Attention Shadowhunter fans, Cassandra Clare is back with a new tale following a cast of new characters on the West Coast. Lady Midnight is the first book in her new trilogy The Dark Artifices set within the Shadow World. We are introduced to the Los Angeles Institute in The City of Heavenly Fire, book 6 in the Mortal Instruments Series, where we witness the hostile takeover by Sebastian and his army of Endarkened. Lady Midnight continues five years after the events of the Mortal Instruments and follows Emma Carstairs and the remaining members of the Blackthorn family. Emma is still haunted by the brutal murder of her parents, refusing to believe they were just another casualty of Sebastian’s evil reign. She sets out to investigate a slew of strange murders in the Shadow World, murders that resemble the way her parents were killed five years prior. What she discovers is a tangled web of love and betrayal in this heartrending first installment.
This was the first book that I loved the main characters and their romance, instead of the side characters, i.e. Magnus and Alec, rather than drooling over Jace and Clary. Emma and Julian were great characters, both separately and together, I loved their dynamic. Emma is fierce, determined and sassy female protagonist that made me laugh and terrified me, she is lethal. Cristina Mendoza Rosales, a Shadowhunter from the Mexico City Institute, is sort of studying aboard in L.A. and is best friends with Emma. She’s the most mature character in this book and I instantly loved her. The whole Blackthorn family is easy to love, each have their own strengths and weaknesses and their family dynamic felt real. There was one side character that surprised me and that was Mark Blackthorn. He’s a morally ambiguous character who once you think you’ve got a grasp on he slips through your fingers like smoke. I’m intrigued by his past in the Wild Hunt and how that is going to play out in the last 2 books. He’s quickly becoming my favorite.
Overall, I absolutely loved this new chapter in the Shadowhunter chronicles. I did find it hard to get into, at first, after getting to know characters for 6 books then introduced to new ones slowed my reading a bit. However, once I grasped the personalities of these new faces I fell in love with them and I couldn’t put the book down. We do see some familiar faces from her previous series such as Clary and Jace and others who make cameo appearances, as well as fan favorite Magnus Bane. You cannot have a Cassandra Clare book without having the High Warlock of Brooklyn pop in from time to time. With the cameos of familiar characters, it helped me fall back into this world that I know and love so much. I recommend picking this book up if you loved the previous books set in this world. I do, however, highly recommend you pick up this book after reading The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Device, there are references to events that happen in City of Heavenly Fire and you need to read Clockwork Princess before that book. Read them in order of publication.
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