Queen of Air and Darkness comes out SO SOON (December 4!) so we’re rereading Lady Midnight and Lord of Shadows to refresh our memories and get ready! In case it’s been a while since you’ve read, we’ve recapped Lady Midnight here, and below is our emotionally fraught recap of Lord of Shadows.
Again, this is a recap, so SPOILER WARNING!! Consider yourself warned!
The book begins with Kit trying to steal the Shadowhunter bling. Jace shows up and is like, nah dude you’re a Herondale.
Emma, Julian, and co are at the pier fighting sea monsters. There is romantic tension and ichor everywhere. Emma is pretending to date Mark and Julian is not a fan. They are summoned back to the Institute where they discuss sea monsters and secret missions with Clary and Jace. Clary secretly tells Emma she’s had visions of herself dying, so she can’t agree to marry Jace. Excuse me??
Julian and Kit go to the Shadowmarket to find something for Arthur’s faerie-induced madness. It doesn’t go well for anyone. Meanwhile, the others explore the burnt-out warlock Malcom’s house, where they find a faerie glove and a tentacle. It’s probably important.
The Centurions arrive at the Institute to “take care of the sea demons” like Julian and Emma need their help! Perfect Diego has a secret fiancé! Rude! Ty think Zara and the Centurions are up to something (samesies) and makes a tentative peace with Kit so he will stop trying to run off.
Despite Emma trying desperately to keep away from Julian, the two of them make out in a storm and it’s beautiful. The leader of the Wild Hunt shows up and wants Mark to rescue Kieran who has been sentenced to death. Everyone says NO WAY but Mark sneaks off to do just that. Emma, Julian, and Christina follow him to the Unseelie court. They find Kieran and demand he be freed. The Lord of Shadows aka the faerie king himself allows Emma to fight his best warrior in one-on-one combat for Kieran’s life. She wins even though the fairies have tricked her into seeing her dead father’s face on the other warrior. Ick. Chaos ensues but they escape with some help from the Seelie court.
Back in the human world, Ty, Livvy, and Kit overhear Zara’s plans to overtake the LA Institute. Sea demons attack and a waterlogged (not dead!) Malcom shows up demanding Blackthorn blood. Diana spirits the kids away to London but Arthur stays behind.
In the Seelie court, the queen shows Julian a vision of Arthur sacrificing himself to Malcom who then promptly resurrects Annabel. Annabel straight-up stabs Malcom. He dies for real. After they watch this gruesome scene, the queen tells Julian of a way to end the parabatai bond (so love can prevail!). The queen also bargains that if they bring her the Book of the Dead, she’ll help them against the Unseelie King. Julian, Mark, Emma, Christina, and Kieran (my fab 5) fly away from Faerie land on some awesome Wild Hunt horses.
You still with us?
Everyone is reunited in London. But they quickly part for further adventures and/or detective work. Julian and Emma head to Malcom’s old house. Cristina has to stay behind because she has been bound to Mark through a Faerie prank. Kieren isn’t into it. Or is he?? Diana is off to Idris to barter for warm peace. Ty, Livvy, and Kit head to investigate Blackthorn Hall.
At Malcom’s old house, Julian and Emma discover sketches by Annabel and Malcom’s old diaries. Annabel appears and tells Julian the Unseelie king gave Malcom the ability to raise her. She’s not happy about it and no, Julian can’t have the book. J&E (Jemma? Carhorns? What is their ship name?) capture some piskies to find out where she went- Porthollow Church. But it’s a trap! They battle a blood demon. There’s more blood everywhere.
At Blackthorn Hall, the kids discover a memory stone. They go to the Shadow Market and a warlock named Shade shows them how to reveal memories of Annabel, tortured for loving Malcom. The Downworlders attack them but Magnus shows up and saves them (YAY MAGNUS!). Livvy is injured but they escape and she is healed. Alec and the kiddos (aww) are at the London Institute and together they research all the things.
Cristina and Kieran and Mark have a moment. We get major 3some vibes (later Emma calls this “sexy weirdness” cuz she is getting the vibes too). Kieren goes to meet with this brother and kills his other brother. It’s not good even though that guy was such a jerk. Kieran learns that the Unseelie King has sent the 7 Riders of Mannan after them all. Danger!
The kids fight off the Riders- Gwen (of the Wild Hunt) and Diana (they’re sort of dating, it’s adorable) show up to help and they escape. Meanwhile J&E fight off the other half of the Riders and Emma kills one with Cortana. It seems important and mysterious. High on feelings, Emma and Julian confess they still love each other and things get STEAMY. Julian reveals that the Seelie queen said there was a way to break the parabatai bond but it would break ALL the parabatai bonds and they can’t do that!
Back at the London Institute, Dru discovers Jamie lurking around. She arranges a meeting between him and Cristina and he says she has a secret artifact that might allow passage to Faerie. Dru has a weird trip to Faerie picking up a stone in Jamie’s bag.
In Idris, Diana confesses she is transgender to Gwen. He’s totally cool with it. They have a hot date but discover an anti-Shadowhunter blight taking over the land.
Everyone is reunited back at the London Institute. The Unseelie King is accidentally called on some sort of supernatural telephone and gives Kieren his memories back. Kieren is pissed and thinks Mark has been using him this whole time. Julian real-talks with Magnus who says he and Emma should take their love problem to the High Inquisitor aka Alec’s dad.
The Riders show up at the Institute and a battle ensues. Our fave Shadowhunters are nearly beat when Annabel appears and threatens to tell everyone the Unseelie King’s name. The Riders disperse. Annabel demands an audience with Julian. The two of them hatch a deal and everyone portals to Alicante in Idris.
Magnus falls ill before Annabel’s testimony begins and it all goes downhill from there. Zara and her hate friends throw stuff at Annabel as she is forced to testify with the Mortal Sword. She gets upset and kills the Inquisitor with the sword (poor Alec!). A fight breaks out and Emma’s sword Cortana breaks the Mortal Sword. Enraged, Annabel kills Livvy. The books ends with ALL OF MY TEARS.