Queen of Air and Darkness (The Dark Artifices, #3) 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 ★★★★★
2.) Lord of Shadows ★★★★
*.) Ghosts of the Shadow Market 8/10

“There was blood on the Council dais, blood on the steps, blood on the walls and the floor and the shattered remnants of the Mortal Sword.”

Friends, it has been a ride. I have spent the last six months reading everything that Cassie Clare has created for the Shadowhunter world, and it was all leading up to this moment – the release of Queen of Air and Darkness. And friends, it was so worth it. Not only was reading all of these books and stories, and falling in love with so many of these characters and worlds, a highlight in my reading year, it was just a highlight in my 2018. And I just want to thank each and every single one of you that came along with me on this journey.

“Blood always matters, to the wrong sort of people”

And this book picks up immediately after the events in LoS. Fascists are trying to control the Clave and dictate how Downworlders should be treated. In Faerie, the Seelie and the Unseelie court are trying to hurt each other, while the Unseelie King has something that the Seelie Queen doesn’t want to live without. Warlocks are hurting, so many of our main cast of characters are missing, and so many people are grieving the loss of loved ones.

“Sympathy is common. Knowing the exact shape of the hole someone’s loss leaves in your heart is rare.”

Queen of Air and Darkness is truly a love letter to grief. The first section of this review is going to be spoiler free, so I’m going to try to be really vague. Ty is choosing to ignore his grief, Alec is throwing himself into work and wanting a better world because of his grief, Julian thinks revenge is the only way to work through his grief, Emma has finally made headway with her past grief, to only be forced to experience more all over again. We see parents grieving the loss of their children, children grieving the loss of their parents, and everyone grieving the loss of loved ones because of wars they didn’t ask to be a part of. But that’s what happens when you love people, and you let them in, because nothing is permanent, and grief is inevitable. There is no wrong way to grieve, but you do get to choose the actions you perform in the name of that grief. And we get to see people make a lot of hateful choices, and take a lot of hateful actions, because of their grief; Cohorts and fae queens and kings alike.

And this third and final installment in The Dark Artifices series does get rather dark, so please use caution. Content and trigger warnings for hate speech (always challenged and always negative), threatening to out someone, talk of wanting to sexually assault someone, self-harm, death, loss of a loved one, murder, torture, captivity, blood depictions, strong depictions of grief, trauma, and depression, talk of suicide, a lot of violence, and war themes.

As always, Cassie is so very inclusionary and gives us so much rep that is very respectively done. From so much sexuality and gender representation, to racial diversity, to giving us a main character on the autism spectrum, to body diversity, to really respecting mental health in this book. I’m not saying that Cassie Clare is the pinnacle of what representation in books should be, but I’ll be dammed if she isn’t trying, and if she isn’t doing a better job than any other cis white woman writing YA currently.

Overall, it is also actually wild how talented Cassandra Clare is, because the cast of her books are so large and expansive, but I’d die for almost every single one of them. I had so much fun reading this last installment, even if it wasn’t my favorite. But I will talk more about that below! I will say that I need The Red Scrolls of Magic, The Last Hours, & The Wicked Powers right this very second. Like, the wait is probably going to kill me. But I’m going to die with the biggest smile on my face.

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!

(Art by Alice Duke!)

Emma Carstairs – You all, I can’t even talk about Emma properly. She is my favorite Shadowhunter of them all. I love her, I love her bravery, I love her empathy, and I love how she loves. I’ll be honest, the worst part about turning the last page of this book is knowing that I’ll never be able to read another new book where she is the main character.

Julian Blackthorn – First off, Madalyn pointing out that Julian is probably demisexual added ten years to my life and I needed you all to know this. Next, Julian Blackthorn is my everything and I hate that I’m so weak for this soft boy, but it is the damn truth.

Also, because I’m a perv and this needs to be said, Julian and Emma reciting the parabatai vow while fucking? My kink. My fucking kink. Damn. The gifts CC gives us.

Church – The real MVP of this book.

Helen Blackthorn-Penhallow – Helen and Aline are going to be the best moms ever, and I am so happy that Cassie finally let us see this power couple! And I can’t wait to actually see them fall in love during TRSoM, but I know it is going to be my favorite thing in this entire series!

Aline Blackthorn-Penhallow – Okay, Helen and Aline are my TRUE OTP! And Aline literally give me life, while standing up for Helen, during this entire 900+ page story. And I’m here for any story that is a bout an Asian girl getting into a sapphic relationship with a fae girl. I mean, it is kind of my life goal.

Mark Blackthorn – You all, we did it, and CC answered our prayers! And she gave us the polyamorous relationship of my dreams! I will say that I don’t entirely love that they only have their cabin to share their love, but I hope that a lot happens in future books to make this trio able to truly spend all of their lives with one another. But that scene on the boulder between the three of them? 11/10, I will be rereading once a week for the rest of my life.

“All this time we were waiting for you. We loved each other, and it was a great thing, but with you, it is even greater.”

Cristina Rosales – I just love Cristina. I love her friendship with Emma, but I loved her deciding, at her own pace, what she wanted in her life. And she’s so damn strong, while being so damn giving, and she honestly deserves the entire world. Also, no offense, but Cassie Clare also gave her the worst Shadowhunter weapons, imo.

Kieran – I mean, you all know I’m trash for dark (ever changing) haired fae princes who end up being king. But like, I’d love Kieran even if he was none of those things. He is honestly probably my third favorite character in all of the Shadowhunter world. And when all the fae people were remembering all the kind things he did for them, and when the little girl gave him the white flower? Friends, I’m weak, and soft, and crying, and in love with Kieran so very much.

Adaon – Wow, the resident sleeper and true hero of this story.

Kit Rook / Christopher Herondale – Alright, Kit is going to have the coolest power(s) in the Shadowhunter world. But I truly loved how this book officially proved that Kit is going to have an actual claim to rule all of Faerie, and I’m here for it.

Tiberius Blackthorn – Oh Ty, my sweet Ty. You know this necromancy and dark magic are going to follow him all the way through TWP! You all also know that I’m a sucker for siblings who are best friends, and Thule Livvy’s letter actually gutted me.

“I love you. I love you. I love you.”

Livvy Blackthorn – I don’t really understand how ghost Livvy works, or how the connection with Ty works, but it equally breaks and warms my heart. But I do really wish she would have just been able to rest in peace.

Octavian Blackthorn – I feel like Poor Tavvy is the character that is looked over, but it is because he is still so little. But I cried really hard when he told Julian that he just wanted to go home at the end. Julian really raised all these kids to be brave, to be strong, and to love always.

Dru Blackthorn – Dru truly has grown up and came into her own during these three books. I love her, and I loved seeing her journey. And I especially loved seeing Ty spend more time with her. I can’t wait to see her grow and shine even more in TWP where she will be a main character.

Ash – Did Cassie really have to give him Rhysand wings? Truly? Honestly? Lord, why? But… I’m here for it, and I also ship him and Drusilla so damn hard already. When he picked up that picture that Julian drew and learned her name? I screamed. I can’t wait for that to make another appearance.

Magnus Bane – You all know Magnus is my favorite. Every book I fall more and more in love with him. And seeing him as a dad? It is truly the best. Also, Magnus having a heart to heart with Ty about gutted me, because it was so damn beautiful.

Alec Lightwood – I honestly feel like Alec was a real shining star in this book. And he is going to completely change the world with unconditional love. And seeing him become Consul of the Clave? I don’t even have words. Alec started out as a character that was hard for me to like, now he’s a character that’s hard for me not to love.

“No shining new world could be built on blood and bones.”

Zara Dearborn – Worst part of this book? That Zara didn’t die. And now she has her own little private city to breed her hate. I am so not looking forward to what is going to come of her and her hateful gang being left alone. Real talk, I would have been like, “We will leave all you Cohorts alone, as long as you give us her!” *winky face* I’m a petty and bitter bitch.

Horace Dearborn – Thank you, next.

The Kelpie (that Julian saved) – I always love the magical creatures of stories, that come and help and save that day. But this was too damn much for me. TOO DAMN MUCH.

Manuel Casales – This guy is so chaotic evil. And I’m so bitter that he didn’t die while Emma and Julian were on their wild rampage.

Diego Rosales – I also really couldn’t ever truly like Diego. Yeah, he did Kieran a solid, and I respect it, but I still never really liked him. He is one of the few side characters I’m okay saying goodbye to.

Jaime Rosales – I feel like CC is just going to give Dru all the options between Ash, Cameron, and Jaime, but Jaime is the one that skeezes me out for some reason. I just, don’t want it to happen. Nice dagger gift and all, boy no.

Diana Wrayburn – I will say that I was a little uncomfortable with how Julian and Emma found out about Diana being trans, but I am honestly just so happy that she is living her best life now, while being able to be open. And the talk she has with Julian and Emma, when she is like, “No, I’ve always been a woman.” Praise/bless. Give me an entire Diana series, please, Cassie Clare.

Gwyn – Wow, the best character in the entire Shadowhunter universe. The blessings.

Catarina Loss – Catarina is the best side character, and she does so much good, and she is so pure, and I wept extra hard when she stood by Magnus at his wedding. Like, these warlocks put me in my feels every single time.

Ragnor Fell / Shade – And this warlock just makes me laugh so damn hard. And I cheered out loud when the reveal actually came to fruition! I can’t wait to see even more of him with Ty in Scholomance.

Annabel Blackthorn – What a missed opportunity in this book to not give Annabel a better story. I’ll talk more about this below, but Annabel deserved better, especially with how breathtaking this cover it.

The (old) Unseelie King – I don’t know if I just forgot, or if I never picked up on it, but this dude had a half skeletal, half handsome face? That’s actually badass.

The Seelie Queen – This bitch. She legit just shows up in every book, in every timeline, just to rain on everyone’s parade.

Tessa & Jem – I screamed all over again after they announced they were pregnant. And now that they are going to raise a Herondale, Kit, so he can be safe? Ah, I just love this little family so much.

Izzy & Simon – I really wish they played bigger roles in this story, and that we would have received two weddings in this 900+ page tome!

Clary Fairchild – I won’t lie, I was really disappointed when we found out what Clary’s vision really was. God, I mean, I knew Cassie wouldn’t actually kill her, but I wanted to so much more, and it was a really anticlimactic reasoning.

Jace Herondale“I would die for Jace to shoot finger guns at me”Lea, 2018. Real talk, Jace had me actually laughing out loud during this entire book and I loved and hated every single second of it. Especially his banter with Kit, I mean, Christopher. And when Jace voted in Alec for Consul of the Clave? The tears just won’t stop, friends.

Evil Jace Herondale – Lord, why do you want us to suffer?

“There is nothing simple about vengeance, and nothing pure”

Okay, so one element or “trope” that I hate when books do is that alternate and/or parallel universe storyline. And I never, in a million years, would have guessed that Cassie Clare would pull this in QoAaD, but here we are. I’ll be honest, I kind of loved the concept of a Mad Max world where Sebastian Morgenstern not only won the Dark War, but now rules, but the entirety of Part Two was a little too much for me. Especially because they didn’t even bring back Thule Livvy and Thule Raphael. And in return, it almost felt like tragedy porn seeing them live again. And now we have an evil Jace in our world and on the loose to… kill Clary? Love Clary? To do something with Clary? Yikes.

But the true reason I am giving this book four stars, and the reason I probably think it is the weakest book in The Dark Artifices is because of Annabel. What a missed opportunity to have an amazing villain character. Instead, she dies at 60%, only for us to be rickrolled with a demon pretending to be her. She died so easily, too, and it felt so bad. I mean, she is on the cover of this book! And the title is completely her! Why would she barely show up in the 900+ pages, have the lamest death, and have no character development when she could have been such an amazing and intricate character.

“Please don’t leave me in this world without you.”

And then let’s not forget about Julian and Emma turning into giant, angel versions of King Kong, picking up and yeeting the bad guys. Even though, Zara conveniently didn’t get yeeted. Like, for a second I actually thought Emma was going to die, and then, in turn, Julian would have died, too. But when Emma said, “Let us burn.” I thought they would just die and become angels together, and my emo and sappy ass would have loved that. But instead, the whole wild giant thing happened, and then words of their loved ones “healed” them. Which was eyeroll worthy, but also sweet. Yet, when the heavenly fire didn’t damage ANYTHING except their parabatai bond? You all, I can’t. It just feels so unsatisfying. And Emma and Julian really are my favorite couple in all things Shadowhunter, but even I can’t just accept that and pretend it was realistic. I honestly think CC just wrote herself into a hole, and putting a bright and shiny bow on it was the only option, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it.

I will also say that the ending was completely and utterly fanservice, but it was fanservice that I ate up with a spoon and asked for more. Magnus and Alec’s wedding was everything, and Alec’s proposal made me actually ugly cry. Just seeing everything that these two have been through, all the lives they’ve impacted, all the family they have made, they were just so damn deserving of this happiness. And then the short story after the epilogue? With Jace and Clary in that greenhouse? God, that greenhouse. It really feels so full circle, doesn’t it? All of these original characters have brought me so much happiness in 2018, and seeing them get moments of pure happiness at the end of this book was honestly everything.

“As long as you exist and I exist, I will love you.”

Overall, I’d give my life for Emma Carstairs and any of the Blackthorns and I will never forget this reading experience. Picking up City of Bones this year was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. And now I finally get to wait and suffer for the next thing Cassie Clare publishes with the rest of you! And special thank you to Lea, Sol, Madalyn, Jane, & Amber for allowing me to cry and scream and gush with you! You all made the experience even more special and I love you all! ❤

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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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Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1) 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 ★★★

“No one is ever the villain of their own story.”

Lady Midnight was completely worth me reading eleven back-list Cassie Clare titles for. Holy shit, this book was everything. Everything. And honestly this was one of the best things I’ve read all year. I am so in love, friends. This world just gets more complex, the banter gets funnier, the cast gets more diverse, and the stories get more and more enthralling. And this is easily the best book I’ve read from Cassie Clare yet.

But I went into this brand-new series, that has been building up in the previous series for some time now, never expecting the main story to be about a secret murderous cult. Like, the blessings. Basically, in Lady Midnight Emma is still unable to let the mysterious deaths of her parents go unsolved, even though everyone else thinks they were just the first casualties of the start of the Dark War. But it has been five years since then, and the Cold Peace is still being held up by the Shadowhunters, making it so no one can help or work with the fae.

Emma and the Blackthorns are living back at the LA Institute, and upholding that law even though they know it’s wrong. That is, until they get an offer that they can’t refuse. And we are thrown into a world of ley lines, sacrificial killings, necromancer magic, and a baffling puzzle that Emma and the gang need to figure out quickly.

Lady Midnight is truly a book all about forbidden love. It is filled with angst, heartbreak, and pain. But it is so expertly done, that you’ll ask for more and say please while doing so. Cassandra Clare is just perfecting her writing, her stories, her characters, her plot twists, and her diversity with every single book. This book honestly blew me away. Also, yes, you need to read all eleven books leading up to his one, truly.

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!

(Perfect art by Loweana – who seriously makes my favorite art for every single fandom; The Cruel Prince, Six of Crows, and now The Dark Artifices!)

Emma Carstairs – My queen, my love, my entire heart. My favorite main character in… forever. I’m not joking, I actually like her that much. Easily my favorite character in all of Cassie Clare’s books. Wow, The blessings. I’m not deserving.

Julian Blackthorn – My soft, sweet boy. Too pure for this world and all the Shadowhunters. I will protect him at all costs. Also, full disclosure, I’ve had a thing for the “dark haired, broody, tortured artist” type since high school and Adrian from Vampire Academy and Julian really is the epitome of that, too. And some of his one-liners? God, I was swooning so hard.

“These pictures are my heart. And if my heart was a canvas, every square inch of it would be painted over with you.”

Mark Blackthorn – Mark Blackthorn is responsible for 90% of the angst I felt in this book. “Why lie?” is now my favorite ending line of every book and I will be haunted. Also, what a bi icon. My heart.

Kieran – My dude really messed up in the middle of this book, but my subconscious just falls in love with all the queer faeries Seriously, it is beyond my control at this point. Plus, you all know that fae princes are literally my greatest weakness in this life, so….

“You are all that exists on the earth and under the sky that I do love.”

Cristina Rosales – What an amazing new character. Cristina is Latinx and from Mexico and the most precious angel in the world. Her and Emma’s friendship was so wonderful and just warmed my heart during every scene.

(Gorgeous art by Haunted Duck Princess!)

Livvy Blackthorn – This sweet little protector. I love Livvy so much, but I’m so scared how she is going to handle possibly being alone.

Tiberius Blackthorn – Ty is honestly one of the best characters I’ve read about in years. Cassie Clare has done such a beautiful job with his character and showing that people on the Autism spectrum just learn and consume information differently; never wrongly. But I don’t want him and Livvy to separate, I’m weak.

Dru Blackthorn – This shy little sweetheart gave me so many feels in this book. And again, I think Cassie Clare creating a thirteen-year-old struggling with body image is something I wish I had when I was thirteen. Every book, every series, every new character, Cassie just impresses me more and more. And I can’t wait to see more of Drusilla.

Octavian Blackthorn – My heart always breaks for Tavvy, because even though he is only seven, all he has ever known is war. I mean, that’s so relatable to our world, and that breaks my heart, too.

Diego Rocío Rosales – I honestly really like Diego, who is also Latinx and followed Cristina from Mexico, but I don’t want him to ruin my polyamorous dreams, but if he’s willing to add to them then I will be the happiest human on Earth. Thanks. But I am really scared to meet Jaime.

Gwyn – Leader of the Hunt and stealer of my heart. Give me everything about this man, because I am highkey ready to call him daddy.

Iarlath – Someone kill this man, quick.

Anselm Nightshade – Vampire and pizza place owner! That combination is going to lead to nothing good.

Arthur Blackthorn – I lowkey dislike Arthur. I know he has been though SOME SHIT, but I just feel so damn bad for Julian every time I think of him, and it just really ruins his character for me.

Johnny Rook – This death was hella brutal. I was not prepared. But I will also say that I was so surprised when this book started out, on page one, with the Shadow Market and introduced us to this character, because I know the short stories that are currently being published are all about this magical place and I can’t wait to learn more.

Kit Rook – AKA: Christopher Herondale. DAMN! I honestly screamed at this reveal. I can’t wait to learn everything about him. Also, this really solidifies that you really should read Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy before starting this book.

Diana Wrayburn – Questionable face tat, but I can’t wait to learn more about her.

Malcolm Fade – If Lady Midnight taught me anything, it is that warlocks are so damn over-powered. Holy moly, the power this dude had. Also, friendly reminder: no body = no death. Okay, thanks, bye.

Annabel – Oh shit. Apparently the 2 AM “u up?” text is powerful. I’m scared, friends.

Tessa & Jem – That “item” that they were after. Shit, son. But seeing Jem build a relationship with Emma? So beautiful, I don’t even have words for it. I really hope that they are in Lord of Shadows more, because I honestly can’t get enough of them.

Clary & Jace – Holy shit, mom and dad are running the NY Institute now? Damn, they grow up fast. Real talk, one of my favorite moments of this book was Jace and Mark’s heart to heart, where he tells him that he has only given witchlight to two people before. Ahhh, the feels.

Izzy & Simon – Um, how are my babies engaged?!?! Ahhhhh! I honestly screamed when this information was presented, even though we didn’t get to see my favorites in this book at all. But still, I am so damn happy, and they deserve the world, and each other, and I’m honestly just overcome with emotions.

And you all knew I wasn’t going to write this long review and not talk more about the budding polyamorous relationship that I think Cassie Clare is building for us. I truly think with my entire body and soul that Cassie Clare wanted to have Tessa, Jem, and Will be in a polyamorous relationship, but it was still not that talked about back when The Internal Devices came out. But, dear reader, I think she is going to right her wrongs and give us the relationship of my dreams. And with two of the partners being fae? Lord, this is my actual dreams.

“It was a sort of love few other people could understand. It was total and it was overwhelming and it could be cruel.”

But I know that Emma and Julian’s forbidden relationship is going to be the actual death of me. The only really negative thing I can say about this book is that I think the laws revolving around parabatai and the age restrictions that make these kids pick lifelong and life-altering relationships is so unbelievable. And let’s be real, Emma and Julian got done so dirty by their forced arrangement. But seeing how this bond is going to… maybe ruin them? Lord, I can’t. I actually can’t. And Mark Blackthorn is just going to intensify the angst, but I’m highkey ready for that!

I always appreciate that the heart of every Shadowhunter novel is about oppression and prejudices that impact everyone; friends, families, entire societies. The Clave is the political force that makes and implements the rules in this world, and much like my own world, many are really harmful, extremely backwards, and very exclusionary. And I love seeing young people fight back against the generation that wants to keep them in these broken cycles that are filled with hate and fear.

Another cool addition that this book gave us was the talk of Scholomance. I feel like I don’t remember this being something in the other books, and it is like a detective school, but Shadowhunter style. Diego already attended it, and it looks like Ty is going to eventually go to it, and I’m just really interested to see more.

“There is nothing more important than love. And no law higher.”

Okay, let’s talk about the sex. First off, birth control runes? Praise/bless. I loved this more than words and Clary is honest to god doing the lord’s work. The sex on the beach. Like, it might be a tiny bit unrealistic (sand is not your friend during sex, I promise) but like, I had to wait 102 books for Jace to whip out that condom in Hell, but Cassie Clare gives us a hot sex scene in this first book of a series? The blessings. And Julian was the virgin and not Emma? The gifts keep on coming. Seriously, you all, I was screaming with joy over everything in chapter eighteen. Also, huge shout out to Solly for sending me the naughty version of the beach scene, because he knows me.

Also, a big shout out to Lea for sending me the short story that is only found in first editions of Lady Midnight! And, friends, it was perfection! Overall, this is one of the best things I’ve read all year and I am so damn thankful that I read all those other books to get to this one. I experienced pure happiness while reading this book, from the first to last page. And I am literally posting this review and running back to my bookshelves to pick up Lord of Shadows!

“I breathe when you breathe, I bleed when you bleed, I’m yours and you’re mine, you’ve always been mine, and I have always, always belonged to you!”

(Beautiful art by Cassandra Jean!)

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Content and trigger warnings for murder, death, loss of a loved one, torture, blood depictions, self-harm, anxiety attacks, PTSD, talk of cancer, and graphic violence.