Lady Midnight (#1) by Cassandra Clare
Oh my goodness!!! I have been in the biggest reading slump this past month and of course, leave it to Cassandra Clare to pull me right out of that slump!! I can’t believe I’ve left this on my shelf for so long!! If you’ve read any of Cassandra Clare’s works, you’ll know just how entertaining her books are! So yes! All the yes to this book!! I didn’t think that I’d be so happy to jump back into this world, but this was a great jump back into this fun, action-packed and dramatic world!
In my opinion, this is definitely the best first book in a series that Cassandra Clare has written. This is the first book in a new trilogy in the Shadowhunter world called The Dark Artifaces. If you have not read the other two series, then you definitely need to stop reading this and go read those AND THEN come back to read this review. The second book, “Lord of Shadows”, is coming out at the end of the month, so I finally decided to pick this up to make sure that I’m caught up. And oh my, I am so glad that I did!!
Non-spoiler review: I clearly loved it!! It’s clear that Cassandra Clare’s writing has definitely gotten better by leaps and bounds!! This book is so character-driven, is so action-packed and is filled with so much more diversity. I loved it. I cannot wait for the second book to come out, so I can continue in this world. If you haven’t read this or the rest of her books, you definitely need to stop reading here 🙂 Go read them and come back!!
Okay. Okay. Oh my. I don’t even know where to start! It’s pretty safe to say that this review is going to be a little rambly, so bear with me please 🙂
I have to say – Cassandra Clare is definitely the QUEEN of fantasy world-building!! I am beyond impressed with how she has written all of her books in this same world across so many generations. None of it feels forced; all of it feels intentional. I loved how we got to see the other characters from the other two series and I loved getting to see how certain characters really connect.
I loved all the female characters in this book! I loved how strong, smart, independent and fierce they all were. Emma is a fantastic protagonist!! I love how fierce, loyal and rebellious she is – she’s fiercely independent! Christina is so grounded, incredibly intelligent and (sticking to the theme) fiercely independent! Haha! I’m definitely not kidding though. Livvy is one of hte main Blackthorn children and arguably, one of my favorite!! She is beyond loyal, incredibly loving and so powerful!! I love how “love” wasn’t the main focus of each of these female characters; while “love” is still present in the story, it wasn’t the overarching theme like it is a lot of the time for female characters in YA books. Thank you to Cassandra Clare for writing such powerful female characters!!
One of the main themes in this book is the parabatai bond between Julian and Emma and the ever-present problem of falling in love as parabatai. Can I just say, that this is one of my favorite YA falling in love stories?! I love that it wasn’t insta-lovey, it was realistic, the right amount of angsty and so, so wonderful!!! 😀 Eeeekk!! I heart Julian and Emma!! I am so beyond scared of what may happen to them…they’re parabatai! They can’t fall in love! But, what else is going to happen then?!?!
I love that another main theme in this book was family. My heart grew three times its size while I read about the Blackthorn family. I loved how different all of the Blackthorn children were and the relationships between each of them. I think my favorites had to be Ty and Livvy. I was particularly interested in Tys’ storyline – of his “condition”, whatever it is. I couldn’t tell if it was supposed to be some level of autism or some kind of anxiety disorder, either way, I loved it!! I loved that Cassandra Clare went to that place to explore either of these identities in a YA book!
I really enjoyed having Mark Blackthorn back in this book from the start! He definitely added a sense of charm and humor to the book with his faerie-dom. My heart really broke for Mark throughout the book, as you could definitely see an internal struggle in figuring out which world he belongs to, as half-Shadowhunter and half-Faerie. It broke my heart into a million little pieces as the story unfolded with him trying to reach out to his siblings. Also, holla at Cassandra Clare for that Mark/Kieran relationship!!! YAAASS!!!
Finding out that Malcolm Fade was the villain and the Guardian was a definite shock! I actually thought that Diana would’ve been the villain, but I guess it makes sense that we wouldn’t have a betrayal of a family’s personal tutor twice. Anyways…Malcolm Fade!!! What?!?! I found the buildup to his reveal fantastic and suspenseful the whole time – I definitely couldn’t have called it. I found the whole story line of the Midnight Theater and The Lottery so creepy…I loved it! Now Malcolm was doing all this to raise his love, Annabel, back from the dead who was buried alive by her Shadowhunter family for having fallen in love with him. Definitely brutal…definitely heartbreaking.
Now…the end twist…Kit = the lost Herondale?!?! What?!?!? I absolutely did not see that coming!! I cannot wait to see more about his storyline now that he’s at the Institute; why his dad was hiding him and what is lying underneath the surface with him. Along with Kit, can we talk about the Jem/Tessa cameos?! YAAASS!! GIVING ME LIFE!!! They are some of my Shadowhunter characters and I was so happy to have them back!!! I am absolutely hoping that we continue to see them throughout the next two books!!
And finally, the end end. Annabel is alive?! I know there are a lot of theories circulating about Annabel and her ability to have come back to life. Blackthorn blood had to have been shed for this, and I am not entirely sure if I’m sold on any of the theories that are out there…I’ll be very interested to see what comes of Annabel’s character in the next book. I am also very curious to see if Malcom actually died or not…?
Whew! Like I said, this review is rambly and definitely very long. My apologies!! I don’t know if I made any sense throughout this review. My takeaways: I loved it! I loved it! I can’t wait for the next book to come out!
Any theories about “Lord of Shadows”?! Leave them below! I’d love to know what y’all are thinking!! 🙂