Title: Lady Midnight
Author: Cassandra Clare
Series: The Dark Artifices #1
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Synopsis: It’s been five years since the events of City of Heavenly Fire that brought the Shadowhunters to the brink of oblivion. Emma Carstairs is no longer a child in mourning, but a young woman bent on discovering what killed her parents and avenging her losses.
Together with her parabatai Julian Blackthorn, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches across Los Angeles, from the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica. If only her heart didn’t lead her in treacherous directions…
Making things even more complicated, Julian’s brother Mark—who was captured by the faeries five years ago—has been returned as a bargaining chip. The faeries are desperate to find out who is murdering their kind—and they need the Shadowhunters’ help to do it. But time works differently in faerie, so Mark has barely aged and doesn’t recognize his family. Can he ever truly return to them? Will the faeries really allow it?
Review + Discussion (non-spoilers): Lady Midnight is the first book of the Dark Artifices series, the newest Shadowhunters novel.
You can really see in this book how Cassandra Clare’s world building has changed and how she has grown as a writer compared to the Mortal Instruments.
Now if you are wanting to read this book I was highly suggest you read all of The Mortal Instruments and all of The Infernal Devices beforehand. I’ve also heard you should read Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy first as well because it makes sense of some things that happen in LM. I haven’t read Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy yet but I will be soon.
In Lady Midnight we’re at the LA Institute with Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorn. We see these two and Julian’s siblings in City of Heavenly Fire so when I was reading and stepping back into this world I was like, ‘HEY I KNOW THEM.’ Julian has about 37 siblings and for those of you who don’t know, we have: Mark, Helen, Ty & Livvy (the twins), Dru and Tavvy.
I loved these characters and seeing the LA Institute. This family has such an interesting and unique dynamic that I really enjoyed reading. The relationships between them all are complex and fantastic. Because this is a first novel we don’t see a whole lot of progression among the characters but I’m looking forward to seeing how they grow in the sequel, Lord of Shadows.
This book just gave me so many feelings and I absolutely loved stepping back into the Shadowhunter world. Cassandra Clare has created such a unique and fascinating universe and I just love being in it. The writing isn’t anything fantastic and there were a couple of things that I didn’t enjoy that much but I absolutely loved this book and I thought it was fantastic!
That’s all for the non-spoiler section. If you haven’t read this book yet stop reading! The following discussion will contain spoilers and a lot of fangirling. So go and read this fantastic book then come back so we can discuss! I’ll be waiting!
I loved following Emma in this book. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the Emma and Julian scenes in City of Heavenly Fire basically because I wasn’t really interested in them and their story, I was interested in Clary and Jace and the others from The Mortal Instruments. But I loved them in this book! Emma is such a badass, she’s witty and smart and she’s a great Shadowhunter. She’s probably one of my favourite Shadowhunters from this whole world and I think that’s saying a lot.
Julian is such a strong character. He’s been raising four of his siblings since he was 12 years old, since he had to kill his father during the Dark War. Helen has been sent to Wrangel Island with Aline and Mark is off with the Wild Hunt and their uncle Arthur is just not all there so Julian feels like it’s his job to raise his younger siblings. That was such an interesting dynamic, seeing an older brother become like a father, seeing how these kids relied on him and just how strong and put together he needed to be.
Now obviously the first thing I’m going to talk about is the relationship between Emma and Julian because IT IS LITERALLY EVERYTHING. I want these two to be together so bad because they just need to be together. We don’t find out until the end of the book why parabatai can’t fall in love and Jem explains it. So apparently when the love between parabatai changes into that of romance they gain warlock-esqu powers. Runes they put on each other become stronger and we saw that happen after Julian was shot with a poisoned bolt by Diego and Emma is feverishly trying to mark him iratzes in the car afterwards. That scene gave me life and from that point on I NEEDED them to be together. I understand why the parabatai law is there but like there has to be some kind of loophole! Can’t they, I dunno, sever the bond? Remove the parabatai rune? SOMETHING?! PLEASE!
I loved the relationship between the siblings at the Institute. I love how they all care for each other so much, how they look out for each other. I especially loved the twins and how protective Livvy is of Ty and vice versa. I think if I had to pick a favourite of the younger Blackthorns it would be Dru. I’m not sure why, I just really loved her and I’d love to see more from her point of view in the coming books.
And OH MY GOD, MARK IS BACK! I don’t remember a whole heap of Mark from City of Heavenly Fire but I do remember him being taken by the Wild Hunt and the Blakthorns being forbidden from searching for him. I thought that was going to be this big plot point in Lady Midnight, the kids all searching for Mark despite orders from the Clave but then the Faeries just gave Mark to them! I was pretty happy about that though because it added a whole either dynamic to the family and the book: Mark integrating back into Shadowhunter life after spending 5 years in the sky. I loved Mark for most of this book. MOST.
Now, I need to talk about one of the biggest things of the whole book. WHO ELSE DID NOT SEE THE MALCOM FADE TWIST COMING? Because I didn’t! It shocked me so much and it just made me so sad because it seemed like Malcom genuinely cared for the kids. And for him to betray them, TO TRY AND KILL TAVVY? NO NO NO NO. MY BODY REFUSES THIS. I love Tavvy and I wanted to punch Malcom in the face, though I am quite sad he’s dead for some reason.
The last thing I want to talk about is Emma and Mark at the end because WHAT THE FROOTLOOPS! The scene at the end when Emma asks Mark to pretend date her just to stop Julian from loving her made me so mad and my heart just broke for Julian. I want Emma and Julian (Jemma?) to be together MORE THAN LIFE. And for her to choose MARK just made me so angry! And what about Cristina? She had a little bit of a thing with Mark, who is she going to react to this? I JUST… NO… EMMA STOP…MY POOR JULIAN. I need Lord of Shadows ASAP so I can see how this all plays out… Emma and Julian have become one of my OTP’s so fast.
So much more happened in this book but I’m still struggling to make sense of all my thoughts because I AM STILL HAVING ALL THE FEELINGS. But reading Lady Midnight has made me want to go back to the Shadowhunter world so bad! So I’ve decided to re-read The Mortal Instruments in April, followed by Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy and quite possibly a Lady Midnight re-read.
Let me know your thoughts of Lady Midnight in the comments and we can fangirl together! I need to talk to someone about the amazingness that is this book!