3.5 out of 5 stars
I’m relieved to say I liked this one a lot more than Lady Midnight!
Cassandra Clare rarely errs in full-length story format – and I’ll forgive The Bane Chronicles, and Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy because she didn’t write them all and they’re so terrible it hurts. That made Lady Midnight all the worse going down. Despite it’s intricate plot and familiar world, it was boring. (My 2.5 star review.)
Alas, Lord of Shadows is almost back to form. I didn’t love it, but the fact that I was quite dreading it made the book a pleasant, satisfying surprise.
Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorn are still parabati, still in love, still trudging through the clunkiest, lamest lie-for-plot-device in recent memory. So much so that when Emma finally tells Julian the truth, he (presumably as bored by this storyline as I was), says, “Why didn’t you tell me?”
At which point I shouted, “600 pages ago!” over the audiobook’s voice, into my empty car.
Aside from that, Lord of Shadows really does pick up speed. Freshly raised from the dead Annabelle Blackthorn has the Black Book. Emma, Julian and Co. need it to stop the Unseelie King’s plan to wipe out Shadowhunters and mundanes alike. A Harry Potter-ish magic race war is about to break out. Ty and Kit are so almost in love that if there weren’t already a plethora of LGBTQ relationships here, I’d bet on them to couple up. Christina, Mark and Kieran are borderline polyamorous. Magnus is sick, Clary and Jace are a subplot, characters are dying – it’s back to normal for Cassandra Clare.
Emma and Julian alternate between great and facepalmingly annoying, but the other characters read more strongly. Christina is all backbone, Mark all honest conflict, Livvy, Ty and Kit all heart. They make Lord of Shadows stand up over Lady Midnight, along with the fast-paced, many-faceted story line. Old favorite characters pop up, like Jace and Clary, but this story doesn’t need them. (They’re almost distracting.) It’s good enough to roll into Book 3 on its own.
This has nothing to do with Lord of Shadows, but it made me laugh: