Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Review: Lord of Shadows

Lord of Shadows
Rating: 5/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy 
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

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. 

Okaaay, I'm really not sure how to review this book. I have so many feels about it, and it's taken me ages to be able to sit down and try to order my thoughts about it. Quite frankly, this book destroyed me. The ending completely devastated me and the wait for the next book is just cruel...like seriously...2019?! SO CRUEL. This is probably going to be more of a reaction/discussion than a review, I'll try to review it but it's a very large book, and it hit me right in the feels! 

First off, Lord of Shadows is the book of ships. I have SO many damn ships now because of this book! I really, seriously ship Kit and Ty. Kit having lived most of his life in the real world understands Ty and his Autism, and really looks out for him and is there for him. I loved getting to see more of Ty in this book, and you know...Ty's a total badass. Kit needs some work on his badassery and I'm sure Ty can help him out. Either way, I ship them. I ship Diana and Gwyn which was a nice surprise ship that popped up. Hoping it means we get to see more of Gwyn! I continue to ship Emma and Julien but I'm leaning a bit towards Mark and Emma. Don't get me started on the love square. Kieran and Cristina. Cristina and Mark. Kieran and Mark. I SHIP THEM ALL. SOMEONE HELP. I'M HAVING A SHIPPING CRISIS. 

The thing I enjoyed most about this book was getting to see more of the supporting characters from Lady Midnight. Like Diana, we get to know Diana's secret and I was freaking cheering my head off. You go Diana. Sod the Clave. I loved her even more, and her story broke my heart. Forever hating the Clave for their prejudices. Totally need to go. This is definitely the most diverse book of the Shadowhunters series. It's got plenty of rep, and I'm hoping this means the Clave are going to FINALLY be pushed in to the future. Thanks to Diana, we get to see a bit more of Gwyn, still so curious about him, but I really respect him after this book. 

We get to see a lot more of the younger Blackthorns, which I enjoyed because we saw glimpses of them in Lady Midnight but I feel like we got to know them better in this book! Like I said, we saw more of Ty who's a total badass. We saw more of Livvy and the relationship between her and Ty and how much they help each other, and I really loved seeing their relationship through the eyes of Kit, a sort of outsider. We see more of Dru, and I felt for her, even when I wanted to throttle her at one point because I thought something dodgy was going on! Aaannnddd we get to see Kit who is an adopted younger Blackthorn in my eyes. Seriously thanks to Kit's POV we get so much insight in to the other Blackthorns and it was a God send. OH and I lived for Livvy, Ty and Kit investigating and the Sherlock Holmes references! 

Jaime finally makes an appearance. I'm not entirely sure I trust him after the revelation about him from Cristina in the first book, but he didn't seem as bad as he appeared. I guess we'll see. Diego I wanted to smack. Repeatedly. And Kieran. My lovely little Kieran. I went through phases of loving and hating him and feeling sorry for him in Lady Midnight. In Lord of Shadows he becomes a part of the group and I really came to love him so much in this book. He's actually quite funny and cracked me up more than once, especially his line about Magnus, he's like "Really? You all have to sleep with Magnus Bane? How exciting for you" I was practically screaming it was brilliant. He's such a laugh. I feel like in this book we really get to know him, and he's willing to help and stand up in front of the Clave. So much love. I also really loved his friendship with Cristina, it gave me life. I'm gonna need a load more Kieran in the next book! 

As for old favourites, we get a fair bit of Clary and Jace...now let me tell you. I made it to about 60 pages in this book feeling quite chill before the sense of foreboding and doom and feels hit me. Thanks Clary. I loved watching Jace hanging out with Kit and I'm hoping for more of that, Kit's a little bit like Jace but then...they are Herondales. Seriously, he's got the Jace like one liners down. The two of them together is both hilarious and yet unfortunate for everyone else. 

What pleased me greatly was how much Malec we got. Aw yeaaaahh guys, Magnus and Alec appear and they stick around for quite a bit and I was loving it! Malec is my favourite and I love watching the two of them together so I loved seeing how they where doing and what they where like five years on! There's also plenty of references to Will....we visit the London institute so there would be...the connections...aaahhh I loved it. Cassie links all of her books together so well and so subtly without throwing it in your face every five minutes, it's brilliantly done! And because we get to go to London we see a certain ghost too! For those who've read the Shadowhunter Academy novellas, Jon pops up too. Poor Jon. 

Along with the old and still a wee bit new, we get brand new characters. Brand new, really unlikeable characters. Zara is quite frankly, a b****. Sorry. She's the leader of the Centurions and her father is in charge of the Cohort. The Cohort make me angry. They're against all downworlders and prejudiced even more than the Clave. They want things to go their way and be in charge or whatever and yet Zara and dear old Dad hid away during the Dark War and Zara takes credit for everyone else's work. Basically they're a huge bunch of cowards who are out to make the lives of Downworlders hell. I hope they get what's coming to them in the next book. 

There's plenty of plot threads woven together in this book, obviously the Emma and Jules thread is carried on and there's a nice big bomb drop thrown in there. Which is a wee bit awkward for the show. (Sorry not sorry). Then we have the whole thing with the Cohort and what's going on, as well as the groups quest from the Seelie Queen. All I'm going to say about her is that she appears to be playing the Fey version of Game of Thrones. Which'll be interesting because you know...when you play the Game of Thrones you win or you die. Hoping it'll work out but expecting devastation, I'm not going to lie. We'll see what happens.  

I breezed through this in two sittings, the pace is fast, there's always something happening, some plot thread or action or intrigue. The multiple points of view help us get to know characters and understand their motivations, as well as see what's going on when our characters are split up. Each character has their own voice and I loved getting to know Kit, Ty, Livvy and Dru more as well as Kieran! Cassie's writing is as vivid as ever, I could picture each setting and I loved revisiting some old settings too! Our characters grow and develop more and there are some heartbreaking plot twists. 

Lord of Shadows is the perfect sequel to Lady Midnight, it continues seamlessly on and old plot threads weave with the new as the plot thickens and becomes more complex. There's even more intrigue, more questions to be answered and the ending of this book is truly heartbreaking. There's humour but there's also heartbreak as the stakes are raised and a dangerous new enemy reveals itself. Cassie weaves each of her series together, connecting and linking them in little ways that bring a smile to your face as you read. I'm very, very curious to see how this is going to end, because it's very complex, and there are multiple ways it could go and no clue as to what will happen next! Lord of Shadows continues the Dark Artifices and firmly lodges itself as my second favourite of Cassie's series, second only to The Infernal Devices! 

Now....how the hell do we survive the wait until 2019?! 

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