Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare is the first book in The Dark Artifices trilogy. In case you didn’t know, The Dark Artifices is the spin-off series of The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices also by Cassandra Clare. While you don’t necessarily need to read these books in order to read Lady Midnight I would highly recommend it. Because this series does take place after the events of these other series there may be small spoilers for them throughout my reviews but I shall try to keep them to a limit. I can’t really talk too much about the synopsis of this book without spoiling the other series, so if you haven’t read those I would recommend you avoid reading this review but please do read them they are amazing!
If you have read these other series and still have no idea what Lady Midnight is about then: 1. where have you been?! And 2. Here is a brief synopsis anyone. Basically the main character named Emma Carstairs who over the last five years has been seeking for the murderers of her parents so she can seek revenge. She is also struggling with her relationship with her parabati Julian Blackthorn which is supposed to be strictly platonic. Julian has his own struggles, with having to look after his younger siblings without the help of any of his older siblings or a parental figure.
So onto my actual thoughts on the book, in short, I loved it! I mean did anyone expect differently… I had such fun reading this book and always struggled to put it down. This inevitably lead to many nights staying up past midnight on school nights just to finish the chapter or page I was reading! All the characters we saw in the book were incredible and each unique which I think Cassandra Clare has a great talent for. I think I would say my favorite characters were probably the Blackthorns, especially Julian and Ty. So far I’m not fully emotionally invested in Emma’s character yet but I’m sure with time that will come. I also really loved the overall plot of the novel and thought it felt quite like a mystery novel in which throughout the book pieces of the puzzle are put together in order to discover who the murderer was. The diversity in the book was also incredible with the inclusion of characters of different ethnicities, sexualities, body types and a character with autism- which I have never actually read about before but found amazing. This is probably one of Cassandra Clare’s most diverse books which I really appreciate and I think other YA authors should definitely take her lead!
So that’s all I can really say without giving away any spoilers, I will now be going into a spoilery discussion now so if you haven’t read the book yet now would be a good time to leave. Also please do pick this book up! Even if you weren’t the biggest fan of Clare’s other series, chances are you may still really enjoy this one. So with that, let’s jump into the spoilery discussion! Beware- this is going to be quite rambly and long because I have so much to talk about, but let’s just jump right into it!!
First let’s discuss the characters because damn weren’t they amazing! So I think we should start with Emma since she is of course our badass main character. To be totally honest, I’m not 100% sold on Emma’s character just yet. I love how badass and witty she is but so far that’s really all I feel about her. I thought her quest to find out about her parent’s murder and seek revenge was quite generic though I do still understand why it was important to her. I think the main reason why I feel like this is because for the first half of the book Emma refuses to admits she’s in love with Julian which sort of made me feel like we couldn’t get a full sense of her character. I’m sure I will start to like her better as the books go on though and soon grow an attachment to her. I am really interested to see how her dynamic will change now that she ‘dumped’ Julian and is going to pretend or actually go out with Mark. But overall her character was enjoyable to read from and her sassy one liners never failed to make me laugh out loud.
Next I’ve got to talk about Julian. I ABSOLUTELY ADORED JULIAN! Especially toward his family! I loved his whole drive to protect all of his younger siblings and feel like he has to take on a parental role within his family and the Institute. While at times it was scary to see just what lengths he would go to, I thought it really added to his character and made him more admirable in my eyes. I also appreciated how different he was from the other two male leads in Clare’s other series (Jace and Will). Even though I loved those guys, it’s nice to read about a new male who doesn’t not believe he should love.
To the rest of the Blackthorns! So Mark was such an interesting character for me and really intriguing but again a little bit intimidating. Especially on the last page where he says to Emma ‘Why lie’… Like dude step back, you already have two amazing love interests! I am excited to see more of him in the next book and I just hope that he and Emma don’t actually start a proper relationship… Next Ty and Livvy! Ty was absolutely amazing! I thought his character was super interesting and unique. I really loved how he had an obsession with Sherlock and relating everything back to him which I’m sure all us fangirls/fanboys can relate to with our fictional stories. Livvy was also a super cool character. I especially loved her protectiveness over her siblings and how badass she is with her saber. I’m excited to see more of her to especially as she grows up. Next we have Dru who I felt we didn’t get to see much of yet still seemed so kind and sweet. I was absolutely horrified when I read about what her great aunt told her and I really just wanted to give her a hug! Again I am eager to see where her character will go especially because we rarely see her really fighting, probably because of her young age. And finally we have Tavvy. Tavvy of course was an absolute sweetheart and I’m hoping we do get to see him grow and develop throughout the rest of The Shadowhunter Chronicles since I’m sure that would be so cute!
The other characters I briefly want to talk about are Cristina and Kieran. I loved reading about both of them and their individual character traits of course. I think Cristina was the perfect character to balance out Emma and help keep her sane especially about her feelings toward Julian. Now in terms of this love triangle I have no idea where it’s going to go but I’m so excited all the same! Honestly I don’t really have a solid team right now but I am slightly leaning toward Kieran but really only because he is all alone right now unlike Cristian who has Perfect Diego. And in case you’re wondering, I have no idea what I think of Diego so far. He seems okay I guess but nothing totally ship worthy. I’m eager to learn more about him in the future though.
Now let’s tlak about a few of the adults. Uncle Arthur’s presence throughout the book was quite short for obvious reasons. I do hope we end up finding some sort of cure for him and I’m curious as to how Julian will be able to get his medicine without Malcom’s help. Magnus maybe? Now Diana, who I honestly had a lot of trouble trusting! I hope we get to learn more about her very soon because I’m getting so damn curious as to what she’s hiding from the Clave!
Okay now we’ve just got to talk about that plot twist! I COULDN’T BELIEVE NIGHTSHADE WAS PUTTING ADDICTIVE POWDER IN THE PIZZAS! I MEAN WHO SAW THAT COMING. Hahaha, I’m joking of course but I’ve just got to talk about the 2 plot twists at the end of the book.
First off, Malcom Fade. Right off the bat I fell in love with Malcom’s character. I loved how quirky and adorable he was while being a great friend for the Blackthorn children especially Julian. Like honestly, it was impossible to hate him. A piece of my heart literally crumbled and burned as soon as we learnt what he had done! I felt so angry and betrayed by him which could be demonstrated by the number of angry messages I sent to my friend who has never read the series and had no idea what I was talking about. While I do somewhat sympathize with the horrible circumstance Malcom faced, I still hated him for what he did to the Blackthorn children especially poor innocent Tavvy. To be totally honest though I do kind of hope he’s still alive. I think it would be interesting to see what he would be like now especially now that Annabel is alive.
Now we need to talk about the second plot twist, Kit Rook or should I say Christopher Johnathon Herondale. I was actually spoiled for this plot twist which is such a shame and I will forever regret this. But still, that moment with Tessa and Jem walked in did surprise me as well as how well Kit was able to fight. I’m still a little confused as to who his parents are, which is probably because I haven’t read the Shadowhunter Academy books, but nevertheless I am so, so, so excited that we get to have another Herondale thrown into the mix. I can’t wait to see more of him in the other books now that he’s living in the Institute and see a relationship between him and Ty develop, either platonic or romantic I’m not sure but I am super-duper excited!
Now I feel like I’ve really been ignoring the elephant in the room, that is Emma and Julian’s romantic feelings toward each other. Throughout the book I was super concerned with how close they came to getting caught being together. It frustrated me quite a bit and had me yelling at my book and face palming quite a few times. Honestly, I think in the next book they should both be really looking for a way to break this stupid parabati curse so they can be together! Also who would have guessed one of the Clave’s laws actually has a purpose behind it, this truly shocked me. In the next book while I know they probably won’t spend much time ‘romanically’ together, I still hope we get to see them interacting and fighting together which I found super cute in this book.
I just want to briefly fangirl over the short story at the end of Lady Midnight in my copy about Clary and the other TMI gang. I’m assuming if you’ve read Lady Midnight you’ve read this too but if not you probably want to skip this paragraph. 😛 So oh my gosh Clary and Jace are probably going to get married, Simon and Isabelle are engaged and Magnus and Alec have two children! Wow, I’ve missed a lot from Shadowhunter Academy. It was so great to see these familiar faces again and read from their POVs . It was so satisfying to see how far they had come and I’m so glad Cassandra Clare wrote this short story for us!
And there we have it! My rambly Lady Midnight review/discussion/randomness! Please comment below telling me your thoughts of the book and who your favourite character was, I’d love to discuss it! Thank you so much for reading this incredibly long review and I’ll chat with you all later!
Gabby The Dauntless Warlock xx