Cassie Clare just gets better and better. Lord of Shadows is a magnificent and magical second installment in what is shaping up to be the most sophisticated series in the Shadowhunter world.
Emma, Julian and the rest of the Blackthorns are back in another tale of demons, downworlders, faeries and epic battles. After the fall of evil Malcolm Fade, the High Warlock of Los Angeles, the Blackthorn clan have plenty of new issues to keep them busy. From the far-reaching repercussions of the Cold Peace to the rising tensions between Shadowhunters who want to live alongside Downworlders and those who want them to live as second class citizens, we learn more about the fabric of the Shadow World in Lord of Shadows than we ever have before.
The world-building in the Dark Artifices, and especially in LoS, is more in-depth than any of its predecessors. There’s more detail about geography, society, cultural norms and history, as well as Clare’s usual vivid detail scene setting to get your teeth stuck in to (the gang’s venture into the Unseelie Lands is a real treat in terms of world building). Despite its fantasy pedigree, Lord of Shadows also explores lots of constructs that are topical in today’s world. From the bigotry of the Centurions to strained race and class relations between the Clave and the Downworld, to the perception of people with disabilities and struggles for power and territory; this book could not be more pertinent.
The plot is sure-footed and fast moving, flitting from London to LA, Idris to Cornwall and balancing changes of scenery, a large cast of characters and different kinds of magic and weaponry with style and humour. Some of the younger characters like Livvy, Tyberius and Dru get some welcome character development and page time in this installment, and I especially enjoyed getting to know Kit Herondale, distant relation of everyone’s favourite brooding YA hero, Jace. The relationships weaved between the characters are complex and layered, and Clare writes with her trademark emotion. Those looking for classic Cassie Clare forbidden love will also find the very best example of it here in Emma and Jules, who are as tragic apart as they are perfect together.
LoS features all of the elements I’ve come to know and love in a Clare novel: quick wit, dialogue that has the power to make you both laugh and cry, sizzling romance and underpinning themes of family, loyalty, friendship and honour. The Shadowhunter books have come of age with Emma and Julian, and I for one, am proud and excited to be growing older with them. Bring on #3.
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster
- Pages: 720
- Publication Date: 23rd May 2017
- For fans of: The Mortal Instruments, YA fantasy, Sarah J. Maas, forbidden love, brooding heroes.