Monday, March 4, 2019

Book Review: Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices 1) by Cassandra Clare

Lady Midnight
The Dark Artifices #1

Cassandra Clare

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March 8, 2016


Book Synopsis:
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.

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My Thoughts:

I've been in a reading rut for quite some time. Yet lately, I've been wanting to dive into a really good book. I've needed to lose myself in a fantasy world; one filled with magic, danger, adventure and of course, romance. I saw the cover for the Queen of Air and Darkness, and I thought that the cover was beautiful and alluring. I knew that I could count on Cassandra Clare to pull me out of my reading rut, and of course she delivered! I loved both her Immortal Instruments Series and Infernal Devices Trilogy. 

I instantly downloaded Lady Midnight because I needed to start at the beginning of the series. Lady Midnight was a good and solid read. However, it took me a while to get through it. Cassandra Clare doesn't rush her story building. She really takes her time developing her characters, giving the reader a sense of time and place, as well as adding depth to the characters connections to one another. The way she meticulously and artfully creates and links each puzzle piece in her stories, gives her readers a whole new world and experience that we get to treasure, as the pieces come together in perfect harmony. I would characterize Lady Midnight as a book that sparks the readers interest with magic, wonder, and mystery. 

In Lady Midnight, we learn about Emma Carstairs and Julian "Jules" Blackthorn. Emma came to live at the L.A. Institute after her parents were murdered. Sebastian was blamed for their murders, but Emma has always instinctively felt that someone else murdered them. She has made it her mission to figure out what really happened to them and get revenge. Emma's parabatai, Julian, has supported her every step of the way, as she investigates and pins, clues and clippings of her parents murders. 

Since the age of 12, and after his parents became part of Sebastian's "endarkened," Julian Blackthorne has been raising his younger brothers and sisters. His oldest sister, Helen, was exiled by the Clave for being part faerie, as part of "The Cold Peace," and his older brother Mark, who is also part faerie, disappeared when he was captured and became part of "The Wild Hunt," a group of wild fae. Uncle Arthur suffers from a severe dementia and went crazy after he was tortured in the faerie realm. So even though everyone on the outside thinks he is running the institute and raising the children, it is really Julian that all responsibility falls upon. 

The Blackthorne children, 15 year old twins, Livvy and Ty, as well as 13 year old Dru, and 7 year old Tavvy are all a tight-knit family, with Emma and Julian being parental figures. The Blackthorne's tutor, Diana, and fellow shadow hunter, Christina Rosales, from Mexico, (who is taking her travel year in L.A.,) and has become best friends with Emma, all are important characters in the trilogy. 

When faeries dead bodies start turning up in the same condition as Emma's parents were when they were murdered, the Blackthorne's and their allies agree to investigate, because this is Emma's chance to get the answers and revenge that she seeks. The Faeries offer the Blackthorne's brother, Mark, as a bargaining chip, because they want the murders of their fellow faeries to stop, and shadow hunter resources for investigative purposes are invaluable.  

Unfortunately, Julian and Emma's feelings for one another are growing, and it is against the law for parabatai to fall in love. Danger lurks in every corner, and enemies and allies are difficult to discern, and surround Emma and The Blackthorne's. 

Lady Midnight was a great first book in The Dark Artifices Trilogy, and did an excellent job of setting the stage for the rest of this epic story!

About the Author:

Cassandra Clare was born to American parents in Teheran, Iran and spent much of her childhood travelling the world with her family, including one trek through the Himalayas as a toddler where she spent a month living in her father’s backpack. She lived in France, England and Switzerland before she was ten years old. 

Since her family moved around so much she found familiarity in books and went everywhere with a book under her arm. She spent her high school years in Los Angeles where she used to write stories to amuse her classmates, including an epic novel called “The Beautiful Cassandra” based on a Jane Austen short story of the same name (and which later inspired her current pen name). 

After college, Cassie lived in Los Angeles and New York where she worked at various entertainment magazines and even some rather suspect tabloids where she reported on Brad and Angelina’s world travels and Britney Spears’ wardrobe malfunctions. She started working on her YA novel, City of Bones, in 2004, inspired by the urban landscape of Manhattan, her favourite city. She turned to writing fantasy fiction full time in 2006 and hopes never to have to write about Paris Hilton again. 

Cassie’s first professional writing sale was a short story called “The Girl’s Guide to Defeating the Dark Lord” in a Baen anthology of humor fantasy. Cassie hates working at home alone because she always gets distracted by reality TV shows and the antics of her two cats, so she usually sets out to write in local coffee shops and restaurants. She likes to work in the company of her friends, who see that she sticks to her deadlines. 

City of Bones was her first novel.

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