"Fiction is truth, even if it is not fact. If you believe only in facts and forget stories, your brain will live, but your heart will die." (Arthur Blackthorn)
Lord of Shadows might just be the best book that Cassandra Clare has ever written. I love the protagonists, I'm on board with all the romances, the plot is gripping, the themes are so relevant and I didn't mind all the angst.
Here are my thoughts about some of the characters:
★ Emma Carstairs. I couldn't connect with her in Lady Midnight, but she has won me over in Lord of Shadows. She's kind and compassionate, but she's also a badass warrior who'll go through the most to protect the people she loves. She's such a legend. I can't fathom anything more legendary than killing a Rider of Mannan AND breaking the Mortal Sword.
★ Julian Blackthorn. I don't understand why the other characters see an association between Julian and gentleness. The only people that he's gentle towards is Emma, his siblings and the people that his siblings care about and everyone else is fair game. He's manipulative and ruthless and the narrative makes him seem like a good guy instead of an anti-hero. He's a multifaceted character.
★ Mark Blackthorn. I love Mark, but his character arc is quite romance heavy and he doesn't go through much character development.
★ Kieran. Kieran is going through the most in Lord of Shadows and I've warmed up to him.
★ Christina Mendoza Rosales. She's my favourite Shadowhunter in The Dark Artifices series. She's sweet, kind, compassionate, strong mature, and understanding. She's figuring out what she wants from life and I love her.
★ Livia Blackthorn. I adore her protective nature, but I never got a sense of her personality and now I never will.
★ Tiberius Blackthorn. I appreciate that a character on the autism spectrum has such an important role to play in Lord of Shadows. Ty is an amazing character.
★ Christopher Herondale. Kit is finding it extremely hard to forget about his criminal background and I adore his sarcastic Herondale humour. I also appreciate his viewpoints about Shadowhunter life.
★ Drusilla Blackthorn. I didn't get a sense of her personality either.
★ Octavian Blackthorn. The poor child has been through so much.
★ Diana Wryburn. I love her!
★ Gwyn. I love his sense of honour and his awkward romantic guestures.
★ Magnus Bane. He's still sassy and awesome and I love seeing him and Alec being parents.
★ Alec Lightwood. I'm so proud of him!
★ Annabelle Blackthorn. She's experienced pain and torture that no one should ever experience and that doesn't excuse her actions, but I feel so sad for her.
★ Zara Dearborn. If I never have to hear about her again, it will be still be too soon.
I love the Blackthorn family dynamics and their unbreakable love and devotion. I also love the friendship that develops between Emma and Mark and the friendship that has existed between Emma and Christina from the beginning.
The forbidden romance aspect between Emma and Julian is a little repetitive, but it's so evident that they belong together. The risks of being together and the angst between them adds to the pain and heartbreak.
The love triangle between Mark, Kieran and Christina is giving me conflicting emotions because I feel like they'll all be perfect together and from what's going on in Lord of Shadows, I feel like that's what Cassandra Clare might do.
Livvy, Ty and Kit become a team and a friendship/subtle love triangle develops between them. I love how Kit tries to understand Ty and is always there for him.
I also love the relationship between Diana and Gwyn and Helen and Aline.
THE PLOT AND THEMES
Lord of Shadows deals with Faerie politics and the Cold Peace. I enjoyed reading about The Unseelie Court and The Seelie Court in all its glory. There's also questions and mystery surrounding Annabelle and Malcolm as the Blackthorns race against time to find The Black Volume of the Dead before the Unseelie King can get his hands on it. I love how everything comes together.
Lord of Shadows also deals with prejudice and hate towards people who are different and there's so many real world parallels. It's sad, terrible and frustrating to read about.
★ Emma's sassy one-liners especially when she's in battle.
★ Julian threatening powerful people with weapons.
★ Emma calling Perfect Diego Imperfect Diego.
★ Every single sarcastic comment that Kit makes.
★ The London Institute.
★ Jessamine's ghost.
★ The letter that Ty wrote to Annabelle about Julian and the fact that it almost reduced Julian to tears.
★ That time Diana put Zara in her place.
★ That time Alec put Zara in her place.
★ Actually ALL the times someone puts Zara in her place.
The ending of Lord of Shadows is extremely intense. I could feel all the confusion, hate, anger, pain and chaos. However, I wasn't affected by the characters who were directly affected by the events that occurred. I was affected by the characters who were indirectly affected by what happened to the directly affected characters. When Robert dies, I was worried about Alec. When Livvy dies, I was devastated because of Julian and Ty's reaction and the fact that Ty is going to hurt so much. That symbolism of the clock chiming to signify that Livvy's in heaven though... So powerful!
QUEEN OF AIR AND DARKNESS THEORIES
★ The warlock, Shade, that Kit, Ty and Livvy meet at the Shadow Market is Ragnor because of the green skin.
★ The boy that Dru meets in Faerie is Sebastian's and the Seelie Queen's love child.
★ The Cohorts are involved in the creation of the warlock sickness.
★ Annabelle is going to be a fantastic villain.
I can't wait to read Queen of Air and Darkness because if there's one thing that Cassandra Clare knows how to write, it's finales.
"Everything went. Happiness went, and so did loss and pain.
Everything but love."