Edna Lopez-Rodriguez ‘20/ Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Cassandra Clare continues the The Shadowhunter Chronicles with the second installment of The Dark Artifices series, Lord of Shadows. Published late May 2017 by McElderry Books, Lord of Shadows continues Julian Blackthorn and Emma Carstairs’ story as they battle with the hardships of forbidden love and try to keep their family together against all odds. Even though Emma and Julian are the main protagonists, Lord of Shadows does not limit itself to their perspectives only. Throughout the book readers are able to see the story though the perspective of other characters such as Kit, Cristina, and more of the Blackthorn siblings. These perspectives give the story a wider view of the problems rising from the previous installment, Lady Midnight. This is effectively done as the struggles the characters are facing go beyond Julian and Emma.
A prominent part of this book relies on the tension between Shadowhunters and Downworlders. Having Mark’s perspective as a Shadowhunter who is half-Faerie helps strengthen the tension as the Blackthorn’s institute gets more involved with the Shadowhunter government. These different perspectives combined with the twists and turns of Lord of Shadows fuse into an adventurous story that goes beyond the Los Angeles Institute. Clare explores the different Faerie worlds and even goes back to the London Institute which was first introduced in The Infernal Devices.
Clare’s characters continuously go through substantial development in their own arcs and their relationships with others. Emma’s role as a hero perfectly contrasts with Julian’s rising anti hero arc. Julian’s intense love for his family is effectively illustrated as the main force that drives him throughout the story, leading to a more complex view of his character.
Clare also dives deeper into the lives of the Blackthorn siblings allowing readers to grow closer to the Blackthorn family and the Shadowhunters from the Los Angeles Institute. Readers get more of Cristina’s past, Mark and Keiran’s relationship, and Dru’s coming of age story. Furthermore, Kit is a newly found Shadowhunter living with the Blackthorns and learning about their world for the first time. Through the contrast between Kit’s point of view and the rest of the Shadowhunters, Clare is able to further highlight the flaws of the Shadowhunter government and explore what it truly means to become a Shadowhunter.
There is no doubt that this is Clare’s most diverse book yet. Lord of Shadows is more inclusive than her other series as it has Mexican Shadowhunters and LGBTQ+ love interests, couples, and characters. The stories of these characters expand the Shadowhunter world, making it more realistic. Inclusivity is important as books should always reflect the diversity of the people reading them.
Still, Clare does not shy away from the brutality that war can bring, and the rising tensions of war are incorporated in the themes being explored in the book. Like the previous Shadowhunter novels, Lord of Shadows highlights the gray moralities of the Clave; good and evil are not black and white. Clare ends the book with her most brutal cliffhanger yet, leaving readers craving more. Unfortunately, readers will have to wait two more years as the final installment will be published in 2019.