Hey, book friends! How’s your Tuesday?
So I finished Lady Midnight last week (OMG SOBBING) and I was going to post a normal review, but so many people have done fab ones and I wanted some space to talk about the bazillion questions and feelings that have taken over my life!
Cups of tea and steles at the ready, because we’re in for the long haul.
I loved this book. Though I didn’t love it with same fiery passion as TID or TMI, it was a welcome addition to the Nephilim world and it offered more than I expected.
I think Cassie Clare has received some bad press from outside the fandom over the years, and yes, it’s true that there are elements of other worlds and other books in the Shadowhunters series. But let’s be honest, fantasy and dystopia writers borrow from myth, lore, legend, riddles, fables and each other all the time. Clare’s storytelling has come a long way since she wrote City of Bones, to the point where I think her books could actually become pretty important to a generation of readers.
Also, two important things:
- Cassandra Clare’s writing is so DAMN FUN to read
- She is the queen of forbidden romances, and don’t you even try to deny it
As far as I’m concerned, life is about enjoyment and I have so much fun reading Cassie’s books, so I’m happy them to just keep oooooooon coming.
The Themes & Plot
There have always been topical or important themes weaved into the action and sprawling fantasy of the Shadowhunters novels, but this book feels weighty in ways that The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices didn’t. It’s still jam packed with sass, demons and a whole host of feels, but it also tackles some big topics.
In the midst of a busy plot, Clare manages to ask the reader to do a bit of thinking. When does killing cross the line of duty to become murder? Will revenge bring you closure? How much of yourself is it okay to give up (or hide) for the people that you love?
Lady Midnight also touches on the stigma attached to mental health issues, sexuality, death, disability, duty and grief. I found the subplots about Arthur’s mental health and Ty’s disability really interesting, because Shadowhunters have been portrayed as mostly untouched by mundane struggles (unless we’re talking heart break, obvs) thus far. These issues were subtly handled, with room for more depth to be added as the trilogy progresses.
I found the first quarter of the book a little slow, and it took me some time to connect with the storyline, but I was totally stumped as to who could be committing the murders. Although I was surprised when the villain was revealed, my one criticism would be that I felt that the reveal scene itself lacked a little oomph.
This novel is very character driven, full to the brim with a host of interesting and strong characters who have lots to say for themselves. I really enjoyed getting to know the Blackthorns and learning more about what happened to them after the attack on the LA Institute, although I have to confess to skimming back over pages at the beginning to remember which sibling was which. THERE’S JUST SO MANY OF THEM. I also really enjoyed the reappearance of half-faerie, half-Shadowhunter sibling Mark Blackthorn, and I thought that his attempts to adjust to the Nephilim world after spending an infinite amount of time in the Wild Hunt added some touching and funny commentary on what it’s like to feel like you don’t fit in.
Every time another Shadowhunters series come out, I always think I’ll never like the love interest because PLEASE, who could be better than Jace Herondale? Every time, I’m wrong. Don’t misunderstand me, Jace is still my forever book husband, but Julian is quite lovely and his and Emma’s Parabatai brings a new angle and makes their relationship totally different to Wessa/Jessa/Clace. And that beach scene? *fans self*
Getting to know all of the new characters was fun and I loved the occasional appearances from the old characters, who were mostly used to progress the plot and add layers of detail. Reading about them again was like coming home after a long day to a huge cup of tea and a cuddle. 💙
The Questions (Spoilers)
By the Angel, so many question!
How did Annabel wake up?
Was it Malcolm’s blood in the water that woke her, as the poem at the end of the book suggests? Or was the spell completed with Blackthorn blood shed in battle? I’m totally intrigued!
Why doesn’t Clary want to marry Jace?!
COME ON. If you don’t want to marry him Clary, I’ll happily take him off of your hands. But seriously, I want to know what the reason is and why she seems to be dreading the conversation so much. Is it because she’s not ready and they’re busy bossing the running of the NY Institute? Or is it something darker? Pls don’t be darker.
Speaking of weddings, whose was the mysterious wedding that Magnus mentions to Julian and Emma?
Whilst at Malcom’s, Julian and Emma speak with Magnus who implies that the last wedding he saw them both at was not Helen and Aline’s. Who in the name of Raziel’s wedding was it?! I keep racking my brains for the answer to this, but am literally coming up with zilch. It’s such a weird detail that I assume it’ll have some significance later on.
How will Julian and Emma sever their Parabatai bond?
I mean, Clary and Jace and Will/Jem/Tessa had a pretty tough time too, so odds on that eventually Julian and Emma will be able to be together somehow, some way. Cortana is an important symbol for the Carstairs, and it is mentioned endlessly throughout LM that a blade made by Wayland the Smith can cut through anything, so I wonder if this may become more significant as the storyline progresses.
What will happen to Cristina/Diego/Kieran/Mark?
I feel like there’s more to perfect Diego than meets the eye, and there’s very clearly unfinished business between Kieran and Mark, with the story left open for the Faerie Prince to make a reappearance later on. I can’t wait to find out who ends up with who, if at all!
What is Diana’s secret?
Diana was such a mystery to me in this book, and I really want to know why she won’t run the LA Institute. She’s clearly loyal to the Blackthorns, but she’s also unwilling to commit to looking after them when really, she would be a seemingly perfect choice. I feel like she’s harboring a dark past, but I can’t for the life of me make even a tiny guess at what her secrets could be.
I have literally so many questions about Kit and Johnny Rook that I could fill up a whole notebook with them! Why did Johnny Rook renounce his Shadowhunter blood? Will Jace be involved in bringing Kit around to being a Shadowhunter? And as we all know, the Carstairs owe the Herondales, so what will his and Emma’s relationship be like?
I CAN’T HANDLE THE NOT KNOWING.
Maybe we can set up a support group until the release of Lord of Shadows? Do you have any thoughts on Lady Midnight, or burning questions of your own?
Let’s talk TDA in the comments!