As May draws near, it is time for yet another Shadowhunter novel to be released: this time though, it’ll be Lord of Shadows the second book in The Dark Artifices and the sequel to Lady Midnight. While the release date for the novel sneaks up on us Shadowhunter fans, the time for theories has begun. From what Clare has already said about the novel on twitter and Tumblr, we’ve been able to put a couple pieces of the puzzle together. From what she’s told fans, Kit and Ty’s friendship/relationship will further be explored, four of our main characters will die, and there will be a lot of unexpected relationships, friendships, alliances, and plot twists along the way (would it be a true Clare novel without all the intrigue?)

***SPOILERS for most, if not all Shadowhunter novels that have been published prior to Lord of Shadows***

Much talk has surrounded both the cover and the title. The London Bridge is prominently shown next to Julian on the front cover, however, the Dark Artifices takes place in Los Angeles so something isn’t adding up here. Does this mean that the L.A. Nephilim will be heading out to London, and if so, what will they be doing there? Similarly, the title itself has baffled readers, making them wonder who could possibly be the “Lord of Shadows”. Well, “shadows” and “London” match up, in my mind, with Jamie Herondale. As we saw in The Bane Chronicles Jamie was able to turn himself into a shadow (a cool demonic ability that I would love to have) from the demon blood in Tessa. The Special Edition dust jacket of Clockwork Princess has a very helpful yet quite vague family tree, where we can trace (most notably) the Herondale, Carstairs, and Lightwood bloodlines. The family tree shows that Lucie Herondale (sister to Jamie, daughter of Tessa and Will) marries into the Blackthorn family (explains why all the Blackthorns have blue/green eyes and black/brown hair). It’s been made known that Lucie also has her own special ability but that has yet to be explained, but this could mean that her demon blood was passed down to the Blackthorn line. The demon blood from Jamie was passed down to Jace so it would make sense for the demon blood in Lucie to be passed down to Julian. Could Julian be the Lord of Shadows or could it possibly be someone else? My money's on Julian. All throughout Lady Midnight Julian’s “dark side” has been frequently hinted at (and we all know that Clare is a queen at foreshadowing) but where will his dark side lead?

Now that we’ve covered the cover, let’s get into the plot. At the end of Lady Midnight, we see that Annabel has been awoken but other than that we don’t know much. In order for the spell to work, Malcolm said “Blackthorn blood must be spilled” but I don’t recall any Blackthorn blood being spilled. My theory is that Annabel is now semi-conscious but has not fully woken up. Malcolm is a smart warlock so I doubt that he’s dead or that we’ve seen the last of him *cough cough* Sebastian *cough cough*. Who knows maybe Malcolm is the Lord of Shadows and we’ve been fooled all along. On Clare’s Tumblr someone asked is Annabel had wanted to be woken up, and while Clare refused to answer as it was “too spoiler-y”, she did say that it was something to keep in mind. Maybe Annabel didn’t want to wake up and decides to help the Blackthorns or asks them to help her. The love story with Malcolm and Annabel could possibly give the other characters insight into their own love lives. But on the other hand, maybe Annabel did want to be awoken and with Malcolm currently indisposed, she’ll have to complete the spell herself somehow and go after the Blackthorns.

Clare had mentioned how the Seelie Court was going to be the main antagonist (or one of the main) against the L.A. Institute, but from what we’ve read, the Seelie Court hasn’t played as active as a role as we had previously thought. Fae were being killed and the Fae aren’t people who will just let things go. Back in City of Heavenly Fire, we saw that Sebastian and the Seelie Queen had been “getting intimate” for quite awhile. Now Clare isn’t one to just throw in unnecessary scenes which led me to think that maybe the Seelie Queen got pregnant with Sebastian’s child and that it could be one of the later protagonists. This theory is a little far-fetched but I haven’t given up on it yet.

Plot points aside, one of the biggest conflicts in all of the readers’ minds revolves around our star-crossed parabatai lovers, Emma and Julian. Jem told Emma that when parabatai fall in love, they get warlock-esque powers that basically consume them, which naturally poses a great problem and matters only get worse when Emma decides to not tell Julian and fake date Mark instead. (Kierark is my endgame OTP along with Kitty...fight me) Ever since Lady Midnight ended, I’ve been thinking of ways in which the parabatai bond can be broken without one of them dying or becoming something other than a shadowhunter. One of my theories is that when Emma was in the cave with Malcolm and that electrical magic went through her body and focused on the Endurance rune that Julian put on her, the bond was severed or at least damaged in some way. Another theory is that maybe Emma could sever the bond by using Cortana to destroy the rune, though that seems unlikely. That seems too easy though and from what we’ve read, Clare usually doesn’t take the easy route. Let’s backtrack over to Julian’s potential demon blood. Now this may be far fetched but what if Julian would be capable of handling the warlock-esque powers that came along with being in love with Emma? The only problem with that is that we have no way of knowing whether Emma could handle it.

Obviously, none of us truly know what will happen in the upcoming Lord of Shadows which truly makes the novel seem all that more intriguing. I love how many different perspectives of the Shadowhunter world we get through Clare’s writing. The characters are realistic and relatable (honestly you can’t not connect with at least one of Clare’s characters), the humor is light and enjoyable, the plot hooks you, and the relationships and connections that intertwine the characters are deeply lovely and beautifully portrayed. I have high expectations for Lord of Shadows and I am ever anxiously awaiting its release.