by Cassandra Clare
Narrator: James Marsters
Published by Simon & Schuster Audio on May 23, 2017
Genres: Young Adult Paranormal
Length: 23 hours and 30 minutes
Buy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble
Reading Challenges: 2017 Audiobook Challenge, 2017 COYER Summer Reading List, 2017 New Release Challenge
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.
4.5 Stars for Lord of Shadows
This is going to be a tough review for me to write. I loved Lord of Shadows but that ending tore my heart out. How can Cassandra Clare do this to us?!!
I could not wait to read this book. I loved the first book Lady Midnight and the new generation of Shadowhunters: Emma Carstairs, her parabatai Julian Blackthorn and the Blackthorn siblings. I had to know the fate of Emma and Julian’s forbidden love, how Mark was adjusting to life with his siblings and what would happen next after Lady Midnight’s chilling ending. The length of this book at 720 pages (or 23 hours and 30 minutes since I listened to the audiobook) was at first intimidating but as I got more into the story I was completely drawn in to the Shadowhunter world. I loved the action and suspense that has been present in all of Cassandra Clare’s books, and Lord of Shadows had the excitement and storyline twists that I have come to expect from this series. With the multiple POVs we see how important each member of the Los Angeles Institute is. I loved learning more about Diana Wrayburn, who has kept her past a mystery. I also enjoyed seeing the bond form between Kit, Ty and Livvy. Despite their young age and inexperience they are determined to help keep their family safe. Emma and Julian’s love story is passionate and their love for each other makes their parabatai bond stronger, so it makes no sense why these two can’t be together. Then there is Mark and Cristina’s relationship that is complicated and unexpected but shows the early signs of a great romance. Finally there is Dru, the second youngest of the Blackthorns, whose finding her voice and making a stand to help her family.
Along with the quest for the Black Volume of the Dead the plot deals with the growing hatred and discrimination of Downworlders, led by an extremist group of Shadowhunters called the Cohort. It is an important message and comparison to our current social issues, and reminder how hate and ignorance in the hands of people with power is dangerous.
Despite the heartbreaking ending I enjoyed this book and still love this series. I love Cassandra Clare’s use of diverse characters (in ethnicity and LGBT), her writing and storytelling. The Shadowhunter universe has the action, romance and suspense that makes this an exciting series and has me coming back for more. It will be hard to wait two years for the next book.
5 Star Audiobook Review
I’ve had a huge crush on actor James Marsters since he portrayed Spike in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. As soon as I saw he was narrating Lord of Shadows I knew I had to get the audiobook. His narration was amazing! I love his vocal range, from an elegant Englishman to a pesky Downworlder. His performance was entertaining and brought emotion and excitement to the story. With the combination of his performance and Cassandra Clare’s writing I could not put this book down. I also did not want it to end. I hope he narrates the next book in this series and I will listen to his other audiobooks.