Book Review

Book Review: Lord of Shadows

Warning: very angry and critical review ahead.

Lord of Shadows

Read: 7/31-8/02

Rating: 1 star


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.

My Review
It is official. The Shadowhunter world is not the world for me. I read the first book in the Mortal Instruments back in 2013 and absolutely hated it and did not read anymore of that series. Then I read The Infernal Devices series. And I enjoyed that series. It's endeared to my heart in some ways because I really thought that after I had my baby that I would never be able to read ever again. And instead I binge read that series while I was nursing in the middle of the night. I finished reading the first book when my son was a week old. I mean, how special is that! I'll always remember Tessa and Will and Jem while I was rocking my newborn to sleep!


The Dark Artifices is NOT The Internal Devices. I loathe this modern time period, these characters, the plot, the whole thing. I kept asking myself while I was reading this book, "How did I get here? How did I even decide to pick up this stupid thing?"

THE. HYPE. That's why I picked up this stupid thing! Everyone and their mom loves this series and I just DO NOT GET IT! I watched the first season of the Shadowhunters show on Hulu a few months ago, because I thought MAYBE I was being too harsh on the shadowhunter world and I needed to give it another chance. I watched this show all the while thinking, "Why am I watching this garbage?" It's seriously laughable how over dramatized that show is. BUT STILL THE HYPE. I had to believe that if everyone loved this series so much that I had to keep giving it another try. I was thinking…maybe the books will be better? Maybe I can read this OTHER series in Los Angeles and it'll be good.


Things I did not like

  • WHY IS THERE SO MUCH ROMANCE?! WHY!!! Seriously, every character and every scene is filled with sexual tension and some romantic story. Cristina and Perfect Diego. Perfect Diego and someone else. Cristina and Mark. Mark and Kieran. Mark and Emma. Emma and Jules. Some other characters that I don't remember their names and are you freaking serious? This was a complete mess of a story. Seriously? Why so much romance! Can't the plot itself be good enough? Can't the big cast of characters supplement this plot and be part of it rather than having to indulge in all this weird romantic nonsense? Every scene is so painful to read because everyone is falling in love with everyone!!

  • I hate all the characters. Literally, all of the characters. Every character that was in a scene I would just think, "Gah you're so annoying and I hate you and I hope the institute blows up and takes you all out." They are all terrible to me. Who has redeeming qualities in this book? Maybe Cristina. Emma and Jules aren't even real characters. They are nothing without each other. And I get that they have this parabatai bond, but I wanted to know about Emma. But I can't know about Emma when every five seconds she's staring at Julian and dying to be with him. Seriously? Aren't you a shadowhunter? Don't you have more important things to do with your life than be obsessed with Jules? And also you're a liar and stupid and the worst. Julian isn't any better. I don't even want to talk about these characters anymore. I disliked them that much. Maybe I like Kit because he thinks all the shadowhunter stuff is stupid too.

  • What is this plot? This book was 700 pages of boring and long drawn out scenes. I was missing the entire underlying and big picture plot here because people were trying to taking over the institute and there was a random trip to Faerie in there. This book could have easily been half the size that it was. There was no need for it to be as long as it was.

  • Emma and Julian. I know I've addressed them already, but they need to be addressed again. Why in the hell did these two become parabatai?! I don't understand this world where kids are trained up and are able to make decisions like this when they are so young. Apparently the parabatai bond is stronger than marriage, so why are 16 year olds choosing who is gonna be their parabatai?!?!?!? I was 23 when I got married and I think back and I'm like, "omg, I was just a baby when I got married!" AND THAT WAS TWENTY THREE NOT SIXTEEN!! It just seems very irresponsible of whoever is orchestrating this world to allow this to happen. There should be more regulations so you know, they don't fall in love and apparently destroy the world by being together. Honestly, I like forbidden romance in stories. I know it's a trope and whatever, but I like it…when it makes sense. This does not make sense to me. It's just stupid. And it's annoying.

I feel like my age and that mom part of me really came out in this review haha. It's like when you're a kid and you watch the Little Mermaid and Ariel is like, "I'm 16 daddy! I'm not a child!" And you're like, "Yeah! 16 is an adult!" And then you're older and you watch the Little Mermaid and you're like, "16!?!?!? You're not a child, you're an infant!!! You don't know anything about anything!" I felt that way reading this book. Why are these young kids policing these demons and making these life long commitments that are just screwing them over? It's unfair to them and I hate it!

GAH. Overall, I hated this book because romance was the driving force of this story and everything else was confusing and made no sense to me. Everyone, stop being so crazy in love and calm the eff down!! I'm so mad writing this review. What a waste of my life. I found myself skimming the last portion of the book because I was over it. OVER IT.

My final thoughts
*Deep breaths*

I know a lot of people really love Cassandra Clare and the modern shadowhunter world. You probably read this story way differently than me and know way more stuff about Shadowhunters and really care about these characters. I could not make the connection to these characters or this story. It's not for me. I am off of that train and refuse to read any more of these books. Cassandra, if you wanna write another Tessa and Will story from the 1800s, I'm down. Count me in to read that. I love Tessa and Will and Jem. It will always be the best love triangle story of all time.

Anything else? I'm out.

Sorry not sorry for this ranting review.

What did you guys think of it? Did I say anything valid in this review? I just saw red the whole time I was typing so I'm not sure a coherent sentence was formed in the making of this review. Let me know your thoughts!


26 thoughts on “Book Review: Lord of Shadows”

  1. I laughed so hard while reading your review and still do, even if Lord of Shadows seems like THE BEST of Cassandra Clare’s books to me!

    I can relate though to what you’re saying. I didn’t like TMI series, Jace still gets on my nerves after so many years, all that romance in every single book makes me wanna sneeze like I’m allergic to love or something and yes, Clare’s books are kinda big!

    However, there was a lot of action and so many revelations in Lord of Shadows, especially when being at the Unseelie and Seelie Court, that I feel like the third book will have the ultimate battle and it’ll be mind-blowing!

    The thing I absolutely can’t understand though is why you don’t like Jules. He has a reason why he’s doing what he’s doing. A messed up reason, yeah, but still, that makes him more human than Jace or Perfect Diego. He protects his family, he provided for them for so many years, he was taking care of his lunatic uncle, he was running the Institute (because, let’s be honest, when was Diana around?) and so many more…
    I know it might seem sort of “too good to be true” but Clare has evolved since that first novel of hers where even the villain was likable! I mean, I worship Valentine, I’m not ashamed to admit!

    Still, I know the Shadowhunters’ world isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s truly understandable!

    At least you know you don’t have to wait two years for the third book! 😜

    Have a great weekend dear!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think if I had read more of TMI I would’ve enjoyed this book more. Because you said there were revelations in this book that I just didn’t get, to me it was just another place!

      Okay so you’ve made some good points about Julian that I did not see in my anger 😂😂😂 I know that’s a big part of the first book. And I didn’t hate the first book. I think Julian’s story was just so wrapped up in Emma this book that he was making me mad. But you’re right, he has redeeming qualities!

      Two years!!!!!???? Cassandra, with that ending?! That’s cold!!!!!

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!!! I wish I could get into this story and the complexities because it’s a great premise but I can’t do it 😂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s probably the reason why you didn’t get into the story! Clare has created a whole universe and even the slightest hole can cause a mess in the readers’ minds!

        But Julian is such a nice person. I don’t really care about Emma. I like Christina more.

        And as for the third book… I just can’t believe that after the way Lord of Shadows ended I’ll have to wait till 2019! 😱😱
        I’ll just reread the previous two I guess! 😂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Before I read Lady Midnight I read this whole thing that was like “These are separate stories and you don’t have to read TMI.” But I definitely found myself fumbling through this series trying to piece stuff together! It definitely messed with my mind! So my review is probably unfair to the shadowhunter world. But I don’t care hahaha.

        Is she writing another series?! Or is the last book gonna be 900 pages?! 😂😂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yeah, the stories seem to be connected, even if the main characters are different. I mean, what was that all about with Clary saying to Emma she may die and that’s the reason why she can’t marry Jace? That was so confusing to me!

        Which is partly the reason why I think this won’t be the last book of the Shadowhunters world! 😂😂

        Liked by 1 person

      4. What was up with Emma lying to Julian about the curse?! So many weird things! I’m like…y’all would fail in long term relationships because you’re hiding all this important stuff from each other!!

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Hahaha 😂😂😂😂 yeah, you do have a point here! I feel like they both have a weird way of protecting each other. That’s why the became parabatai in the first place! But Jules sort of knew about the curse since Lady Midnight. So, she didn’t actually hide it from him; just the fact that they may get lunatic and kill their family and theirselves if being together! 😂😂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Lol!!! Your review is absolutely hilarious, just sayin’. I read the original three of the Mortal Instruments, but I haven’t been able to get into any of the spin off books. I used to be really into the Shadow World stuff. I WANT to be back into it…but I simply can’t. I wonder if it’s an age thing? Either way, great review. I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy it but good on you for still writing a review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha! I’m glad you enjoyed it!!! I’ve wondered if it’s an age thing for me too. Usually I don’t have a problem with YA but this just seemed over the top for me! I wanted to like it but I just can’t!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Bless you for making it through the whole first season of Shadowhunters. I barely made it through the first episode. Hot Flaming Pile of Garbage.

    I read the original trilogy years, but never interested in continuing. Lol, this review makes me confident in that choice.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bahahahaha!!! “Hot Flaming Pile of Garbage” 😂😂😂😂 It really is the absolute worst!

      I remember thinking about continuing with TMI and read a little bit of what happened later in the series and I was out! I did not want to read it! Why did I think the spin off would be a good idea? It’s gotta be book desperation or something!


  4. I read the first three Mortal Instruments books, then I read the fourth one. I own the fifth one, but I’ve never read it. I got bored stiff of the constant sexual tension between “ARE THEY SIBLINGS? ARE THEY NOT SIBLINGS?! WHO CARES IF THEY ARE, THEY’RE STILL GONNA F***!!” with some of the main characters. It was so infuritating.

    Then I picked up the Infernal Devices. I LOVED THOSE. I don’t know what she did to write the Clockwork books, but I wish she’d continued with that with the other series. I’ve never picked up The Dark Artifices, because to be honest I haven’t heard many good things about them. I’ll just leave it with Clockwork Princess and ignore the fact that she’s written anything else.

    I feel like after the Mortal Instruments movie blew up like a landmine, nobody else should have gotten near it. But we all know that Hollywood doesn’t learn from their mistakes. (Although nothing’s ever been quite as bad as the garbage pile that was Eragon…)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Omg I’m dying 😂😂😂😂😂 Why do authors every thing incest is appealing?!?! Even if they end up not being related, I still wanna barf!!! And if they are related I’m so disgusted!!!!

      TID was so great!!! You think it might just be the time period? There’s something about magic in that time period that is awesome. And the characters were great!

      I can’t believe they made that Shadowhunters show. Who is watching it? It’s so bad! I didn’t watch the TMI movie because it looked horrible! Hulu is making a Throne of Glass series and I’m so scared. Hollywood is known to destroy my dreams!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Like literally they’re making out one book, find out they’re siblings in the same, end up pretty much f***ing the book after that, find out they MIGHT NOT BE SIBLINGS AFTER ALL, f-around some more, then find out MAYBE WE ARE RELATED PROBABLY LIKELY? It just got so blech after a while I gave up XD

        It’s probably the time period, for me, honestly. I just love absolutely everything that has to do with that time period. Although “Ticker,” which is a steampunk book set in the same time period, is not so good. I’ll read most anything set in the Victorian times, but I’m a sucker for the ones that are well-written. Maybe because there’s not as many love triangles/quadrangles/dodecahedrons in it?

        I’ve just given up on anything being as good as the books. That’s why I can’t watch GOT; I read the books and enjoyed them and I could barely finish the first season because literally every other minute I was like, “NO! THAT’S NOT HOW THIS WORKS! WHERE’S *INSERT CHARACTER HERE*? STOP!” Much to the chagrin of the person I was watching it with.


  5. *Screams from the rooftops* I AGREE WTH ALMOST EVERYTHING IN THIS REVIEWWWW! I’m giving Los 2 stars bc i loved Ty and his friendship with Kit and Livvy. I also found Annabelle an interesting character that could be a great villlain… if this was in a different story (but we all know the real best villain would be if Emma and Jules put their feelings before everyone else or maybe tried to repress their feelings until they gave in and went crazy unintentionally destroying everything they love. That’s how I would write this story! it’d be WAYYY more interesting and have WAYY more nuance)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Omg!!!! You are now officially my favourite person EVER!!!!!!!!! I hated this series. Like despise it. I’ve read TMI and TID and liked them. This was just awful. The romances killed and confused me and I was bored to tears. I didn’t like a single character. Wait, maybe I did. There was a cat in there somewhere right?? And perfect Diego? How did this name stick? NO ONE IS PERFECT! Really Miss Clare, how many love octagons does one book need? I haven’t read Lord of Shadows and never plan to. I stopped after Lady Midnight. I actually plan to reread the perfection that was TID though, but other than that I am SO done with shadowhunters!
    Rant over!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes!!!! So glad I’m not alone!!!!! How was TID so good and everything else so terrible? And all her books keep going off this modern shadowhunter world that I hate!!!!! I agree 100,000% with your rant!!! Let’s exchange BFF bracelets 😂😂😂

      Liked by 1 person

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