My least favorite part of Lady Midnight, the first novel in Cassandra Clare’s Dark Artifices trilogy, was how little the faerie world that was mentioned was explored. Luckily, that world was the center of Lord of Shadows, the second novel in the trilogy.
In Lord of Shadows, readers are immersed in the politics of the Faerie courts and the Clave, the Shadowhunter government. With murderous necromancy cult created by warlock Malcolm Fade in Lady Midnight fresh in the minds of Shadowhunters, a new bill has been proposed that would create a warlock registry, camps for werewolves, and limited access to blood for vampires. If this imaginary bigotry seems like a familiar if not a little heavy handed metaphor, well, that seems to be the point.
With this bill in mind, the Blackthorn family, along with Emma Carstairs and Christina Rosales, race around the world(s), from London, the faerie courts, Idris, and beyond. Much more political than its predecessor, Lord of Shadows draws readers into worlds new and old.
“There is truth in stories…There is truth in one of your paintings, boy or in a sunset or a couplet from Homer. Fiction is truth, even if it is not a fact.”
One of the most rewarding parts of Lord of Shadows was how Clare wove easter eggs and cameos from her previous novels into the novel. While these cameos or easter eggs did not contribute much to the story, it was always fun to see how the characters from other novels in the same universe were faring after their stories were told.
The one thing I disliked was how angsty Emma and Julian became. I am not a big fan of forbidden romance to begin with, but when a character’s stormy, brooding eyes or flowing, golden locks are mentioned every time they walk into a room, it just gets annoying. Their romance seems contrived and overly dramatic, giving the pair the feel of horny teenagers, not two young adults in love.
To counteract the whining of our two main characters, Clare delves into the complex perspectives of secondary characters like Mark, Christina, Kieran, Kit, Livvy, Ty, and Dru. Each character had a unique, compelling arc that I was always happy to read about.
Lord of Shadows is another immersive, fast-paced addition to the Shadowhunters world. If you liked any of Clare’s previous novels, I promise you’ll love this one.