Book Review: Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices #1)

Goodreads Synopsis

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.


Okay! So let’s talk about Lady Midnight for a second here. This book is the first in the Dark Artifices trilogy but also a continuation of the Shadowhunter Chronicles. This story takes place 5 years after The Dark War which was one of the main events that took place in City of Heavenly Fire. The trilogy focuses more on the Blackthorn family who reside in Los Angeles and centers around their lives interwoven with the faeries and talks a lot about parabatai and gives us a bit of an introduction into the explanation of why it is forbidden for parabatai to fall in love. Not that the why is actually fully explained (like what happens really? Are there exceptions to the rule?) but there are two more books to go so we’ll see.

I was waiting for this book since it’s announcement because who wouldn’t want a continuation of their favorite series? Maybe I shouldn’t have read this book immediately after Shadowhunter Academy because if I’m being honest this kind of brought my spirits about the whole thing down a bit. This book wasn’t bad but it also wasn’t the best book I’ve read by Cassandra Clare.

Lady Midnight started off great and it really held my attention and kept my excitement levels flying high but somewhere along the way it started dragging a bit. These characters in this book were already introduced back in TMI so I feel the approach was a bit lazy in the sense that it was as if these were established characters that have been through the whole of The Shadowhunter Chronicles and not people that were just introduced a book (or three) previous.

I really liked Emma Carstairs character. She was sharp, witty, a bit skeptical (which I like in most characters) and a total BAMF. She was relatable in a way that was both Shadowhunter-y and completely  mundane. Basically she was human and I didn’t really appreciate humans getting so much flack from the faeries…as if they’re incapable of having feelings.

My dear Julian Blackthorn, my heart aches and breaks for you. His was a character that I just wanted to hold onto tight and never let go. I admire him a great deal because he had to take on so much responsibility at such a young age. He didn’t get the chance to be a child because he had to be a parent and I think the toll it took on him really shows throughout this book.

Enter Mark and the faeries. I do like what they brought to the table. We’ve seen the side of warlocks, vampires and werewolves and now it’s the faeries turn. Can they be good? Are many of them misunderstood and too easily judged? I am hoping that we see a lot more of them in this trilogy. I kind of got attached to Kieran.

The forbidden love is a bit of a common trope in these Shadowhunter Chronicles books so I wasn’t too surprised when this book was supposed to focus on parabatai falling in love. I say ‘supposed to’ because thank the gods, that wasn’t entirely what this book was about. We had other fish to fry. (Also, I ship Kit and Ty ❤︎)

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

My reason for the lower rating is because as I said, it wasn’t bad but it also wasn’t the best. It was a strong start and opening to a new trilogy and I do think it has quite a lot of promise. I have to be honest here and say that while I was reading this book I felt like I didn’t want more books written about these seemingly minor characters (i.e. Characters that don’t seem to be important but then whole books are written to give them importance- the Blackthorns weren’t the main dish in TID and TMI) I get that this is all about expansion and keeping us, the fans, happy but I’ve gotten so attached to these current characters that I don’t really want more.

I do like where this seems to be going and I look forward to Lord of Shadows. Apparently it’s going to feature a lot more of Kit and Ty which is great methinks. The bit of plot twist near the end is what raised my excitement levels once again. YOU CAN’T JUST LEAVE US THERE CASSIE CLARE!

All in all, my hopes for the continuation are high so we’ll see where the road takes us.

Read: 20 January 2017
Rating: ★★★.5

Publication Date: 8 March 2016
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Link to Author’s Goodreads Page: Cassandra Clare

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One thought on “Book Review: Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

  1. Pingback: My Week and Happenings (#4) | Diminishing Thoughts

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