The Dark Artifices Review





Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

Published: March 8th, 2016

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult


In 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?

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“And I love you,” Kieran said. “You are all that exists on the earth and under the sky that I do love.” 

WOW! Lady Midnight is the first Cassandra Clare book that got 5 stars from the first book. Usually, the first one is 3 or 4 stars and as the series progresses it gets a 5 but wow this book guys. I had one issue with this book and it was more so a personal annoyance than a book issue. The issue was that I am kind of sick of every series and book having all the relationships be so hard and unhappy. Like they have to go through basically hell and back and only the last book in the series do we see them be happy and go lucky. It is a tad annoying because while some couples do have that not EVERY SINGLE ONE. I would like to see her write some couples that are together and stay together and just work through things instead of all the secrets, betrayals, lies, and heartbreak then finally the happiness. With that said the actual story and characters were PHENOMENAL. I was reminded of the TMI crew and that made me so happy because I loved that crew unlike how I found many TID characters insufferable. In Lady Midnight we are now introduced to the LA Institute and follow the paths of Emma, Jullian, Mark, Kieran, Christina, Dru, Livvy, Ty, Kit, and Tavvy. Emma never thought Sebastian killed her family and boy was she right. The lies, deception, and adventure that takes place will leave your head spinning. I had a lot of OMG moments and when we found out the person behind the killings and the reason it will shock you to your core. We see some old faces and meet many new ones and it is all amazing.

“The stars will go out before I forget you, Mark Blackthorn.”

As always I find Clare’s dialogues to be funny, witty, and very true to each character. I love her world-building and how vivid she describes everything without being too wordy. I think my favorite aspect of her writing here was of the Faerie folk because you have to be able to distinguish how old-fashioned and proper they are. She nailed it in that aspect. And I must say this book was QUOTABLE. And I especially learned the love of my life Kieran was immensely quotable and he took my heart from the moment we met him. Her writing really continues to improve and her books suck me in from beginning to end. This one was especially heartbreaking and I really can’t forgive her for what my heart has gone through.

“There was beauty in the idea of freedom, but it was an illusion. Every human heart was chained by love.” 

WOW OH WOW! The romance was especially angsty in this book and I am convinced Clare hates happiness. It is the only explanation for why Emma and Julian and Mark and Kieran ended how they did. These couples left my heart on the floor and I don’t know how they did it. There was so much love and hurt going around I don’t forgive anyone who told me to read this. This woman knows how to pull at your heartstrings and do a whole musical number on them let me tell you. I was not expecting to be so invested but alas here we are.

“These pictures are my heart. And if my heart was a canvas, every square inch of it would be painted over with you.”

The characters in this book are forever in my heart. Emma was so strong and brave. To see all she had been through and all she does for those she loves is inspiring. The whipping scene and the moment she ends the killer’s life are two of my FAVORITE Emma scenes because they really capture her personality. Jullian my beautiful artist who had to grow up too fast. He is such a ruthless yet kind-hearted soul. He takes on the whole world for his family and will stop at nothing to see all those he loves smiling. Mark is a tortured boy who doesn’t know where he belongs. His heart is split between the freedom of the hunt and his family. He has been through so much for someone his age and it affects a lot his mind, body, and spirit. Kieran oh Kieran my precious Faerie prince you deserve all the happiness. He is also someone who had a shattered heart and soul because of the life he had growing up. He doesn’t know what family means and has only one love that he will do anything to keep by his side. My favorite moment with him was the whipping scene and when he went back to help Tavvy. Both scenes show immeasurable growth and also show how deep is love goes. This link will explain that more if you have any doubts about him. I also loved Christina because we got to see a strong female friendship between her and Emma and Latinx rep. Kit and Ty were my beautiful sons. Livvy and Dru were my fierce little warriors. And Tavvy was precious.

“Being told that love is forbidden does not kill love. It strengthens it.” 

“We are bound together, Emma, bound together—I breathe when you breathe, I bleed when you bleed, I’m yours and you’re mine, you’ve always been mine, and I have always, always belonged to you!” 

“Everyone is more than one thing,” said Kieran. “We are more than single actions we undertake, whether they be good or evil.”

“Laws are meaningless, child. There is nothing more important than love. And no law higher.” 

“He can touch your soul. And there is a difference between having your heartbreak and having your soul shatter.” 

“As long as there is love and memory, there is no true death.” 






Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

Published: May 23rd, 2017

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult


Would you trade your soul mate for your soul? A Shadowhunter’s life is bound by duty. Constrained by honor. The word of a Shadowhunter is a solemn pledge, and no vow is more sacred than the vow that binds parabatai, warrior partners—sworn to fight together, die together, but never to fall in love. Emma Carstairs has learned that the love she shares with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, isn’t just forbidden—it could destroy them both. She knows she should run from Julian. But how can she when the Blackthorns are threatened by enemies on all sides? Their only hope is the Black Volume of the Dead, a spellbook of terrible power. Everyone wants it. Only the Blackthorns can find it. Spurred on by a dark bargain with the Seelie Queen, Emma; her best friend, Cristina; and Mark and Julian Blackthorn journey into the Courts of Faerie, where glittering revels hide bloody danger and no promise can be trusted. Meanwhile, rising tension between Shadowhunters and Downworlders has produced the Cohort, an extremist group of Shadowhunters dedicated to registering Downworlders and “unsuitable” Nephilim. They’ll do anything in their power to expose Julian’s secrets and take the Los Angeles Institute for their own. When Downworlders turn against the Clave, a new threat rises in the form of the Lord of Shadows—the Unseelie King, who sends his greatest warriors to slaughter those with Blackthorn blood and seize the Black Volume. As dangers close in, Julian devises a risky scheme that depends on the cooperation of an unpredictable enemy. But success may come with a price he and Emma cannot even imagine, one that will bring with it a reckoning of blood that could have repercussions for everyone and everything they hold dear.

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“Whatever gods have done this,” Kieran whispered, “they are gracious to bring me the one my soul loves, in my last moments.”

Lord of Shadows takes place very shortly after Lady Midnight (like days or a week or two tops.) And WOW guys this books was even better than number one. How is that possible you ask? I don’t have that answer either besides the fact that it was just tenser, more plot twists, better romance, wittier banter, and an ending that rocked me to my core. I devoured this book in three or four days reading about 200 pages a day because I could not put it down. Clare’s writing is really getting better with each book and you can see how much she’s progressed from her earlier works. As always there was one thing that could’ve been better but it didn’t lower the rating it was just more so necessary. And that was Emma and Julian’s romance. While I love them both and their parabati bond is immaculate they are some of the most dramatic 17-year-olds around. Every moment they are thinking of their love they say some over the top stuff. I understand it sucks to love someone that you’re not supposed to but like dude relax every declaration they make it like Romeo and Juliet level and its so over the top, it becomes annoying when you have so many serious things going on. Other than that I love them.

“I came of age in the Dark War. I was baptized in blood and fire.”

As was Lady Midnight, Lord of Shadows was 100% quotable and vivid. I loved envisioning all the places and scenes that was laid before me on the pages. The whole Shadowhunter universe is absolutely beautiful in my mind and a place I would love to visit. The banter and dialogue as always kept me on my toes or clutching my side from laughing. And Clare sure as hell knows how to keep me screaming and in suspense with all her plot twists and an ending like this one. I was truly shocked and shaken because it was the last thing I suspected. I am not ready to see how that death is handled or how certain characters handle it because I barely could. She also set up some interesting plot points for the finale and I am just anticipating what to expect next because if she did this with Lord of Shadows I have no idea how she will break my heart for Queen of Air and Darkness.

“I think you cannot root out love entirely. I think where there has been love, there will always be embers, as the remains of a bonfire outlast the flame.” 

Kieran, Mark, and Christina truly know how to get my heart racing. Their romance is so unique and I can truthfully and without a doubt tell you no author that I have read has tackled a polygamy relationship before. I never cared for those but I love it here because of how she is handling it. I don’t care for the Mark/Christina paring alone because it felt so insta-love for me but as a trio, it all somehow works and I am so intrigued to see how they all further progress. My favorite moments were definitely the dancing scene, all Mark & Kieran alone scene, and the revealing of the truth/attic scene, plus when Emma said she hopes it works out between Mark and Kieran my heart filled with happiness. I am truly loving the blooming thing happening between my soft boys Kit and Ty. When Ty was having an attack and Kit held him I just wow. I am so excited for their trilogy. Diana and Gwyn were just the cherry on top of all this adorableness and Diana’s secret broke my heart.

“Glory?” Kieran raised an eyebrow. “Do they mean the time of freely killing Downworlders? When our blood ran in the streets and their houses were stuffed with the spoils of their one-sided war?”

I love these characters a lot just like I did with my TMI crew. I love the secondary/sort of main characters a little more than the top two main characters but I still love them all none the less. I love how Emma is the one considered one of the top shadowhunters next to Jace and it isn’t just mentioned but shown. She does some things no other shaowhunter has done and I am just so proud of my girl. I really loved getting inside Kit, Dru, Diana, Mark, and Christina’s mind in this book. I feel like through them we got to learn a lot about Kieran, Livvy, Ty, Jamie, Diego, and Gwyn. Also I 100% loved seeing some of my old favs like Alec and Magnus. Of course, we have the bigots who never learn from past mistakes like Zara and her Cohorts and I can’t wait until we see them all gone.

“And I am prince of Faerie,” said Kieran. “Son of the King, Prince of the Frost Court, Keeper of the Cold Way, Wild Hunter, and Sword of the Host. Do not annoy me.”

“We fear things because we value them. We fear losing people because we love them. We fear dying because we value being alive. Don’t wish you didn’t fear anything. All that would mean is that you didn’t feel anything.” 

“And Kieran, granting neither those words nor those looks, because his words and looks were all for Mark.”

He grinned, and the grin changed his face completely. Ty, when he was still and expressionless, had an intensity that fascinated Kit; when he was smiling, he was extraordinary.

“There’s something about a place you’ve been with someone you love. It takes on a meaning in your mind. It becomes more than a place. It becomes a distillation of what you felt for each other. The moments you spend in a place with someone… they become part of its bricks and mortar. Part of its soul.”

 “…’Break my heart,’ he said. ‘Break it in pieces. I give you permission.” 

“You’re not a monster, Kieran,” Mark interrupted. “There is nothing wrong with your heart.” There was only hurt in Kieran’s eyes as he regarded Mark across the small space that separated them. “That cannot be true,” he said, “for you were my heart.”

“I do not love you as I love Christina. I love you as I love you,” said Mark. He bent his head. “I wish that you could see my heart. Then you would understand.”



Posted by

Kathryn Calderon | 24 | Artist of many trades | Villains are my soul

10 thoughts on “The Dark Artifices Review

    1. Yeah it’s not like I need everything to always be happy bc that’s life but I feel she makes it a bit extreme and unrealistic. Not every love is forbidden and as difficult as the ones she makes lol. You should I’m so excited for the last one it’s insane.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I love how detailed this review is! These books are so amazing. I honestly have no idea how Cassie is going to top them with the finale, but I have no doubt she’ll find a way.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: March Wrap Up

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