A review of Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

Reviewed by Emily McDonnell

The Dark Artifices book 1
by Cassandra Clare
Margaret K. McElderry Books
Hardcover: 688 pages, March 2016, ISBN-13: 978-1442468351

This book is a captivating beginning to The Dark Artifices series I felt as though I was reading the finale in a series, the plot to Lady Midnight was bone-chilling and magnificently well written. Transitioning smoothly from City of Heavenly Fire, Lady Midnight explores, now teenagers and Parabatai – Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorn, five years after The Dark War.

This first book allows readers to see Julian Blackthorn and Emma Carstairs as well as the Los Angeles Institute’s many resident Blackthorns following the attack upon the Los Angeles Institute as well as the many, many dark occurrences of the war.

With Emma’s parents and Julian’s father killed and the Blackthorn’s older siblings Mark and Helen, both half fairies and therefore discriminated against by the Clave, were exiled and Mark left to the merciless Wild Hunt – a band of fey who roam the skies and land, hope is rare and Emma’s extensive and endless searching for the truth of her parent’s leads to a much larger adventure. 

Throughout the novel family dynamics are unveiled and the use of remarkable characterisation and character development are always dominant features of all Clare’s books. This opening novel to a promising series is rife with gorgeous narration by various characters and an enticing, thrilling plot. 

Since the death of her parents, Emma has always sought revenge and when unexpected murders occur in LA, she seeks a chance to finally understand her parent’s death and find to out answers and gain vengeance. Additionally, Emma and Julian begin to realise that they may be more than Parabatai and throughout the book we seek knowledge as to why Parabatai can never fall in love.

The development of Cassandra Clare’s characters, no matter what series or book is always exquisite. Emma and Julian both have unique qualities and Julian family, the Blackthorns, as a family are always enjoyable to read about and as a whole, the book presents the concept and sense of family fantastically. Other members of the Blackthorn family are also shown as well as Kit Rook, who has mysterious links to the Shadow Market and the Herondale family. 

If Lord of Shadows is as good as its proceeder, we’re all in for a wild ride! I have high hopes for this trilogy and am keen to follow Emma and Julian throughout The Dark Artifices. I highly recommend reading other works by Cassandra Clare before starting The Dark Artifices. I will leave a link for more information below. Overall, Lady Midnight is my favourite first book in a series, in terms of other introductory books in the Shadowhunter Chronicles. Lady Midnight was a perfect beginning to a fantastic trilogy, with description, sharp dialogue and incredible links to modern society and issues. The ending of this book was exquisite, with the events of the last chapters and epilogue leaving readers shocked and eagerly waiting in anticipation for Lord of Shadows.