Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare
Published by: McElderry Books on March 8th, 2016
Series: The Dark Artifices Book 1
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?
SPOILER-FREE REVIEW AHEAD
Wow. Just wow. There aren’t many words to sum up the epicness that was Lady Midnight, but I guess I’m just going to have to try. With a lot of books that I’ve been reading recently, I’ve found that the more and more I think about them after I’ve finished, the more I realize it wasn’t as good as I thought it was. It’s the exact opposite with Lady Midnight. The more I think about it, the more I realize how much I loved it. If I could give it more than five stars, I definitely would.
Lady Midnight is the first book in a brand new series by Cassandra Clare called The Dark Artifices. I would highly recommend reading her first 2 series before it, since there are a lot of references to them, multiple spoilers, and the Shadowhunter world is explained a lot more extensively in them. I recently completed her first series, The Mortal Instruments, and I liked it. I read her Infernal Devices trilogy, which I loved. But with Lady Midnight, I finally understand where all of the Cassandra Clare hype comes from. Because this book was incredible.
Lady Midnight takes place five years after the events of City of Heavenly Fire, and the main character is Emma Carstairs, the best Shadowhunter of her generation. An orphan, Emma lives at the Los Angeles institute with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, and his family. In this book, we find out that it is forbidden for parabatai to fall in love, with severe consequences to anyone who breaks this law. Of course, since this is Cassandra Clare and forbidden love is pretty much her forte, Julian and Emma begin to develop feelings for each other.
“We are bound together, Emma, bound together–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!”
It was so refreshing to read a Cassandra Clare book where I actually ship the two main characters, because I haven’t had that since Will and Tessa in the Infernal Devices. I hated Jace and Clary, but I absolutely love Julian and Emma. They both care about each other so deeply, but I found it a lot more believable than Jace and Clary’s love, because they’ve known each other their whole life, instead of for six months. Julian is incredibly mature, because ever since his father died in the Dark War, leaving him an orphan just like Emma, he’s been in charge of raising his younger siblings. Julian had two older siblings, Helen and Mark, but since they are both half faerie, and faeries are hated by Shadowhunters due to their role in the Dark War, they have been cut off from the Blackthorns. Helen has been exiled, and Mark has been kidnapped by the Hunt for five years, until he is returned to the Blackthorns.
I think what truly made this Cassie’s best work yet is because of how intricate and complex the plot was. I feel like with TMI and even TID, the characters were so much stronger than the plot, and that was what made everyone love it so much, but that’s not the case with Lady Midnight. The plot and characters are just as strong. There was an intricate murder plot that had me guessing the entire time, and when the murderer was finally revealed, I was completely taken aback because I hadn’t expected it at all.
“I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea,
But we loved with a love that was more than love.”
Another thing I really enjoyed was how complex the Shadowhunter world became in this novel. With TMI, I had always found the laws of the Clave to be unfair, harsh, and quite stupid, and it is clear that the Blackthorns and Emma feel the same way. The Laws were constantly questioned and picked apart, and it just made the story so much more amazing.
All in all, Lady Midnight was such a fantastic read. There was such a great balance between romance, suspense, angst, action, and character development. The ending wasn’t necessarily a cliffhanger per se, although the epilogue definitely made me curious, but I am so desperate to get my hands on Lord of Shadows. In fact, it is my most anticipated read (even though it’s already out). If you have not yet read Lady Midnight, YOU HAVE TO, because it is seriously worth it. This book transformed Cassandra Clare from an author I enjoyed to one of my favorite authors of all time. It was that good.