Review: “Lady Midnight” by Cassandra Clare

5 tp

~o~Goodreads Synopsis~o~

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.


“Every story is a love story.”

OH MY GOSH, OH MY GOSH, OH MY GOSH, THIS WAS AWESOME! I was feeling so hesitant to read yet another series by Cassandra Clare thinking it would again be the same recycled characters just with different names and different locations. I am so, so glad I picked this up because it completely exceeded all my expectations.

I never thought of Cassandra Clare as one of my favorite authors because her writing never struck me as something special. Her stories are fantastic, her stories are the reason I read these books, but her writing never really impressed me. Until now. From the first chapter of Lady Midnight, I could see how much the writing has improved. And her world building does not ever cease to amaze me. The way she connects everything and how much, whenever she introduces something new, it makes sense. Every aspect she creates always just adds more to this world and never contradicts.

This book also felt a lot more mature. In the other two series, everyone would always joke around every few pages no matter how grave the situation which was cut down on this book and I appreciated that a lot. It made the comic relief more effective.

Even though Lady Midnight is the first book, since it is set in the Shadow world, you should most definitely read the Mortal Instruments series and The Infernal Devices series before reading this. There are lots of references to old characters and story lines and the enjoyment of the book would just be better. I think I missed out on some stuff because I hadn’t read Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy which also connects to this book.

**Note: the following contains mild spoilers for the TMI and the TDI series. 

We see the Blackthorns and Emma in City of Heavenly Fire. I admit, I was annoyed at Clare for putting them in there when I was so anxious to find out what would happen to Clary and gang. But it was interesting going into Lady Midnight and remembering them from five years ago in CoHF and seeing how they turned out.

“The Law is annoying, but it is also flexible.”

-Emma Carstairs

Emma’s story isn’t like Tessa’s or Clary’s.  She wasn’t suddenly plunged into the Shadow world, not knowing anything about it. She grew up as a Shadowhunter, she fought in the Dark War against Sebastian Morgenstern, she’s already a warrior long before this story starts. I liked her a lot. A lot more than Clary, maybe more than Tessa (haven’t made up my mind yet). She is driven by her want of revenge against whoever killed her parents. She’s reckless, a little impulsive but will give up the world for her parabatai Julian.

And Julian is VERY different from the typical Cassandra Clare male protagonist (you know what I’m talking about: brooding, angst-ridden and full of snarky remarks about everything). I can’t believe I’m saying this but I think I might like him more than Will Herondale (SHOCKING, I know. I did say might). He’s gone through so much! Julian had to kill his own father at age twelve because Sebastian had turned him. His older sister Helen was exiled for being part faerie and Mark, his older brother, (also part faerie) was taken by the Wild Hunt. Julian basically became a parent to his four younger siblings at twelve. He would do anything for them. His little siblings became his kidsHe learned to care and cook for them, he fixed their problems, stayed with them when they had nightmares. He loved them with the intensity of both a father and a mother. He has little time to care for himself. Clare has a lot of characters in her books who have gone through a lot, but Julian’s story was the only one that made me tear up. But, even though he’s so sweet with the kids, he would tear you apart if you threatened any of them or Emma.

This book also deals with mental health issues in the shadow world which was great. It explained why we never really see mentally ill Shadowhunters and the explanation made complete sense.

A lot of the characters from the two earlier series show up and every time they did, I would just start jumping up and down in my seat, muttering incomprehensibly (which is a problem when you’re in class and people start staring). But I loved seeing them and how they’ve been doing five years after CoHF!

Lots of spoilers ahead guys. Don’t read if you haven’t read the book yet. Unless of-course, you weren’t planning on reading it anyway which you really should.

~o~Spoiler Alert~o~

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

Let’s just start with the Blackthorn motto. A bad law is no law. Now that is a motto if there ever was one. We can see from the start the Blackthorn family is not very fond of the Clave. I just thought this was hilarious.

The Blackthorn kids are absolute darlings! I became so attached to them and now I’m terrified something will happen. I’m so sure one of them is going to die and I don’t these poor kids to go through another huge loss.

Livia and Tiberius (both 15) are gems! I believe Ty falls somewhere in the autism spectrum, he thinks differently than the rest, but he is super smart and very resourceful. Livvy, his twin sister, is the one who understands him more than anyone, and she grounds him. I thought Livvy was great and she’s very protective of her brother. (And her weapon is a SABER. How awesome is that?) The twins are the Institute’s computer/research experts even though they’re technically not supposed to have computers. And they both worry about Julian and how they were keeping him from having a life of his own which I thought was very sweet.

Drusilla (Dru) is 13 (I believe) and she often finds herself not knowing where she fit with the family. Emma and Julian are always together and the same with the twins. That’s probably why we don’t really see her that much in the book and when she’s with the others, she’s usually the quiet one who listens. I hope we get more of her in the next book.

And Octavian (Tavvy) the baby of the family (he’s 7 or 8). Tavvy is the most adorable little creature! You can see a lot of Julian’s paternal instinct in all the scenes with him and Tavvy and I just wanted to jump into the book and give them both a hug every time!

Alright, so Mark comes back. He hasn’t aged in the Wild Hunt and still looks sixteen and after being away for so long, was having a hard time adjusting to the Institute. Especially seeing how his siblings had aged five years and he hadn’t been there to see them. I didn’t like him at first mainly because of the little arguments between him and Julian. Julian wanted his big brother to come back so much because then, he would finally get to rest and and share his responsibility. But Mark just ended up being another person Julian had to take care of.

And then comes Kieran. I don’t dislike him at all. I understand why he betrayed Mark, he wanted Mark to come back to the Wild Hunt and this was the only way he could think of. His plan backfired and I actually felt bad for him. I am fairly sure he will show up again some time in the series.

“For whither thou goest, I will go”

Alright, alright. Parabatai. We have known forever that falling in love with your parabatai is forbidden. We never found out why until now. And I keep saying this but the explanation makes so much sense! Being a parabatai makes you stronger, the closer your bond is, the stronger you are. So of course that means parabatai who are in love would be intimate and therefore stronger than any other. And according to Jem, that power would drive you mad. But I don’t want to believe that. I need to know how Julian and Emma get around this! I am so scared for them right now!

Random Thoughts:

Christina is AWESOME! I loved her!

I did NOT see the whole Malcolm Fade plot twist. I was so surprised because I can usually ALWAYS predict plot twists.

Alec and Magnus adopted two kids???? Where the heck was I??? (Max and Rafael)

I love how Emma talks to Clary about once every month. I’m so glad they kept in touch!

Clary and Jace run the New York Institute now!! And Izzy and Simon got engaged!! I AM SO HAPPY!

I was not very proud of Julian at the end about what he did to Nightshade. But like I said before, he really would do anything to keep his family together.

I wonder what happened to Cameron.

So… Kit is a Herondale. I’m guessing he’s a direct descendant of Will and Tessa. I wonder where Clare will take this.

Annabel woke up. She’s going to  be the next villain isn’t she? Maybe she’ll try to reincarnate Malcolm this time. Though are we sure he’s dead? I mean, he is a powerful warlock.

A big round of applause for Church! At this point, I’m pretty sure that cat is immortal.

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