Review: Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare

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28954137Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare
Published by: Walker Books
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Format: Paperback
Pages: 678
Rating: 5
Date Read: 23/03/2016

Ten illustrated stories following the adventures of Simon Lewis, star of the #1 New York Times bestselling series The Mortal Instruments, as he trains to become a Shadowhunter. Simon has been a human and a vampire, but after the events of City of Heavenly Fire left him stripped of his memories, he isn’t sure who he is anymore. When the Shadowhunter Academy reopens, Simon throws himself into this new world of demon-hunting, determined to find himself again. Whomever this Simon might be…Join him on his journey to become a Shadowhunter, and learn about the Academy’s illustrious history along the way, through guest lecturers such as Jace Herondale, Tessa Gray, and Magnus Bane. The series features characters from Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments, Infernal Devices, Dark Artifices and the upcoming Last Hours series.

This book follows the adventures of Simon Lewis while he prepares to become a Shadowhunter. As you may know, he lost his memories, so now he’s trying to find himself again. Along the way, he learns some history about the Shadowhunter World. I loved these novellas. As a fan of Cassandra Clare’s writing, I found myself really entertained by these novellas. The history was amazing. I loved learning more about the Shadowhunter world.

Welcome to Shadowhunter Academy (#1)   4

After living as a Mundane and a Vampire, Simon never thought he would become a Shadowhunter, but today he begins his training at Shadowhunter Academy.

Welcome to Shadowhunter Academy was the first novella. I really enjoyed the take on the shadowhunter world from Simon’s point of view. There were a couple of awkwardly worded scenes and dialogue that didn’t quite flow, but other than that it was beautiful. Simon packs and moves into the Academy, which is not at all like you’d expect a place that trains elite soldiers to be. This one was okay. It tried to set up things and it kind of worked if you ignore that Shadowhunter society doesn’t make any sense.

The Lost Herondale (#2)    4

Simon learns the worst crime a Shadowhunter can commit: desertion of their comrades. In the early nineteenth century, Tobias Herondale abandoned his fellow Shadowhunters in the heat of battle and left them to die. His life was forfeit, but Tobias never returned, and the Clave claimed his wife’s life in exchange for Tobias’s. Simon and his fellow students are shocked to learn of this brutality, especially when it is revealed the woman was pregnant. But what if the child survived… could there be a lost Herondale line out in the world today?

The students learn about Tobias Herondale, who commited the ultimate crime: Being a coward. Tobias Herondale’s story was quite sad, and had more depth to it than I had expected. Simon is still questioning the laws of the Shadowhunter, and does not like the fact that everyone still expects him to be someone he isn’t and doesn’t remember. It was a shame that once George Lovelace came out as being a mundane, the shadowhunters that he had called friends became less accepting of him.

The Whitechapel Fiend (#3)   4

Simon learns the truth behind the Jack the Ripper murders—“Jack” was stopped by Will Herondale, his former parabatai, and his institute of Victorian Shadowhunters.

Set a few years after The Infernal Devices. Will, Tessa, Gabriel and Cecily are trying to find out who kills and dismembers women from the poorest parts of London, with the help of Brother Zachariah and Ghost Aunt Jessamine. I found myself laughing a few times while reading this because Simon was beginning to be more like himself. I guess this was mainly due to Jace visiting him and teaching a class. The banter between them was amazing and I loved it.

Nothing but Shadows (#4)    5

Simon challenges the setup of the Shadowhunter Academy and in doing so learns the story of James Herondale and Matthew Fairchild and the unusual way that they became friends and parabatai.

We get to learn more about James Herondale in this one. We get to delve into the past and really soak up all of the knowledge about the Herondale, Carstairs, Fairchild ancestors. The story of James Herondale was one of my favourites, because he was a really cute and nice boy and having those issues to deal with wasn’t easy. Will’s and Tessa’s shy and gloomy bookworm son James joins the Shadowhunter Academy. I expected to like this one. But I did not expect to love it, but I did. I connected with James right from the spot. I liked Matthew right away and the Lightwood boys were also fun. This story really made me excited for The Last Hours.

The Evil We Love (#5)   4

All evil starts somewhere, and Simon Lewis learns how The Circle—led by Valentine Morgenstern—began. The Shadowhunter Academy has only just reopened following the disastrous rise of the Circle. Now the faculty can finally admit to what happened when Valentine was a student.

In this novella we get multiple flashbacks to the late 1900s when the Circle was forming. Robert Lightwood remembers the days of the Circle and his parabatai Michael Wayland. Reading how Michael and Robert’s story kind of ended was really sad. Michael seemed like someone I would’ve loved to read about. Everything is so easy when you give up your worries and values just to follow someone else’s. And that’s exactly what Robert and Isabelle wanted to teach all the students. It was really interesting to learn more about Robert’s character. I loved reading more about Michael, I felt super bad for him

Pale Kings and Princes (#6)   4

Simon has an encounter with Downworlders and is reprimanded for not following the rules for Academy students interacting with Downworlders. A story within a story: Andrew Blackthorn, while a student at the Academy, becomes enthralled by a faerie and has two children with her: Mark and Helen.

Shadowhunters blackmailed Helen Blackthorn into telling the maybe-true story of how awful Fairies – especially her mother – are. Helen’s story was really dark and interesting. I’m just amazed and intrigued to know how the truth got twisted. I can’t believe they made them believe that everything Lady Nerissa did was out of cruelness.

Bitter of Tongue (#7)    5

When Simon is kidnapped by the fey, he’s amazed to find a friend in former Shadowhunter Mark Blackthorn. After Simon is kidnapped by faeries (why is he always kidnapped?), he uncovers rumors of a secret weapon Sebastian left behind for the faerie queen. He must escape the Fey, relying on his only ally, former Shadowhunter and Dark Artifices character Mark Blackthorn.

This novella was really amazing, I can’t even express how much I loved it. The places they went, the people they met, it was just beautiful. The writing was really nice; just enough description and dialogue. The Wild Hunt somehow stumbles over Simon. One of the few times in this book, where the Downworlders are actually in the wrong for a change.  This one was peculiar. As someone who has read Lady Midnight, I was a bit weirded out by how different Mark and Kieran felt here. It seemed to be a much colder relationship and knowing how they actually felt about each other at that point makes the outsider perspective more interesting and one starts to wonder how much truth is in Simon’s interpretation of them.

The Fiery Trial (#8)   4

Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorn become parabatai. Simon and Clary both act as their witnesses, so they can see what a parabatai bond forming looks like as they want to become parabatai as soon as Simon graduates — and because Emma asked Clary. The ritual goes unexpectedly …

We were able to learn how Shadowhunters become parabatai and what it truly means, what you feel when you are eternally connected to someone for life. I loved learning more about Parabatai and how important the bond is. Emma and Julian are both really interesting characters. Although, this one was a bit boring, and also really confusing.

Born to Endless Night (#9)   5

Simon, like the rest of the Academy, is stunned when a navy-skinned warlock baby is found on the Academy steps. They hand the child over to guest lecturer Magnus Bane, who has to bring a child home… temporarily, of course… to his man!

Simon is going to Ascend and, no matter what he does or doesn’t remember, he still loves Isabelle – and he wants to make things right. He wants to be a different kind of Shadowhunter. Jace is always the same – confident and sarcastic and simultaneously the best and most terrible friend ever, and seeing him playfully banter with Alec was absolutely wonderful. It made me so happy to see that Alec grew into himself, he’s confident and proud of who he is, there’s no sign of the mostly unhappy and conflicted teenager he once was. So, this novella is about Magnus and Alec finding an abandoned warlock baby and they have to decide what to do with it.

Angels Twice Descending (#10)    5

Simon’s journey to become a Shadowhunter nears its end as his Ascension ceremony draws closer. Simon’s Ascension ceremony draws near in this brilliant conclusion to Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy.

This shows a lot of character development with all of the characters. George and the way his character developed was so nice. I loved George so much, I loved his character. I cried and thought Simon choosing his Shadowhunter name was a nice scene. I was so heart-broken in the end. I just wish it didn’t happen and you’ll know what I am talking about once you have read this book.

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One Response to Review: Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare

  1. I can’t believe we have to wait two more years for the first last hours book 😦

    Liked by 1 person

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