Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Review: Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare

Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare
Published: December 4th
Publisher:
Margaret K. McElderry Books
Pages:
880 (hardcover) 
Series:
The Dark Artifices #3 
Source:
Bought 
My Rating:
4.5 of 5 stars

Dark secrets and forbidden love threaten the very survival of the Shadowhunters in Cassandra Clare’s Queen of Air and Darkness, the final novel in the #1 New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling The Dark Artifices trilogy.

What if damnation is the price of true love?

Innocent blood has been spilled on the steps of the Council Hall, the sacred stronghold of the Shadowhunters. In the wake of the tragic death of Livia Blackthorn, the Clave teeters on the brink of civil war. One fragment of the Blackthorn family flees to Los Angeles, seeking to discover the source of the blight that is destroying the race of warlocks. 

Meanwhile, Julian and Emma take desperate measures to put their forbidden love aside and undertake a perilous mission to Faerie to retrieve the Black Volume of the Dead. What they find in the Courts is a secret that may tear the Shadow World asunder and open a dark path into a future they could never have imagined. Caught in a race against time, Emma and Julian must save the world of Shadowhunters before the deadly power of the parabatai curse destroys them and everyone they love.


I probably say this in every review for one of Cassandra Clare's books, but there's something about this world and her writing that I just keep coming back to. It's almost nostalgic coming back to this world and getting to see characters that I first read about about 9 years ago. This is definitely the kind of series where you need to read pretty much every book Clare has ever written in order to get the full effect of the story.

This was definitely a book that I would only every pick up if I was looking for a good cry. Right from the beginning there's so much loss and grief that you can't help but feel like crying for the Blackthorns. Even though I pretty much forgot the ending of Lord of Shadows, the emotions were so raw and realistic that you get drawn into the tragedy and into the story. It's not until pretty much the end that the mood seems to lighten and I loved that because it made the grief seem more real and you could see how all the characters were dealing with it differently.

One of the main reasons I didn't give this book 5 stars was because sometimes it seemed that all the plots and stories didn't work well. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed pretty much every character's moment, but it also felt like too much for one book. Once you get really invested in one story, the book would jump to another and you didn't know when it would come back to the one you really want to know what happens next in. I know this is pretty much typical for all the Shadowhunter books, but usually it involved less characters and the characters were more directly involved with each other. It also seemed like a lot of the book was setting up for later series to come and I guess that's great, but less new things and more focus on the current story would have made this book just a little bit better.

The part of these books that I've always loved is the romance (or romances is probably more accurate). The emotions feel so real and the love that the characters feel for each other, whether romantic or not moved me to tears (both happy and sad). Clare hits the nail on the head with every romance I've read by her and I loved how diverse the relationships were in this book. Out of all of the relationships, Emma and Julian's was by far my favorite. I'll admit I'm a sucker for forbidden love relationships, so that's probably why I enjoyed theirs the most, but it was also the most fleshed out relationship because Emma and Julian are the main characters. I think the one thing involving their relationship I didn't like was how their problem was solved at the end of the book. It seemed too easy after multiple books saying how difficult their problem would be to solve and how painful, but I guess without that kind of ending it wouldn't be satisfying because either they wouldn't be together or they would be miserable without the other Blackthorns. 

I would assume that the epilogue is setting up for The Wicked Powers and while I'm not entirely interested I would by lying if I said I wouldn't at least pick up the first book. There's something about this world that I keep coming back to and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a great series to read (although I would recommend starting with The Mortal Instruments over The Dark Artifices). It's one of those books that makes you laugh and cry with memorable characters that you'll want to keep coming back to. 

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