Review: Queen of Air and Darkness (#3) by Cassandra Clare

Review: Queen of Air and Darkness (#3) by Cassandra Clare
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Innocent blood has been spilled on the steps of the Council Hall, the sacred stronghold of the Shadowhunters. In the wake of the tragic death of Livia Blackthorn, the Clave teeters on the brink of civil war. One fragment of the Blackthorn family flees to Los Angeles, seeking to discover the source of the disease that is destroying the race of warlocks. Meanwhile, Julian and Emma take desperate measures to put their forbidden love aside and undertake a perilous mission to Faerie to retrieve the Black Volume of the Dead. What they find in the Courts is a secret that may tear the Shadow World asunder and open a dark path into a future they could never have imagined. Caught in a race against time, Emma and Julian must save the world of Shadowhunters before the deadly power of the parabatai curse destroys them and everyone they love.

I can’t believe that this is the longest book I’ve ever read, and yet it didn’t feel like it! It felt quicker than Lord of Shadows for sure, even though it took me over a week to get through. Honestly, the pacing and intricacy of this book made it fly by, and I think that’s definitely due to the constant switching between characters and worlds.

It would be impossible for me to write this review without mentioning how inclusive The Dark Artifices is. I was surprised to find I enjoyed reading about a polyamorous relationship (personally, I can’t see myself ever being in something like that), and we also had autism, LGBT, mental health, racial diversity and gender representation. It honestly baffles me how Clare manages to write these issues into an already complex and intense world.

“Grief can be so bad you can’t breathe, but that’s what it means to be human.”

So many characters yet again, and of course the additions of some more! But I loved them all so much and I find it amazing how each person fills a part of the story. Also, having read The Infernal Devices and The Mortal Instruments made me love this book even more, because seeing all of the characters just warms my heart.

I have to say Clare definitely has a plot that repeats itself in many of these books. I always find them (and the endings) quite similar, and I always know I’m going to end on a big happy event. But I’ve got to say, I still love reading them so much, and I still end up with soppy tears in my eyes (or sometimes streaming down my face).

“We lose, we suffer, but we have to keep breathing.”

And I have to say I loved the illustrations throughout this book! They really added something to the story, and gave me significant places to read towards. Again, family dynamics are awesome and I love how the friendships are so valued in these books.

Overall without spoiling anything I have to say this book was a beautiful ending to such an intricate series I just fell in love with.

★★★★★
5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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

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

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Beautiful Quotes #118 / Clockwork Angel

Beautiful Quotes #118 / Clockwork Angel

Beautiful Quotes is a weekly meme hosted by me, where I post some of my favourite quotes. Any other bloggers are welcome to join me in this and just link my blog!

Hey everyone 🙂 So my weekly update is that I’m sick. I’ve been pretty ill the past few days (don’t worry it’s just a bug I’ll hopefully get over in a few days), but that does mean lots of time for reading and playing games! So alongside playing Stardew Valley a lot, I’ve also been reading Lord of Shadows. I love The Dark Artifices, but reading about London again has made me miss The Infernal Devices so much!

So here’s a quote from Clockwork Angel, because I’m massively nostalgic for steampunk, Victorian, Shadowhunter London.

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“Do reasons matter when there’s nothing that can be done to change things?” 
― Cassandra Clare, 
Clockwork Angel

-Beth

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February Wrap-Up and March TBR

February Wrap-Up and March TBR

I definitely didn’t read as many books in February but I did a good job at sticking to my TBR for a change! Here are the 5 books I read last month.

Books I Read in February

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All of these were very highly rated for me and it’s impossible to choose a favourite! I guess I had a good month 🙂

Books I Received in February

A Curse So Dark and Lonely – Bridget Kemmerer

I didn’t buy any books this month as I’m still on a book ban, but my lovely friend Dani kindly gave me this book.

Books I Want to Read in March

Queen of Air and Darkness (#3) – Cassandra Clare
The Bane Chronicles – Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan and Maureen Johnson

I definitely want to finish The Dark Artifices and The Bane Chronicles in March, and then I’m going to read whatever I feel like.

What did you read in February and what’s your March TBR?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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T5W: Fictional Places You’d Take a Date To

T5W: Fictional Places You’d Take a Date To

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Lainey. You get a new topic every Wednesday, and you list your Top 5 books related to that topic. If you’d like to take part, join the Goodreads group, and add your name to the list of bloggers & booktubers!

This week we’re still on the Valentine’s theme with Top 5 Places I’d take a date! I consulted my boyfriend (we had the same ideas), and here are some of my favourites:

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Hogwarts of course! This was my first idea, and I guess we have technically been to a version of it in the Studio Tour.

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Of course I had to include Alicante/Glass City from the Shadowhunter world, as I’m reading Lord of Shadows at the moment!

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This world sounds so beautiful, and I’d love to visit the Night Court and the city that surrounds it, especially in A Court of Frost and Starlight.

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My boyfriend and I both said The Shire would be such a cool place to go!

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Although a little terrifying, how cool would it be to go on a date to The Night Circus?

Which fictional place would you take a date to?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Let’s Discuss! Meeting Cassandra Clare

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! ☽

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Review: Lady Midnight (#1) by Cassandra Clare

Review: Lady Midnight (#1) by Cassandra Clare
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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! ☽

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