The Lost Book of the White (The Eldest Curses #2) by Cassandra Clare & Wesley Chu | Drumsofautumn Review

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“You’re my heart, Magnus Bane. Stay unbroken, for me.”

My love for the characters and world of the Shadowhunters has manifested a long, long time ago and yet I feel like every time I read about them, they carve out an even bigger space for themselves in my heart.

The Lost Book of the White follows Magnus and Alec as they travel to Shanghai to get back the very powerful Book of the White that was stolen from their home. And on their journey they get support from the rest of the main The Mortal Instruments cast, Jace, Clary, Simon and Isabelle.
That said, there is spoilers in this book (and review) for basically almost all of the other Shadowhunter series and books and you should definitely be caught up with them before you go into this!

I loved being back with the original The Mortal Instruments squad so, so much. While they obviously show up throughout the newer books too and we always know what they’re up to, seeing all six of them together on an adventure truly made me feel so blessed.

“Jace rarely spoke of his feelings, but he didn’t need to: Alec could read them on his face. Jace had chosen Clary to love, just as Alec had chosen Magnus, and he would love her forever and with his whole heart.”

I also adored that we got to see a little bit of Magnus and Alec being domestic and the ever-worried dads, even when they are stuck in some hell dimension (as you are). Magnus and Alec having such an intense, beautiful, unconditional love for each other and their son made my queer little heart feel so very soft and warm. And I am especially happy about seeing that kind of representation in a YA book!

Other than Magnus and Alec, Simon in particular had a really interesting character arc in this story. Obviously Simon had an entire short story collection dedicated to him and his journey of becoming a Shadowhunter but this story takes place just a little bit after and we see how much the events that happened at the Shadowhunter Academy really shaped him. He is still very much dealing with processing what happened and understanding what it really means to be a Shadowhunter.

“Someone, long ago, had told Magnus that human beings could never love the way immortals loved; their souls didn’t have the strength for it. That person had never met Alec Lightwood, nor anyone like him, Magnus thought, and their lives must have been the poorer for it.”

I feel like this book in particular was such a testament to the skill of Cassandra Clare writing the most memorable characters, even if it is side or even minor characters. There were a lot of characters in here that might not get a lot of “screen time” but that we see over and over in the different series and throughout different times and I just love them all dearly and am invested in what they are up to every time.

And I just genuinely think that this is one of those things that Cassandra Clare very much excels at and that makes reading these series particularly fun and at times heartbreaking. Which, to be fair, Cassandra Clare definitely very much excels at too. Lord knows she has broken my heart several times in the past seven years that I have been reading her books and you know what – I thank her for it.

That said, I didn’t find myself all too invested in the storyline itself. I feel like there is an infinite amount of interesting things to explore in this world and this was definitely one of them but I just felt like the plot didn’t enthrall me much.

“Alec drew the strokes of the rune with attentive care, and Magnus felt the same wonder as he had years ago, the same calming of fear. On the eve of battle, amid the darkened spin of a strange infernal city: it made no difference where they were. They would fight and live and die together.”

But despite what people might think and say, I think that Clare constantly brings new and refreshing ideas and character arcs to the table. She established this world and these characters and I am glad she is still playing around with them, even the ones that are already well-known and loved because that is the aspect of this book that I appreciated the most.
Seeing Simon’s journey, who has been through so much, dealing with the repercussions to his mental health, or seeing Alec and Magnus together as fathers, are additions to this series that I deeply appreciate.

Overall, even though I gave this a 3-star rating, I have a lot of love in my heart for this book because I adore these characters and I always love following them on their adventures.

If you liked the first book, if you like this world, and/or if you miss the The Mortal Instruments cast, this comes with a huge recommendation from me for sure.
And the bonus short story (which was in the audiobook but sadly not in the library ebook copy I had) was absolutely beautiful too and showed me that I will never grow tired of just reading about these character’s well deserved happiness too.

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✨ Lea posts a review on Meltotheany every Friday! Read more of her reviews HERE! ✨

The Red Scrolls of Magic (The Eldest Curses #1) by Cassandra Clare & Wesley Chu

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ARC given to me by my amazingly kind friend – Heather at Bookables!

“It’s a classic love story. I hit on him at a party, he asked me out, then we fought an epic magical battle between good and evil side by side, and now we need a vacation.”

The Red Scrolls of Magic is the story that Magnus and Alec always deserved. My two precious boys, both trying to live in a world that wants them to be something they’re not, but together they are able to find happiness; it’s too pure. There is a reason why they are so many people’s favorite OTP and ship of all time, and I think this brand-new installment is going to make so many people happy.

And this brand-new spin-off takes place during City of Fallen Angels, when most of the Shadowhunter universe believes The Mortal War to be over. I do recommend that you read at the very least Lady Midnight before picking this one up, because there are so many layers and elements that you just will not appreciate without knowing certain twists that are revealed in The Dark Artifices.

Magnus and Alec are off trying to be romantic in Paris together, finally going on their very first vacation together, but a good friend soon informs them that they could potentially be in grave danger. A cult, The Crimson Hand, and their sacred book (yeah, you guessed it), The Red Scrolls of Magic, and the sacrifices they are making in the name of the cult leader. But the thing is, many people, including the Spiral Council, think that Magnus not only started this cult back in the day, but also that he is still leading it. Magnus also is discovering that someone or something has possibly tampered with his memories, yet he feels like there might be some truth in him starting the cult many moons ago.

“Seek the children of demons. Love them as you love your lord. Do not let the children be alone.”

We get to see so much of Magnus’ past in this book, and so much of it is heartbreaking. I mean, if you have followed my reviews while I read everything by Cassandra Clare in 2018, you will know that Magnus has always been a favorite character of mine. But all the flashbacks in this book, in juxtaposition to the man we all know and love, it pulled at my heartstrings constantly while reading. Magnus Bane is a literary gift and I will thank all the higher powers for him and for Cassie Clare for creating him every single day.

And this story is broken up in three parts that I will summarize in three sentences:

Part I – City of Love (Paris)
– Romantic vacation quickly turns into a mission from Hell (factually).

Part II – City of Masks (Venice)
– Best party ever, and holy moly cameos from above (literally).

Part III – City of War (Rome)
– All the action, I’m living my best gay life, and the cliffhanger of all cliffhanger endings (truly).

“When was it decided that a warlock child is worth less than the children of the Angel?”

Like all the books in the Shadowhunter universe, bigotry and prejudices are at the forefront. How everyone looks at the Shadowhunters, who share blood with angels, is completely different than the Downworlders, especially Warlocks who share blood with Demons. And hatred will always breed the cruelest acts. The Shadowhunters and the Clave can be pretty closed minded over anyone who is deemed different, so Alec being gay AND dating a warlock is something that has shaken up many Shadowhunters.

But Alec, unconditionally loving himself and Magnus, has started something beautiful, and because of it, many other Shadowhunters are learning to love and accept themselves. Aline and Helen are major side character in this book, and we even get to see them meet for the very first time. Friends, I don’t even have words. Not only are Aline and Helen my favorite queer ship in the Shadowhunter world, they are probably my favorite sapphic ship of all-time. Seeing the Asian girl get the Fae girl of her dreams? It just does something to me every single time. Also, speaking of Shadowhunter cameos, Lily Chen is also in the story, and she is the Asian pansexual love of my life, so I was truly living my best life with the entire cast of characters in this book.

“He’d always assumed that storybook moments like these were meant for Jace, Isabelle, anyone but him. Yet here he was.”

But, to me, this book was all about forgiveness and how sometimes forgiving someone is the most powerful move you can possibly make. We are all more than the mistakes of our parents and people that did horrible things who happen to share our blood. Everyone wants to be loved, and everyone is deserving of love, and sometimes that comes in the form of forgiveness And sometimes, beyond anything else, we need to forgive ourselves for past mistakes that we’ve made. Who you are in this moment means way more than who you were growing up, or even who you were last year. Sometimes people really do deserve second chances, and I hope you give yourself all the chances in the world to become the person you want to be.

Overall, I loved this with my whole heart. These characters, all the queerness, the themes, the story, the mysteries, the twists; it was all amazing, especially knowing everything we know from all the other books that have taken place after the events in this one. And if you love the Warlocks in this world, then this is truly going to be the book for you! This was just a wonderful addition to the Shadowhunter world, and I think so many people are going to love it. Also, with all the Shadow Market activity and cameos, I really can’t wait to read the last two short stories in Ghosts of the Shadow Market this June!

Please use caution reading the rest of this review if you have not read this book and all the series leading up to this book! And as always, I’m going to do a little mini character breakdown on my thoughts and feelings on all of the main characters in this book. Spoilers ahead!

“If only the world were a fairy tale, Nephilim.”

(Art by Cassandra Jean!)

Magnus Bane – Bi, Indonesian, High Warlock of Brooklyn. Magnus is truly going through some shit in this book, and my heart breaks for him. On top of everything, he is so scared to tell Alec who his real father is, and… my heart.

Alec Lightwood – Gay, Shadowhunter, willing to protect Magnus at all costs. Me and Alec honestly have a rocky Shadowhunter history together, but I truly have grown to love him so much, and I love his love for Magnus. Alec is unsure of so many things, but he is never unsure about his love for Magnus.

Aline Penhallow – Lesbian, Asian, Shadowhunter, love of my life.

Helen Blackthorn – Bi, Shadowhunter, half Fae, second love of my life.

Leon Verlac – Bi, Shadowhunter, annoying as fuck. And people are really going to dislike him because of the “I’m bi, so I want to sleep with everyone” stereotype.

“She has seen so many tragedies, and they both knew the worst tragedies were born of love.”

Tessa Gray – Seeing her and Magnus talk about their love for Shadowhunters? Fuck me up, fam. Few things are better in the Shadowhunter universe than Magnus and Tessa’s friendship.

Peng Fang – We meet this vampire and blood seller in the Paris Shadow Market and I seriously just want to know everything about it, because there is no way he isn’t going come more into play.

Izzy and Jace’s Phone Call – I had to list them with this character breakdown, because this phone call, and Simon trying to ask them for sex advice, was one of my favorite things in this book. The grapefruit suggestion almost took me out, honestly.

Johnny Rook – Be still, my heart. Johnny is normally at the LA Shadow Market, but he is at the Paris one and helps Magnus out a little bit. Also, I remember something that Johnny has in a TDA book and I can’t wait to see how he got his hands on this relic.

Shinyun Jung – Korean, has a history with the cult, and is traveling alongside Magnus and Alec.

Prince Adaon – The smile I had on my face when I saw this sweetheart at the party. Ah, I can’t wait for him to be king already and to let my poor baby Kieran live his best life. Ah, my sweet Unseelie Princes, I can’t.

Malcom Fade – My jaw dropped, friends. Dropped. The High Warlock of LA is for sure in this book and throws the best party I’ve ever read about. And we know all the shit he was up to in Lady Midnight, so I was honestly quaking.

Catarina Loss – Probably my favorite warlock (besides Magnus, obv) and I always smile over her, Magnus, and Ragnor Fell’s friendship. Give me a cameo from her in every Shadowhunter book, please.

Raphael Santiago – Ace/Asexual, Mexican, vampire. Friends, I can’t cry anymore, okay? I always love seeing Raphael and Magnus and their friendship, but seeing Raphael and Alec bond and become friends, in the Raphael way, it truly broke me. And I just keep thinking about their son, and… I honestly am crying more? Wow.

Lily Chen – My pansexual and Asian goddess. I would die for this woman and I want nothing more than for he to have her own full-length series. Also, seeing Helen and her kiss? Can officially confirm: Helen loves Asian women and I am truly living on cloud nine forever.

Hypatia Vex – Warlock, runs the London Shadow Market. Seriously, this book is a warlock wet dream.

Barnabas Hale – Warlock, LA Shadow Market runner, and always a treat to read about.

Asmodeus – I’ve been screaming since City of Heavenly Fire to learn more about Magnus’ dad, and this book truly delivered. Yet, we have so much more to learn, and I think the next book is going to be everything.

“If I’m a hero of war, so is he.”

It is truly just a wild ride to see baby Magnus and baby Alec at the start of their new relationship, figuring out what they both want, what works, and what doesn’t, to seeing them married, seeing them as fathers, seeing them get the life they deserve, even if the world around them is still in chaos. To just know Alec becomes Consul of the Clave and is going to change the world for all Downworlder children. Friends, I am weeping at the honor of getting to see Magnus and Alec’s lives together. What a blessing, truly. Also, because I know people are going to be using the search engine on my blog to find this information: yes, Alec and Magnus do have sex for the first time in this book, but yes, Cassie keeps it totally YA and fades to black it before it becomes not PG13. (Also, friendly reminder: cis women, don’t fetishize m/m sex, thanks!)

And I know I make a lot of jokes about Aline and Helen, but they truly make me happier than any other couple in all of these books. I had no idea that they were even going to be in this story, let alone letting us see them meet for the first time, and seeing Aline being the disaster gay she really is trying to ask Helen out. And with everything I said about Magnus and Alec and seeing them start out but knowing where their path leads in the future together, seeing Aline and Helen, and knowing all that they were forced to endure because of bigotry, it just takes everything to a whole other level.

Overall, I just loved this completely. I laughed out loud, I cried over so many cameos, I smiled from pure happiness at my OTPs starting out their relationships, and I always wanted more of everything. I can’t wait to get my hands on The Lost Book of the White, because I have a feeling that it’s going to be even better than this amazing series starter! Especially with that cliffhanger ending! Lord, hear my prayers.

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The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

Content and trigger warnings for violence, talk of past loss of a loved one, abandonment, talk of suicide in the past, past parental abuse (physical), torture, cult rituals, and war themes.

1.) City of Bones ★★★
2.) City of Ashes ★★
3.) City of Glass ★★★
1.) Clockwork Angel ★★★
4.) City of Fallen Angels
2.) Clockwork Prince ★★★★
5.) City of Lost Souls ★★★★
3.) Clockwork Princess ★★★★★
6.) City of Heavenly Fire ★★★★★
*.) The Bane Chronicles ★★★
*.) Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy ★★★
1.) Lady Midnight ★★★★★
2.) Lord of Shadows ★★★★
*.) Ghosts of the Shadow Market 8/10
3.) Queen of Air and Darkness ★★★★

 

Ghosts of the Shadow Market (Stories 1 – 8) by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees, Maureen Johnson, Robin Wasserman, & Kelly Link

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1.) City of Bones ★★★
2.) City of Ashes ★★
3.) City of Glass ★★★
1.) Clockwork Angel ★★★
4.) City of Fallen Angels ★
2.) Clockwork Prince ★★★★
5.) City of Lost Souls ★★★★
3.) Clockwork Princess ★★★★★
6.) City of Heavenly Fire ★★★★★
*.) The Bane Chronicles ★★★
*.) Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy ★★★
1.) Lady Midnight ★★★★★
2.) Lord of Shadows ★★★★

Hey, friends! Okay, so I am just too hyped to keep talking about all things that involve the Shadowhunter world, with Queen of Air and Darkness coming out in TEN DAYS! Holy moly, the blessings! I honestly haven’t been so excited for a new release in years. You all also know that I have been reading everything in this world for the last six months, so I know this book is going to literally be the cherry on an already delicious cupcake! (And your girl is hungry!)

I do want to say that Ghosts of the Shadow Market is scheduled to come out in June of 2019, and will include ten stories in total, but only eight have been released singly so far! Therefore, I am not going to give this collection a total star rating, I’m just going to let you know my individual star rating for each story separately, then come release I will do more in-depth and full review, that will also include the two stories that haven’t been released yet! But I hope this post gets you all hyped, because I can’t wait to read the final Dark Artifices book with the entire community in just a few more days!


Son of the Dawn – ★★★★

“Every world contains other worlds within it.”

It is official, The New York City Shadow Market is the coolest one we’ve seen so far? Abandoned theater? Ahhh, the aesthetics. But this story takes place in 2000, and I will be honest with you all, I sure in the hell wasn’t expecting a story about how Jace came to join the Lightwood family. Damn, my emotions are all over the place, because seeing Raphael alone makes me weep. Also, I think it was really smart for Cassie Clare to show us a “good” side of Robert Lightwood, especially after finishing Lord of Shadows. Also, all that talk of parabatai bonds? Lord, help us all. But I think my sappy self cried hardest over two initials. Okay, I know this brief review is all over the place, but this was such an unexpected treat and I was smiling while reading this entire story. From Izzy watching Alec discover who he is, to me crying even more over Max, to Jace being Jace even at a young age, to Lily Chen actually making me laugh out loud, to me screaming at seeing Raphael confirming that he is ace, I love all of this. And even just seeing Raphael come to Brother Zachariah for help and to go on what ends up being such a meaningful adventure, that really impacts all their lives eventually, it was just amazing. I really loved this short story and I think it was such an amazing glimpse at the past, that really makes you appreciate the future so much more.


Cast Long Shadows – ★★

“Old sins cast long shadows.”

Okay, I’m still hyped for The Last Hours though, but I think it is mostly for James Herondale, even though Matthew Fairchild is such a little sweetheart. I loved seeing him interact with Brother Zachariah, and loving him just because so many of his loved ones love him. I love that feeling, and I think that’s something in life that I experience a lot that books rarely depict. But in this short story takes place in London 1901, and we get to see Matthew dealing with something that’s really bothering him, while willing to do anything to find out the truth. Oh, and Alastair Carstairs is such a little jerk, but I know Cassie is going to give him a homelife (and a father, I think) that is going to make us feel a lot of empathy toward him. But why the hell is Sophie (my queen, still) and Gideon’s kid friends with him? Yet, I love seeing Henry’s disability rep, I love seeing Charlotte say fuck your misogyny to the Clave, and I just love seeing all these glimpses at old friendships that we already love, but also all the new glimpses at what is to come. And seeing Jem, Will, and Tessa living their lives after Clockwork Princess will never not equal parts break my heart and heal my soul. And yeah, I’m still crying over that staff. Lord, help me.


Every Exquisite Thing – ★★★★

“Foolish people say so many things. But we know who we are…”

Anna Lightwood deserves the entire galaxy and all the stars within it, please spread the word. Like, the child of Cecily and Gabriel is a true blessing to the Shadowhunter universe. And the end of this made me happier than any other Shadowhunter short story I’ve ever read. In short, this story is love letter to nonbinary people, and we get to follow Anna embracing being a genderfluid lesbian. Even though everyone knows that queer people existed all throughout history, this story highlights how it was harder to come out back in the 1900s. But seeing Anna live their best life was everything and it warmed my heart so very much. And, again, Cassie Clare is just being more and more inclusive and she impresses me so very much. And there is f/gq romance in this story, too! But the heart of this story is identity and being the person you are on the inside on the outside, too. Okay, I’m done gushing; this story we also get to see Anna and Matthew explore the London nightlife and meet a woman named Leopolda in a club and bring to ask a few questions. And soon, them and Brother Zachariah are trying to figure out what she’s up to. And I think that we are soon going to get a lot more background story on Tessa, and I cannot wait for The Last Hours, friends. It is going to be so amazing, and now Anna is going to make me even more excited!


Learn about Loss – ★★★★

“I want you to give them both a span of time. Both of them in a time and place where they can be young and happy and together.”

Current mood: Forever weeping over the masterpiece that is the end of this short story. You all, Will and Jem will always be best friend goals, and honestly are the definition of platonic unconditional pure love. (I mean, I won’t go into my polyamorous wants because Cassie Clare didn’t bless us!) But friends, this story just has a lot in it that I really appreciated. And I loved this dark carnival Shadow Market. This story is set in 1936 Tennessee, during the end of the Great Depression, and not only do we follow Brother Zachariah, but also the soon-to-be Iron Sister, Emilia, who easily stole my heart. And Sister Emilia’s promise? Goosebumps. Perfection. Also, I think these stories are really going to make an impact for QoAaD.


A Deeper Love – ★★★

“…those two twin souls, the only souls she had ever loved.”

Friends, I was not expecting a WWII story set in London that starred Tessa Gray and Catarina Loss working as nurses. But oh my gosh, it was so beautifully and hauntingly unexpected. And there is still a Shadow Market that they bargain at, but even the paranormal war is impacted (both positively and negatively) by war. And Brother Zachariah just happens to be at the Shadow Market, where bombs are dropping from the sky, while he gets into his own altercation with a fae who thinks he is meddling in affairs that do not involve him. And I believe the point of this story was that we get to see that weapon poison that Julian and Emma deal with in Lady Midnight. I also cried for probably a third of this just because Brother Zachariah and Tessa both dealing with loss, while healing and living with love, just guts me every time. It’s so pure, and so hopefully, and just gives me all the feelings under the sun. The power of love is something so strong, and this story just left me in awe, honestly.


The Wicked Ones – ★★★

“They’d both given a piece of their hearts to a Herondale. And they both loved someone they could not have.”

Oh, boy. So, this story is set in 1989 Paris, where we meet a young girl named Céline and get to see the uprising of Valentine. Céline has constantly run away from her abusive home, and the parents that torture her and call it love. And when she was eight years old, she ran away and felt safe and at home for the very first time – at the Paris Shadow Market. But in this story we see her almost ten years later, and she is desperately trying to feel welcome with Valentine and his elite crew. And she is also realizing she is completely and utterly in love with Stephen Herondale. But while this is going on, Brother Zachariah is in search of a lost necklace and a lost child. This story really dives deep into how manipulative people can gaslight to get what they want, and will always try to isolate people and convince them that what they are doing is in their best interest. It is always really interesting to see the rise and fall of Valentine Morgenstern, but this story just made me feel really sad for Amatis and for another child who has yet to be born.


The Land I Lost – ★★★★★

“Your voice is the music I love best in all the world.”

First and foremost, it is very obvious that Lily Chen is not straight, but Cassie Clare confirmed on Tumblr that she is pan! The blessings. The actual blessings. Also, hello, my new favorite character. Lily is half Japanese and half Chinese, and was made a vampire under the saddest of circumstances. And her love for Raphael Santiago warms my black heart like nothing else in the entire Shadowhunter world. And even though I could go on forever about my love for her, this story is more about her and Alec going to the Buenos Aires Institute together because Jem and Tessa are in need of help, and someone requested Alec personally. This story is actually pretty dark, so content and trigger warnings for abandonment, captivity, sex trafficking, sex slavery, and war themes. Nothing is graphic, but it is very much talked about, so please use caution. But Alec soon finds out that the Buenos Aires Institute is being heavily influenced by Horace Dearborn, and they are allowing children whose parents were killed in the Dark War to be orphans living on the street, just because they are Downworlders. Alec then comes across a Shadowhunter child who they are also unwilling to help, and the other Downworlders are too scared to bring in, therefore he must take action. You all, this novella was heartbreaking and heartwarming. Seeing Magnus and Alec be such good fathers to Max, and then adopting their second child, Rafe, it is something I don’t even have words for. And they are allowing their children to be whatever they want to be, Warlock or Shadowhunter, and will never stop giving them unconditional love. Even just seeing glimpses of Jace and Izzy being an uncle and an aunt had me smiling so big! It is a joy to read, pure joy. But we learn so much during this longer addition to the anthology, too. All the information we got of/from Mother Hawthorn? Damn.


Through Blood, Through Fire – ★★★★

“But we bear so much that seems unthinkable. The only truly unbearable burden is living without love.”

Okay, I won’t lie, even though I have loved watching Brother Zachariah go on this quest of finding the lost Herondale, I feel like it is my least favorite aspect of this anthology. And even though this short story gave us major insight on Rosemary and Jack, it wasn’t a big surprise after reading The Wicked Ones. But then, once the story catches up to the events at the end of Lady Midnight, and Tessa drops the REAL information of this story. You all, my jaw dropped. And my eyes? The tears won’t stop coming after that last paragraph. Wow, the blessings. The happiness. The everything. Queen of Air and Darkness can’t come soon enough.



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Buddy read with Lea at drumsofautumn! ❤

Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices, #2) by Cassandra Clare

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1.) City of Bones ★★★
2.) City of Ashes ★★
3.) City of Glass ★★★
1.) Clockwork Angel ★★★
4.) City of Fallen Angels
2.) Clockwork Prince ★★★★
5.) City of Lost Souls ★★★★
3.) Clockwork Princess ★★★★★
6.) City of Heavenly Fire ★★★★★
*.) The Bane Chronicles ★★★
*.) Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy ★★★
1.) Lady Midnight ★★★★★

“Fiction is truth, even if it is not a fact. If you believe only in facts and forget stories, your brain will live, but your heart will die.”

First and foremost, I am so thankful for Julian Blackthorn and I would do anything in the world to ensure that boy’s life is filled with nothing but all the happiness in the entire galaxy. I won’t lie, I didn’t enjoy LoS as much as LM. I honestly just loved LM with my entire heart and soul and I think the hype for the LoS ending just left this book off on a sour note for me, but I’ll talk more about that in my spoiler section at the end of this review! But holy moly, friends, I did it, I read thirteen Cassie Clare books in the last six months and I can finally read Queen of Air and Darkness with you all!

So, LoS picks up two weeks after the events of LM, and everything feels like it is in chaos mode. We have fake relationships, we have people thinking they might die, there are mini wars brewing all over, things are honestly wild. But the scariest thing is the gang being unable to locate a particular dead body.

Throughout the book we get to see not only the Los Angeles Institute, but also the London institute, and be still my TID loving heart. And we get to see another Shadow Market that has been making me more interested in the activities that go on at these locations! But a lot of very dark things are going on in the Shadowhunter world. (I’m trying so hard to be spoiler-free, friends!)

This book really highlights how generations of hate, bigotry, and fascist thinking easily gets passed down. I feel like a constant issue in this entire overarching series has been many Shadowhunters feeling like they are superior to the Fae, the Vampires, the Werewolves, and the Warlocks. I mean, they even call them Downworlders. But LoS really shows the hatred, and there are a group of people that actually even want the other paranormal beings to register just for being what they are. And this book talks about how fear mongering and hate speech can quickly turn into something so very ugly, and something so very hard to stop. I for sure think Cassie Clare pulls a lot of inspiration from history, but also current day, and some of the things in this book are really hard to read, because I know that there are actual human beings in our world that feel this way about other human beings. So, please use caution. And content and trigger warnings for talk of cancer, loss of a loved one, bigoted comments, hate speak, death of a child, death in general, torture, PTSD depiction, graphic blood depiction, sacrificial ritual, slavery, trafficking, captivity, battle scenes, and war themes.

I do want to take a minute to talk about how Cassie Clare and this world really are getting more and more inclusionary and this book honestly impressed me. Not only did we get the actual word “autistic” on page for Ty, we also got a trans character who now owns my entire heart. I feel like Cassie does a good job giving us with characters from all different races, even though there is always room to be more inclusive. And I think she’s getting a better at body rep and disability rep, too. But, Alec is still gay, Magnus is still bi, and they are prospering like the bright shining light that they are. Mark is still bi, I’m praying to every God and angel that Kieran will be pan (but he could be bi, too), and I even feel like we are going to get another queer relationship brewing on our hands. And I truly believe that Cassie Clare is going to give us the polyamorous relationship of my dreams, too. The blessings, friends, the blessings.

I will say that I’m side eyeing a bit because we are going to get two main m/m relationships and (so far) have only seen a m/m relationship, that better turn into a f/m/m relationship. So, that’s three m/m relationships, when the f/f relationships we get is literally exiled and just mentioned in the background every once in a while. Feels bad, man, feels really bad. Give me a sapphic main relationships that isn’t hidden in the background, you cowards. I don’t ask for much, okay? And you all know I’m always here for queer rep, and I honestly do love all the men in these m/m relationships, but when a cis woman is writing them, and not giving us f/f in the spotlight too, it feels a little like fetishizing.

Overall, it is really hard to talk about non-spoiler things in this section! But I really did love this book, even if I didn’t love it as much as LM. I just truly think that Cassie Clare is getting more and more talented as an author, and I expect she is going to give us the entire world with QoAaD. Like, I am so hyped that I predict it will make my top five of 2018. And again, I just want to thank every person, Shadowhunter fan or not, who has had to listen to me scream and gush over these books for the last six months. It was such an experience, but one that I’m truly so thankful that I was able to have. And it was such a bright shining light in my 2018.

Please use caution reading the rest of this review if you have not read this book and all the series leading up to this book! And as always, I’m going to do a little mini character breakdown on my thoughts and feelings on all the main characters in this book. Spoilers ahead!

“Everyone is afraid of something. We fear things because we value them. We fear losing people because we love them. We fear dying because we value being alive. Don’t wish you didn’t fear anything. All that would mean is that you didn’t feel anything.”

(Art by Haunted Duck Princess!)

Emma Carstairs – My hero, my savior, my everything, my Mortal Sword slaying queen. Damn. And the fact that she decided to be honest with Julian this book, proving again how she is one of the best character in all of literature? The blessings. I would die for this girl.

Julian Blackthorn – No words, only tears. And the one-liners that Cassandra Clare gave him? Breathtaking, so damn breathtaking. Also, Julian proves over and over how much I love soft main characters, and that you can be soft and still be brave and strong. Ahhh, I honestly can’t even coherently talk about this boy.

“Because if you threw me away and everything we had, it had better be for something that meant more to you”

Mark Blackthorn – I better get…

Cristina Rosales – …my polyamorous relationship…

Kieran – …or I will riot.

Jessamine Lovelace – I am still screaming. Ahhh! What damn character development this girl has gone through. I was showing heart-eyes at every mention, but when Kit was finally able to see and interact with her? Pure joy. Love, love, love.

“If you steal any of the books from the library, I will know, and you’ll be sorry.”

Kit Rook / Christopher Herondale – Okay, he’s growing on me. I feel like that’s the real Herondale curse, it takes a couple of books for me to fall in love with them. But when he snapped on Zara about Magnus with Alec? That added five years to my life, I swear.

Tiberius Blackthorn – Oh my poor, sweet boy. He is going to blame himself so hard because of the letter he wrote to Annabel and it is going to gut me.

Livvy Blackthorn – No words that I’m going to string together are going to be good enough, but it breaks my heart that this poor child has only known a life of war, loss, and destruction. Has never really been around other kids, had other friendships, has never known love but the love of her family, and now she never will. Honestly, it breaks my heart.

Dru Blackthorn – I just love Dru so much and I think she is such an important character, because she’s really the first character to not only be plus-sized, but to talk about body image and relationships with food, especially how she feels people perceive her with food. I can’t wait to see more of Dru, and I’d only love a spin-off from her point of view. Also, that teleport? That fae boy? I’m thinking the worst, and the best, about whose love child that is.

Octavian Blackthorn – I feel like we didn’t get to see Tavvy as much in this book, but my heart still always bleeds for this boy who has really only known a life of war.

Magnus Bane – Um, this man better be okay and quick, because his death would be the one that would undo me.

Alec Lightwood – When Alec put Zara in her place, and told her how lucky he would be to have Magnus love him forever, I was crying. So perfect, and it meant so much coming from everything that happened in TMI. But my heart is also mending and rebreaking, because he is building this amazing family with Magnus and living the life he wants, but he just keeps losing people. Him yelling for his dad. More tears, friends, all the tears.

Zara Dearborn – This bitch and her entire hateful family and friends, like, no words. Trying to register Downworlders? Disgusting. I hate her more than any other Shadowhunter villain, I swear to God.

Diego Rosales – I don’t even care about the heirloom. But if he hurts Kiren…. Boy, bye!

Jaime Rosales – This storyline was so sus. Boy, what?

“I had never realized before how much you can take from someone by not allowing them the words they need to describe themselves.”

Diana Wrayburn – God is a woman, and her name is Diana Wrayburn. I completely acknowledge that Cassie Clare is a cis woman, but Diana coming out to Gwyn as trans was one of the most beautiful things I’ve read all year. I was crying the happiest and the saddest tears at the same time, but it really made Diana one of my favorite characters in the entire Shadowhunter universe. And that quote above? That’s the best sentence that Cassie Clare has ever written. Ever.

Gwyn – And when Daddy Gwyn got down on his kness and told Diana that she was the strongest woman to ever walk on this Earth? Lord, I’m still swooning and will be forever. Perfection. And talk about a fucking OTP. The blessings.

Catarina Loss – Talk about the most underrated character in this entire series. Like, what a damn gem to the Shadowhunters. From saving babies, to making people not feel alone, to being a good friend, this woman is a gift from the actual angels. And I’m so scared because I know she is at Scholomance, but I am ready to protect her with my entire life.

Arthur Blackthorn – Okay, I feel so horrible for saying this, but I was so happy that he sacrificed himself so none of the Blackthorns would be killed… at that moment. Shit, now I’m crying again.

Jon Cartwright – Legit cannot believe I read all of Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy for this dude to just get decapitated and it never talked about again.

Malcolm Fade – I cannot believe this dude just got shanked after the resurrection. I honestly spit water. I still cannot believe it. But no body = no death is proven again. But I wasn’t expecting the demon murloc version.

Annabel – Give me all those morally grey villains. Like, I know I shouldn’t like her, but I’m honestly living for her. I know I also shouldn’t lust for revenge, but good lord do I want to see this girl get some peace, rest, and happiness.

The Unseelie King – I honestly like him as a villain a lot, too. I mean, he is obviously more chaotic evil than Annabel, but I can’t wait for the full story to come out with him and Malcom and the Black Volume of the Dead. Actually, I just can’t wait to learn more about the Black Volume of the Dead anyway.

The Seelie Queen – You know this bitch isn’t up to anything good. And if the weapon that Sebastian Morgenstern “left behind” is a baby with the Seelie Queen, I’m going to scream forever.

Clary Fairchild – Are we just going to act like she didn’t tell Emma that she thinks she is going to die? Like, my heart. I can fucking not deal with this information still. And honestly? I don’t want to see Jace in a world where Clary dies, because it is not going to be pretty.

Robert Lightwood – Okay, but what are Emma and Julian going to do now? *prays forever*

Like, for real, what in the world are Emma and Julian going to do now, since Robert was their only hope really. I mean, are all parabatai bonds going to be broken now? I kind of think they are going to, and that’s really going to change the game, and put a lot of warriors are disadvantages. Again, the Clave is so wild for letting kids make life altering choices at twelve, because look at this mess.

Okay, I know I touched upon it a bit above in the breakdowns, but let’s talk about the ending of this book. I’ll be honest, I didn’t love it. With the reactions that the end of this book gets, I really thought it was going to be either Clary, Julian, or Emma dying. Or even Julian and Emma spiraling into darkness because of the parabatai curse. But, no, Cassie Clare does what every single YA author does to evoke emotion from their readers, while still protecting the core cast that everyone loves. Like, they will never kill the main characters, just characters close to them, so we can be sad for them. Am I sad that Robert died? No. Am I sad that Alec has already lost so many and so much and now has to lose his father too? Yeah, extremely. Am I sad that Livvy died? Eh. Am I said that Ty is going to feel responsible and going to hate himself for it? And that Julian feels like he failed while refusing to let go of the corpse of his baby sister? Yeah, fuck yeah. So, I just have mixed feelings on the ending if I’m being really honest. And everyone else is all like, “YES QUEEN! SO BRAVE!” but I’m over here just side-eyeing and really not impressed. And I don’t even want to talk about the possibility of Livvy dying so that “kitty” can prosper. Friends, I’m tired. But when that clock chimed after her death, (in my eyes) to signify her going to Heaven? Okay, maybe I’m weeping.

Plus, these grown adults that are running the Clave and this meeting and just going to let fascist teens be outspoken with their hate speech? Like, Jia Penhallow should have been shutting that shit down and throwing people out, not warning them. And I’m not entirely sure if Zara isn’t able to hold the Mortal Sword, because I’m not sure if people that attended Scholomance and became Centurions are considered Shadowhunters, but if so I can’t believe that people were taking her obvious lies as facts and not making her hold the sword. But instead they make an obviously emotional, resurrected girl, who is showing signs of PTSD, to forcefully hold a weapon of immense power. No words, friends. But the ending of this book was a shitshow and I honestly wasn’t impressed.

And where the hell are Clary and Jace (besides taking a nap in a field Bella and Edward style, apparently) or Simon and Izzy? Why aren’t they are this Clave meeting? I am scared, friends. What are these kids up to? I need answers.

But let’s also talk about how Cortana has just been absorbing the power of all these things that it is cutting through. And now that bitch just cut through the Mortal Sword. That shock that Emma felt run up her arm? I’m more scared, friends. I can’t deal with this information. I really need answers.

“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”

So, what’s up with Magnus and the warlocks getting sick? Hold me, I’m scared. I know we are probably going to find out in Ghosts of the Shadow Market, but still, my heart is hurting already.

Okay, let’s talk about happier things. You know, things that had me screaming and living my best life. Malcom’s abandoned cottage. You all, I was whispering “risk it all” to my book as a mantra. I really believe that Julian and Emma have made it into my top five OTPs of all time, and I have no idea how this happened. But from Julian writing “I-A-M-R-U-I-N-E-D” to him giving Emma permission to break his heart, I was hollering like a banshee. I feel like I died and was resurrected myself in that cabin and I am already craving to reread those scenes. I’m a mess, friends. And if they don’t get a happy ending, I will riot. Also, pan culture is loving both Emma and Julian. Facts only here.

“Break my heart. Break it in pieces. I give you permission.”

(Art by Cassandra Jean!)

Also, I was loving every second that Mark, Cristina, Emma, and Jules spent in Faerie; both Unseelie and Seelie courts. Seeing glimpses of Faerie in TMI was always a highlight for me, but being fully emerged and on an adventure with these four? So much happiness. From Emma getting picked champion, to them each being told a secret, to magical bonds, to hidden visions, I loved it all. And I hope we get to see a lot more of Faerie in QoAaD! And like, did the Unseelie King teleport Annabel to Faerie at the end because of the half crown symbol? I highkey hope so.

Lastly, we finally got to see my favorites, Aline and Helen, and they better be such a big part of QoAaD now that they are finally back. I read thirteen huge books by Cassie Clare in the last six months, I deserve not only a sapphic relationship in the forefront, but seeing an Asian girl get the Fae girl of her dreams. Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.

(Art by Rikki the Artist!)

Okay, friends, I’m off to read the first eight stories in Ghosts of the Shadow Market, while waiting for Queen of Air and Darkness, because I am so in love with this series that I need everything. I don’t know how you all waited over a year after this book, but you all are the bravest souls on this Earth.

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City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3) by Cassandra Clare

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1.) City of Bones ★★★
2.) City of Ashes ★★

Friends, I did it! I read the whole trilogy! Over a decade late, but aren’t you proud? And more importantly, I can finally move on to TID with Clockwork Angel! And I am so hyped, because I know this is the start of the series that you all really love! And I hope I do, too! And I got really excited seeing some names that I’ve vaguely seen you all scream about!

“Each tomb looked like a little house; some even had metal or wire gates, and the names of Shadowhunter families were carved over the doors. CARTWRIGHT. MERRYWEATHER. HIGHTOWER. BLACKWELL. MIDWINTER. She stopped at one: HERONDALE.”

City of Glass has the cast whisked away (some easily, some not so easily) to the City of Glass, AKA: Idris, which is the Shadowhunter’s home country! Valentine may or may not have started to build a demon army, and the gang hopes that they can get the council to listen to them. Oh, and Clary is desperate to save her mom, and is willing to do anything to wake her up. Because while her mother sleeps, she is also locking away many secrets.

“My mom got the spell that put her in this state from a warlock—Ragnor Fell. Madeleine says we need to track him down if we want to know how to reverse the spell.”

Okay, so going into this series, I knew very few spoilers. And I was very surprised when the Jace and Clary “dilemma” came up, just because I had never heard anyone mention in. Therefore, I also thought it would be a quick fix. Okay, so the “reveal” is at the very end of City of Bones, but the mentality and thought lasts until 80% into this third book! I couldn’t believe it! And even though I knew (and hoped and prayed) that you all wouldn’t lead me astray and that the “twist” wouldn’t be true, it still took a lot of enjoyment out of this book for me, because for the most part, Jace and Clary thought it was real. Also, Jace and Clary both do and say a lot of problematic shit, that has nothing to do with the way they feel about each other. Jace especially.

“Jace knew he was being cruel, and he barely cared. Hurting people he loved was almost as good as hurting himself when he was in this kind of mood.”

Okay, so I’ve broken down the characters in the other two reviews I’ve done for this series, so I figured I’d just keep doing it. (Especially because these reviews are probably boring because everyone but me read them ten-years-ago!) And like always, I have a lot of feelings.

Clary – Clary is just a bland main character. I don’t love her as much as others. I don’t hate her as much as others. I honestly just feel neutral towards her, but I still say that she is rather forgettable. Which is sad, since I suppose she is the star. But I think the shining light of all three books has been the side characters.

Jace – Jace legit is the worst part of this book, too. Which, he is the second leading character, so, also probably a bad sign. But he’s just miserable to read about because he doesn’t care about “the situation” where Clary at least tries to not be… gross about it. And on the opposite end of the spectrum, he legit screams at Clary in this book and says some pretty abusive and hurtful things. Like, I just honestly don’t like Jace. I’m sorry. But it’s the truth. Probably my least favorite character, including the villains.

Simon – Okay, so Simon completely won me over and captured my heart and soul during this book. I honestly loved everything about it. And I think that’s mostly because…

Isabelle – …I am about to go down on the ship of Isabelle and Simon. Like, you all, I love their chemistry and their entire dynamic. And Isabelle is my favorite character of any of these books so far, so I just am going to put her happiness first always and forever. Thanks.

Magnus – Magnus is also my favorite. And I don’t want to give Cassandra Clare too much credit (I seriously can’t get over the incest, I’m sorry), but I think she did a really amazing job with creating Magnus Bane. All my friends are obsessed with him, I’m obsessed with him, and I think he’s such a bright shining light in 2000’s literature.

Alec – I feel like I like Alec more and more each book. Probably because of Magnus, but still! And the end of this book? Not that anyone should ever feel any pressure to come out, but the end of this book just made me really happy.

Max – Like, I’m still shook.

Luke – I was living for Luke in this entire book. Like, I instantly loved his character, and I just grow to like him more and more each book. Also, he deserves all the love and happiness in the world.

Jocelyn – I actually do like Clary’s mom. I wish she would have been awake and present for more of this trilogy. And I do think it was a little deus ex machina how she shows up, bearing all the information that we needed so long ago. But I still enjoyed her and her character.

Amatis – Luke’s sister is honestly my new favorite, too! Like, maybe I’m too old to be reading these for the first time, and I’m just connecting with all the (way older than me) adults, because I can’t connect with these teenagers? But regardless, Amatis has been through so much, but I love her already. Amazing new addition to the cast!

Maia – Maia wasn’t in this book that much, but I still really like what I did see of her. And I’m saying this while knowing she is going to be a point of a triangle that I’m not ready to think about.

Samuel – IS THIS DUDE… PURPLE?

Person in the cell next to Simon – Like, I actually loved this twist and was so here for it. Until, someone ruined it. But still, I was living for it. Big fan.

Seelie Queen – Like, Clary is going to regret that power move of an epilogue.

Aline – Um… is this new character Asian and queer? Because, I think she is, and I think I’m head over heels in love with her already.

Sebastian – A little obvious, but still a fun twist and character I honestly really enjoyed following.

Valentine – Like, I enjoyed Valentine a lot in this one. I think he was way less “mustache twirling” villain in this book. And I loved the portrayal on how people can be awful humans, but they are still capable of doing good things. We all have good and bad inside us, and Valentine is a good example of what happens when you do more bad than good. I don’t know, maybe I’m getting soft, but I liked him as the villain of this book.

“People aren’t born good or bad. Maybe they’re born with tendencies either way, but it’s the way you live your life that matters.”

Trigger and content warnings for murder, death, incestuous thoughts and resulting actions, torture, medical experimentations, captivity, abandonment, talk of thoughts of suicide, suicide, and war themes.

Overall, I am happy I read this trilogy, instead of just skipping it. I’m not sure if it was completely needed, but I hope that it will feel worth it. I also think this series holds up better than a lot of others that were published during the same time, Naruto references and all. I’ll be honest, this really is more of 2.5 star read for me, and I should probably bump it down to two stars, but I just enjoyed it so much more than City of Ashes that I’m going to bump it up to three. Also, Izzy and Simon deserve that star on their own, let’s be real. Okay, friends, I can’t wait to finally dive into Clockwork Angel!


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