Review: Lord of Shadows (#2) by Cassandra Clare

33336580

Goodreads | Amazon

Emma Carstairs has finally avenged her parents. She thought she’d be at peace. But she is anything but calm. Torn between her desire for her parabatai Julian and her desire to protect him from the brutal consequences of parabatai relationships, she has begun dating his brother, Mark. But Mark has spent the past five years trapped in Faerie; can he ever truly be a Shadowhunter again?
And the faerie courts are not silent. The Unseelie King is tired of the Cold Peace, and will no longer concede to the Shadowhunters’ demands. Caught between the demands of faerie and the laws of the Clave, Emma, Julian, and Mark must find a way to come together to defend everything they hold dear—before it’s too late. 

Of course I adored this book – how could I not? But I also feel as though I’ve been reading this forever. I don’t know why, but I think this is by far the longest it’s taken me to get through any Cassie Clare book. And I know it’s really long, but it surprised me how the pages didn’t seem to be flying by quite as quickly as I expected them to.

That being said, I still think this is a brilliant continuation of the Lady Midnight. It’s complex, with travels around the world (and other worlds) and contained so much depth as usual. The addition of yet more characters felt necessary and so brilliantly done. I just love how Clare can make us feel sympathy for even the most unlikely of people.

“Everyone is afraid of something. We fear things because we value them. We fear losing people because we love them.”

The variation of scenes, especially in the second half of the book, really did make some of the pages fly. I loved reading scenes set in Cornwall, then London, then Idris, then Faerie.

But…I need to talk about Faerie. I don’t know, I just feel like although my heart is absolutely bursting with love there is some small thing that didn’t click for me while I was reading it? I think that’s a lot to do with this being one of the only books I’ve ever read with Fae and the Fae lands in it, and for some reason my head just found it hard to get around (on top of being really sick at the moment).

“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.”

I just feel like I’m loving this book a little bit more now looking back than I was during, and in retrospect I definitely feel like I can appreciate it just that little bit more! Overall, I thought this was a great sequel, and I’m so excited to pick up Queen of Air and Darkness. I just don’t know why it took me a while to read!

★★★★ 
4.5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

Shop | Goodreads | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter | Facebook |

Let’s Discuss! Meeting Cassandra Clare

One of my favourite things about being a blogger is having the opportunity to join other fans at events! I have a few upcoming signings, and if I see anyone I like, I always try to attend events.

Since late last year, there’s been a small group of my friends who head off all over the UK to go to signings together. So far we’ve met Ransom Riggs, Adam Silvera, Becky Albertalli and now Cassandra Clare and Holly Black!

I actually met Cassandra Clare for the first time almost 3 years ago, but at the time I had only read City of Bones and mainly went for my friend at the time who adored Shadowhunters. Of course, I’m now a massive fan of all of her books and have read most of them since early December! It was so awesome to go back and meet Cassie as a reader.

Other than the event being in a strange venue (a club/venue for gigs) which was very loud and had disco lights (??), it was brilliant. Cassandra and Holly chatted for a while on stage, and then took questions. There were some really interesting Q&As too! After a couple of hours waiting, we finally got through to meet the authors. I also made Cassie a cake, pictured below, which she loved!

I made her a very British Victoria Sandwich cake, which is layers of sponge with jam and buttercream in the middle. When I told her, she said she’s wanted to try one since researching for The Infernal Devices years ago! Her and Holly Black’s reactions to the cake were priceless.

I absolutely loved this signing and I’m so excited for my upcoming ones!

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

Shop | Goodreads | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter | Facebook |

Review: Lady Midnight (#1) by Cassandra Clare

24851136

Goodreads | Amazon

It’s been five years since the events of City of Heavenly Fire that brought the Shadowhunters to the brink of oblivion. Emma Carstairs is no longer a child in mourning, but a young woman bent on discovering what killed her parents and avenging her losses.
Together with her parabatai Julian Blackthorn, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches across Los Angeles, from the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica. If only her heart didn’t lead her in treacherous directions…
Making things even more complicated, Julian’s brother Mark—who was captured by the faeries five years ago—has been returned as a bargaining chip. The faeries are desperate to find out who is murdering their kind—and they need the Shadowhunters’ help to do it. But time works differently in faerie, so Mark has barely aged and doesn’t recognize his family. Can he ever truly return to them? Will the faeries really allow it?

Clare never fails to astound me, and I honestly think she may have nabbed my top spot on my favourite authors list! To prove a point, I started this book on Friday and finished it on Tuesday. And I know there are many fans who would have been able to read much quicker than I did, but for me, 5 days is pretty damn quick.

There’s something so special about The Dark Artifices, and it makes me constantly realise how incredible Clare is to write numerous Shadowhunter series with different characters and yet have them stand so far apart from one another. The Infernal Devices, The Mortal Instruments and The Dark Artifices all have very special places in my heart, and for different reasons.

“These pictures are my heart.”

I loved The Mortal Instruments so much, but I could very clearly see that Clare was developing her writing. Now on the third series, her writing is better than ever and it made Lady Midnight amazing for me. I could love no one as much as Tessa, Will and Jem, but I became so attached to Emma, Julian and his family throughout this book. The children are so diverse and vibrant and I love them all for it.

This book was full of twists and turns, especially after the initial couple hundred pages. I do think this book took a while to adjust to because it’s quite far removed from the other series, but as soon as it got going, I loved the differences. I literally couldn’t put this book down!

Also I would definitely like to point out that you really need to read Clare’s other books before this series! Not only would this spoil a lot for you, the cameos of other characters mean everything to me. I loved them.

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

I cannot even explain how much I adore the cast of this series. Each character was so great in there own ways and I admire Clare endlessly for creating such a vast range of characters. I can’t finish this review without a quick mention of the diversity in this book. Not only do we have gay faeries (and my favourite warlock you know who I mean), and a new Latinx Mexican friend who I adored, but also A CHILD WITH AUTISM. Ahh I could scream with how much I just appreciate this? Ty is so well represented, so well described and I’m so overly happy he is part of this world.

And I didn’t mean to descend into full on fangirling, but I think I managed to explain how much I love this book.

★★★★★ 
5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

Shop | Goodreads | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter | Facebook |

Review: Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare

28954137

Goodreads | Amazon

Simon Lewis has been a human and a vampire, and now he is becoming a Shadowhunter. But the events of City of Heavenly Fireleft him stripped of his memories, and Simon isn’t sure who he is anymore. He knows he was friends with Clary, and that he convinced the total goddess Isabelle Lightwood to go out with him…but he doesn’t know how. And when Clary and Isabelle look at him, expecting him to be a man he doesn’t remember…Simon can’t take it. So when the Shadowhunter Academy reopens, Simon throws himself into this new world of demon-hunting, determined to find himself again. His new self. Whomever this new Simon might be. But the Academy is a Shadowhunter institution, which means it has some problems. Like the fact that non-Shadowhunter students have to live in the basement. And that differences—like being a former vampire—are greatly looked down upon. At least Simon is trained in weaponry—even if it’s only from hours of playing D&D.

This was one of those books I didn’t know I needed. I loved it, and I can’t imagine the Shadowhunter world without it now. First of all, I love that this was based on Simon, but included a wide arc of characters. I actually liked Simon throughout The Mortal Instruments, but actually being with him through a book really helped me relate to him.

The set of the Shadowhunter Academy was awesome to! It gave a link to each of these stories, and offered up something new to the Shadowhunter world.

“I think sometimes it’s too hard to believe in yourself. You just do the things you’re not sure you can do.”

I also have to tell you guys that it only took me like four days to read this 650 page book?! I think this is due to the clever layout of the book, being cut into short stories of 50-100 pages each. Every day I would aim to read at least 2 stories, and it just flew by. Honestly, the short story concept was so well done in every way. Interlinking the characters by having them come into the Academy was such a clever way to read about side characters, and not stray too far from Simon’s story!

“You just act, in spite of not being certain. I don’t believe I can change the world–it sounds stupid to even talk about it–but I’m going to try.”

Overall, this book is a must for Shadowhunter fans! It’s such a great bridge between The Mortal Instruments and The Dark Artifices, and I feel ready to continue with the next daunting series!

★★★★★
5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽


Shop | Goodreads |Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter | Facebook |

Review: City of Heavenly Fire (#6) by Cassandra Clare

25560303

Goodreads | Amazon

Darkness has descended on the Shadowhunter world. Chaos and destruction overwhelm the Nephilim as Clary, Jace, Simon, and their friends band together to fight the greatest evil they have ever faced: Clary’s own brother. Sebastian Morgenstern is on the move, systematically turning Shadowhunter against Shadowhunter. Bearing the Infernal Cup, he transforms Shadowhunters into creatures of nightmare, tearing apart families and lovers as the ranks of his Endarkened army swell. Nothing in this world can defeat Sebastian—but if they journey to the realm of demons, they just might have a chance…

What an ending to such a beautiful, absorbing series. I’m so sad to leave Clary and her story behind, but so satisfied to look back on all that has happened in this 6 book journey!

Firstly, I can’t believe I really didn’t feel the size of this book at all. At 650 pages, it’s quite a big one, but the pages flew by and I barely noticed it. The part that took me longest to read was actually the prologue, as we were suddenly introduced to new characters, Emma Carstairs and her story. However, I pushed on through and found I loved having Emma mentioned throughout the book. Due to her presence, I feel ready to go and read her story in The Dark Artifices. 

“We are all the pieces of what we remember. We hold in ourselves the hopes and fears of those who love us.”

Due to the changing scenery, the pacing was excellent. The books contained so much emotion between different scenes and different characters, and over and over again I was faced with a sense of loss. I adore how Clare works with so many characters and I honestly believe it’s one of her greatest gifts. However, her writing greatly improves throughout The Mortal Instruments and I felt the difference here compared to City of Bones.

I did find the plot a little predictable, as most of the books in this series follow a similar plot, but it was filled with enough small twists and surprises to keep me on my toes.

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

I have to also praise Clare for the incredible extended magical world she created. I don’t feel like she’s writing too many books set in this universe, which considering how much she is writing, is crazy. Most worlds have their limits, but this one does really feel limitless. I’m so excited to continue with her books, including The Dark Artifices, The Bane Chronicles, Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy and many more as they are released! I cannot get enough of this world, and I adore how the characters are interlinked between the series in some small way, leaving me emotional reading mentions of characters from other series.

Overall, what an incredible end to The Mortal Instruments, leaving me feel satisfied but also wanting more from this world.

★★★★★ 
5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

Goodreads |Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter | Facebook | Shop |

January Wrap-Up and February TBR

Welcome to my first Wrap-Up and TBR of the year! January isn’t exactly my favourite month of the year, but it’s been a successful reading month for me once again so I’m happy. Here’s the 6 books I read in the past month!

Books I Read in January

22914373

Goodreads | Amazon | Review

25560245

Goodreads | Amazon | Review

25560251

Goodreads | Amazon | Review

25560255

Goodreads | Amazon | Review

25560279

Goodreads | Amazon | Review

25560294

Goodreads | Amazon | Review

My least favourite book of the month was My True Love Gave to Me and my favourite was City of  Glass!

Books I Bought in January

Harry Potter Page to Screen – Bob McCabe
King of Scars – Leigh Bardugo

I’ve been on a book-buying ban since early December and it’s actually going really well! The Harry Potter Page to Screen book was a Christmas present and King of Scars was a preorder from back in November – so I’m still sticking to the ban 😉

Books I Want to Read in February

King of Scars – Leigh Bardugo
Tales of the Shadowhunter Academy – Cassandra Clare
Lady Midnight (#1) – Cassandra Clare
Lord of Shadows (#2) – Cassandra Clare
Queen of Air and Darkness (#3) – Cassandra Clare

I’m pretty serious about my February TBR as I’m meeting Cassandra Clare late in the month and I really want to read as many of her books as possible before then.

What did you read in January?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

Goodreads |Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter | Facebook | Shop |

Review: City of Lost Souls (#5) by Cassandra Clare

25560294

Goodreads | Amazon

When Jace and Clary meet again, Clary is horrified to discover that the demon Lilith’s magic has bound her beloved Jace together with her evil brother Sebastian, and that Jace has become a servant of evil. The Clave is out to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. As Alec, Magnus, Simon, and Isabelle wheedle and bargain with Seelies, demons, and the merciless Iron Sisters to try to save Jace, Clary plays a dangerous game of her own. The price of losing is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she still trust him? Or is he truly lost?

I can’t believe I’m about to start the last book of The Mortal Instruments, as it’s now gotten to the point that I cannot imagine leaving Clary, Jace and their friends and families behind.

It took me only four days to read this wonder, as the pages just flew by. Once I’d gotten into this story, there was no way to get me back out again. I’ve loved all of the books so far, but again, this one stood out for me. Like City of Glass (which still stands as my favourite so far), City of Lost Souls is set in places other than New York. And it fits the story so well to travel, to see these people in beautiful places all over the world.

““I never cared,” he said.”

Again, the characters did not let me down. I’m going to guess that I’m not spoiling things for anyone if I say I ship Magnus and Alec. Honestly, those two have become one of my favourite couples of all time, and I loved their scenes in this book.

I adored how deeply the plot was interwoven with the characters and their relationships. I think that’s the reason why I flipped through this one so quickly, because I couldn’t help but need to know what was going to happen to the characters. Clary, once again, grows and matures in this book and I found she came across as such a strong young woman. I loved the emotional scenes between numerous characters, especially a specific scene between Clary and ‘real’ Jace which brought tears to my eyes.

““I wanted you anyway. I always wanted you.””

Overall, this book had so much substance and complexity that made it so compulsive! I’m definitely hyped to start City of Heavenly Fire despite it’s size and the smaller size of the text in my copy!

★★★★★ 
5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

Goodreads |Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter | Facebook | Shop |