REVIEW: Lady Midnight

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About the Book

Lady MidnightTitle: Lady Midnight

Author: Cassandra Clare

Series: Dark Artifices #1

Genre: YA Fantasy

Pages: 688

Edition Read: Hardcover

Dates Read: September 1-12, 2022 (originally read in 2016)

Blurb: The Shadowhunters of Los Angeles star in the first 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 what killed her parents and avenging her losses.

Together with her parabatai 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.


Oh boy, where to even begin? I absolutely love Cassandra Clare. I love her stories, her characters, her way of making you laugh and cry in the same paragraph. This series is a bit of a commitment though – the three books cover 2280 pages total. It’s a lot, but honestly, it reads really fast. Mostly because you just have to know what happens next.

First off, I absolutely love Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorn. We meet them briefly at the end of the Mortal Instruments series, but now we see them as almost-adults. Emma is driven by the desire to find out who killed her parents and this leads to her getting into some pretty dangerous situations. It’s not that she’s reckless, per se. She just won’t take no for an answer and won’t let anything stand in her way. And I have never, EVER, had a character that I wanted to hug so bad like Julian. That poor guy. Orphaned at twelve, sent with his four younger siblings to live with an elderly uncle they didn’t know. That’s bad enough, but uncle Arthur is also not well – it isn’t specified what he suffers from, since they don’t use a lot of mundane medical terms, but it seems like a form of dementia. This has led to Julian running the Institute, pretending to be his uncle in correspondence, going to warlocks for medicines to help, and still trying to raise his younger siblings . . . from the age of twelve! And he’s done a brilliant job of it, but please, I just want something nice to happen for this guy. If anyone deserves it, it’s him.

The main problem with Emma and Julian is their growing attraction to each other. They’ve been best friends since they were small children and decided to become linked as parabatai (for those who haven’t read the books, from the Wiki: “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.”) The problem is that, while parabatai are usually very close, they are not supposed to ever be romantically involved. We don’t find out the details as to why in this book, but we do know that it is forbidden.

The two main plots involve Mark, an older Blackthorn sibling that was exiled to Fairiedom due to the Shadowhunters breaking ties with both Fairie courts. Mark is definitely not the same brother they knew before he was sent away and it will be a journey to reconnect with the family he barely remembers and recognizes. The other plot is more of a mystery involving dead bodies turning up covered in runes similar to the ones on Emma’s parents’ bodies. This investigation leads to the discovery of a mysterious “Lady Midnight” and a betrayal of someone they believed was truly a friend. It’s all very complicated, but brilliantly woven together into a story that I found truly captivating.

GoodReads rating: 5 stars

Categories: Books I've Read

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