Thinking about giving Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare a try? Here’s what you’re in for. Minimal to no spoilers, promise. If you have already read the book, look below for some links to LoS extras and a small release date schedule!
THING TO EXPECT: The Feels™
I love a book that feels like it’s punching me in the stomach, and Clare knows just how to write one. Clare creates characters that are so colorful and fleshed out that I could read about them painting rocks and still enjoy myself. This makes the struggles that these characters face feel so real, and trust me there is a lot of them. Also, it doesn’t matter what kind of Feels™ you’re into! There are feels for everyone, including: forbidden love feels, tragic backstory feels, family love feels, and intense-character-death-that-you-weren’t-expecting feels (read this once you’re finished the book for all answers on this particular death). Summary: this is a good book for people who are into crying and suffering over literary characters.
THING TO EXPECT: Realistic Evil
I really dislike books that have an evil force that is wreaking havoc for absolutely no reason and Clare never has a problem with this. LoS has a plethora of “bad guys”: A warlock who is just in love, a scared girl, and a vengeful king. What makes them so special is that they aren’t maniacally laughing villains in capes who want to watch the world burn. These characters/evil forces actually want things that most humans want and they’re considered villains because of how they try to get it. We could all easily be these people acting out of obsession, anger, love, or fear. Also, the story includes a lot of “grey” evils such as a shitty government and a bunch of prejudice jerks. LoS is a very outwardly political book, and includes the terrible parts of politics: lots of secrets, lots of siding with the oppressor, and lots of confusion. Thankfully, there is just as much rebellion coming from our beloved. Summary: This book is definitely a metaphor for the 2016 U.S Presidential election.
THING TO EXPECT: STEAM
I love a book series by Clare because it is 40% magic stuff, 40% witty dialogue, and 20% pure steam. In regards to LoS, it brings the steam. Don’t worry, Clare does her best to keep it PG-13 for all of you. Once you’ve finished the book and still want that steam you can head over to Tumblr where Clare posted one infamous romance scene completely unedited. Bookmark it, and thank me later. I have to say, Clare balances the steam well. I never roll my eyes and think that the steam scenes don’t make sense. They always do, and they’re always appreciated. Summary: The smutty fanfiction is actually written by the author and its canon.
THING TO EXPECT: Lore that fits
While Clare’s books have a lot of lore in them regarding the origins of the Shadowhunters and Downworlders, don’t you worry, it’s not hard to follow. Clare has a great way of incorporating little bits of lore into LoS and the explanations behind them without it feeling too explainey. I will mention that LoS has lots of books that come before it, and in order to really understand everything to the fullest, I recommend either reading them first or looking things up online. I will also say that the Shadowhunters series has a wonderful amount of support and information online that will hold your hand through the whole thing if you’re not getting something. Clare herself is known to answer questions all of the time. The lore in all of the Shadowhunters series stays consistent and interesting while also making sense. Anyone who reads enough fiction knows that sometimes lore can get messy, but Clare does a fine job of keeping it all together. Sometimes you don’t even realize you’re reading little tidbits of the Shadowhunter/Downworlder history. Summary: Homework on the astounding amount of lore in this book is pretty much optional, but very recommended if you like some good magic history.
There is so much more in this book to write about, but instead of giving it all away for you, I suggest reading it for yourself. Tip: when reading, go slow! Clare has recently released an updated release schedule for all of her books, and Queen of Air and Darkness (TDA Book 3) will not be released until 2018. This is only a year, but it will feel like an absolute lifetime! So, do your best to break it up as much as possible, or do what I do and breeze through it because you have no self control.
Happy reading, and remember, Florence loves you.