The Mud and Stars Book Blog

thoughts from a girl who spends her days in other worlds…

All of my thoughts and (many, many) feelings about ‘Lord of Shadows’ by Cassandra Clare

on June 6, 2017

Spoiler alert: This review contains spoilers for Lady Midnight, and the Mortal Instruments series. If you haven’t read them, but plan to, then look away now!


Lord of Shadows. Cassandra Clare. Simon & Schuster Children’s UK. May 2017.

Emma Carstairs has finally avenged her parents. She thought she’d be at peace. But she is anything but calm. Torn between her desire for her parabatai Julian and her desire to protect him from the brutal consequences of parabatai relationships, she has begun dating his brother, Mark. But Mark has spent the past five years trapped in Faerie; can he ever truly be a Shadowhunter again?

And the faerie courts are not silent. The Unseelie King is tired of the Cold Peace, and will no longer concede to the Shadowhunters’ demands. Caught between the demands of faerie and the laws of the Clave, Emma, Julian, and Mark must find a way to come together to defend everything they hold dear—before it’s too late.

It’s hard to concisely review a 700 page book at the best of times, but it’s even more difficult when you fell in love with it so much you could probably fill a book of the same length with all of your many, many feelings! I’ll do my best not to write an essay, you guys.

I’d been anticipating the sequel to Lady Midnight for a long time, so I started reading Lord of Shadows as soon as I could get my hands on it. Lord of Shadows is set in the aftermath of Malcom Fade’s betrayal, and follows the Blackthorn family and their friends as they attempt to deal with the numerous repercussions from Malcom’s death. And believe me, although this warlock is dead, his story is FAR from over! Cassandra Clare is the Queen of Plotting, and I loved how the tiniest of details from Lady Midnight were picked up again in this book; they were all there for a reason, and everything was so cleverly woven together.

Cassandra Clare writes villains so complexly and fabulously that they really leap of the page, and give you feelings of pure, unadulterated hatred. In Lord of Shadows we have threats coming from all directions; threats from Malcom (even though he is supposed to be dead), threats from Faerie (because to say the Fair Folk are not happy about the Cold Peace, and not the biggest fans of Nephilim right now, would be putting it mildly), and even threats from a certain group of Shadowhunters with some rather nasty views.

In this book, we are introduced to Zara Dearborn, a Shadowhunter and Centurion who has, along with a big group of other Centurions, been sent to L.A. to search for Malcom Fade’s body. Zara is probably the most detestable character in the entire book; she’s a patronising bigot who has only slightly less horrific ideas about how Downworlders should be treated than Valentine Morgenstern himself. Every time Zara appeared on the page, I wanted to punch her in the face, she was so ridiculously evil. My hatred was probably exacerbated further by the fact that the vile rhetoric she was spouting about Downworlders sounded all too similar to some of things we hear in today’s world about certain groups of people. Fantasy is such a good platform for exploring how we can respond to bigotry, and I have so much respect for Cassandra Clare for using it. All of the decent characters in this book took every opportunity they could to call Zara out, and fight against what she stood for.

Emma, Christina, Diana, Julian, Mark, and the rest of the Blackthorn clan, were all given so much character development in this book. The younger Blackthorns are growing up, and they became much more involved in Shadowhunter missions throughout the course of this story. I really enjoyed learning more about Ty and Livvy, and I thought that the exploration of Ty’s autism was fantastic, particularly in the positive ways it was shown to help him with certain aspects of being a Shadowhunter.

Something else I really loved was Kit’s story: seeing him slowly coming to terms with being a Shadowhunter. He was hostile and reluctant to start with, having just lost his father, and feeling like an outsider in this world he never knew he was a part of, but I loved seeing his development as he gradually learned to trust, and came to love, Ty and Livvy, who guided him through everything as gently as they could. I felt like there was something more than friendship growing between Kit and Ty, and I hope that’s developed further in the next book, but for now I think the slow build relationship was handled excellently, and felt very pure and truthful.

Speaking of relationships, I have SO many feelings when it comes to Emma and Julian. As we know from Lady Midnight, these two are doomed by the curse of ultra-forbidden love, which will destroy everything they hold dear if they pursue it. It was so hard to watch these two dealing with the agony of trying not to love each other, especially in the sections from Julian’s point of view; he is usually so calm and in control of his feelings, but his love for Emma really tore him apart in this book. I don’t want to give any spoilers away, so I won’t go into any plot details here, but there were scenes that broke my heart between these two, and scenes that made that same heart beat overtime. The relationship between Julian and Emma is endgame, on SO many levels.

As much as I love Julian and Emma, we all know that my OTP from the Shadowhunter Universe is Malec. I loved that Magnus and Alec were a part of this book, and now that their adorable adopted children (one of whom is blue) have been added into the mix, I just can’t even. My heart was filled with so many fluffy feelings during every scene in which they interacted with the tiny people they are raising together.

Although Cassie gave me lots of fluff in Lord of Shadows, she also quite brutally ripped my heart out with the way this book ended. Before I read this book, I’d heard a lot of people talking about how it had destroyed them. I am not going to go into details because spoilers, but I can confirm that, after finishing this book, I am definitely NOT okay. The thing that devastated me so much was unexpected, shockingly abrupt, and painful. I am also left feeling horribly uneasy, because my favourite characters are not safe and snug just yet – not by a long shot. I don’t know how I can possibly wait until 2019 for the next book!! I can’t cope with this level of uncertainty!!!!

All in all, Lord of Shadows gave me everything I could possibly have wanted in a sequel: fabulous plotting, rich character development, villains I more than despised, and feelings. SO MANY FEELINGS. If you haven’t already done so, you need to pick this book up, ASAP. But, be warned: you will be DESPERATE for the next book the moment you turn the final page. And you’re not going to get it for another two years…. WHY CASSIE, WHY?!?!?

Have you read Lord of Shadows? Who is your favourite character in the Shadowhunter Universe? And how are you coping with life after finishing this book? HELP ME! I HAVE TOO MANY FEELINGS FOR ONE PERSON TO BEAR ALONE!!!!


22 responses to “All of my thoughts and (many, many) feelings about ‘Lord of Shadows’ by Cassandra Clare

  1. OH GOSH MALEC’S ADOPTED CHILDREN?!?! I just might faint from excitement!! No word of a lie!! I was already keen to read this- but now… wow- I can’t wait!! (That said- knowing I’ll have to wait for the sequel for two years might make me stay my hand- I hate waiting so long between books!!)

  2. Great review! I ADORED this book. It was so well done. And that ending nearly KILLED me!

    • mudandstars says:

      Thank you so much! I know me too – I wasn’t expecting it at all, devastating!! 😦 Can’t believe how long a wait we have until the next book.. How do I cope with this?!

      • It’s going to be rough! Luckily some of her other series have books coming out in the meantime, so that will help. A re-read will definitely be in order though with the release date that far out!

      • mudandstars says:

        Yes, thankfully we will have something to sustain us while we wait!! Haha yes definitely. My memory is terrible, so I’ll definitely need to reread before then!

  3. I’m currently reading this book. I hope to have as many feelings as you when I’m finished. 🙂

  4. I read it! I loved it! I broke into thousands little pieces my heart with my bare hands and I’d gladly do it again! I love the Christina-Mark relationship because nothing seems to be certain between them and I really wanna know what’s gonna happen next!
    I’m still crashed! 😭 Why Cassie Clare had to do that? 💔

  5. Oh my god oh my god how am I supposed to wait TWO years for the next book?! I finished the book a week ago and wrote and published a review only yesterday, as I needed all those 7 days to start thinking clearly about the book without screaming. That book has left me in PIECES. I loved your review, it totally reflected how I feel! You captured all the emotions just right. And I would really appreciate it if you could check out my review too!
    Great review!!

    • mudandstars says:

      Thanks so much! I know, the wait is going to be agony. I am still not over the ending though, so maybe it will take me those two years to recover hahaa. I’ll definitely check out your review now 🙂

  6. […] Hands down this has to be Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare. The ending may have ripped my still-beating heart out of my chest, causing a great big bloody mess, and I may be ever-so-slightly pissed off that I have to wait until 2019 to find out what happens next, but this book wowed me on so many levels. It’s one of the best books Cassandra Clare has ever written. My full review can be found here. […]

  7. jimenobaeznarvaez says:

    I finished the book a week ago and wrote and published a review only yesterday, as I needed all those 7 days to start thinking clearly about the book without screaming. !

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