Hi friends! I’m so excited because SHADOWHUNTERS. I’ve spent the entire year catching up with these books to reach The Dark Artifices, and I think we can all agree that it’s worth it*. So here are my thoughts! And don’t forget that there WILL be spoilers for all previous Shadowhunter books, so if you’re not caught up yet hasta la vista!
*okay maybe just I can agree that it’s worth it but whatever
In a kingdom by the sea…
In a secret world where half-angel warriors are sworn to fight demons, parabatai is a sacred word.
A parabatai is your partner in battle. A parabatai is your best friend. Parabatai can be everything to each other—but they can never fall in love.
Emma Carstairs is a warrior, a Shadowhunter, and the best in her generation. She lives for battle. Shoulder to shoulder with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, she patrols the streets of Los Angeles, where vampires party on the Sunset Strip, and faeries—the most powerful of supernatural creatures—teeter on the edge of open war with Shadowhunters. When the bodies of humans and faeries turn up murdered in the same way Emma’s parents were when she was a child, an uneasy alliance is formed. This is Emma’s chance for revenge—and Julian’s chance to get back his brother Mark, who is being held prisoner by the faerie Courts. All Emma, Mark, and Julian have to do is solve the murders within two weeks…and before the murderer targets them.
Their search takes Emma from sea caves full of sorcery to a dark lottery where death is dispensed. And each clue she unravels uncovers more secrets. What has Julian been hiding from her all these years? Why does Shadowhunter Law forbid parabatai to fall in love? Who really killed her parents—and can she bear to know the truth?
The darkly magical world of Shadowhunters has captured the imaginations of millions of readers across the globe. Join the adventure in Lady Midnight, the long-awaited first volume of a new trilogy from Cassandra Clare.
Alright. First of all, Cassie Clare has grown so much as a writer. Her descriptions are less over-the-top, her word choice less juvenile. I mean, you still occasionally get the cheesy sentence or piece of dialogue but what is a Clare book without at least one face-palm?
I may be wrong, but I think that the author attempted to combine the addictive plot of The Mortal Instruments with the depth of the Infernal Devices characters. And it worked. There are slow, beautiful moments and action-packed scenes. It’s crazy.
The story of Lady Midnight is so rich, so full, and so complex. It’s layered with character relationships, plot twists, a murder mystery, and somehow the Shadowhunter world is expanding??? I was expecting more murder mystery and less…I don’t know, angst? Which is dumb because this is Cassie Clare. Surprisingly, her twists don’t really hit until the end. You have the minor ones but her really big, drop the mic twists aren’t revealed until the end!
I find it funny how reading this made me miss the TMI characters so much. There was a certain moment my hands flew to my mouth because of what ended up happening to two of the characters. And don’t even get me started on The Infernal Devices characters.
BUT NOW! The wrap-up of characters!
Emma Carstairs: She is a downright amazing protagonist. I’m a little bit annoyed that she can’t play the violin like Jem but that’s fine. Her skills are unparalled but she’s also hilarious. Her and Julian’s relationship destroyed me in every way possible.
Julian Blackthorn: My favorite Slytherin ever. He will do anything to keep his family together* but he’s also taken care of his entire family, one of them a baby and another autistic, run a huge Institute, and still did Shadowhunter stuff all since he was 12 years. I cried so many times over him just because the emotions, the things he’s done and has gone through, it’s unbelievable. IT’S HARD NOT SPOILING.
*he did kinda scare me at the end. I love the boy to death but he needs to chill
Ty Blackthorn: He’s autistic! Which makes me too happy for words??? The way Julian described his autism made me so emotional. I can’t speak on the representation but I have seen OwnVoices reviews approving of it. He’s absolutely brilliant and amazing and I love him so much!
Trying to look at the world through Ty’s eyes, Julian had said once, was like looking into a kaleidascope, shaking it up, and then looking it again. You saw all the same glimmering crystals, just in a different formation.
Livvy Blackthorn: I just want her and Ty to become parabatai. She understands him and supports him and AH the sibling love!
Dru Blackthorn: She’s fat and that is amazing. Everyone makes her feel loved and shows her that her weight is part of her, and she’s beautiful. And her trying to pick up the slack and take care of Tavvy is my fave. But the chocolate milk, Pepsi, and sour cream mixture? Honey…no.
Tavvy Blackthorn: He’s adorable. I love him. ‘Nuff said.
Mark Blackthorn: Now Mark is actually the source of half the laughter in this book. I really can’t say much about him but the last line? That kinda scared me*. And I’m Team Cristina.
*this was the most terrifying book I’ve read ALL YEAR (which isn’t saying much…)
Cristina: I LOVE Cristina! I probably relate to her the most. She supports Emma and is sweet and she always, always unfailingly does what she thinks is right. I can’t even.
Perfect Diego: TEAM MARK AND CRISTINA
The revelation of who actually murdered Emma’s parents blew my mind. One thing I love about these books is that Cassie Clare always has the best villains. Valentine, Sebastian, even the Magister – you always saw their side of the story. You’re forced to wonder if you would have done the same things if placed in a different position, and the same thing happens here!
And the comedy? Definitely less of it but still pure gold. Mark’s T-shirts are the best.
I will say that it WAS rather slow at the beginning, and if you’re jumping in without having recently read City of Heavenly Fire, all the characters can be a bit overwhelming. The book had so much to set up that the beginning definitely lagged. But then you hit the middle and boy, are you in FOR A RIDE.
So I’m officially wrapping this up now because haha I’ve been going for too long. Have you read this? Do you want to?