Maybe my expectations were way too high after the thrilling first book of the The Dark Artifices Trilogy. Or I´d expected something different. I don´t know. All I know is, that this second book couldn´t live up to it. I am glad that the cover of the German edition looks the same as the original edition does. But I am missing the mysterious feeling I have every time I look at the cover of Lady Midnight

Lord Of Shadows*
by Cassandra Clare
The Dark Artifices #2
Translation Franca Fritz, Heinrich Koop
Original Title Lord of Shadows-The Dark Artifices
Publisher Goldmann on October 9, 2017
Genre Fantasy
Pages 828
Format Hardcover
Source Publisher*

The young shadow hunter Emma Carstairs has avenged her parents, but she finds no peace. Because the friendship with her parabatai Julian has become love – a relationship that has brutal consequences according to the laws of shadow hunters. In order to protect Julian and herself, Emma, therefore, takes up Julian´s brother Mark. Mark, who lived with the fairies for five years and whose loyalty is not really clear. Especially as unrest prevails in the underworld. The fairies had to bow to harsh conditions after the Dark War and covet. Emma, Julian, and Mark must fight for what they love – before it´s too late and a new war breaks out … (personal translation ©Vi at Inkvotary)
Emma and Julian are sharing a secret, no one else is allowed to know. But with their growing feelings for each other, it becomes more and more difficult for them to live after the strict rules every parabatai couple has to follow. And Emma´s relationship with Mark, Julian´s elder brother complicates things. Because Emma is determined to keep Julian from any harm and if that means that he is keeping his distance from her, so be it.

There is no doubt, that this second book of The Dark Artifices Trilogy is written by Cassandra Clare. Her style comes through every line and word. But this time, the novel is missing its fantastic adventurous revenge the first book was showing. The central theme, to be precise. In fact, I had to read quite some chapters before I could see an actual plot and where this story could lead. Lord of Shadows has a lot of emotions in it, no doubt about that. In the form of denied feelings and many romantic scenes. At first, it seemed fitting and logical. Then it became more and more annoying. Many misunderstandings are the reason why Emma and Julian or Diana act the way they do. I can´t think of any scene in the “City of” books, that was built like that. 

And then the explanations the author gave during some scenes. They seemed just too phony. As if the author had to come up with something and was forced to write about it in the way she did. The lack of logic in her writing during some pages is something I am not familiar with when it comes to a Cassandra Clare book. On the other hand, her fantasy is wonderful to read. How she describes the scenes, the bright and intense colors of fairyland, or the foggy and rainy London. That was something for the eye. But what I didn´t like the most was that every third page and scene the plot was about another love attachment. Don´t get me wrong here. The relationship and growing love between Emma and Julian is something, that belongs in this trilogy. At least in my opinion. Only there was barely something else the author gives her readers.   

And the end – oh boy, I am not okay with that. Not at all. Two dead figures and a figure who has lost control and the respect of the others. No, this second novel could not live up to the high standards Lady Midnight has set. Sad, but I don´t know how else to say it.

At least the different figures are something you like to watch. There is Zara, an arrogant and cruel young woman who likes to claim what others have achieved. Her paranoia when it comes to foreign things and creatures is quite something. Or Kit, who is fighting his emotions all the time and who is wondering why Ty is doing what he does. He is one great boy and I can´t wait to read more about him. Or Dru, one of the youngest Blackthorns. How she sees the world, how she thinks about everything, and what she does to help is amazing. And Diana, well, what can I say. I was a bit disappointed that she didn´t have that much space in this book than expected. 

Anyways. It was wonderful to see Clary and Jace and to hear what they had to say. Though the author gives Clary some words that I didn´t want to read.  I was quite shocked when I read them in a dialogue Clary had with Emma. No, no, and no again.

Sad, but I guess this book wasn´t really mine. I was expecting a haunting and thrilling sequel to Lady Midnight with some answers and got an average fantasy novel where mostly love attachments were building the story and plot. Not what I was hoping or looking for. But I am sure that I am one of the few readers who sees it that way. Read it yourself and see how you think about Lord of Shadows. 

Happy reading

*This book was kindly provided to me by Goldmann in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. Thank you. Therefore, the cover of the German edition is shown first in this review.

This title was originally published Lord of Shadows by Simon & Schuster on May 23, 2017 

Cassandra Clare
Cassandra Clare Photo by Kelly Campbell ©Simon & Schuster Inc.

Cassandra Clare, born to American parents in Teheran, Iran, is the author of the #1 New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling Lady Midnight, as well as the internationally bestselling Mortal Instruments series and Infernal Device trilogy. Her books have more than 50 million copies in print worldwide and have been translated into more than thirty-five languages, a feature film, and a TV show, Shadowhunters, currently airing on Freeform. Cassandra lives in western Massachusetts. 


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