Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Book Review: Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices #2) by Cassandra Clare

Lord of Shadows
The Dark Artifices #2

Cassandra Clare

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May 23, 20017


Book Synopsis:

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.

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My Thoughts:

Lord of Shadows is the second book in The Dark Artifices Trilogy, and picks up right where Lady Midnight left off.   Full of Action and suspense, you will find yourself willing to sacrifice sleep in order to finish this book!  Emma has learned about "The Parabatai Curse," and is determined to sacrifice her happiness in order to prevent it from becoming a reality.  I was not in agreement with her method of trying to prevent the curse, and found myself frustrated with how she decided to handle her predicament, even if I understood her reasoning.  There is a lot of angst in this book, as there is no doubt that Emma and Jules are soul mates, and long for nothing more than to be together.  The push and pull between them is palpable, and pulled at my heart strings.  

We also learn more about secondary characters, Christina Rosales, her ex-boyfriend "Perfect Diego," Mark, Kieran (a prince of the Unseelie Court and Mark's ex-boyfriend,) Kit (an orphan whom is staying with The Blackthorne's and has mysterious parentage,) as well as many more minor characters.  Romance is sprinkled throughout the story, and I was excited to see how everything would eventually play out with all of the characters.

One of my favorite parts of book two was the adventure that took place when Emma, Jules, Mark, Christina, and Kieran travel to the land of Faerie.  I loved the magic, raw beauty, temptations, and setting that Cassandra Clare created.  I felt like I was in the Land of Faerie as well, and all of the colors and visuals were so vivid and bright. 

Danger is weaved throughout the story from multiple enemies.  Emma, Julian, Christina, Mark, Kieran, and the rest of the Blackthorne's are dealing with political upheaval, prejudice, and malicious scheming from the Cohort, an extremist group within The Clave, as well as The Seelie and Unseelie Courts in the land of Faerie, and a powerful enemy that has come about through dark magic.  I loved every moment of The Lord of Shadows! 

About the Author:

Cassandra Clare was born to American parents in Teheran, Iran and spent much of her childhood travelling the world with her family, including one trek through the Himalayas as a toddler where she spent a month living in her father’s backpack. She lived in France, England and Switzerland before she was ten years old. 

Since her family moved around so much she found familiarity in books and went everywhere with a book under her arm. She spent her high school years in Los Angeles where she used to write stories to amuse her classmates, including an epic novel called “The Beautiful Cassandra” based on a Jane Austen short story of the same name (and which later inspired her current pen name). 

After college, Cassie lived in Los Angeles and New York where she worked at various entertainment magazines and even some rather suspect tabloids where she reported on Brad and Angelina’s world travels and Britney Spears’ wardrobe malfunctions. She started working on her YA novel, City of Bones, in 2004, inspired by the urban landscape of Manhattan, her favourite city. She turned to writing fantasy fiction full time in 2006 and hopes never to have to write about Paris Hilton again. 

Cassie’s first professional writing sale was a short story called “The Girl’s Guide to Defeating the Dark Lord” in a Baen anthology of humor fantasy. Cassie hates working at home alone because she always gets distracted by reality TV shows and the antics of her two cats, so she usually sets out to write in local coffee shops and restaurants. She likes to work in the company of her friends, who see that she sticks to her deadlines. 

City of Bones was her first novel.

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