by Cassandra Clare
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.
I gave this book 5 stars. Like every Cassandra Clare book I've ever read, this was a hit. The size of this book was a bit daunting at first, but I realized while reading this that if I took my time and didn't try to finish it as quickly as possible I would enjoy it more, which is why it's taken me almost 2 weeks of reading it on and off that's just made this whole experience worth it.
The relationship between Cristina, Mark, and Kieran was so stressful to me throughout the book. I just felt like I was being pulled in all different directions, like I love Kieran and Mark together, but I felt like the author really wanted me to ship Mark and Cristina, but at the same time I loved the friendship between Kieran and Cristina. Also Mark's own emotions were so confusing because one minute he hates Kieran for what he did in the first book and then the next he can't stay mad at him and I don't know, the relationship felt really one-sided with Kieran liking Mark more than Mark liked Kieran until the end neared when the tables turned. I just find the whole thing to be a weight on my shoulders.
On the other end of the spectrum was Kit and Ty. I have very, very strong feelings that those two are going to be together. There were so many hints, like, at first Livvy seemed to be into Kit, but then soon after she decided she didn't feel that way about him and said they would be better as friends. I feel like she was stepping back because Ty really likes Kit and kit is just too oblivious to notice. Plus Ty usually never wears his headphones because he wants to hear everything Kit says. The innocence of their relationship is refreshing and I like how it evens out the darkness of the previously mentioned love triangle.
Now, as much trouble as Julian and Emma get into with their own relationship, I feel like they're endgame. No matter what bad things happen to them, they are going to end up together, so I'm really not all that worried about them. This is probably because of all the other books Cassandra Clare has written, the two character who have the worst odds of ending up together always end up together. It's going to happen so we should just sit back and enjoy the ride.
The more Cassandra Clare books I read, my enjoyment level gets higher each time. I know a lot of people don't want to read her books because they think the ideas are unoriginal or whatnot, but Cassandra just has the best writing voice that she makes all these different ideas her own. In fifty years if Cassandra Clare is still writing I will still be buying her books because her voice is something I will never get tired of.
Getting to know Dru was a surprising highlight of the book, I didn't really think that much of her at first because she wasn't one of the main characters, but I was wrong about her. It would seem she feels very forgotten and that is why I'm glad that Cassie gave her a more important role in this book. We seem to always forget about the younger characters that no one lets in on the secrets, and I liked that different aspect of this book. As a younger sibling myself I can see her point of view on this.
Cassandra Clare better not hurt Clace in the next book. I will actually go buy a pitchfork if she dares harm them. I entered the Shadowhunter world with Clary and Jace, and if they die in the next book I will be exiting with them. Those two are my babies and all I want to do is protect them, I would honestly sacrifice any of these other characters on an alter to save them. That was a reference to the contents of this book by the way. Completely intentional.
The ending of this book was completely devastating. I thought there was still more to the book and I flipped the page and there were the acknowledgments, just sitting there, taunting me. I hope that this is just a trick and in the next book they'll use the Black Book of the Dead to bring Livvy back or do something to save her because I really do love all those Blackthorns and I don't want them to die, not matter what I said about sacrificing them on an alter.
I don't even know if I should do a recommendation. At this point you've probably already decided whether or not you wish to read the series or not. I would highly suggest that you do read the books int he Shadowhunter Chronicles because they really are good. They get better as they go along. Please do give them a shot.
“Lex malla, lex nulla,” said Julian with a regretful wave of his hand. It was the Blackthorn family motto: A bad law is no law.“I wonder what other family mottoes are,” Emma mused. “Do you know any?”“The Lightwood family motto is ‘We mean well.’ ”“Very funny.”Julian looked over at her. “No, really, it actually is.”“Seriously? So what’s the Herondale family motto? ‘Chiseled but angsty’?”He shrugged. ‘If you don’t know what your last name is, it’s probably Herondale’?”Emma burst out laughing. “What about Carstairs?” she asked, tapping Cortana. “ ‘We have a sword’? ‘Blunt instruments are for losers’?”“Morgenstern,” offered Julian. “ ‘When in doubt, start a war’?”
“I need to be whole again. Even if it doesn’t last.”“It can’t last,” she said, staring at him, because how could it, when they could never keep what they had? “It’ll break our hearts.”He caught her by the wrist, brought her hand to his bare chest. Splayed her fingers over his heart. It beat against her palm, like a fist punching its way through his sternum. “Break my heart,” he said. “Break it in pieces. I give you permission.”
“He grinned, and the grin changed his face completely. Ty when he was still and expressionless had an intensity that fascinated Kit; when he was smiling, he was extraordinary.”
“And if we don't have Energy runes, we'll have to get our energy the old-fashioned way."Mark looked puzzled. "Drugs?""Chocolate," Emma said. "I brought chocolate. Mark, where do you even come up with these things?"Mark smiled crookedly, shrugging one shoulder. "Faerie humor?”
“What’s the Nephilim motto again?”“ ‘We are dust and shadows,’ ” said Ty, not looking up from his book.“Some of us are very handsome dust,” Jace added”