Buddyreview | Lord of Shadows – Cassandra Clare

Yesterday you got to read our review of Lady Midnight, today we want to share our review of Lord of Shadows. These books keep getting more intense, so we’re both afraid for Queen of Air and Darkness.

Warning: This review could contain some Lady Midnight spoliers. So if you haven’t read it yet, you’ve been warned!

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.

“Fiction is truth, even if it is not fact. If you believe only in facts and forget stories, your brain will live, but your heart will die.”


After already feeling like Lady Midnight was an emotional rollercoaster, Lord of Shadows blew that away. This book was intense! Once I got past the introduction and a bit of the repeat of information we always get in these books, I couldn’t put it down. Lord of Shadows is 699 pages and still doesn’t feel like enough!

After thinking the problem they had with Malcolm was over, things looked bright. Hopefully all would get back to normal! Unfortunately, that’s not the case. The Cohorts and certain Downworlders aren’t going to make things easy.

Even though this is a fantasy book, Cassandra Clare is able to bring some of the actual world into her own books. The Cohorts are only for their own kind and the rest needs to be controlled. Racism is always a thing of our world too unfortunately and she definitely made an interesting statement with this. Zara in particular was such an annoying character. I couldn’t stand her!

“There’s something about a place you’ve been with someone you love. It takes on a meaning in your mind. It becomes more than a place. It becomes a distillation of what you felt for each other. The moments you spend in a place with someone… they become part of its bricks and mortar. Part of its soul.”

Besides the newer characters, the characters we know are still finding their way. Emma and Julian with the Parabatai Curse, Mark finding his way back into the Shadowhunter World, Cristina finding her own way, etc. I love the character development in this book. We learn so much about all of these characters and I really came to love them all!

Lord of Shadows kept me on the edge of my seat. There are so many twists and turns! On top of that, this author switches point of view quite often, so when something happens you least expect, the next page is about someone else! This was so frustrating at times!! Haha.

This book had me laughing, because the humor in these stories can be amazing! It had me feeling warm inside, because some of these relationships you just want to see get a happily ever after! And last but not least, this book had me in tears! Some of the sacrifices made and characters we won’t be seeing again left me shocked! The ending of Lord of Shadows is going to have so many consequences for this last book! I’m scared!

On top of everything else, this is a story with diversity written in a very strong way! It doesn’t feel forced and the stories told are beautiful, especially Diana’s story. There are also a few love triangles and I love seeing them explored in the way they’ve been written. I know Queen of Air and Darkness is another huge book, but I still don’t think it will be enough to see all of my questions answered!

Just know that this is an amazing story, I could write my own book about all of my feelings and thoughts! I really recommend this book!!

“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.”


I cannot believe I finished this book in time! When we were planning this week full of Shadowhunter blogposts, I was confident about it all, but when I still had read only 3 chapters this weekend… You can imagine my worry. Monday morning I got back in the mood to read LoS, and after a little while I was unable to stop! I kept going and Monday evening I hit 75%. Tuesday morning I finished the last 25%, and I still can’t believe I finished this enormous book so quickly. But I guess that also shows some of its greatness.

The first three chapter took me quite awhile and annoyed the hell out of me, there was so much repetition of information from previous books that it really slowed me down. Maybe its because I just read Lady Midnight and had all that info fresh in my mind, but for me this was just way too much repetition. The way the repetition of info was written, with an over explanation made me one yell at the book.

“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.”

Luckily after those first chapters we get so experience new things and this installment of the Dark Artifices brings us so much new things! Some of the Centurion come to stay at the L.A. institute and they were not what I was expecting. After Ty’s interest in becoming one, I had a positive outlook on them, but boy are there some rotten apples there. I detest Zara so much, she’s basically the Umbridge of TDA!

I’ve come to love these characters even more in this book than I did in Lady Midnight. Emma is a great heroine, but to be honest, I still don’t care that much about her and Julian. The only thing I care about is the way that Parabatai curse is going to be broken. There is quite some talk about that, and there is one possibility that scares me so much. Since it has been mentioned so much, I don’t think anything is off limits.

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

The demise of Malcolm Fade has a lot of consequences, consequences no one saw coming. This whole situation made for some good plot twists! I really liked the way Arthur stepped up to help solve this. He is such an interesting character with a very sad story. We also learn more about Malcolm and Annabel and even though he had become a horrible person, I really felt for their situation. This just shows what a hateful environment creates.

I loved that we got to see more of Kit, Ty and Livvy. They all have great chemistry and I couldn’t get enough off them. Kit is slowly growing into Shadowhunter hood, and it was interesting to read about his internal struggle. He is has grown up learning to hate Shadowhunters, but is seeing a different side of them with the Blackthorns. Ty is so precious and I love how Kit views him.

“Sometimes the most ruthless heart speaks the most truth”

Dru gets developed more in this installment as well and I really appreciated that. She’s still seen as a kid, but she just wants to be a part of the action as well. It was good to see her stand up for herself. Christina, Mark, and Kieran all have a piece of my heart and I enjoyed every scene involving, one, two, or all three of them haha. They have such an interesting dynamic. Cassandra Clare has a great way of writing different sorts of relationships.

The diversity in this book is so well done. We have different ethnicities, sexual orientations, mental health, different body types, just to name a few. As Candyce said, this was all done so natural and beautiful and this is the kind of diversity I love to see. Diana’s story was handled so well and my heart aches for her situation. And with all this beautiful writing, we also get so many wonderful quotes. I had trouble just picking ‘a few’, I could’ve filled this whole review with quotes haha.

This book is such an emotional ride, we get great humor, thought provoking moments, extreme political views that hit a little too close to home, heartbreaking moments, a ton of action, and so much left open for Queen of Air and Darkness. After that ending, I just want to leave you all with this one last quote to break your heart again:

“There’s a legend about that clock. For a second, when it chimes the hour, the gates to Heaven open.”

As you can tell, this book really had an impact on us! We hope to read Queen of Air and Darkness soon! If we survive, our review will be posted on the blog soon! Have you read Lord of Shadows yet? What did you think?

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