Lady Midnight – book review

Lady Midnight

Lady Midnight is the first thrilling instalment in Cassandra Clare’s new series, The Dark Artifices.

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, your best friend – but they can never fall in love…

Emma Carstairs is a warrior, a Shadowhunter, and the best of her generation. She lives for battle. Next to her parabatia, 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 was 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 his brother back, who is being held prisoner by the faerie Courts. All they 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?

*

There’s something about writing reviews for books that I LOVE that freaks me out. Perhaps it’s the fear that I won’t be able to convey my love as accurately as I’d like through words. Perhaps it’s that I’d prefer to just throw a copy at you, screaming Just read it! Or perhaps it’s that the books I love have a special place in my heart and writing these reviews feel like I’m pouring out my emotions, letting go of something. But then again, it means so much to me to be able to share my thoughts with all of you and encourage (and occasionally discourage) you from reading the books that I allow into my life and I dedicate my precious time to. If there’s something that you take away from this review, it’s that you should definitely find the time in your fleeting life to read Lady Midnight. 

Let me just start by saying that I adore the books Cassandra Clare has written, particularly The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices. Never for one second was I worried what Lady Midnight would be like. I’d once worried that The Infernal Devices wouldn’t be as good at The Mortal Instruments, but I was definitely proven wrong. If there’s something I’ve realised from reading almost every Cassie Clare book, it’s that she doesn’t just write things for the sake of writing them, knowing she has the type of fandom that every author dreams about having. Rather, it feels like these stories have been inside her for years, begging to be released. And speaking of being released, do we have a release date for the next instalment? I literally won’t be able to stop thinking about this books until I get my hands on the next one. Cassie’s Shadowhunter world has left an indelible mark on my heart, like a Rune that doesn’t fade.

The thing I love most about this novel is, of course, the Shadowhunter world it’s set in. This world has a magic that will never fade and will never cease to draw readers in. Somehow, even after writing so many other novels set in the same world, Cassie’s writing always amazes me. In Lady Midnight, the world was explored in even more depth, and I think that it helped that it was set away from the other two locations we’ve already lived in. One of my favourite things that was built on in this novel was understanding the law behind why parabatai should never fall in love. It was something I’d been wondering about ever since the word ‘parabatai’ was introduced into my vocabulary. (And I’d been pronouncing it for years like para-baa-tea – not para-ba-tie and now I’m super confused because of the way they say it in the Shadowhunter TV series.) But after learning so much more about this law in Lady Midnight, I was left both heartbroken and fascinated… And desperate to get my hands on the next instalment. Yo, Cassie, I’m always here if you need another set of eyes to look over your manuscript. Just in case. … please

Another aspect of this book that I simply adored was seeing a few familiar faces. Sure, we were introduced to more characters in this novel, but it was lovely to spend some more time with Magnus and Clary and Jace’s whole crew. Honestly, I just can’t get enough of these people. For the last few weeks, it’s been Shadowhunter central in my place. I’ve been rereading The Mortal Instruments, then I read Lady Midnight, all the while I’ve been watching the Shadowhunters TV show – and I’m still desperate for more! I feel like even these characters are familiar, I never get sick of them because they’re all so well developed and unique. They don’t feel like characters in a book. They feel like living, breathing people. I just can’t explain how well Cassie creates her characters. Every single one of them is deep and flawed and has their own set of individual attributes and vivid personality. And that’s what I love most about her books. It honestly feels like I’m reading about old friends.

Carrying on from talking about familiar faces, let’s talk about the two people we haven’t seen all that much in the past: Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorn. As much as I love Clary, I found her a little annoying at times. Perhaps that’s just because I’ve known her for longer and have read six novels with her being our protagonist that I have learned what I don’t like about her and when she will frustrate me or make the decisions that I wouldn’t make myself. I know it’s just early days, but Emma felt different. She was fierce and determined, but most of all, she could listen. She knew her limits and she knew when to ask for help. I love Clary, I really do, but I think that Emma was the character I was waiting for.

Julian was beyond amazing to read about. He felt so different to Jace and Will. He felt like more of a Jem to me, which was nice for a change. Yes, I do love Jace and Will and their dark, brooding personalities, but it felt refreshing to read about someone who was so pure and honest and while he did have a terrible past, he didn’t let that define him. He was dedicated to taking care of his siblings after being forced to take up the role of their father. His determination to keep their family together was incredibly touching and reduced me to tears on many occasions. He had the most beautiful soul I’ve read about in a while. Additionally, his siblings, and all the other less-major characters, were incredibly well-developed. I formed connections to Livvy and Tiberius and Dru and Tavvy and I felt like it was time that we explored how Shadowhunters grew up. It was fascinating to see the things that Shadowhunter children would be exposed to as they make their way into adulthood. I feel like that was something we missed out on in previous books simply because we just didn’t have any characters under 15. In that way, this novel gave me so much extra depth and knowledge about the Shadowhunter world, drawing me in and making me feel like I was really a part of it.

Lady Midnight was simply perfect, right from the beginning to the ending. The only thing that I didn’t like about this book was that I felt the first 50 pages were more about recapping what the Shadowhunter world was like and reintroducing characters. But I suppose that would be necessary for people who haven’t read the previous books. And just because I’m so in love with the other series, I knew these things by heart already. But this recapping by no means lowers my rating of this book. The plot, the romance and the character-development all weaved together to form a story that I couldn’t put down. If you loved The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices, I urge you to pick up this book. Even if you haven’t read her other series, you can definitely start here! I’d give Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare a score of 10 out of 10. Let’s take about this fabulous book! Have you read it yet? Are you planning on reading it? Have you read the other books I talked about? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Thanks to Simon & Schuster Australia for providing me with this book in exchange for an honest review!

13 thoughts on “Lady Midnight – book review

  1. I love the Mortal Instruments, but I still have to read the final book 🙂 I found the characters in Clockwork Prince really similar, so I haven’t got around to reading the next two. And once I’ve finished Mortal Instruments, I plan to read this! Her writing and world building is amazing, I can’t wait to read more 🙂

    • Ooh, I’m so glad to hear that! I think you’ll be pleased with how it ends. Yes, there are a lot of similarities between all three series, but at the same time, they’re all so different and unique in their own ways. I completely agree. I hope you love reading this one as much as I did!

  2. I have just started reading this and I can’t wait to read the rest. I love the Shadowhunter world and would devour anything set in it. I love Emma already from the little I have read of her and can’t wait to read the rest of the story. I am so excited for this book it is not funny. Cassandra Clare is a great writer and I am so glad she is writing more books in this world because I am not ready to let it go. Great review!

    • Thanks! I’m so pleased you’re loving it. And I was completely the same while reading it! She’s unbelievably talented – I’d be happy to read about Shadowhunters for the rest of my life 😆

  3. I LOVED this book! Unlike you, I was a little worried about picking it up simply because I adore this book series and it has been so long since I read any of the books. But I should know better 😛

    You’re so right about Julian being like Jem. As much as I love a cocky Shadowhunter like Jace, there is just something so sweet about someone who puts everyone else first. And Emma…yah, she is 20x better than Clary if you ask me. Clary is great in her own way but got to be a little grating on my nerves by the end (the TV show doesn’t help that either). But Emma is fab!

    • I’m so pleased to hear that! But yes, you should have known better – it’s Cassie Clare! I completely agree. As much as I love Jace, Julian was a lovely change and I fell head-over-heels for him. True! Malec is amazing in the TV show though; I’m really pleased with those casting choices. I still have to see the last episode!

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