Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare is FINALLY on sale!!
I’ve been counting down to this day since I finished reading Lady Midnight last year, and it has been a long time. I had to reread it in order to feel properly prepared for Lord of Shadows because SO MUCH happened in Lady Midnight and I knew if I didn’t reread it, there was no way I could remember it all from last year. As I reread it, I took notes to write this recap, because I’m always thinking ahead. In honor of anyone who is too excited for Lord of Shadows to stop and reread Lady Midnight, here’s a recap to refresh your memory and get you into the right mindset!
Again, this is a recap, so THERE WILL BE SPOILERS!! Consider yourself warned!
It began at the Shadow Market, where Kit and his father, Johnny Rook, have set up a booth. Two Shadowhunters enter the market and approach Kit’s father’s booth. Those Shadowhunters are Emma Carstairs and Cameron Ashdown, whom Johnny mistakes for her parabatai. She corrects him and specifies that he is her boyfriend. Johnny then gives Emma a tip that there have been murders, and bodies are showing up that match the description of how Emma’s parents’ bodies were found five years earlier. He also gives her a tip on where the next body might wind up. Emma and her friend Cristina, a new Shadowhunter from Mexico, follow the tip. As they wait, Emma breaks up with Cameron over the phone. They then chase a Faerie who has been stealing from mundanes and encounter the victim, a man with demon script on his skin. Emma reports the incident to the clave and learns that there have been 12 murders matching this description, but she is also told to leave the Silent brothers and Diana to the investigations. Some of the bodies that have turned up belong to faeries, and because of the Cold Peace, Shadowhunters are not allowed to investigate.
The Blackthorns arrive home after an extended stay at their aunt’s house. The Blackthorns are Julian (17), twins Ty and Livvy (15), Dru (13) and Tavvy (7). Emma is ecstatic that Julian, her parabatai, is finally home. She also recognizes that something between them has shifted, and that’s not necessarily a good thing. Emma asks Julian to come speak with her, but first he must go see Arthur, the Blackthorn children’s uncle. Arthur is confused and calls Julian by his father’s name. Julian never makes it to see Emma, but she wakes up in the middle of the night from a bad dream and goes to visit his room anyway. They spend the night together.
In the morning, Emma tells Julian about the murders and asks if he thinks they should investigate. She wants to, but believes it is up to Julian to decide, since two of his siblings are being kept away due to the Cold Peace. He petitions for their reentry to the Shadowhunter world every year but is denied. If they investigate and are caught, it could have a negative impact on his chances of being reunited with his siblings. However, Julian insists that it is better to investigate anyway. If they are able to solve the murders, the Clave would owe them and might be more willing to reunite him with his siblings. Cristina also vows to help Emma.
Malcolm Fade comes to the institute and brings medicine for Arthur. Emma asks him to look at the pictures of the body and to let her know if he has any information that might be useful. Malcolm asks her to send him the pictures so he can take a closer look. He also asks Julian (privately) if Emma is aware of Julian’s feelings for her. Ty then tells Emma, Julian, and the others that he’s found information on the murders. He’s used a computer that they aren’t supposed to have to look into mundane news and discovered that there has been a murder every month for the past year. They have also all happened along ley lines, which amplify magic. Malcolm then reveals that the markings on the bodies are summoning runes.
The next day Church brings Emma outside to Julian, when he tells her that he’s been thinking about Mark. He’s spent years waiting for the Wild Hunt because they should’ve ridden by at least once by this point. He thinks Mark doesn’t want to see them but wonders if because Mark hates his siblings or loves them too much to see them. He says he sometimes hates Mark because if he had been around, he would have been the ones raising his siblings and admits that if he could choose he would do things differently. He also admits that he probably wouldn’t have wanted a parabatai. Emma is hurt.
Faeries arrive at the institute and say that if the Shadowhunters can solve the mystery of the murder in three weeks, Mark can return home. They learn that the first line of the demon runes means fire and water. The Shadowhunters also learn that if they use this translation to translate the rest of the spell, they will learn who the killer is. The fae allow Mark to stay as a gesture of good faith.
The others learn that Mark has changed. He has adopted many of the mannerisms of the fae and he has barely aged. He also does not react well to Emma when she tries to draw a healing rune on him. They leave Mark to recover and go to Malcolm’s house to see if he can help. Malcolm agrees to help them try to translate the spell.
Cristina stays behind to keep an eye on Mark. Ty and Livvy try to give him some old belongings but Mark attacks Ty. Cristina tells them to leave and when she tries to follow them, Mark asks her to stay. He is relieved when he realizes that he never knew Cristina and therefore is not guilty of forgetting her. He asks what he should say to his family, as he doesn’t seem to know what to do with them. Cristina says he should tell them he loves them and missed them and that he hated the Wild Hunt and that he’s glad to be back. He says it would be a lie and gets a faerie message: “Remember your promises. Remember that none of it is real.”
Julian apologizes to Emma about saying he didn’t want a parabatai. He always wants to keep her close, but he feels he made a mistake by tying her to him in that way. Emma receives a text that they’re needed back at the institute.
The note had convinced Mark that he was hallucinating, because when he misbehaved, the faeries often showed him horrible images of his siblings being brought to him and then tortured. He thinks this is all a game the faeries are playing to punish him for something he’s done wrong. Julian is able to calm him down. Then things get worse when Mark is told that Helen has been exiled. He thinks the clave abandoned him because they were afraid of the faeries, not because they hated him. Julian says it was not hate but fear. Emma talks to Mark and tries to calm him down. He confesses that he can sense where ley lines converge.
Emma agrees to go with him, but he refuses to bring Julian along. The convergence point is a cave, where they found the wallet of the man whose body Emma found. They are then surrounded by demons but are able to make an escape.
Emma and Julian nearly have an intimate moment after Julian admits he was worried about Emma, but she gets spooked.
Mark apologizes for how he has acted and asks his family to give him another chance. Ty finds more information on the victims and Juliana and Emma investigate the victims’ houses. They find an invitation to an event called The Lottery. They discover a dead body in the pool and are shot at with arrows. Julian gets hit. When Emma draws a healing rune, they have an intimate moment and it becomes obvious that feelings have developed, despite the fact that parabatai are not allowed to fall in love or marry.
Ty and Livvy decipher part of the drawings on the cave wall and discover it is Edgar Allen Poe’s poem, Annabel Lee.
They all attend the Lottery and feelings become strained in all directions. Julian and Emma fight their attraction to one another. Mark admits his attraction to Kieran is real but also one of circumstance, as he is also attracted to Cristina. After Mr. Sterling’s name is pulled from the lottery, Emma and Julian arrive at Rook’s house to see who The Guardian is (the leader of The Followers and the Lottery). Rook says he doesn’t know but says he is always there for the killing.
Emma goes back to the glass portal windows in the cave and tries a lever. A portal opens and salt water pours out. Jules begins coughing up seawater and hearing the ocean and realizes that Emma is in trouble. He leaves immediately. Emma is fighting a demon in the ocean when Jules pulls her out. She wakes up hurting and coughing up lots of seawater.
Jules is so angry he accidentally reveals his feelings for her in his panic. They are intimate that night on the beach. The next morning they see footprints in the sand and panic because of what this means for parabatai. Julian acts like he’s just attracted to Emma but not in love with her. Emma is secretly furious but hides it as best she can.
Ty reveals the translation, which mentions Blackthorn blood and the past. This makes Diana realize something, but she won’t reveal what.
They find Sterling stabbing a witch girl. He claims that she is the thirteenth and the last, but doesn’t know what’s next. He’s only concerned with getting his riches and immortality. Meanwhile, the Institute becomes surrounded by The Followers, who are there for Sterling. They claim they have to kill him. Emma, Diego, and Cristina fight fiercely but are terribly outnumbered. All seems lost until Julian comes out with a glowing angel blade. Everyone runs besides Belinda, who threatens to reveal Julian’s secrets. Sterling bleeds from his orifices and dies before Belinda cuts off his hands. Malcolm burns the body.
Emma asks Julian what he’s been hiding and he reveals the extent of Arthur’s lunacy and irresponsibility. He admits he took over the Institute so they could all stay together, but is now determined to find out how The Followers found out about Arthur.
Diego, the boy from Mexico whom Cristina was in love with but who betrayed her (though he vehemently denies it), then reveals what he’s learned. He was the one who shot Julian with an arrow, but it was an accident since he didn’t know they were Shadowhunters at the time. He says that the spell is a summoning spell and the Followers are trying to bring back someone from the dead. That prompts Tavvy to remember the rhyme from a children’s storybook: the story of Lady Midnight. She was a Shadowhunter who fell into a forbidden love. As a result, her parents imprisoned her, where she died of sadness. When her lover went to the faerie King in the hopes of bringing her back, he told the man a rhyme. “First the flame and then the flood: In the end, it’s Blacktorn blood. Seek thou to forget what’s past. First thirteenth and then the last. Search not the book of angels gray, red or white will lead you far astray. To regain what you have lost, find the black book at any cost.”
Lady Midnight was a Blackthorn. This leads them to believe that the killer wants to bring back Lady Midnight. Diego believes the rest of the instructions are in the Black Volume of the Dead, a book of dark magic.
Emma and Julian find their way out f the Institute and talk. Emma apologizes for not realizing what was going on with Arthur and failing him. Julian says she’s the only thing that has kept him going all these years. He nearly tells her he loves her, but refrains. She asks him if he does, but he claims it wouldn’t change anything. She disagrees and they kiss.
Iarlath, Kieran, and Gwyn show up, demanding to see Mark because he has shared a secret of Faerie with Cristina. Kieran says he heard Mark telling Cristina about how Gwyn could be deprived of his power. Kieran says that Mark must return to Faerie, and Iarlath says Mark will be whipped. Julian tries to stop them, but Mark tells him to let them. Kieran asks them to whip him instead but Iarlath says that would make his father, the King, angry. Julian offers himself in Mark’s place. Kieran wants them to punish Julian, and Mark attacks Kieran. Mark and Emma ask Julian not to do it, but Julian takes Mark’s place anyway. They whip him twice. Emma can feel the pain through their bond so she puts a sleeping rune on Julian. She tells them she’ll take the rest of Mark’s punishment. They whip her until she collapses and passes out. Mark tells Julian he won’t go back to Faerie.
When Emma wakes up, Julian goes to talk to her. He reveals the true depths of his feelings and even shows her his secret studio, which is covered in paintings of Emma. He confesses that he loves her.
They eventually figure out who Lady Midnight was— a Blackthorn who fell in love with a warlock. Her family found out and sent her away to become an Iron Sister. Her name was Annabel Blackthorn. They start piecing things together and realize that Rook has lied to them. He knows who the guardian is. When they question him, they make a startling discovery—they know who the Guardian is. It’s Malcolm. He hasn’t been helping them all along. He’s been ensuring that they stay in the dark. And the next step of this spell is Blackthorn blood. They also discover that Malcolm has Tavvy.
They try to tell the Clave, but their phones have suddenly stopped working. Mark realizes that Kieran is watching them and attacks him, but Kieran claims he only wants to help. He reveals that Iarlath and Malcolm have been working together. He also reveals that Malcolm killed Emma’s parents years ago as an experiment to see if the spell would work. Before they leave to save Tavvy, Mark asks to have runes put on him, because he is a Shadowhunter.
When they get to the convergence site, Tavvy is asleep and chained to a table that’s surrounded by a protection spell. They hear someone coming, but it turns out to be Diana, who tells them all to hide. They do and that’s when Malcolm comes. Malcolm and Diana exchange some heated words. Diana revelas how she figured out it was him and Malcolm says he was planning to expose her to the Clave. He then paralyzes her and lights up the cave, revealing that the cave is much bigger than they thought. Dead Followers fill rows of seats throughout the cave. There is also a candelabra that holds severed hands in place of candles. He calls them Hands of Glory and tells Diana the reason his experiment with the Carstairs family didn’t work was because he didn’t have them. Hands of Glory are the darkest of dark magic because they can only be made with murderers’ hands. From this, Ty realizes the victims didn’t matter because the murderers were the important part. Malcolm just needed their hands. Malcolm raises the knife over Tavvy. Emma and the others come out and surround him. He tells his dead Followers to rise and they attack. Malcolm is about to stab Tavvy when Mark and Julian ride in on Kieran’s horse, which breaks through the protective circle. The horse kicks Malcolm away. Emma cuts through Tavvy’s chains and Julian takes Tavvy away. Malcolm grabs Dru, planning to sacrifice her instead, but Emma grabs the Hands of Glory and runs to the room with the door and the lever that opens to the sea. Malcolm follows her. He blocks the opening of the cave so no one can get to them. She stabs him, but something in his pocket stops her sword — the Black Volume. She feels like she’s being electrocuted. He tries to kill her, but she deflects his magic with the arm that Julian put an endurance rune on earlier. She stabs Malcolm in the stomach. Malcolm says something about a parabatai curse, says she’ll never learn about it if she kills him. She opens the door to the sea and he gets sucked out. She sees demons pull him down into the water and watches him die.
When they get back to the Institute, the Clave has arrived and Julian knows they can’t hide Mark any more. An argument ensues about who should be punished and what should happen next. The Clave claims they endangered everyone by not revealed what was going on, but Julian and the others explain their reasoning and that they had no other choice. They’d hoped that by solving the murders, the council might let mark stay. Arthur then reveals that he’s been tracking another source of Dark magic—a pizza place run by vampires that has been using addictive powders in the pizza.
Kieran and Mark say their goodbyes because Mark is staying with the Shadowhunters. Kieran confesses his love for Mark, but Mark says he can’t forgive Kieran for what he did, but since he came through in the end, Mark will be there for Kieran if he ever need shim.
When Malcolm dies, the protection spells on Rook’s house disappear. Demons break through the floor of the house and kill Johnny. Kit texts Emma and asks for help.
Meanwhile, Ty and Mark fight. When Mark goes to tell Cristina what happened, he walks in on Cristina and Diego kissing.
Emma, Jem, and Tessa all arrive at Rook’s house to save Kit. Tessa reveals that he is Christopher Herondale, and they have been searching for him for a long time. They return back to the Institute and Kit learns that he is a Shadowhunter. Emma asks Jem about the parabatai law and he tells her that the closer the personal bond between parabatai, the greater the bond increases each parabatai’s power. Requited romantic love would warp the kind of power generated by the spell causing their power to grow. The runes they created would be unlike any other. He also says they’d wield magic like warlocks do, but Nephilim aren’t meant to be magicians, so the power would make them insane. It would make them into monsters. They’d destroy their families and loved ones and be surrounded by death. Magnus then opens a portal for Tessa and Jem. Jem tells Emma that if she needs him she should tell Church and he’ll find her. He and Tessa leave.
Tessa decides she must end things with Julian, because it would be too dangerous. She tries to convince him that she doesn’t love him enough to make it work, but Julian doesn’t believe her. She says a relationship with Mark would make more sense. She ten goes to Mark and asks him to pretend to be in a relationship with her to save Julian’s life. He suggests they should do it for real rather than pretending.
Malcolm’s blood and sea water drip onto Annabels’ body through her coffin. She awakens.