Thoughts and Theories on Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare!

It’s that time again… A new Cassandra Clare book came out just a few weeks ago and of course it was on the top of my most anticipated list! Lord of Shadows did not disappoint! I have a ton of sticky notes stuck in my copy and some extra notes from after I finished. SO many questions, and such a long time to wait for the final book! Now comes the fun task of deciphering my notes and seeing if anything makes sense at all…

P.S. This post should be called “Katie writes a book about a book!” It’s almost 3000 words long… That’s like longer than most of the papers I’ve written in college.

Synopsis from Goodreads


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 rating: 5 stars (duh)

If you haven’t read Lord of Shadows yet, you need to. Trust me, it’s great. But also don’t read any further on this post because there will be all kinds of spoilers from here on out!

Malcolm and Annabel

First off, I’d like to brag that I was right that Malcolm wasn’t actually dead after Lady Midnight (*bows with flourish*). Also, the way he comes back out of the ocean and how he’s described made me think of him looking like Captain Salazar from the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie. I can’t be the only one who thought that, but I did see that film right before I started reading this book so the connection was right there.

There was a Romeo and Juliet type of story between Malcolm and Annabel for their whole lives, except that there was an extra sacrifice (RIP Uncle Arthur) to finish bringing Annabel back to life. Annabel fell in love with Malcolm after her family took him in over a century before this book takes place, but it was strictly forbidden for a Shadowhunter and a Downworlder to be in love back then. Annabel was murdered by her family because of her love for Malcolm, and when Malcolm eventually found out, he attempted to raise her from the dead. When he finally succeeds in bringing Annabel back, she straight up kills him because obviously what he did was totally wrong and evil. It’s a strange turn of events, and suggests that Annabel has high morals for someone who has been dead for over a hundred years. She refuses to let Malcolm live after every horrible thing he’s done, but she also just runs around on her own clinging to the Black Volume until Julian and Emma find her.

New Antagonists

The Unseelie King: He’s pretty darn evil. So much so that the Seelie Queen has expressed that she is willing to side with the Shadowhunters in a war against him. Obviously he sucks, he was going to kill his own son (for killing another faerie so I’ll admit it does make sense). He’s clearly a ruthless leader and will do anything to get what he believes he deserves. That makes for quite a scary enemy.

The centurions (sort of) are also a threat to power now. Mainly because they’re being overrun by Zara Dearborn and her Cohort cronies. Perfect Diego is apparently engaged to evil Zara, much to everyone’s disappointment becuase she’s TERRIBLE. Zara and her goons are planing to take over the LA Institute and start a registry to keep track of all downworlders. I liked that Kit immediately compared this to Hitler from Mundane history because Shadowhunters wouldn’t normally know or think about that.

The Blackthorns Take Faerie

There was so much going on with faeries this time that I’m not even sure I can talk about it all and still make sense. First off, Jules, Emma, Mark and Christina go to save Keiran from being executed by the Unseelie King (aka Keiran’s father) for killing another faerie. Overall, Keiran has shown a lot of character development since Lady Midnight. In my review of the last book, I said that I was on the fence about whether I liked Keiran. I can safely say that I like him so much more now. Granted, he didn’t have any memory of what he let Iarlath do to Julian and Emma, or even of killing Iarlath out of revenge, but he tried so hard to make everyone trust him again. He wanted them to believe that he would make things right. I believed him, I was so glad that he wanted to testify in front of the Clave about the Seelie Queen’s promise to fight against her counterpart. Even if that didn’t actually end up happening.

Drusilla and Jaime: Dru accidentally uses a magical device that Jaime is trying to protect by keeping it away from the Cohort and it sends her into the Seelie Court where she meets Ash. We don’t know much about this weapon yet, just that it allows undetected entry into Faerie. We also don’t know much about Ash, but there is speculation that he could be the son of the Seelie Queen and Sebastian (Johnathan Christopher Morgenstern). We shall see, I’m sure he’ll be important in the future.

Gwyn and Diana: Diana opens up to Gwyn and tells him that she is transgender. I was shocked. Of all the things that could have prevented her from becoming the head of an institute, I did not even think for a second that it was because she was born male. The reason it’s a problem is because she sought Mundane medicine, which is strictly forbidden, for her transition. If she testified under the Mortal sword, she’d have to give her birth name, which she hasn’t had to use since she was a teenager, and admit that she transitioned. However, and I just thought of this as I write this review, could it be possible for her to become head of the institute now becuase the Mortal Sword has been destroyed? Hmmmm… Anyways, Diana and Gwyn are forming a pretty close relationship so I’m curious about where it will go next.

Dru hides a big secret in this book, and it’s something she’s really proud about. I’m glad Dru is getting some more action because she really has slipped through the cracks thus far. We still don’t see much of Tavvy in this book either but at least he met some kids his age. Anyways, Dru hides Jaime, Perfect Diego’s younger brother and Christina’s almost-parabatai in her room at the London Institute because he can’t reveal his location but needs to talk to Christina. Then like I said, she meets Ash in Faerie and has to try and figure out what the heck that was and how she was there, and visible to Ash, but then pulled right out as the “weapon” thingy left her room. It’s all very strange but I’m pretty darn sure it’ll be a big deal in the way this series ends.

Christina and Mark: These two were bound by a Faerie spell when they were on the mission to save Keiran. They stupidly went to a revel and some random Faerie bound them so that they can’t go very far from each other without experiencing terrible pain. This threw a wrench in Emma’s plan to have Tina be a buffer between her and Julian when the three went to Cornwall. That obviously couldn’t happen anymore, and the parabatai had to go alone. Dangerous business. Magnus helps them break the binding spell, but it still forced some development into their relationship. It’s clear that they feel something for each other, but Keiran is constantly coming between them. Maybe things will become a bit clearer in the next book.

The Unseelie King wants the Black Volume. Doesn’t everyone? Annabel is the only one who understands the full power of the Black Volume, she’s claiming the book belongs to her because it was always kept by the Blackthorn family. Meanwhile the Riders of Mannan are chasing the Blackthorn kids because the Unseelie King sent the Riders to find the book and thinks that the family is hiding it. That wasn’t true, but either way, Emma kills one of the Riders and made an eternal enemy out of these immortal (and very very old) Faerie warriors… Oops. She’s a very rash person when it comes to combat, and that certainly shows when she goes out to face the 6 remaining Riders when they come to the institute BY HER FREAKING SELF. Eventually everyone joins her, but it was so stupid of her to even try to face them alone just so she could show her bravery and blah blah blah. NO, that was stupid and dangerous Emma. Stop it.

Julian and Emma

The Seelie Queen tells Julian that she can help him by breaking the Parabatai bond, thus breaking the curse that would make himself and Emma go mad from being Parabatai that are in love. The huge issue with her plan is that it would mean breaking all Parabatai bonds that have ever been made (and possibly stop them from happening anymore? That part isn’t clear). Emma hears this and immediately decides that they can’t go through with the Seelie Queen’s plan. Even if they do end up giving her the Black Volume it’s too wrong to go through with, but they can’t do that anymore anyways since Annabel was supposedly taken by the Unseelie King. Julian’s determination and protective tendencies usually mean well, but he’s actually kind of scary. He’ll consider anything when it comes to keeping his family and Emma safe. It worries me (and Emma too) that he even thought about breaking every Parabatai bond just so they can be together. Then again, It was just a matter of time until Jules and Emma slept together again… I was just waiting for them to get it over with for the whole dang book. It was funny that Magnus walked in on them afterwards though to take them back to the institute. Awkward!

Christopher (Kit) Herondale

I can’t help comparing Kit to how Clary was when she was first introduced to the shadow world. Kit is just about the same age and his immediate response is to reject this new thing, kind of just like Clary. I like that Kit has some time with Jace in the beginning of the book, and that he starts to warm up to the Blackthorns pretty quickly. He’s a Herondale, he has to stick around. I mean, if a Shadowhunter book doesn’t have a Herondale at it’s forefront, is it really a Shadowhunter book? (This excludes short story compilations of course)

Jessamine was in this story! I totally forgot that it’s a family trait of the Herondale’s to be able to see ghosts. Jessie and Will were so close back in the day, and I love that Kit is the one to communicate with her and relay her messages to everyone else. Even though he doesn’t know much about his ancestors, and that Will was totally awesome, I love that this connection has been made.

Kit and Livvy kiss, but it doesn’t end up starting a thing between them. I like that she points this out because it’s not always insta-love between characters *cough cough* Clary and Jace, Jules and Emma (kind of), Malec, etc. It’s possible that she’s leading up to something else with Kit relationship-wise, but for now I’m happy that he’s not dating yet. There are already too many couples to keep track of!

Kit and Ty: I love their dynamic! Kit is already feeling protective of Ty because he knows the boy has some type of autism (something Shadowhunters have no clue about because it’s Mundane medicine related) and the two grew very close throughout this book. I wanted them to talk about becoming Parabatai so badly because I think it’s pretty clear that that’s where these two are headed. I really hope so though, especially because Ty was just warming to the idea of becoming Livvy’s parabatai, but then she’s been ruthlessly killed and that plan goes out the window (*sobs*). Maybe now that the idea is in his head, he’ll be more willing to become Parabatai with Kit, who has obviously become Ty’s best friend. It’s so nice to see a pre-parabatai relationship too. So far we’ve seen Alec and Jace, Jem and Will, Jules and Emma, and even Clary and Simon who were just already like that. They were all either parabatai already or so close that it was a no-brainer for it to happen, and we never saw the lead up in how they got to that point. It’s so fun to see Kit and Ty getting to know each other and feel like close friends before they get to the point of being parabatai.

The End

The last issue we face in this book is the Council meeting in Alicante. It all went to crap basically, but what did I expect? Definitely NOT for Livvy to die. That hit me hard. The Blackthorns are such a close-knit family, and I just knew, I knew they couldn’t all survive this novel. I was sitting in my bed with tears streaming down my face as I read the last few pages. There was no way Cassie was going to end it without something tragic happening to at least one of them. So yes, I expected it in a way, but I didn’t expect Annabel to straight up murder Livvy while she was completely defenseless.

Favorite Quotes

I love Mark and the way he thinks after being part of the Wild Hunt. He’s hilarious sometimes XD

“Mark had folded his clothes in neat stacks at the foot of his bed; he’d told Emma once that he didn’t see the point of a wardrobe or a dresser, since all they did was hide your clothes from you.”

Magnus also rocks, he’s always been one of the best characters in the series with his quick wit and sarcasm. But he also makes a good point here.He’s constantly helping out shadowhunters for no reward, normally a warlock would probably charge for their services (especially to do how much Magnus does for them all the time). I know it’s always been out of the kindness of his heart, and now because he loves Alec and will do anything for him, but still he does so much!

“Don’t rush to thank me or anything… Profuse expressions of gratitude only embarrass me, though cash gifts are always welcome.” ~Magnus Bane (pg 607)

Cliff hangers until The Queen of Air and Darkness (2018 no specific release date yet)
  • We have no clue who Ash is, or how he will come into play.
  • Where did Jaime go with the Faerie weapon thingy? It’s 100000% going to be important in the next book.
  • Livvy needs a funeral.
  • Are Kit and Ty going to become parabatai?
  • Who is going to get control of the Los Angeles Institute?
  • Cortana is super strong becuase the sword absorbs the energy of what it breaks and kills. Basically, Cortana has killed a lot of stuff, stabbed the Black Volume, and NOW the freaking Mortal Sword. That seems dangerous and like it’s really gonna end up helping in some way. But also, the Mortal Sword is dead… so what are the Clave going to do about that?
  • Julian took a few sneaky photos of the pages in the Black Volume. What did he get pictures of? What does he plan on doing with said pictures? There’s a pretty slim chance that he happened to find the parabatai bond breaking spell… so hopefully her doesn’t have that kind of power in his hands now. I have this feeling that he does have it though. Why do I have that feeling?? Agh.
  • How did the Unseelie King get to Annabel and the book while she was in Alicante and what happens next?????

What did you think of Lord of Shadows and what do you think will happen next?

Katie x

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10 thoughts on “Thoughts and Theories on Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare!

  1. I just hope that Kit and Ty don’t become parabati because I personally think they might become a couple. I now feel so stupid for not making the reference between Shade and Mortmain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hmmm I’m not sure, I got more friendship vibes than couple vibes from them but maybe 🤔 And I feel you on the Mortmain thing, I heard someone mention it and then I was like OHHHH so I looked it up and figured it’s probably true. I had totally forgotten the details about Mortmains parents because I read TID so long ago! 😂

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      1. Cassie Kind of answered this when someone asked her on Tumblr if they will become parabatai and she says “I don’t think that’s a good idea” and since she said Kitty will be the main protagonists in TWP, and that she’ll write a shadowhunter series with gay protagonist, I’m going to bet on these two ❤ Plus I really love them as a couple. And lastly, I think Livvy will always be Ty's supposedly "parabatai"

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  2. Yah i really do not understand how the Unseelie King (either himself or a representative of the court) was able to enter Alicante and retrieve Anabelle? Aren’t there wards for that? Hopefully there will even an explanation for that. And what about the illness that has affected the warlocks??? I will DIE if something happens to Magnus!!!

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    1. Definitely one of the more confusing things that happened but I’m sure Cassie has an explanation that’ll be in the next book! And me too, Magnus is not allowed to die!!

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  3. Shade does seem like a direct reference to Mortmains parents too, I just wonder how she’d spin that he didn’t actually die? Like how does one stay hidden for that long?

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  4. If there aren’t enough shadow hunters after the Dark War to man institutes, why didn’t the Dearborns just make a play for one of those versus LA (I.e., why didn’t they go for Cornwall?).

    Also, the warlock the kids meet in the shadow market says to call him Shade, and he is green. Is that a reference to The prequels?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. All very true! I definitely did touch on everything because there was just soooo much going on! I’m sure Shade will come back in the next book and I totally agree that the Dearborns probably could have had other chances to gain power… it was super weird that Cornwall was completely empty and unprotected 🤷🏻‍♀️

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