Overall: 5/5 Stars
Plot and Themes: 5/5
Awesomeness Factor: 5/5
Review in a Nutshell: Cassandra Clare somehow managed to make me fall deeper in love with this world and these characters, and absolutely crush me, in just under 700 pages.
“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.”
// Content Warning: Violence, Death, Assault, Mature Content, Murder, Mental Illness //
– Premise –
Lord of Shadows takes place where Lady Midnight left off. The Black Book of the Dead must be retrieved, and the Clave has sent Centurions to the L.A. Institute to clean up Malcolm’s mess. However, with that many loyal Clave soldiers in the Institute, the Blackthorns must hold close their secrets or risk losing everything.
“If you believe only in facts and forget stories, your brain will live, but your heart will die.”
– Setting –
There are a lot of places visited in this book, and all of them equally interesting. The only place I can really talk about without going into spoilers would be the London Institute, which I really enjoyed seeing. After reading The Infernal Devices, it was so fun going back to this place where so many great and horrible things happened. There were also plenty of nods to Cassandra Clare’s next series, which made me so eager for it to come out!
“Sometimes the most ruthless heart speaks the most truth”
– Writing –
This book continues with the same entertaining writing style that Lady Midnight had. There was plenty of humor, romance, and fast action that held me to the pages. The writing as a whole was just overall enjoyable, making what would otherwise be a heavier book fun.
“To make a true choice, we must have true knowledge.”
The plot of the book is a lot more intricate than the first. There are more plot threads in motion, and a lot happening at once. With so many schemes and motivations, it makes the book fly by. I really loved the new antagonists introduced in this book. They were hinted at in Lady Midnight, but you truly see them in all their hate-filled glory in Lord of Shadows. Cassandra Clare managed to write an entertaining political plot that isn’t too on-the-nose and preachy but says a lot about our current political climate. I’m so excited to see where this goes in the next (and final) book.
“I think you cannot root out love entirely. I think where there has been love, there will always be embers, as the remains of a bonfire outlast the flame.”
– Characters –
All of these characters are just amazing. If you want to see me gush about these characters, check out my Lady Midnight review. This book adds even more depth to the characters we already love. I really enjoyed seeing more of Julian’s darker side being touched on (I love morally gray characters), and we got to spend a lot more time with Keiran. He’s become an even more interesting character, and the romance plot around him is really fascinating and I’m excited to see where Clare takes it. Diana and Kit also get some more time in the spotlight. I didn’t care much for Diana in Lady Midnight, but I absolutely loved her in this book, and the representation she brings. Kit is probably the funniest character in this book, with so much sarcasm, but also a lot of heart and depth.
“‘It’s just a registry…’
‘Am I the only one who’s read X-Men and realizes why this is a bad idea?’”
(Kit saying what we all want to say)
– Conclusion –
Pros- Managed to make me love these characters even more, fast pace, funny
Cons- Please do not read this unless you are prepared to immediately pick up Queen of Air and Darkness. An ending like this should be illegal.
Overall- 5/5 stars.
Lord of Shadows brings everything to the next level. The character depth, the drama, the wit, the stakes– they’ve all been heightened and this book will be the end of you.