Book Review: Lady Midnight – Cassandra Clare

Ok this review is really late it should have been written much earlier. In fact, I should have written it before I read Lord of Shadows, but here we are, in the year of 2019.


Name: Lady Midnight
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release Date: October 3, 2017 (1st published March 8, 2016)


It’s been five years since the events of City of Heavenly Fire that brought the Shadowhunters to the brink of oblivion. Emma Carstairs is no longer a child in mourning, but a young woman bent on discovering who killed her parents and avenging her losses.

Together with her battle partner Julian Blackthorn, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches across Los Angeles, from the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica. If only her heart didn’t lead her in treacherous directions…

Making things even more complicated, Julian’s brother Mark—who was captured by the faeries five years ago—has been returned as a bargaining chip. The faeries are desperate to find out who is murdering their kind—and they need the Shadowhunters’ help to do it. But time works differently in faerie, so Mark has barely aged and doesn’t recognize his family. Can he ever truly return to them? Will the faeries really allow it?

Glitz, glamours, and Shadowhunters abound in this heartrending opening to Cassandra Clare’s Dark Artifices series.

Book Cover Comments

So apparently the cover lowkey depicts a scene in the book… But the scene that comes after that scene… Ooof.

I must say though, from the very first time I saw this cover (those times when I wasn’t into Shadowhunters) and from then on for a good while, I always thought Emma was curling in on herself: she was looking downwards and her hand was downwards; rather than floating in a half-dead position.

I wonder why?

The Actual Review

As a reader who binge read all the Shadowhunter books so far in basically a year (excluding City of Bones, that was 2017; Codex and QoAaD, haven’t read), even with the long tolling journey from TMI to TID, The Dark Artifices started a brand new refreshing story with characters we’ve gotten glimpses of from the previous two books. Lady Midnight hasn’t been a disappointment, and I’ve enjoyed it very much.

TMI (perhaps) had a focus on demons with hints of the vampires and the lycanthropes; TID focused on (this I don’t really know, but) warlock and clockwork; TDA on the other hand, probably focused on the realm that we’ve all been asking for: FAERIES. We’ve had glimpses of faeries in Shadowhunter Academy and TMI. Simon meets Mark Blackthorn of the Wild Hunt in Academy, and the TMI characters actually travelled to the Seelie Court to figure out the whereabouts of their enemy. And TDA expands that universe. We get to hear more tales from the Unseelie Court, meet others of the Wild Hunt, and so much much more.

Onto characters, I really like Emma. She stands up for what she believes and has a very strong will: her determination shows through the quest she continued on for years: the quest to find out what exactly happened to her parents, killed among the time of the Dark War. She and her parabatai, Julian, have an extremely tight bond, and perhaps a bit beyond that. (This is already hinted from the synopsis). But this doesn’t mean Julian doesn’t see anything between them. In this book, we also further explore the origins of parabatai, and perhaps why the present parabatai rule is made to be so. Julian is a (as Kieran of the Wild Hunt would say, ruthless character). Julian has been through so much ever since the Dark War, and the entire life he had to give up for his family. A character like Julian just makes me want to hold him. He is such. A. Strong. Character. SO SELFLESS

Emma and Julian’s relationship and their care for each other is beyond this world and is extremely spectacular. These two send butterflies down my heart: IT ACHES. IT. HONESTLY. HURTS. SO. MUCH. AND THE ENDING? LIEK HONESTLY CANNOT HANDLE

But let’s move on to the other characters: we get Cristina from the Mexico Institute, and she is a charming lady, Emma’s partner in crime with kindness and bravery, in which, Cristina’s past is also super super fun to learn about as the members of the Mexico Institute, those who played an important role in her life comes pay a visit in Lady Midnight. The rest of the Blackthorn family, but Ty and Livvy in particular play such a big and consistent role in this book, adding so much more flavour and tone to the plot development.

Oh, my, and we get a comeback character. SAY HELLO TO MARK BLACKTHORN WHO WAS WITH THE WILD HUNT FOR A GOOD PERIOD OF TIME liek honestly his ship sails so greatly I couldn’t handle it. not gonna tell you whose ship is being sailed right now, just that I can tell you that this ship likes to choose back and forth. Mark struggles to find his place among his family that he has not been with for the past five years, and the feelings that he brewed within himself and those that stirred in the others heart is what makes the familial relationships so crucial in this book.

The villain in this book (without spoilers, don’t worry) was perfect. It was something that shouldn’t be forgiven and yet should be pitied; that is, their (he or she, non-implying here) motif behind all this mess. You’ll also perhaps find out who exactly Lady Midnight is. There was a whole circus parade that this Grand Master, our villain has put up, in which Emma is determined to solve the mystery when bodies turn up to be identical to the bodies of her parents when they were first found dead. And yet is the method of solution something that would truly solve the villain’s problems? Is it correct to hold revenge minute after minute, and kill the innocent to achieve their goal?

My dear reader, I can tell you that you’re in for a very good ride with that epilogue ending. I got a Twilight: Breaking Dawn part 1 moment and you’ll see what I mean. But before I close this review, I also wanna talk about how its really cool that Lady Midnight and the story behind it was inspired by one certain poem by the one and only Edgar Allen Poe, writer of fairly gloom and dark literature. The titles of the chapters are taken from this one certain poem, and getting to expand my knowledge of literature and reaching out to research poems that I never think I would ever look for is a really nice and cool touch thrown to the readers.

An exthralling ride from beginning to the dropping cliffhanger, Lady Midnight is a whirlwind of mysteries and heart breaks as characters find where they belong: both their hearts and their physical belonging while Emma, Julian, Mark, Cristina, Kieran of the Wild Hunt and the rest of the Blackthorn family solve the incidents of dead bodies turning up, as relationships unfold and secrets reveal.

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Joanne Lumiere

Joanne is the narcissistic founder of her book blog, Joanne Lumiere. Born and raised in Hong Kong, this 18 year old brat is currently attending college in Los Angeles, and still doesn't know how to read books with sophistication, and yet she runs a blog.

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