There have been many books I have been waiting so impatiently to read in 2018, and this book was what kept me going. I am both sad and grateful to leave this era behind, the world Cassandra Clare created. Here are my thoughts on the finale of her series The Dark Artifices.
The world of Shadowhunters is on the edge of a civil war. The Cohort, an group of Shadowhunters with prejudice toward Downworlders are about to rule over the capital, Alicante. While the Blackthorns are filled with grief of their younger sister’s death, Emma and Julian are determined to cure the curse their parabatai bond has caused them. While they must do everything to prevent turning into monsters, the rest of the Blackthorns must deal with their grieve and must try to prevent the Cohort from destroying everything they fought for during the Dark War.
I am emotionally shattered after reading these 880 pages. The story of Emma and Julian, Christina, Mark and Kieran, Ty, Livvy and Kit, Dru and Tavy, Helen and Aline has been a part of my life for more than three years now and with writing this entry, a door is closing. But enough sentimentality, let’s get startet with the review!
The story started off right where Lord of Shadows had ended, in the Council Hall in Alicante after Livvy’s death. The first few chapters covered the family’s loss, the funeral and all their feeling and coping. It was very, very emotional, I cried, especially when Cassandra Clare wrote about Livvy’s twin, Ty, who’s heart was broken after loosing his second and better half.
To be honest, tho, the first 250 pages where a little slow pasted, while the other pages until the end where very fast and astonishing. The slow paste might be linked to the MANY MANY different point of views which annoyed me just a little because some people are more interesting and important to me than others, but that might as well be only my opinion. However, and that must be said, Clare managed to keep every point of view interesting, not waisting any pages simply so the person would get a chance to think or appear. No, every page had its meaning for the story and no point of view change was meaningless.
At around page 300 I had the most epic shock of my life: there was an epic twisting point in the story, not as much as a turning point of the whole story but an outcome I wouldn’t have predicted. From that moment on, the story was unpredictable and the actions of the people where natural, meaningful and pure.
There were a lot of people entering the series that have played a role in Clare’s previous Shadowhunter novels, which I personally enjoyed really much. I always love it when authors bring in other characters that fans would recognize and imbed certain private jokes only a fan would understand (sorry, there is a word for that, I’m just writing around it because it has momentarily slipped my mind.)
There were a lot of small jokes that made the book extremely humorous, for example when the Unseelie King was very surprised that you could photocopy something and referred to a certain OfficeMax that this man made it. Very funny, when faeries or Shadowhunters aren’t acquainted with modern technology. Another humorous factor were of course Jace and Magnus who made jokes in serious situations and just lightened the mood.
The only fact I’m sad about looking back at the book is Ty’s and Kit’s ending. I’m going to try and not spoil anything, but somethings will have to be spoiled. So if you want to desperately not know any outcome before reading the book, please skip this paragraph!: I guess I always thought that the two of them would end up as a couple, has any one else thought that? And Kit was saying “I love you”, which of course could be meant simply as a friend, but there were always indicators that Kit was in love with Ty: when he said there was something inside him, he couldn’t place or that he was always drawn to Ty… And at the end, when he says “I wish I hadn’t known you.” and saying Ty doesn’t care about him, I would have wished for Cassandra Clare to end the boys’ story differently…
All in all, the story had many many different stories which were all linked together at some point: the civil war about to break out, Emma and Julian’s tragic curse and their forbidden love, the family tragedies, coping with loss, Ty and Kit’s story, Mark and Kieran’s struggles with Faerie and Shadowhunters and the prejudice against Downworlders.
PS: the epilogue DESTROYS!
There were, as always in Cassandra Clare’s books, many main characters. And they were all lovable/ good to hate when necessary.
Emma was, again, brilliant. She never wanted to hurt Julian or the kids, was able to sacrifice her own happiness to safe her family or the world order of Shadowhunters. Like Julian, she put the welfare of others above her own wishes and therefore the two of them make great protagonists.
Julian himself is something completely different, yet equally brilliant. He is the big brother everyone wishes to have, loves his siblings and Emma more than himself and is ready to sacrifice his life for each and every one of them at any second.
Kieran, Mark and Christina sort of lived in their own universe. They are all different, but they are made for each other. Even when I was reading Lady Midnight, I wondered how their story would end. Would it be the prince of Faerie and the boy who is both Shadowhunter and Faerie – or would it be the brave Shadowhunter girl and the boy torn between two worlds? I wasn’t sure but I like the way Cassandra Clare played it out. It’s differently than I had imagined, but I am happy for them.
Ty and Kit are both mysterious, but after the end, I’m not sure I’m a big fan of Kit. I loved the ending for Ty and his sister Dru, that they find each other and both find comfort in each other after Livvy’s tragic death.
So, how will I ever be happy again? The Dark Artifices was my first and BY FAR most loved series by Cassandra Clare. This was such a rare book that I couldn’t think about anything else. I lay in my bed and looked at my nightstand staring at the book having to hold me back not to grab it and read through the night. Emma and Julian’ story is so very powerful, it will leave a gap in my heart.
That was my VERY LONG review of Cassandra Clare’s finale Queen of Air and Darkness. But with such a magical and powerful book, one has a lot to say. The book was wonderful and I hope you also enjoyed my review! Have a great day!