Book Review: Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

15 March 2020

Hello Readers & Friends,

I have a bit of a ranty review today. I have such a love-hate relationship with Cassandra Clare. I absolutely love and would die for The Mortal Instruments series. I enjoyed The Infernal Devices series, but hated Tessa and Will and the romance there, which kind of ruined it for me a bit. The thing with Cassandra Clare's books is that her characters are all so utterly loveable and relatable. Fan favourites such as Magnus Bane feature across all her series thanks to his warlock immortality, which keeps us all coming back again and again. (Bane even got his own spin-off, which I am yet to read but have on my shelf!) 

I am extremely excited to read her newest venture, Chain of Gold. The world of Shadowhunters is so intricate and well-built, all the magic and politics of it is so well thought-out you can really lose yourself in it.

SO, onto the actual review. 
I read Lady Midnight a while ago and enjoyed it, reviewing it here. Lord of Shadows is the sequel, and is just as meaty as the first, and it took me quite a lot longer than anticipated for me to finish.
I had concerns about where Emma and Julien's romance was going to go in this second book, and am relieved that it wasn't as annoying and frustrating to get through as I thought it would be. In fact, it was really nicely played out, and we had romance stories of other characters that got just as much spotlight so Emma & Julien weren't as overbearing or tiring as I found Will and Tessa to be in TID. In particular, I loved Mark and Kieran's romance and the complexity of their relationship. I've said it before and I'll say it again - I want a spin-off of their time in The Wild Hunt!

But ultimately I only gave this book 3 stars. It dragged on and on and on with not a lot happening, and when things were happening it was confusing and complicated. I found the plot extremely messy, and we are being told the story from so many different points of view that it's difficult to keep track of where everyone is and why. I found myself going, 'why are they there again?' a few too many times.

The way the book wrapped up didn't leave me dying to read the third, and I felt like there were a lot of dramas happening for the sake of keeping the story dragging out rather than that they needed to happen. Dru was pretty much exiled from the entire book until one super weird part where it's as though Clare went, 'oh, I forgot about Dru, let's give her something to do', and it was dragged out for a few chapters with no real reason or need.

I felt like this about a lot of the book. 90% of the issues were resolved without the characters needing to do very much. I think writing a book with such a huge host of main characters will always be difficult, but in the end I just got really lost in this plot and found myself wondering what the point of any of it was at the end. It was one of my least favourite Clare books, and I think my 'neither here nor there' attitude about Emma and Julien as the protagonists doesn't help. 

I'll read the last one eventually, but I'll save it for a very dull and rainy day. Until then, I'm excited to tuck into Chain of Gold and hope for a tidier plot and better characters akin to her Clary and Jace group.

Love,
C x 

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