For readers and fangirls, there’s nothing more exciting than the words ‘special edition’. There’s something so magical about getting your hands on one of your favourite books that has a whole new design, or graphic unseen before, or extra content. For me, special editions are the death of my bank account, but I don’t think I’ll be able to stop buying them anytime soon. It’s kind of the same addiction as when you buy books because you think they’ll look good on your shelves — and I’m not even sorry. My special editions are gorgeous, and even my bank account cursing me out from the grave won’t make me regret my decisions.
A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
Kell is one of the last Antari―magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.
Kell was raised in Arnes―Red London―and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.
Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.
After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.
Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.
One of my recent purchases was the special edition of A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab — AKA one of my favourite books of all time. I’m never not screaming about Queen V, as you all know. One of my friends even has me saved as Mrs Schwab in their contacts and I’m not even sorry. So, of course, this gorgeous special edition was something I couldn’t not own. But let me tell you this: restricting myself to only buying one special edition when things like the U.K. special edition and the Barnes & Noble silver special edition exists was almost as painful as selling my soul to the devil to get my hands on Schwab ARCs. It was between buying all the special editions or not eating for a month, and as much as I love Schwab, I’m not sure dying of starvation would be a very pleasant experience.
But I decided to buy the U.S. special edition because I only owned the U.K. paperbacks and I’d been thinking about buying the U.S. hardbacks as well. So when the special edition was announced, I decided that I’d buy the U.S. edition in the special editions – fingers crossed we get A Gathering of Shadows and A Conjuring of Light in special editions too! I adore the cover design, and the golden embellishing on the hardback itself is gorgeous. The art on the endpapers is also just so, so beautiful, and I just adore this thing of immense beauty.
Also, it’s signed?! Excuse me while I go and cry about owning something that Queen V has touched. There’s probably tiny molecules of her still on that page. Wow. Sorry, I’ll stop being weird now. Imagine if I met her one day? I’d just die. I’d die. Or I’d propose, one or the other. This series means so much to me, and it’s incredible to have this special edition in my possession. I’m in love. Maybe I’ll propose to the book instead.
And then there’s also a glossary of blood commands and Arnesian words, numbers and phrases. If you think that you can provide me with this tool and not have me attempt to learn how to speak Arnesian, you obviously have miscalculated how much of a dedicated fan I am. There’s also three short stories that have made me fall even more in love with this series, and I didn’t know that was possible. And then that Q&A! Queen V and I have so much in common, seriously, we should just get married already. I’m ready when you are, Victoria.
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder― much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing―not even a smear of blood―to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?
This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know…
Another one of my favourite special editions that I’ve been highly anticipating is the City of Bones special edition. Wow, this book is also stunning. It doesn’t have a dust jacket, but the hardcover is textured and has silver embellishing. Isn’t that design just the most gorgeous thing you’ve ever seen? I don’t even care what it will do to my bank account if the whole series is released as separate special editions. Those need to be on my shelves, along with the 3920 other books by Cassandra Clare I own. Maybe I should just dedicate a room in my house to her.
At the front of the book are a few pages of simply gorgeous illustrations of the City of Bones cast. Seriously, I’m swooning. #BisexualCulture. I’m just in love with everyone in this series and I’m not even sorry. They’re all mine. ALL OF THEM. And then there’s also black and white illustrations scattered throughout the novel and are at the beginning of each chapter, and they just contribute to making this book the beautiful thing that it is. Just take all of my money.
Okay, but how has it been ten years since City of Bones was published? How do we have the 10th Anniversary Edition already? Way to make me feel old, publishers. While I only got into this series just after City of Glass as released, I can’t believe that these books have been in the world for as long as they have. Though, to be fair, Cassandra Clare’s works were so deeply entrenched in my reading life as a teenager.
I don’t think I’d be the same reader I am today without having read The Mortal Instruments or The Infernal Devices as a teen. Those series are part of what made me love reading to the extent I do today. The Infernal Devices was the first series I ever reviewed on my blog and I’ll always have an emotional attachment to Cassie’s characters. I’m just so pleased to have this gorgeous book in my possession, and this is a series I’ll never stop recommending to teens just getting into YA – just like I once was. Cassandra Clare is such an influential writer, and I know she’s inspired so many people to start writing or to read more. And that’s really incredible.
Do you own either of these special editions? What other special editions do you own? Do you like having multiple copies of the same book, but in different editions? Which book do you own the most copies of? I want to know!
Thanks to Walker Books Australia for providing me with a copy of the 10th Anniversary Edition of City of Bones in exchange for an honest review!