Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare [Review]

LADY MIDNIGHT is an action-packed, thrill ride of a novel, the first in Cassandra Clare’s newest Shadowhunters series titled THE DARK ARTIFICES. And let me tell you, it was one of the best Cassie Clare books I’ve ever read. Why? I’ll tell you in a moment. For now, here’s the cover and synopsis off of Goodreads:

25494343In a kingdom by the sea…

In a secret world where half-angel warriors are sworn to fight demons, parabatai is a sacred word.

A parabatai is your partner in battle. A parabatai is your best friend. Parabatai can be everything to each other—but they can never fall in love.

Emma Carstairs is a warrior, a Shadowhunter, and the best in her generation. She lives for battle. Shoulder to shoulder with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, she patrols the streets of Los Angeles, where vampires party on the Sunset Strip, and faeries—the most powerful of supernatural creatures—teeter on the edge of open war with Shadowhunters. When the bodies of humans and faeries turn up murdered in the same way Emma’s parents were when she was a child, an uneasy alliance is formed. This is Emma’s chance for revenge—and Julian’s chance to get back his brother Mark, who is being held prisoner by the faerie Courts. All Emma, Mark, and Julian have to do is solve the murders within two weeks…and before the murderer targets them.

Their search takes Emma from sea caves full of sorcery to a dark lottery where death is dispensed. And each clue she unravels uncovers more secrets. What has Julian been hiding from her all these years? Why does Shadowhunter Law forbid parabatai to fall in love? Who really killed her parents—and can she bear to know the truth?

The darkly magical world of Shadowhunters has captured the imaginations of millions of readers across the globe. Join the adventure in Lady Midnight, the long-awaited first volume of a new trilogy from Cassandra Clare.

LADY MIDNIGHT blew my expectations. I mean, I knew it would be good, but I found it was significantly better than The Mortal Instruments series. I recently finished CITY OF HEAVENLY FIRE and though I liked it, I had issues with the pacing in the first half of the book. Sometimes, I find Clare’s books can be too slow; sometimes, they’re action-packed. This book was able to be action-packed and slow all at once: there was a huge introduction to the new characters (who I love–lookin’ at you, Julian 😉 ), the Shadowhunter world, and more. What I really liked about this book was the world-building; you can definitely read this book without having read The Mortal Instruments, though I do think having read that series will enrich your experience with this one. You should definitely read The Infernal Devices before Lady Midnight. Because, well, let’s just say, it’s spoiler-city otherwise, and you do not want to be spoiled for such an amazing series like TID (which, in my opinion, is Cassie’s best work).

Another thing I loved about Lady Midnight is all the literature references. Clare weaves her love of books and literature into the TID series well (hey, Coleridge poems!), and she does this same with this book. Each chapter title is a line taken from Annabel Lee by Edgar Allen Poe. There’s a lot of significance to this poem, and I cannot wait to see how things will intertwine with her other new series (starting in 2017), called THE LAST HOURS. Because I can just see alllll the connections. (And they’re wonderful.)

Now, let’s talk about the characters. Because they were one of the best parts of this book. First off, there’s Emma Carstairsloved Emma. More than Clary. More than Tessa–my fellow book lover! Honestly, Emma felt like an awesome girl version of Jace. She was sarcastic, funny, and just a great main character. I loved her backstory and found that I cared a lot for her and her relationships. Speaking of relationships… this book was full of them. I have, like, three different ships going. And they gave me *all the feels.*

Next is Julian Blackthorn. Well, the whole Blackthorn family in general. This family is big, and though the names could sometimes be a bit confusing (who’s Ty and who’s Tavvy?!), they were all just so lovable and had their own unique quirks.

Overall, this book was pretty much an A+ for me. One of the best Shadowhunter books I’ve ever read–it’s in my top three with CITY OF GLASS and CLOCKWORK PRINCESS. It was fresh, interesting, and didn’t feel like a re-run of the same old thing. I also thought this book was very diverse without feeling like it was adding diversity for the sake of diversity, but rather reflecting our world truthfully. I highly recommend you check this book out if you haven’t already, even if you haven’t read The Mortal Instruments!

Rating: 5/5 stars

Until next time,



10 thoughts on “Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare [Review]

  1. Madeline @ The SFF Bookshelf says:

    This is an awesome review, and I am so glad that you enjoyed Lady Midnight. I absolutely loved this book with all my heart and the second one in the series cannot come out fast enough.

    Cassandra Clare did a wonderful job with this book. The world-building is glorious and I just love how she managed to connect all the series in this book. The characters are my favourite element of this series, though. Emma is such an amazing character, and I agree that she is very much like a female Jace. Though, I think Julian would have to be my favourite character. I love how Julian takes care of his family and the lengths that he would go through to do so.

    I am very interested to see how this story continues. I just want to the second book now!

    • The Writing Duo says:

      Yes! I totally agree. This one felt so fresh and original. And that cliffhanger!! I was actually spoiled for the last line of the book, but not the epilogue, thankfully. Thanks for commenting! ❤

  2. Zoe says:

    *whispers* I hate to admit this, but I’m not really a fan of Cassie Clare’s books. *hides* However, seeing how much you liked this one makes me want to give her books another try. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! ❤

    • The Writing Duo says:

      That’s perfectly okay! Not everyone likes her books, and honestly I found the last 3 books in the TMI series to *not be the best* though still enjoyable. I’d recommend her TID series over TMI, so maybe give those ones a chance!

      Thanks for commenting, Zoe!

    • The Writing Duo says:

      Ahhh it was so good! Yes, I think it’s called Lord of Shadows? Cassie recently posted an excerpt of it, featuring Mark and Cristina (!!!). You should check it out. Thanks for commenting, Ava! ❤

  3. Sabrina says:

    I really wanted to read this book but I was afraid I wouldn’t understand the world building because I had to read the mortal instruments first. (I kinda forgot most of it, even though I’ve read the whole series). But I’m happy that the world building in this book is great for those who don’t know the books well enough. 🙂

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