Review: Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

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25494343Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare
Published by:  Simon & Schuster
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Format: Paperback
Pages: 698
Rating: 5
Date Read: 12/03/2016

In a kingdom by the sea…

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?

This book is the start of a new series with different main characters in a new location, but it still brings in some familiar faces to connect all of the stories. This novel is about characters that we briefly meet during The Mortal Instruments series, Emma Carstairs, Julian Blackthorn and the rest of the Blackthorn clan. The story picks up in LA as these Shadowhunters are based in the LA institute. Julian and Emma have become parabatai, but it may not have been a sensible choice to have done so and we learn that perhaps they went into it for the wrong reasons due to events in The Mortal Instruments.

After the events of City of Heavenly Fire, Emma Carstairs has grown up in the Los Angeles Institue, alongside her parabatai Julian Blackthorn and his family. While out patrolling the streets with fellow shadow hunter Christina, the two girls find a body. Bodies of humans and fairies are being found similar markings that Emma found on her parent’s bodies after the war. Emma was certain it wasn’t Sebastian who murdered her parents, and the new trail of dead bodies could lead to her finding the real killer. But the mysteries of Los Angeles are more dangerous and twisted than Emma and Julian could have ever known.

This was definitely one of the best YA books of 2016. The story was long, but I never once got bored. This book contains so many different themes, there are lots of love interests, family issues, and friendship themes running throughout. This novel is gripping, action packed and full of mystery, intrigue and adventure. Connecting all the shadowhunter chronicles together in each book in such a clever way is definitely one of Clare’s strongest points and makes her novels and world just that extra bit special.

The Blackthorn family is so united. I really enjoyed how they support each other and how they looked out for each other. Every single member of this family is different and unique, and you can see the diversity in their interests. Like other Shadowhunters books this series has a wide cast of characters.

Emma, the girl we first met in City of Heavenly Fire, who will at any cost find out who really murdered her parents during the Dark War. Emma is a very driven character, she dealt with the loss of her parents and she couldn’t stop grieving but she trained every day, and she is becoming one of the best shadowhunters in the world. She gives almost no heed to danger or the rules.

Julian, who after the harsh ruling of the Clave exiling his sister and giving up on looking for his brother, has become the primary caregiver of his four younger siblings. He will do anything to protect his family, that protection also extending to his parabatai Emma, even if that means doing something unsavory.

Cristina Rosales, a girl on her travel year from the Mexico City Institute, who quickly befriends Emma and the Blackthorns. Christina is a very wise and loyal person, she also has secrets, such as why she’s even at the L.A. Institute.

Half-faerie, half-Shadowhunter, Mark is returned to his family in Los Angeles as a bargaining chip after years with the Wild Hunt. He doesn’t quite look older physically, but he acts much more like one of the Fair Folk than a Shadowhunter.

I loved getting to meet Mark, Kieran, Ty and Christina, along with the rest of the characters. The Blackthorns in order of age are; Helen, Mark, Julian, Tiberius & Livia, Drusilla, and Octavian.

Ty, is insanely smart and is the one that does most of the research during the investigations. Livvy, is Ty’s twin and one of the most important thing in her life is her family. Which is why all she really wants is for Ty to become her parabatai after watching Emma and Julian’s relationship as parabatai not only strengthen them during battle but also strengthen their love for each other.

Then there is Drusilla. She is the kind of character that encompasses every thought a thirteen year-old growing up can have. She is insecure and is always trying to find a place to fit in. And than there’s Tavvy, Tavvy is the baby of the family. He is super cute and definitely has the Blackthorn blood running through his veins, because even as a toddler he is strong and extremely loyal.

It was also really great to see the characters from both series again. We do get to find out what has happened to Jace and Clary as well as Tessa and Jem, as they are featured in the book multiple times.

If you haven’t read any of Cassandra Clare’s previous Shadowhunter books, then you definitely must. If you have read them and aren’t sure if you want to read this one, again I highly recommend you do. This is the most sophisticated I have seen of her writing yet, and it gives me such pleasure to read her writing and see it develop with each book.

I think Clare did an amazing job writing this book. It was an action-packed, fast paced story. I liked how this story talked about mental illness, and about family. It is really good that Clare wrote about mental illness in this amazing world. Also, every name of each chapter was taken from the poem Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe.

“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”

Normally I’m not a fan of forbidden love. It’s something that’s been done so much. However this forbidden romance intrigued me. Until this book it’s never been explained why parabatai cannot fall in love. The only explanation to it being the Shadowhunter mantra, “The Law is Hard, but It’s the Law.” I enjoyed how this book finally decided to explore the law behind why parabatai should never fall in love. It was a detail that I’ve been wondering from the moment the term parabatai was introduced to us. I was also surprised to discover that this story has a love triangle of sorts, and I’m not completely sure how I feel about it.

This book was amazing, I loved the characters, loved the world-building and the secrets that were revealed, even the ones I was in no way expecting, and finally I loved the Annabel Lee inspiration this book has. 

Lex malla, lex nulla. A bad law, is no law.

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3 Responses to Review: Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

  1. Great review! So would you say that I would need to finish the Mortal Instruments series before starting this one? Or does it matter?

    Liked by 1 person

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