Disclamier: this review has a lowkey-spoiler and non-spoiler section, but that will be clearly marked. If you would like to see a full SPOILER and extremely ragy version of this fairly positive review by Ava, click HERE
Name: Queen of Air and Darkness
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release Date: December 4, 2018
What if damnation is the price of true love?
Innocent blood has been spilled on the steps of the Council Hall, the sacred stronghold of the Shadowhunters. In the wake of the tragic death of Livia Blackthorn, the Clave teeters on the brink of civil war. One fragment of the Blackthorn family flees to Los Angeles, seeking to discover the source of the blight that is destroying the race of warlocks.
Meanwhile, Julian and Emma take desperate measures to put their forbidden love aside and undertake a perilous mission to Faerie to retrieve the Black Volume of the Dead. What they find in the Courts is a secret that may tear the Shadow World asunder and open a dark path into a future they could never have imagined. Caught in a race against time, Emma and Julian must save the world of Shadowhunters before the deadly power of the parabatai curse destroys them and everyone they love.
Book Cover Comments
On this aspect, I did find it quite odd that there was such a stark difference between QoAaD and its precedors, Lady Midnight and Lord of Shadows. LM and LoS both had a very grey and dark blue tone to it, Emma and Julian both muted on the cover. Queen on the other hand, has a bright blue (could be signifying end of TDA or whatever BS I like to come up with) background with Annabel and her gorgeous red dress on it.
However, it must be understood that Cassie’s jacket designers broke down, begging her not to make the cover another dude, therefore it is Annabel and not Mark on the cover, and this is perhaps my favourite hardbound Shadowhunters cover so far. It’s absolutely stunning, gorgeous, that ruby red and aquamarine blue.
The Actual Review
Z a r a D e a r b o r n c a n g o t o h e l l
Sorry. I was distracted.
I probably won’t and can’t puke that much shit out like Ava. Like I like to say, I’m not a reader of sophistication, and I often don’t care too much about the nitty gritty details when reading. I just read for the sake of enjoyment. It’s either a yes, no, maybe without too much of an explanation.
I’ve stretched out that last 80 pages of QoAaD into such a long period of time that this review is slightly hard to write. Yikes
Not sure if it’s because of prior discussions with my friends, but I always feel like there’s something lodged in my throat whenever I want to think of something to say about QoAaD. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely loved this last book, and I thought some of the details Cassie put in was a very good way of resolving certain issues and questions around the book. Perhaps it’s because I’m in a very Deus ex Machina mindset; but alas, it is what it is, and I’m glad some of the questions we had were solved the way it is, machina or not.
Emma and Julian’s relationship continues to skyrocket till the very end, and these two characters might happen to stumble upon some “amazing” place. These two have been through a lot, Julian perhaps, having to deal with the shock given from the ending of the previous book. Julian’s made some decisions that changed his relationship with Emma, and the “interlude” that took place in QoAaD gave a good temporary closure to what Julian is dealing with and what are his decisions from that point on.
In fact, this book for the Blackthorns is all about dealing with loss. Each of the members have a different way of coping with what they think of the ending in LoS, and seeing each set of POVs played out was very interesting (Julian and Emma are usually grouped / Ty, Kit are grouped) I absolutely loved this plot motive. Both Julian and Ty have been through a lot, and they have learnt a lot from the methods they use to dampen the pain within them.
You also get many revelations in this book. From this interlude that I am hinting about, all the way over to Kit’s family. These are all spectacular facts that we were desperate to know of, not that more questions haven’t come up while reading QoAaD. The last chapter was a great closure to the world that takes place after the little “interlude”, and in this last section of the book is where even a foreigner like me really sees the direct (in fact VERY DIRECT) political opinion and message that Cassie is trying to give. Cassie is definitely giving her regards to Trump and perhaps the Election awhile back, in which I’ve heard the exact comment made from Deji (UK YouTuber). I love how she has turned the Clave into a whirlwind party with so much chaos, and the political issues set within it was a really good plot drive.
You also get an excellement epilogue that gets me gouging my eyes out wanting for more. Alliances are made and broken, and whether our BFFs are the Seelie Court or the Unseelie Court, the reader has the great opportunity to find out about all this greatness.
An epic conclusion to the Dark Artifices series, Queen of Air and Darkness ends the story of Emma and Julian as they become the new heroes of this world, as the Clave turns in on itself and political environments are at stake, as magic is getting out of control, and you just might get a visit from a certain one or two very. Interesting. Characters. One starts with a A and the other an S/J. Depending on how you want to look at it ;)
Below are my slightly spoilery comments (endings of characters or who survives in the end is not mentioned) that you don’t have to read. But if you do, read with your own risk!
The Thule world was introduced into QoAaD. It is a parallel world to that of the current one, and is the “what if Sebastian won” world. Personally I do feel like the Thule concept is a bit of an deus ex-machina. Whenever you are introduced to an alternate universe, things could possibly get ex-machina. What I do like, however, about this Thule is that its nowhere better than the timeline we know. IN FACT it’s way worse. This slightly turns the classic cliche used on alternative universes, and I’d like to praise some of the life choices the characters in Thule made that just made things right instead of ruining things.
However, I was fairly disappointed to find out that Annabel basically had no role in this book. Sure she still held the Black Volume which makes her a threat and in Thule she’s lowkey a big deal cus she still has the Black Volume, but she definitely does not live up to the name “Queen of Air and Darkness”. It’s a grand name, and for the little role and credit Annabel is given in this book, she simply does not live up to that title. Thule turned our attention away back to how TMI would turned out. Don’t get me wrong, the Thule concept was absolutely glorious, but in the end, a little ex-machina feel and just a tinge of “hmmmmmm…..” And in the end, Annabel gets a name in Thule where she doesn’t even seem to have that much reign over, not to mention that ending.
On the other hand, Sebastian’s appearance provided a closure to the world of TMI, how TMI would have turned out if Clary died first, but alas, it didn’t provide great significance to our TDA characters, though it was definitely enjoyable.
Changing topics, it’s very interesting to have a Cristina/Kieran/Mark ending. It’s still so rare and new to find a polyamorous relationship; to this day it’s still perhaps a taboo and definitely a very foreign concept. But I do like the idea and thought! Ships!!!!
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