Review: Lord of Shadows

Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

Published: May 23, 2017

Series: The Dark Artifices #2

Rating: ★★★★★

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WARNING: SPOILERS FOR BOOK 1 – LADY MIDNIGHT REVIEW

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.


The relationship between Emma and Julian was as angsty as ever – and most of the angst probably could’ve been eliminated with a candid conversation between the two. This kind of tension is one of my favorites when done well, and I do believe that Clare pulls it off in this series. 

Seeing Cristina’s relationships with both Kieran and Mark develop was intriguing and has me questioning what will happen to the three of them over time. Likewise, I’m really looking forward to seeing some more Ty and Kit interactions. It’s safe to say that Ty and Kit are my favorite “non-main” characters. I was constantly hoping to catch glimpses of them throughout. 

I enjoyed getting to explore faerie a bit more than in the previous installment, although again I wish there was more time spent Under the Hill. My obvious personal preference is for anything faerie and I’m sooo curious about how Clare’s measures up to other popular interpretations. 

The end of this book was devastating and I would have been sobbing if it hadn’t been spoiled for me, and that’s all that will be said on that. (I somehow managed to avoid all spoilers until a week before I finished it so I’m just a little bitter.)

This book includes more hints at the end game of the series, and I’m so excited to see how all the different threads wrap up in Queen of Air and Darkness.

Review: Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

Series: The Dark Artifices #1

Published: March 8, 2016 by Margaret K. McElderry

Rating: ★★★★ 1/2

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In a kingdom by the sea…

In a secret world where half-angel warriors are sworn to fight demons, parabatai is a sacred word.

parabatai is your partner in battle. A parabatai is your best friend. Parabatai can be everything to each other—but they can never fall in love.

Emma Carstairs is a warrior, a Shadowhunter, and the best in her generation. She lives for battle. Shoulder to shoulder with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, she patrols the streets of Los Angeles, where vampires party on the Sunset Strip, and faeries—the most powerful of supernatural creatures—teeter on the edge of open war with Shadowhunters. When the bodies of humans and faeries turn up murdered in the same way Emma’s parents were when she was a child, an uneasy alliance is formed. This is Emma’s chance for revenge—and Julian’s chance to get back his brother Mark, who is being held prisoner by the faerie Courts. All Emma, Mark, and Julian have to do is solve the murders within two weeks…and before the murderer targets them.

Their search takes Emma from sea caves full of sorcery to a dark lottery where death is dispensed. And each clue she unravels uncovers more secrets. What has Julian been hiding from her all these years? Why does Shadowhunter Law forbid parabatai to fall in love? Who really killed her parents—and can she bear to know the truth?

The darkly magical world of Shadowhunters has captured the imaginations of millions of readers across the globe. Join the adventure in Lady Midnight, the long-awaited first volume of a new trilogy from Cassandra Clare.

Shadowhunters have been with me since middle school, and while a lot of people say it’s time for the series to end, I’m glad new spin-offs keep coming. I waited so long to read The Dark Artifices series because I know how heavy Clare’s cliffhangers can be. I may have waited a bit too long because now that the final book – A Queen of Air and Darkness – is out, I’m still reading Lord of Shadows

I absolutely love any world with faeries in it, which is part of the reason I was so excited to start Lady Midnight. While faeries did feature in it, we didn’t actually get to go into faerie which I was a little sad about (but I have it on good authority characters make the journey in the second installment). 

I loved seeing the Blackthorn children all grown up after seeing them briefly in City of Heavenly Angels and Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy. Ty is undoubtedly one of my favorite characters from the Shadowhunterverse. The new characters of Kit Herondale and Cristina Rosales are also quite loveable and I’m intrigued to see how their storylines play out in the series. 

Teenage love angst is one of my favorite types of angst. The romance in this book is torturous and I shamelessly love it. Emma is the strong warrior, with Julian as the artistic family man. Their trials and tribulations – some of which would undoubtedly be resolved with communication – provided the real driving force behind the book to me. 

While the true “mystery”-based plot was intriguing the story did seem a bit like one that I’ve read before in the series – ultimately while I docked half a star. There were also a few instances that had me questioning the situations validity (SPOILER: i.e. a faerie horse-turned-motorcycle that can’t/doesn’t defend itself when other faerie steeds seem to be able to).

I’m very excited to dive into Lord of Shadows and I believe this book set up what may become my favorite Shadowhunter series! Have you read any of the Shadowhunter books? What did you think?

Mar. TBR Tuesday

I recently made a TBR jar to help me decide what books to read next! You can check out how I made mine in my post HERE. This is the fun new way I’m going to be choosing a book or two to read each month. Note: you can click on the book covers below to read more about them on Goodreads.

And the first book that I drew for March was…

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Nevernight by Jay Kristoff! I actually started this a while ago and put it down because I got distracted by other reads. Now I have no excuse, and I’m excited to return to this world!

I Instagram-polled my followers to help me decide my next read for this month, and out of The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss and The Final Empire (Mistborn) by Brandon Sanderson, they chose Mistborn!

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I’ve heard so many wonderful things about this series, and am excited to find out what all of the hype is about! (If you’d like to join in on some more of my shenanigans, my Instagram is @emiesnook)

I was also recently approved for an ARC of one of my anticipated reads of the year, The Raging Ones, the fantasy debut of two of my favorite romance authors, Krista and Becca Ritchie! This book is definitely moving to the top of my TBR for the month.

Other books that I’m hoping to read/finish:

  1. City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments #6) by Cassandra Clare
  2. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (my Classic of the Month!)
  3. Alphas Like Us (Like Us #3) by Becca and Krista Ritchie
  4. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (continuing with read-a-long)

I may be a little overly-optimistic trying to finish multiple 600 page books this month, in the midst of midterm exam season, but I’m going to try my best!

What books are you planning on reading this month?

Bookcon 2017!

I had such a wonderful day at my first ever Bookcon! Even though I was only able to go for one day, the experience that I had was amazing and I was able to meet some of my favorite authors! My friends Maggie and Jess and I went cosplayed as the Archeron sisters from the A Court of Thorns and Roses Series by Sarah J. Maas. We were all lucky enough to have scored tickets to her signing early in the morning! It was pretty rushed because the line had to be finished before her DC Heroes panel at 11, but it was still amazing to see her again and show her our cosplay!

There were photo-booths all around the show floor that were super fun. The Shadowhunter one was my favorite because of the fun rune props! I was also thrilled to have met Cassandra Clare!

I still can’t believe I was able to see some of my favorite authors, Cassandra Clare, Sarah J. Maas, and Leigh Bardugo. My wonderful friends got me signed copies of Carry On by Rainbow Rowell, Windwitch by Susan Dennard and Vicious by V. E. Schwab from day one which I unfortunately couldn’t attend. I spent most of my day focused on meeting people rather than attacking booths for ARCs. Below is a pic of the haul of signed books/swag I managed to snag.

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Swag isn’t everything though; meeting, and even just seeing some of my favorite authors was what truly made the day wonderful. The experience of Bookcon was once in a lifetime, and I’m so glad to have been able to go for even one day. I even made the official Bookcon instagram page!

Sorry for the delay in the post! I’ve had a busy schedule the past few weeks! Thanks for reading!

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Coming soon to…BOOKCON!

With the end of Junior year (I still can’t believe I’m a Senior D:) my focus has now shifted to the AMAZING things that I have planned for the next month! In two weeks I’ll be shipping up to Boston for Maggie’s (@ Massachusetts Novel) graduation party. The week after that I’ll be going to Firefly Music Festival (and indulging in my Bishop Briggs obsession). But the thing I’m most excited for: for the first time ever, in just 7 days, I’ll be headed to BOOKCON!!!!!!!

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Bookcon has been a dream of mine ever since I first learned of it’s existence. I’m so blessed to be gifted with awesome friends who will be attending with me (love you Maggie and Jess) and who are fellow super fans that will cosplay! That’s right, we will be showing up on the show floor Sunday as none other than The Archeron Sisters from A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. (Check back later this week to see a brief overview of my costume (which will hopefully turn out alright).)

I’m unfortunately only able to go on Sunday, so I’ll be missing some of my favorite authors–Laini Taylor, Susan Dennard and Rainbow Rowell. Hopefully my friends will be able to get some books signed for me!!! I was also super lucky in being able to snag autograph line tickets for both Sarah J. Maas and Cassandra Clare! Bookcon did something different this year and made ticketing online to try and stop people from lining up at the door at 5AM. I’m super glad they implemented this, because I won’t be getting into the city until 8AM on Sunday and wouldn’t have been able to get the signings I wanted. This way, even those coming from out of town are able to get into signings! The big authors did sell out of tickets super fast though, with Maas and Clare running out probably within the first two minutes.

I never in my wildest dreams EVER thought I would be able to meet Cassandra Clare. Ever since I started reading The Mortal Instruments in middle school, Clare has been equated with greats like Rowling in my mind. Far away dreams of in-person fangirling that will likely never come to fruition. I’m still in shock that I will be seeing her in under a week, and having her sign one of my books!!!!!!!

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(Sidenote: The only reason Maas isn’t up there in the “far away dreams” category is because I was lucky enough to become obsessed early on, before there was enough people to cap signings. If you’d like to see a summary from Maas’ Q&A in Baltimore during her latest signing tour #ACOTOUR, click HERE)

I’ll keep you guys posted, both on my Elain Archeron outfit and my experiences at Bookcon. A summary post of my experiences should be up the day after. Check my twitter out on Sunday June 4 for an up-to-date feed!

Are any of you guys going to Bookcon? If you’ve gone in the past, do you have any advice?

Thanks for reading!

emily