Just to let you know, I’m writing this review from my grave because I am seriously dead, d-e-a-d, dead! Honestly, I spoiled part of what happened in this book by reading the first part of the synopsis of Queen of Air and Darkness and then scrolling through fanart on Instagram… So I really have no one else to blame but myself. However, I did not see the last few chapters playing out like that. How? Why? But the children!
Right. So. Are y’all ready for a coherent review? You may not get one because all I have are EMOTIONS and things.
Title: Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices #2)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release date: May 23, 2017
Genre: Young adult, urban fantasy, paranormal, romance
Length: 699 pages (hardcover)
Synopsis: (via Goodreads) “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.”
There’s not much I disliked about the book, though toward the end the whole Cohort really annoying but I figure that’s normal response from readers unless you’re like the Worst Person™. For the most part, I’m really enjoying this series and it has that trope I love so much: forbidden romance. Who knew it could be this painful? The only other time I remember feeling such emotion about two main characters was when I read The Winner’s Trilogy, and y’all know how much I love that book. Now my reaction after finishing Lady Midnight and this book is that the Blackthorns must be protected at all costs, which made the ending much harder to bear.
Every chapter was a real shock or a good character revelation. I definitely enjoyed the multiple PoVs, as I found following Livvy, Ty, Kit, and Dru at points such a relief from Julian, Emma, Mark, and Cristina. The former are younger, and I feel the weight of the world isn’t quite on their shoulders (yet) and they still have the chance to be kids in a way that Julian, Emma, and Mark weren’t. I love how Kit bounces off of Ty and Livvy, and I really look forward to how their friendship will grow.
Of course, Emma and Julian are just:
Even though at the same they’re:
So… Yeah. That pretty much sums up my feeling.
Also, I can’t quite remember when I became so damn attached to Magnus Bane but it has happened. Everything between him and Alec is extremely adorable. I really remember not liking Alec that much while I read The Mortal Instruments, and I can only assume now that he (and the others) are older, they just don’t irk me as much. And Clary telling Emma very certain things about herself just made me go, “Excuse me, but you can’t!” multiple times. I’m frightened!
What I can say for sure is that I have mixed feelings regarding Kieran, Mark, and Cristina. I completely understand how Cristina wants to get over Diego, and her developing feelings for Mark and just yay! But trying to figure out where Kieran fits in here makes me scratch my head. I can say, “Okay,” in regards to his past with Mark, but he was truly no friend to them in Lady Midnight and for him to come rushing into the scene… Just… *grumbles*
Then Diana’s story. Omg. I knew I liked her, but I couldn’t quite figure out why. Learning about her really endeared her to me, and I’m just rooting for her and everything in her life.
The ending. Ugh, how am I going to survive Queen of Air and Darkness after such a heart-wrenching ending like this one? How will everyone survive? What’s going to happen? Seriously, I have so many questions that need answers! I guess it’s good QoAaD is so long. I imagine I’m going to have to prepare my heart so… I’m going to scurry off to do that while I wait for the audiobook from the library.