Queen of Air and Darkness – Review

Queen of Air and Darkness – Review

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Title: Queen of Air and Darkness

Author: Cassandra Clare

Publisher: Simon & Schuster 

Publication Date: December 4, 2018

Pages: 912

Price: 32.99$ CAD (Hardcover) at Indigo Books & Music Online


The long wait for Queen of Air and Darkness’ release has finally been put behind me. As you might have caught on, I am a huge Cassandra Clare fan. No doubt, City of Bones is the reason I got into reading in the first place! My preorder copy of Queen of Air and Darkness shipped December fifth and I devoured it in four days. Barely studied for my science test and got minimal hours of sleep but I would totally do it all over again. Anyway, my emotional health has been completely obliterated by this book annnnd I really gotta wait A WHOLE YEAR for Chain of Gold  and FOUR YEARS for the first installment of The Wicked Powers…. UGH! I’ll be out of high school by then! 🙁

Synopsis

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.
– Goodreads

Review

HOLY MOLY RAVIOLI. I have SOOO much to say so get ready for a FULL-ON rant and spoilers!!!

Naturally, when I pick up a Cassandra Clare book, I’m already having multiple seizures because “Thats just what Cassie does to us, right?!” But when I got my copy of Queen of Air and Darkness, there were no seizures. Screaming, maybe. But I was more in a state of shock. Like, “Wow, I’m really holding the end of everything I’ve been waiting for, for the past six months. Holy Crap………” Yeah. I only got into the Shadowhunter Chronicles during the past year, so I have no idea how you people have been waiting all since 2007 for new Clare books. (Seriously, show me your ways! This is my first time buying a copy of a brand-new Cassie Clare book and it was THE most dreadful wait!) All this to say, I am now an emotional wreck thanks to, -the one and only- Cassandra Clare.

Where do I even begin?

The physical book, itself is a sight for sore eyes, (from six months of waiting.) I mean we are talking nine hundred pages of sheer glory, yessssssss please! Not only that, the book has some super nice illustrations on the inside of the jacket and just randomly spread out through the pages. Physically, Queen of Air and Darkness already reaches that 110%  wow-factor!

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Emma walking through the bushes of thorns in Faerie with Durendal
(Isn’t Emma THE ultimate bad-ass!)

So basically, the book takes off right after Lord of Shadows. Emma and the Blackthorns are still at the council hall, Livvy is dead,(still sad about that one,) the parabatai curse is still slowly killing Emma and Julian, Emma destroyed the mortal sword with Cortana, Annabel Blackthorn is MIA after jabbing Livvy in the heart. My boy, Robert Lightwood, (Also the inquisitor) is dead too… *sighs,* Horace Dearborn… no wait, don’t get me started on the Dearborns. Not yet.

Rant one: Ze Parabatais

Emma and Julian are parabatai. “A parabatai is a pair of Nephilim warriors who fight together as lifelong partners, bound together by oath, regardless of their gender. Their bond is not reflected only in their closeness and willingness to lay down their lives for one another, but also in oath—one sworn in front of the Council.” Its illegal for parabatai  to fall in love because of some “hypothetical” curse, that hasn’t even been confirmed yet. But in Lady Midnight, Julian and Emma realize they are in love. (Big shocker there, huh?) Anyway, Emma and Julian were on a mission in Lord of Shadows to find a way to unbind themselves and to keep their feelings hidden from the Clave and pretty much everyone they know. They end up telling the Inquisitor, Robert Lightwood, about their feelings near the end of Lord of Shadows, they wanted to get exiled so that their parabatai bond would fade and Robert said he’d look into it. But suddenly, Robert is killed by Annabel Blackthorn, so umm  no more exile for Emma and Jules! Great! Horace Dearborn finds out about Emma and Jules’ relationship after he is elected as the next Inquisitor and ships the two off to Faerie on a suicide mission to retrieve the Black Volume of the Dead. Because Horace just hates everyone. A lovely guy and a great Inquisitor he is, indeed. At this point I’m already BEYOND pissed. Not cool Horace, NOT COOL!

“His heart exploding paint and colours because he could not speak the words.”

-Cassandra Clare, Queen of Air and Darkness

So a bunch of stuff happens in Faerie. Emma is pissed because Julian got Magnus to perform a spell on him to numb his emotions so that his parabatai rune will stop burning and his feelings for Emma become inexistent. They get trapped in the Unseelie Court and have a nice reunion with Clary and Jace who where chilling in one of the nearby cells. (TMI reunion?) Cristina pops up and breaks them all out. Then while fighting to leave the Unseelie Court, Emma and Julian get circled around by whats left of the seven riders of Mannan, which leaves them no choice but to jump into a conveniently placed portal behind them, to another dimension.

This dimension is called Thule, and basically everything before the Dark War was the same except for the fact that it was Sebastian Morgenstern who won, Clary Fairchild was murdered by Lilith, the whole race of Shadowhunters has been destroyed, theres no more Angel Raziel, runes, or Clave. Sebastian and his Endarkened pretty much own the dimension. (Its pretty much everything that happened in City of Heveanly fire, but like, reversed.) All the Blackthorns are dead except for Livvy and an Endarkened Julian. Normal Julian and Emma meet up with other-dimension Livvy. (who is also a couple years older than non-Thule dimension Livvy who just died) Together they try and find a way back home. However, in Thule, Emma and Julian’s parabatai runes start to fade because of the loss of angelic power. Technically they aren’t parabatai in Thule. We all know what happens after that….

Emma and Julian seek Thule’s Tessa Gray, for help, but she comes up with nothing. They end up running into Annabel Blackthorn who tells them she will make a portal for them as long as they bring Ash Morgenstern back with them (which originally jumped into the portal with Annabel before Emma and Julian and whose also the son of the Seelie Queen and Sebastian Morgenstern. Ash was held as prisoner by the Unseelie King in the home dimension and Annabel ended up growing attached to him. She wanted him to leave Thule because she knew that Sebastian would try to murder him for more power.) They end up leaving Thule without Ash, because he chose to stay after Thule Sebastian was killed by Emma.

Back home, Alas. The LA Institute residents rejoice at their arrival. However, the Clave is bombarded with Cohort supporters and Horace is planning some wicked evil stuff for Downworlders. Livia’s Guard is created by Julian as a team of Shadowhunters and Downworlders alike, to help rid the Clave of the Cohort.

They make their way to Idris, to pretty much start a civil war, but hey, you go, Julian! During the big battle, Emma gets stabbed in the back repeatedly by Zara Dearborn, Horace’s daughter. (UGH) Emma is close to dead by the time that Julian gets to her. The iratzes weren’t working so Julian used his “super-duper-intense” love for Emma and the parabatai bond to heal her….. Which turned them both into original Nephilims, two giants who blaze up, thirty feet tall, full of heavenly fire, and absolutely no self-control. (Sorta like me when I see a cat.)

The other Blackthorns end up getting them to calm down but only after they killed all the riders of Mannan and Emma threw Jace Herondale through the air. They wake up in the Basilias with Jem Carstairs, who tells them the heavenly fire burned away the parabatai bond. Emma and Jules are no longer parabatai! In the end, they are on the beach all happy, they are officially dating and everything is all good for them. (Thank God!)

“There is fire inside us, Emma, and as it blazes, it burns us, and the burning causes pain—but without its light, I cannot see to draw.”

-Cassandra Clare, Queen of Air and Darkness

Alrighty, WHAT? The whole giant thing was hella weird, but so was Thule and everything else. I still loved every second of reading it though so it whatever. I’m mostly pissed off that Livvy didn’t decide to come back with Emma and Julian. Other than that, I don’t have much else to say about Emma and Jules other than: I cried a lot, I’m happy for them, and that I think Emma should apologize to Jace for flinging him like a basketball while she was thirty feet tall but whatever, moving on!

Rant two: Cristina, Mark AND Kieran?!

So ummm. They are like a thing, all three of them. IDK maybe people dig this sort of stuff but it wasn’t really my cup of tea…. I ship Cristina and Mark or Mark and Kieran but them all together???? I don’t really know how I feel about it. Part of me is like “yo just choose one Cristina.” but then the other half is saying “Eh, lets just let em do their thang, whatever, it’s none of my buisness!” Sorta bummed and pumped that Kieran is the new Unseelie King because that means that he can make strong Shadowhunter-Downworlder Alliance and cooperate to end the Cold Peace. But that means he wont be able to spend all his time with Cristina and Mark so they are all pretty sad except for that one cabin in Faerie where they can all chill without getting in trouble or endangering each other. All in all, they are happy so I’m happy for them. You do You, guys!

Rant Three: Kit Herondale and Ty Blackthorn, the Best Friends Attempting Necromancy

When Livia dies, Ty makes it his mission to bring her back from the dead. He asks his own Watson: Kit, to help him raise her from the dead by using some photos taken of the Black Volume of The Dead that Ty backed up from Julian’s phone. (Julian needs to get a password for his phone, apparently.) With the help of a warlock called Shade, who is actually Ragnor Fell, The boys take off on a mission to the Shadow Market in order to get the ingredients for the spell. Kit does not think that any of this is a good idea, but he goes along with it anyway.

They perform the spell in Idris, next to Lake Lyn. Livvy shows up. However, she’s only a ghost because there was a defect in the spell. Livia is hella pissed at Ty though. She’s mad that she’s been disturbed and fears for Ty because necromancy is not free. She ends up leaving them and Ty is distraught and very sad.

Turns out, Livvy comes to visit Ty from time-to-time and Kit can see her too. Ty decides to move on and get to know his other sister, Drusilla, better. Kit gets asked by Tessa in the Basilias if he’d want to move in with her, Jem, and the baby they are expecting. Kit says yes, he thinks it’s better if he left Ty and the Blackthorns and learns to become a true Shadowhunter with Tessa and Jem.

“Sometimes you need to guard people against the things they want, as well as the things they fear.”

-Cassandra Clare, Queen of Air and Darkness

I’m really sad that Kit decided to leave the Blackthorns but I’m happy that he’s pursuing his training as a Shadowhunter and he’ll be able to be a big brother to Tessa and Jem’s child. I do think that if Kit had been more honest with Ty they could of had a better relationship. But I also think that Kit leaving was beneficial for Ty because he could really come to terms with the fact that his twin won’t be coming back so he mustn’t take for granted his other siblings. I also hope he ends up going to the Scholomance. I think it would be a good place for Ty to go to do things that will make him happy.

Rant Four: Seeya Idris?

Near the end of Queen of Air and Darkness, the members of the Cohort are tried for their crimes by Jia Penhallow. At the trial, Jia affirms that she’s dropping her position as Consul. Jace automatically nominates Alec to be the new Consul but the Cohort members are infuriated by the thought. Everyone votes. Alec becomes the new Consul but the young members of the Cohort aren’t having it. Zara places a blade to her throat, so do all the other young Cohort members. The promising Shadowhunters whose minds have been filled with lies say that they will take their lives, all of them, unless the Clave and all the non-Cohort members leave Idris.

Alec decides to spare their lives, Clary makes a portal for all the Shadowhunters who will have to leave their homeland to live in the mundane world. Once everyone is gone, Idris will be locked off, the Cohort will remain in that cage forever. The Clave will re-locate to New York, so that Alec can stick around Magnus, Raphael, and Max.

This part was actually crazy. I can’t believe the Shadowhunters were just like “yup, adios Idris!” This is your hometown! At least Alec is Consul now so we are assured there will be no Downworlder discrimination! 🙂 I’m also SOOO happy that Horace Dearborn is dead! No more war!!!!!!

Rant Five: Malec 

Don’t we ALL love Malec? Yeah, we do.

You want to know what I love even more than Malec? Malec’s wedding.

THAT’S RIGHT EVERYONE! RIGHT BY THE L.A. INSTITUTE! ON THE FREAKING BEACH!

I cried so hard for this one. The whole ceremony: cute asf. The party: cute as hell. Max and Raphael: super cute as hell. Isabelle crying: I feel you. The traditional Shadowhunter wedding incorporated with a warlock wedding: WoW!

I’m not even going to spoil it. just read it yourselves!

Rant Five: Clace

I saved the most important rant for last. That is why we are only talking about Clary and Jace now……….. Because they are ENGAGED!!! OMY GOD! The proposal was so cute and I’m super happy that Clary did not end up dying like she thought she would! UGH, and when they went back to the greenhouse in the New York Institute I had to close the book. I mean if you’ve read The Mortal Instruments AND The Dark Artifices you have seen Clary and Jace’s characters develop so much, I basically consider them my children now. Anyway, so happy for them. They better pop up in The Wicked Powers from time-to-time because if they don’t I’m really going to miss all their snarky comments and bickering! 🙂

Holy Moly, I almost forgot! Thule Jace shows up to the Seelie Court with Ash and asks the Queen to bring him Clary. I think he wants Clary because in Thule she’s dead? Not sure, but it was pretty creepy and plenty suspenseful. Now I got to wait four years though… great. 🙁

Final Review/Recommendation

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Let’s be real here, all of the Cassandra Clare books I’ve read have been rated five stars. I took Queen of Air and Darkness out of the shipping packaging and already knew I’d rate it five and that I’d die for any of the characters.

Usually when I finish a book I think about the characters for two days maybe, and then it’s onto the next book and the next set of characters. That’s not the case for Queen of Air and Darkness though. I can’t stop. Every day in French class, (my least favourite class) I space out and just replay the whole book in my head. It’s been a full week since I finished this novel and my friends still need to shake me out of my haze when lunch is over. Cassandra Clare has officially taken over my mind! I just started reading War Storm by Victoria Aveyard and I keep on waiting for the POV to change to Emma’s or something. I’m rambling but if you choose to read this book or if you want to reread it; Do not, I repeat DO NOT read it when you have tests coming up! I spent fifteen minutes of my math midterm wondering what will happen when Thule Jace gets to Clary, what Jem and Tessa will call their baby, the Malec wedding, and Emma almost-dying! I’m supposed to be thinking analytical geometry not Malec!

This blog post is already long enough. Just read The Shadowhunter Chronicles, please!

“The sky was a road and the stars made pathways; the moon was a watchtower, a lighthouse that led you home.”

-Cassandra Clare, Queen of Air and Darkness

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Another Reason to read The Shadowhunter Chronicles: They have cool spinal art and there’s already 18 books out so you can read all of them in a year (as I did) and just stare into the oblivion until the next one comes out (as I will do after I publish this!)

I sure hope you liked this super long review of Queen of Air and Darkness because I’ve been sitting in front of this computer for the past three hours ranting about this novel and my legs and feet are asleep. lol.

Let me know what you thought of my review or any of The Shadowhunter Chronicles! (none of my family or friends read any Cassandra Clare so I’d love to have someone to talk with about these amazing novels!!!!!)

Have a great weekend!

-Emma

 

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