Title: The Dark Artifices #1: Lady Midnight
Author: Cassandra Clare
Genre: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy
My Rating: 4/5 (simply because it did not grab me until chapter 5)
It’s five years since the Dark War and for five years Emma Carstairs had sought those who killed her parents. Five years and now bodies of humans and faeries are turning up murdered in the same manner as her parents. An uneasy alliance is formed between the L.A Shadowhunters and the Fair Folk, and Mark Blackthorn, having been held prisoner by the faerie courts for untold years, has returned to aid in their investigation.
Julian Blackthorn, Emma’s parabatai, holds many secrets of his own close to his heart. He is uneasy about his brothers return after all these years. Will Mark stay or will he go? Will Emma find out what he has been hiding from her all these years?
As Emma unravels more secrets and uncovers more clues, the truth slowly come to the surface. Who really killed her parents? What is Julian hiding? And why are parabatai forbidden to fall in love.
Spoilers if you have not read City of Heavenly Fire or Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy.
I’ll admit, it took me a couple of chapters to get into this one. The distinct lack of Herondales may have had something to do with it, and I was still so attached to all the characters from The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices.
But, at chapter 5, it happened! I was officially hooked! The Blackthorns are just as tortured as the Herondales! What can I say about Julian and Mark Blackthorn other than someone needs to hug them! Now! There is some serious brooding going on there! And Emma, she’s just as bad! I love them!
The Mortal Instruments showed us what the parabatai bond was through Jace and Alec’s friendship. The Infernal Devices showed us what happened when you lost your parabatai through Will and Jem. And now, with Julian and Emma in The Dark Artifices, we are set to be shown why parabatai are forbidden to fall in love, a face that had been reinforced over, and over again through Clare’s Shadowhunter books.
I have my own theories on why parabatai are forbidden to fall in love, and it has nothing to do with what the Clave claim. But i’ll save that for another day.
It’s so obvious, even way back in City of Heavenly Fire that Julian was in love with Emma, and if you read Tales from the Shadowhunter Acadamy, you can tell he regrets becoming parabatai almost immediately!
So when Lady Midnight picks up, Julian Blackthorn has been dealing with these forbidden feelings for many, many years. On top of raising his four younger siblings since he was twelve years old. Like I said, dude needs a hug or a million.
“When you love someone, they become a part of who you are. They’re in everything you do. They’re in the air you breathe and the water you drink and the blood in your veins. Their touch stays on your skin and their voice stays in your ears and their thoughts stay in your mind. You know their dreams because their nightmares pierce your heart and their good dreams are your dreams too. And you don’t think they’re perfect, but you know their flaws, the deep-down truth of them, and the shadows of all their secrets, and they don’t frighten you away; in fact you love them more for it, because you don’t want perfect. You want them. You want—”
He broke off then, as if realizing everyone was looking at him again.
“You want what?” said Dru with enormous eyes.
“Nothing,” Julian said. “I’m just talking.”
― Cassandra Clare,
Then there is Mark Blackthorn, Julian’s older brother who was left to the Wild Hunt by the Clave (seriously hate the Clave), after the Dark War. Refusing to save Mark after being delivered to the Fair Folk by Sebastian Morgenstern. Now, Mark is back and struggling to find where he fits. Some hugs over here for Mark too, please.
“I have been in the land of Faerie for years and it is a place where mortal blood is turned to fire. It is a place of beauty and terror beyond what can be imagined here. I have ridden with the Wild Hunt. I have carved a clear path of freedom among the stars and outrun the wind. And now I am asked to walk upon the earth again.” – Mark Blackthorn
― Cassandra Clare,
And Emma? She is hell bent on avenging the deaths of her parents five years ago that she is completely oblivious to Julian’s true feelings. No Emma, parabatai runes are NOT supposed to do that! And Cassandra, are you sure she’s a Carstairs? She act’s more like a Herondale to me!
We have cameos of all our favorites. Naturally, Magnus is there (he’s everywhere!), theres a blink and you miss it cameo from Jem and Tessa in the very first chapter, Simon is mentioned as well as his old band, called The Mortal Instruments! A vampire is wearing their t-shirt! And Clary and Jace make an appearance also.
Another thing that was slightly weird, (cool, but weird) to me was the fact that the Los Angeles Shadowhunters had a computer! And they could drive! And they watched T.V and read mundane books! weird, weird, weird. I wonder if the Clave knew. The New York branch seemed so out of touch with the mundane world.
And that ending! Why didn’t I wait until they were all released then read! Why!? Emma..she…they…ugh, I’m in so much agony right now! Lady Midnight, I feel, much like Clare’s previous novels, is going to kill me.