Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices 2) by Cassandra Clare

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Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices 2) by Cassandra Clare

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Buy Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices 2) by Cassandra Clare at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Teens
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Tanja Jennings
Reviewed by Tanja Jennings
Summary: With more twists, turns, thrills, shivers and shocks than a themed ride at Universal Studios, 'Lord of Shadows' catapults the reader into a maelstrom of black magic, explosive desire, love triangles, perilous bargaining, deadly danger and nail biting cliff hanger moments. Clare delivers another exhilarating supernatural adventure moving the action from LA to the land of faerie, London, Cornwall and the fabled Shadowhunter city of Idris as the Cold Peace intensifies and the Blackthorns struggle to protect their loved ones from new threats. But deception is a double-edged sword. Unputdownable treat for Clare aficionados and fans of Edgar Allan Poe.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 720 Date: May 2017
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Children's Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1471116650

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After the cataclysmic events of the devilishly macabre 'Lady Midnight', Cassandra Clare produces another melodramatic magical mêlée for its sequel, conjuring up new risks and agonisingly painful decisions for the Blackthorn family and their friends. Their troubles are by no means over as they face the aftermath of Malcolm Fade's reign of madness and the malicious machinations of the cohort (a sect of power-hungry Centurions who want to punish Downworlders and minority groups with draconian legislation). Above all Julian wants to keep his siblings safe but his self-destructive love for Emma, desperate double dealing and the reappearance of Annabel threatens to tear them apart.

As dark forces threaten to overwhelm all that is good, the Blackthorns vow to fight back and hold on to their dreams and desires but at what cost? Does Malcolm's weapon, the malignant Black Volume, hold the answers they seek? Who has it and who else wants it?

True to form Clare creates magic by transforming recognisable landscapes into locations for extreme combat between Nephilim and their foes. High octane set pieces include terrifying Teuthida demons invading Santa Monica pier, a ferocious fight on a Ferris Wheel, a bloody stand-off at the LA Institute, a brave and senseless sacrifice, a chilling clash of the sinister Riders of Mannan (definite shades of J.R.R Tolkien's Nazgul) with Nephilim on the River Thames, a deadly battle with ancient beings on treacherous Cornish sea cliffs and a duel with a diabolical demon born from necromancy. Her characters also visit a forbidden land seeking to free a captive once held dear.

Clare's novel takes inspiration from classical writings, gothic literature; the mythology of supernatural beings and grim faery lore but it has human dilemmas and universal themes at its heart. The Blackthorns and their comrades battle against the prejudice, racism, mistrust and ignorance that brings evil to the world. Clare's reference to the Cohort's plans to register the undesirables and those who refuse to conform to their rigid rules is an allegory of Nazi laws, which also appears in 'Harry Potter' propagating the destructive idea that coupling of different races or same genders is a form of unacceptable contamination as in the case of Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood or a 'pure-blood' and a 'half-blood'.

Still bound by their parabatai vow (pledged warrior partners are forbidden to fall in love) Emma and Julian are in dire straits trapped by unbreakable magic with only one way out. They catapult from quest to quest destined to be together but doomed to stay apart. Julian experiences the anguish of undying love - He'd always thought desire was meant to be a pleasurable feeling. He'd never thought it could cut like this, like razors under his skin as him and Emma second guess each other and become absorbed by their need for each other. Meanwhile Christina is caught in a dance whose steps she doesn't know, as she finds herself part of an impossible situation, Kit defies his heritage as the lost Herondale but forms a bond with Livvy and an appreciation of her autistic twin Ty- When every sound and feeling was jacked up to eleven, it only made sense to calm yourself by concentrating all your energy on something small that you could master.... while Dru, feeling marginalised, helps a stranger.

As the worlds of the faery, Shadow Hunters and demons collide the book builds to a heart stopping crescendo. Protagonists are plagued by supernatural creatures from the depths of nightmares, inner torment- I had never realised before how much you can take from someone by not allowing them the words they need to describe themselves and all consuming passion- It had made him understand why the Greeks had believed love was an arrow that tore through your body and left a blazing trail of longing behind.

Old favourites return for avid Clare fans and the tragedy mounts as loss, suffering and trauma feature in this expertly crafted adventure which neatly ties up the threads from 'Lady Midnight' while introducing frightening developments.

What is the significance of the poem which opens the book and gives a line to each chapter heading? Who is the Lord of Shadows? Where is Dreamland? What does the Unseelie King want from the Blackthorns? What role do the Riders of Mannan play? Whom does Julian make a dangerous pact with? What is the Cohort's agenda? What is Diana hiding? Where does Diego's true heart lie? Who does Mark really love- Emma, Kieran or Christina? What does Annabel Blackthorn seek? Will Ty join the Scholomance? Will Kit accept his Shadowhunter heritage? Can the parabatai curse be broken?

All these answers and more are revealed in the compelling 'Lord of Shadows'. Ardent Clare devotees will gasp in horror at the finale while first time readers who are immersed will eagerly await the next instalment.

If you can't wait for the sequel, 'The Queen of Air and Darkness', scheduled for 2019, and you are thirsty for more supernatural romantic fantasy served with a side of ghoulishness you should reread Lady Midnight. Alternatively if you were gripped by Annabel Blackthorn's story you might like to dip into Tales of Death and Dementia by Edgar Allan Poe and Gris Grimly for a dollop of gothic gore in graphic novel format. For more on the mythology and fascination of angels why not try Waterslain Angels by Kevin Crossley-Holland, Book 1 of the paranormal fantasy series Angel by L A Weatherly, the captivating Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick and Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick or the otherworldly Angel by Cliff McNish.

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Buy Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices 2) by Cassandra Clare at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices 2) by Cassandra Clare at Amazon.com.

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