Series: The Dark Artifices #3
Published by Simon and Schuster on December 4, 2018
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Action & Adventure, General, Romance, Paranormal
Amazon // The Book Depository
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 disease 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.
if you haven’t read Lady Midnight or Lord of Shadows, i suggest reading those reviews OR BETTER YET: reading those books ;))
if you know anything about my reading loves, you probably know that i’m SHADOWHUNTER TRASH. and i love the shadowhunter books with all my heart. (although we’ve come a long way.) my excitement for Queen of Air and Darkness was beyond words – mostly because of the ending of LoS (send help). think: post-Mark of Athena, waiting a year for House of Hades. pure trauma.
honestly, i was a bit scared to read Queen of Air and Darkness. Lord of Shadows was just so much
pain. which probably why – even after its release – i was wary of starting it and it took me so!! long!! to!! finish!!!
my biggest problem was the pacing. i couldn’t bring myself to continue even though i wanted to continue. it was the weirdest thing. maybe it was because it was too big?? maybe i was too busy irl?? (true fact) maybe it was TOO MUCH. i kid you not, it took me 400 pages to actually feel like things were started to happen. 400 pages is a normal sized book, and nearly 50% through. but at the same time, there was actually TOO MUCH going on.
the plot was overwhelming to keep track of. true to series finale patterns, there are about five plot lines going on. maybe more, maybe less. we have a huge cast of character and constantly change pov (normal to cassie’s writing). but because of it, i had a hard time connecting right away. BUT. oddly enough, if i hadn’t read it for a week and pick it up again, i would immediately get sucked in and start sobbing.
in general, i think i had a poor reading experience but the book was good. it’s sad. if i read it at a different time with a different headspace, i know i would’ve enjoyed it more. this isn’t to say i didn’t like QoAD; i just thought i would’ve liked it more. i wish i’d waited and binged the entire series. through the past year, i lost connection with the characters and that made it harder to get through – especially when the book is SO BIG.
but cassandra clare is still the queen of conclusions. through QoAD, i remember why i love cassie’s world so much. even though it’s HUGE and at times feels draggy, the ending is so satisfying. i wasn’t a fan of The Mortal Instruments, but City of Heavenly Fire – just the ending itself – made up for all that was lost for all prior books. although this ending wasn’t quite as BAM, it was still wonderful and made it all worth it. there are definitely tears and lot of love.
spoiler-filled discussion beginning! if you haven’t read the book, i would highly recommend LEAVING & reading the book for yourself. you’ve been warned!!
let’s talk about some THINGS.
characters & relationships
can we talk about JULIAN?????? AND EMMA?????? okay, first things first: julian in the first half of this book was just… unnerving. scary? SCARY. i love him and his unwavering slytherin-ness but this was just –
high key send help. it also didn’t help that we didn’t get his POV at all during his time without his emotions. poor emma had to deal with THAT. plus the entire ordeal with the clave and the bigots i scream. actually, now that i think about it, the plot is crazy but more on that later.
in general, the emma & julian ship was so Angsty™. i often found myself either a) rolling my eyes at how horny they were or b) feeling upset about the situation or c) screaming. t’was not fun but THAT’S CASSIE CLARE FOR YOU.
now let’s talk about my favorite trio turned duo: ty and kit. brO. ty dealing with livvy’s death was the worst. on one hand, i understood his denial because high-key ME. on the other, i wanted to scream at him for literally raising the dead. also kit having a lot of Feelings for ty and not being able to sort them out made me hfbdjknslajpko;zl.
how about the actual trio of mark, cristina, and kieran. cassie always throws out unconventional ships (like clary and jace, when they were siblings) but somehow they always work. like, i usually despise love triangles. this was the first triangle (does tessa, jem, and will count? not really??) that was a LEGIT TRIANGLE. it was weird and wonderful. we got the best of
both all worlds!
the blackthorn fam is my ultimate fave!! i mentioned it before in my previous discussions but SERIOUSLY. i love their big family feels. it’s so authentic I LOVE IT. dru trying to get closer to ty, helen working on getting to know them again, tavvy asking for julian – IT ALL MAKES ME EMO.
things that went down
i feel like things were slow until emma and jules went to thule. honestly, i don’t even remember what happened prior to that – aside from the fact that julian got rid of his emotions and livvy’s funeral was a thing. the entire thule ordeal reminded me of that one episode of suite life of zack and cody where they end up in a parallel universe. ring a bell?
anyway, the biggest thing was when livvy appeared and ALL MY FEELINGS WERE OVERWHELMED AGAIN. when she wrote that letter to ty i just – i could not.
i wanted to talk about the council but there’s nothing new aside from: we hate zara. the dearborns are bigots. it’s frighteningly accurate to how the us government is right now. yay!!!!!
in other news, TESSA IS HAVING A CHILD?!!!! i feel like we knew this but i think i forgot and i needed to mention it. I’M SO HAPPY. tessa is my actual fave and she deserves all the love ughhhhhhh.
i was honestly feeling pretty meh about the ending UNTIL emma and jules became giants (giant angels? or just angels?). it didn’t feel like a huge series conclusion, then this happened. thinking back, it was mostly just… weird? confused but i’ll take it.
HOWEVER. the part that had me sobbing in the corner at my dentist’s office (no joke) was when tavvy insisted on saving julian and emma. the blackthorns strode up to the two of them and began professing their love!! i guess it was a positive thing but it just made me SO EMO. just thinking about it makes me cry.
also, MALEC’S WEDDING?!!! for some reason, the epilogue almost felt like a fan fiction become canon. the scenes were too good to be true and all was well and it was WONDERFUL.
ALSO. we find out who KIT
FUCKING HERONDALE actually is?!!!! not only is a herondale, but he’s half faerie?!!! okay but MORE IMPORTANTLY: ty and kit’s argument at the end???? they never make up, go their separate ways, and i’m tearing my hair out it’s fine. i know there’s going to be another series with them and i know they’re where they need to be BUT STILL. i’m –
lastly: ash??? i’m not sure how to feel about him. i honestly don’t remember him at all prior to this book so i’m like meh, but i know his role will play an important part to the next series. i’m nervous, excited, and HYPED.