, Nadine! AHHH! I can’t believe we only have to wait 11 days! Honestly, I don’t know how you all waited so long. Honestly… like… you all so brave! I can’t wait to read it with you and community! Ahhhh! So excited! 💕xx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I literally have SO MANY THOUGHTS on this review that I can’t write a coherent comment so just know that ILY and your reviews of all of the Shadowhunter Chronicles have sustained me over the past few months ok thank u

    (and also I cannot fucking wait to read QOAAD at the same time and scream together)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hehe, I just couldn’t stop typing, because I have so many thoughts and feels. And honestly, I can’t think of a better way to end this year than to be screaming about QOAAD with you in… LESS THAN A WEEK! *heavy breathing* 💛xx

      Like

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