A review of Ghosts of the Shadow Market by Cassandra Clare

Reviewed by Emily McDonell

Ghosts of the Shadow Market
by Cassandra Clare
Walker Books
PaperBack, June 2019,ISBN: 9781406385373

Ghosts of the Shadow Market is a collection of captivating short stories, centred around the beloved character Brother Zachariah, and adventures and interesting interactions with others from the world of Shadowhunter and Downworlders, alike. Personally, I found this book to be somewhat of a ‘sequel’ to Tales of Shadowhunter Academy, another collection of novellas – focused on Simon. Ghosts of the Shadow Market effectively gains the reader’s attention for upcoming series such as The Last Hours and The Wicked Powers, whereas Tales form the Shadowhunter Academy lead seamlessly into The Dark Artifices series.

Within these stories we not only follow Zachariah throughout Silent Brotherhood, but we are introduced to characters like Matthew Fairchild, James Herondale, Anna Lightwood and many other children of characters from The Infernal Devices. Although, we have previously seen some of the characters in other novels, the reader experiences them as teenagers and can theorise as to the plot of Chain of Gold – the first novel in the upcoming The Last Hours series. The first two novellas in this book, “Cast Long Shadows” and “Every Exquisite Thing”, are perhaps two of my favourites. Not only do we see new characters but some of our favourites from other books, which I loved.

We discover Matthew Fairchild’s secret, Anna Lightwood’s first romance, the mystery and secrecy of the Lost Herondales and First Heir, the destruction and impact of the mundane wars, the odd relationship between two powerful forces in the Shadowhunter world (Silent Brother and Iron Sisters) as well as the introduction of new characters and the backstory of those we’ve known previously. The author also provides anticipating stories about certain characters from The Dark Artifices, namely Kit and Ty. Hence, after reading this book I am even more hyped for what Clare has in store in the upcoming year!

Themes I found particularly engaging were the harsh and committed life of the Silent Brothers – mysterious, powerful archivists and medics of the Nephilim and how Brother Zachariah’s past life had influenced his experience as a Silent Brother. Frequently, messages of love are communicated beautifully throughout all of Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter Chronicles, I found that this particular perspective brought a meaningful layer of depth to these concepts and notions.

To sum up this review, I would highly encourage you to read the previous books in the Shadowhunter Chronicles. Ghosts of Shadow Market had me in hysterics, tears and laughter all at once. I found it to be absolute perfection.For this book, and for all of the other Shadowhunter novels, I think the best suited age group would be 14+. I believe the time you read certain books or series influences your opinion and I delved into the fantasy world of Shadowhunters, demons and Downworlders at perhaps the perfect time. Again, as I have continuously stated I adore these books and regard them highly. A delightful read for lovers of fantasy!

About the reviewer: Emily McDonell was first prize winner in the Hunter Writers’ Centre/Compulsive Reader book review competition. She is a high school student, an avid reader and has a passion for books. It was clear from a very early age that books would play a large part in her life. Emily has participated in the Premier’s Reading Challenge since starting her schooling and her favourite subject is English. Emily has also been a Girl Guide for the past nine years and is currently working to complete her Queen’s Guide Award. Emily also loves animals especially her dog Jersey.