Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Lord of Shadows Review

Lord of Shadows
By: Cassandra Clare
Book#2 in The Dark Artifices series

As the second installment of The Dark Artifices series this book focuses on a discord that's brewing between Shadowhunters and the Unseelie King - The Lord of Shadows. The Shadowhunters of the Los Angeles institute have to hurry and find the Black Volume of the Dead in a bargain they have made with the Seelie Queen to overtake the Unseelie King and stop him from potentially starting a war with Shadowhunters. Meanwhile Emma and Julian struggle with their relationship and the forbidden love that they share.

I have wanted to love every Shadowhunter novel ever since I read The Infernal Devices series (if you have not read it I highly recommend you do), but this series just isn't doing it for me. I don't know if it's the boring storyline, the lack of interesting storylines from the supporting characters, the redundancy of the forbidden nature of Emma and Julian's relationship, or the somewhat unlikeable characters themselves; I just always find myself disappointed at the end of these novels.

Lord of Shadows started out well enough, the author began the book in the middle of a mission so there's a bit of action right at the beginning, but that very quickly tapers off. Then it goes into a bit of a recap of the first book, which was perfect for me since my poor memory had forgotten almost everything from the first book. Then it starts talking about the supporting characters. Since Mark came back from the Wild Hunt in the first book I've been anxiously awaiting a storyline worthy of his character. I am disappointed that all he's had thus far is a fake relationship with Emma and a tired love triangle with Kieran and Cristina. Cristina's storyline is much the same with just the Mark/Kieran love triangle and the failed relationship with perfect Diego. Diana's storyline is a bit more interesting when she meets the Head of the Wild Hunt, Gwyn ap Nudd (seriously, where does Cassandra Clare come up with these names??). I did enjoy the dynamic between Kit, Ty and Livia. It was nice to see a sort of camaraderie spark between them, in spite of Kit's dislike of the Shadowhunter world and Shadowhunters themselves. The way that Cassandra describes the fast bond between Kit and Ty makes you think that at some point they will become parabatai, and gives the hope that Kit will stay at the institute and become a Shadowhunter.

I found the middle of the book, with all the small separate missions to be long and drawn out. They always consisted of Emma thinking about how she and Julian can never be together and Julian acting indifferent. Even the sacrifice that Julian's uncle made went almost unnoticed and wasn't really addressed in any way that made me feel anything about it (not gunna lie, I'm usually a crier). Although the involvement of the Seelie and Unseelie's was the main conflict of the book, it was pushed into the background while Emma and Julian's relationship was pushed into the foreground. I had a hard time even getting through the middle of the book, but by the end I was back into it again.

The very end of the book almost made up for the lack of suspense in the rest of it. The last chapter had a lot of anticipation, conflict and death. And, oh my goodness, did I ever cry. Cassandra had spent some of the book building up characters and growing them and then at the end she killed one off and although I did like the character, I felt that that death saved the book from being a complete waste of my time. I was also intrigued by the conflict that Magnus and Tessa are facing and am really hoping that it is resolved in the final installment of this series and not in a complete separate series that hasn't been written yet. I love those characters, as they are favorites from both The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices and their conflict really isn't something that you can ignore as it really is life or death for them.  

All in all it wasn't a terrible book, but I do find that a lot of sequel's in Cassandra's series' leave something to be desired as they're quite a bit more dry than the first or third installments. Hopefully this series is just following suit and the third installment will knock this series out of the park.

Final Rating:
Probability of Re-reading:

Let me know what you thought of the book in the comments, I am interested to see if anyone's opinion coincides with mine, as these books have a die-hard following which seems to think that the author can do no wrong.

Opinionated Bookworm

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