Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices #1) by Cassandra Clare – Review


Just last week I ordered the paperback box set of The Dark Artifices. Sure, I do already have a hardcover first edition of Queen of Air and Darkness but I read Lady Midnight and Lord of Shadows as library books because I knew when the time came I would buy the paperback editions because i just love the spine art they make together and I already have the paperback box sets for The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices and I would really like it if all my books matched formats. Anyway, when The Dark Artifices came in the mail, I thought I was due for a reread, plus I had plans to reread all six books of The Mortal Instruments this summer anyway so it was time for a little mix up in the orders!

Some Details

Paperback, 720 pages
Published October 3rd 2017 by Margaret K. McElderry Books (first published March 8th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, YA, Fiction, Urban Fantasy


The Shadowhunters of Los Angeles star in this #1 New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling novel in Cassandra Clare’s newest series, The Dark Artifices, a sequel to the internationally bestselling Mortal Instruments series. Lady Midnight is a Shadowhunters novel.

It’s been five years since the events of City of Heavenly Fire that brought the Shadowhunters to the brink of oblivion. Emma Carstairs is no longer a child in mourning, but a young woman bent on discovering who killed her parents and avenging her losses.

Together with her battle partner Julian Blackthorn, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches across Los Angeles, from the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica. If only her heart didn’t lead her in treacherous directions…

Making things even more complicated, Julian’s brother Mark—who was captured by the faeries five years ago—has been returned as a bargaining chip. The faeries are desperate to find out who is murdering their kind—and they need the Shadowhunters’ help to do it. But time works differently in faerie, so Mark has barely aged and doesn’t recognize his family. Can he ever truly return to them? Will the faeries really allow it?

Glitz, glamours, and Shadowhunters abound in this heartrending opening to Cassandra Clare’s Dark Artifices series.

First Sentence

“Shadow Market nights were Kit’s favorite.”

My Thoughts

I loved the ending of City of Heavenly Fire and how that book included the introduction to the characters in this series. As soon as I finished The Mortal Instruments, I knew that I would enjoy the characters and their personalities in the new series.

Firstly, I love that even though The Mortal Instruments are over, we still get glimpses and pop-ins from the characters. I always thought that once the series would end I would never see them again. Although in Lady Midnight, there are visits and mention on Alec, Magnus, Clary, Jace and even Tessa and Jem from The Infernal Devices! The Shadowhunter Chronicles is just a big pile of books where everyone is related somehow to the other sequel series which is related to the sequel series before that one and Ouf! just a bunch of complicated and intertwined books. If you understand the chronicles they make sense, but when my friends ask what book I’m reading and I start to explain they look  at me like they should of jus kept their mouth shut. I find it so cool that Cassandra Clare can write books where they make a small reference to an ancestor and then she can go back into time and publish a whole series about that one character after mentioning it in one book published before. There must have been so much thought going into writing these books in non-chronological order and I have never seen any discrepancies from one series to another. Seems like hard planning to me!

“As long as there is love and memory, there is no true death.”
― Cassandra Clare, Lady Midnight

I really enjoyed the relationship of the Blackthorn family and how unique each of the character’s personalities are. Although I kinda feel like the Blackthorn siblings, especially the younger ones, are just plot devices because honestly they don’t do much and I feel like they where just all added in to make Julian look like a caring person so that the Emma/Julian drama can be more significant; which is kinda annoying but it’s not as if the characters are actually annoying or anything, I think the way they where developed throughout the book made it so that this was not that big of a deal. One thing that was not so fun to read for me though was that Clare made all the Blackthorns look alike. She does this for the Herondales too which is so annoying to me because they are literally carbon copies of one another as if she just did not want to write different character traits for each sibling and each Herondale. I mean sarcasm and angst isn’t hereditary, although it’s funny that all the Herondale’s are sarcastic angsty it’s just cheesy.  When I first read the book thought, I thought that the younger siblings where kinda just there and not really contributing anything to the actual story. Of course, now I realize that these characters are actually really important because they will appear in The Wicked Powers, which is the sequel series and the last expected series to The Shadowhunter Chronicles! *very sad*

“No one is ever the villain of their own story.”
― Cassandra Clare, Lady Midnight

Another aspect I liked aout Lady Midnight is that with all these characters there are so many different POV’s to follow so the book is never really boring. Every character has something crazy going on and all the while they are also trying to solve the murders. The lottery cult was so mysterious and intriguing to me which kept me hooked to the book but one part I thought was repetitive in this novel was the kinda pointless scenarios that led to Emma and Jules moments that never really contributed anything to the actual problem at hand. I mean I wrote my  Queen of Air and Darkness review so long ago and I’m sure I talked about how great Emma and Jules’ relationship is but honestly it seems forced and completely out of the blue in Lady Midnight. Maybe I’m more invested in these series for the adventure and the mystery than I once was, but I mean they are out there having fun on the beach and my head is just like: “Well your parent’s murderer is still at large, Emma. Maybe let’s save this for after the crime?” I know that the Emma and Jules narrative is an important one when it comes to the Parabatai bond and these scenes will mean more late on in the series; but rereading this book, they just seem so artificial and only there simply because they will be important later. Although if I hadn’t of read the whole series before rereading I could of just thought this was page fillers for no other reason than to just put distance between the discovery of the murderer and the beginning of the book.

Lastly, I would just like to say that the diversity in these characters are awesome. There’s LGBTQ representation (Magnus, Alec, Kieran, Mark), POC representation (Christina, Diego, Diana), Disability representation (Ty and Arthur). I loved Ty’s character and how he isn’t labelled at all by any of the Shadowhunters. I think its really important to include more unique-minded characters in YA fiction because it’s something I’ve never seen before in this genre!

The Wrap Up

Looking past the little comments, Lady Midnight is a great read. Its especially great if you’ve read the other Shadowhunter books because obviously there’s hidden quirks you can get from them in Lady Midnight. I am excited to continue my reread and I wish the release of The Wicked Powers would come sooner! I am so invested in this fictional universe!

“These pictures are my heart. And if my heart was a canvas, every square inch of it would be painted over with you.”
― Cassandra Clare, Lady Midnight

Read my other Shadowhunter reviews on this site!

Queen of Air and Darkness (The Dark Artifices #3)

Chain of Gold (The Last Hours #1)

Buy Lady Midnight from Indigo Books & Music Canada here.

Add Lady Midnight to your Goodreads shelf here.