Review of my most awaited book for 2018! Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare. Expect the unexpected and unfinished business.

Synopsis

Dark secrets and forbidden love threaten the very survival of the Shadowhunters in Cassandra Clare’s Queen of Air and Darkness, the final novel in the #1 New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling The Dark Artifices trilogy.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.

 

Review

 

“Parabatai. A cruel sort of bond, he thought, that made one person out of two people, and left such devastation when half was gone.”

 

4,5 stars

Queen of Air and Darkness was my most awaited book of 2018. Yet it was published only in December so it was a loooooooong wait.

 

It took me 8 days to read it not because it was not interesting but because it came at a very difficult time for my family and I could not focus on the book for long hours as I use to do.

I think these dramatic circumstances altered my perception of the book and prevented me to be completely sucked into its universe like the two other books did. Yet I’ll do my best to do this book justice.

 

The Dark Artifices is my favorite series by Cassandra Clare as we follow a whole family The Blackthorn and their friends. Each “side character” is a main character in this series and Cassandra Clare switches the point of view.

What was an asset in the first book here becomes a weakness as we had too much POV and switched too often between these POV. You had maybe 3 to 5 pages sometimes from one POV then it was changing yet again. I confess that in my state of mind with my focus in shambles it heightened the difficulty to follow the story.

We followed the story alternately through the eyes of: Emma, Julian, Kit, Mar, Christina, Drusilla, Diego, Diana, Helen ….

That’s the only “flaw” I want to mention here and the reason why I gave 4,5 stars instead of 5.

 

Now that’s out of the way, let’s explain why this book is so amazing!

 

First because it was simply epic with lots of twists and turns, tricks from a magician’s hat when all seemed lost, battles and strategy!

You won’t get bored that’s for sure as our friends seem to jump from one threat to another, one quest to the next etc.

If you’ve read the other books, you know that Anabelle wreak havoc on the Blackthorn family and the Unseelie Court seems to have a hand in the drama that unfolded in the last story.

Having faeries responsible for hurting Shadowhunter is gold for the Cohort and Horace Dearborn as he seizes the power in time of fear and unrest.

Funny how Cassandra Clare distillates some basic power strategy here as all tyrants are usually put at the head of a State when hate and fear are crystallized around a common enemy and perceived threat. Find someone to put the blame on all your misfortune (like the Jews before WWII), organize a series of (un)fortunate events wearing that someone’s signature, stoke the flame and people will be putty in your hands, ready to believe any hating speech sputtering from your mouth.

That’s exactly what happened here.

 

Not only did the Blackthorn deal with grief but they also had to deal with the fanatism of the Cohort and the determination of the new Inquisitor to exterminate all Downworlders and imprison all “tainted” Shadowhunters.

It will be a race to find Anabelle, fight the new threat among Shadowhunter’s ranks but also find a cure for a “blight” affecting warlocks and making them extremely sick.

If it was not enough you also have some necromancy in the making as some of our young heroes are lost and desperate!

“In your world I am ashes, I am ancestors, my memories and hopes and dreams have gone to build the City of Bones. In your world, I am lucky, because I do not have to live in a world without you. But in this world, I am you. I am the twinless twin. So I can tell you this:

When your twin leaves the earth you live on, it never turns the same way again: the weight of their soul is gone, and everything is off balance. The world rocks under your feet like an unquiet sea. I can’t tell you it gets easier. But it does get steadier; you learn how to live with the new rocking of the new earth, the way sailors gain sea legs. You learn. I promise.”

 

As you can see our friends were extremely busy!

 

Julian and Emma are still in love and still cursed. Will they find a solution? You can’t fight against your feelings and emotions. Or …can you?

Desperate Julian makes for desperate measures with huge consequences. Julian became someone else and all the kindness and humanity we so loved about him disappeared.

A Julian without feelings is a dangerous weapon as he is an excellent manipulator!

And now that is family is adrift it was not the time to go all Ice King on them…

 

We also have our hot trio! Between Mark, Christina and Kieran it is raging fire!

“I just want to make it clear that I did not engineer the interruption of the Harpyia demon,” Mark said, “and was indeed quite eager to continue with our sexual congress.”

 I joked about the hot faery/Shadowhunter trio well it becomes a reality! Don’t say that Cassandra Clare did not try to put diversity in this book as you have homosexual relationships, M/F/M, transgender heroes, heterosexual, every color of skin blue and green included with warlocks!

You want diversity? Read this series and you’ll be in heaven.

And it works! It did not seem like an excuse to be diverse because it is “hype”. These relationships are not a prop for the story.

 

What I also really loved was the character’s growth.

When I talk about unfinished business it’s because I expect the next book to be about the youngers Blackthorns: Kit and Ty have a mess of a relationship to untangle but I also expect Drusilla to meet Ash and play a major role in the next instalment!

Mark is completely different from the first book more Shadowhunter and less Fae. He is less naïve and lost. He’s found who he is and what he wants. Kieran the Fae prince also had a long way to grow up. From selfish and childish he’ll morph into a selfless, caring and very adult young man.

 

Now I had no idea how and if Cassandra Clare would put Emma and Julian out of their misery. This was the biggest hat trick right alongside Ash! Not explaining anything about him as I don’t want to spoil your fun!

I love twists that I never see coming and Cassandra Clare sure delivered!

 

It is said that this series is a trilogy but I have a suspicion that we’ll either get book four and more, either another series that will capitalize on the younger Blackthorns. Mark my word the next book will follow Dru, Ash, Kit and Ty. With of course the new Clave and all its problems.

 

Recommend it? Of course!

 

“As we all have an infinite capacity to make mistakes, we all have an infinite capacity for forgiveness.”
― Cassandra Clare, Queen of Air and Darkness

 

Oh and special mention to the inside of the jacket as the art is fabulous!!! As well as the many drawings in this book they were a real treat!

Here are some pictures from the inside of the jacket!

Have you read The dark Artifices already?

 

Thanks for reading!

 

Sophie

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21 Replies to “Review of my most awaited book for 2018! Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare. Expect the unexpected and unfinished business.”

  1. So glad this was exciting and there was so much character growth- really looking forward to this one! Great review!

  2. I’m so behind on my Cassandra Clare books that it isn’t even funny anymore! I haven’t read Lady Midnight yet. I am glad she is seeing that there is a call for diversity and she is following through with it. And also that the characters develop and grow, although the flow is a bit off because of all of the POVs.

  3. I so need to reread The Mortal Instruments so I can start this series

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Jamsu you can read this series as a standalone too 😉

  4. Sorry to hear you were going through tough times when you read this book Sophie! But happy to see that you enjoyed nonetheless. I read Mortal Instruments Book 1 and was just ok for me then I DNF book 2 because I decided her style was way to descriptive for me (which slows down the action!). But I heard her style improved a lot in the series that came after so I’ve been thinking to give it another try! 🙂

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      if you do give it another try I hope that it will be great for you this time Daniela!

  5. Ahhh! How much I want to read your review!! But I’m still waiting for my book to be shipped – I probably should have bought it in store

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      No worries I do the same: abstain till I have read the book 😉 Happy reading!

      1. Haha exactly! Thank you!

  6. Ooh unfinished? Lol I need to read these- I own them all…

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Really? Have fun then!!!

  7. I’ve been waiting to see what you thought of this one. I knew you were excited to read it. Excellent review, Sophie. And I love diversity!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Thank you Laura!!

  8. I’ve heard so much about this book and though I’ll admit it’s not a book I’d usually read, it does seem interesting plus the cover is awesome!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Oh it is such a fantastic series Trisy!!

  9. I just set this one aside. I don’t know if the audiobook wasn’t working for me or if I was just not in the mood for all the social commentary, but I will probably try it again later in book form. Glad you enjoyed it though. It always so important for me, that a series end on a high note.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      I don’t know about the audiobook Sam! It has so many different POV than an audiobook might be confusing…

  10. I cannot wait to read this one! and I gotta say, the inside of the cover jacket is fantastic, they shoould sell it as a poster/print <3

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Exactly! It would be a fantastic idea to have it as a poster! I hope you’ll enjoy Reese!!

  11. I haven’t read any Maas or Clare, but feel like I should as so many seem to love these books. Maybe one day … maybe, because you always write such enthusiastic reviews that compel me.

    Anyway, Sophie, I hope you’re holding up. Take good care of you.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Thank you so much Alexandra! xoxo

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