Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1)

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

In a secret world where half-angel warriors are sworn to fight demons, parabatai is a sacred word.

A parabatai is your partner in battle. A parabatai is your best friend. Parabatai can be everything to each other—but they can never fall in love.

Emma Carstairs is a warrior, a Shadowhunter, and the best in her generation. She lives for battle. Shoulder to shoulder with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, she patrols the streets of Los Angeles, where vampires party on the Sunset Strip, and faeries—the most powerful of supernatural creatures—teeter on the edge of open war with Shadowhunters. When the bodies of humans and faeries turn up murdered in the same way Emma’s parents were when she was a child, an uneasy alliance is formed. This is Emma’s chance for revenge—and Julian’s chance to get back his brother Mark, who is being held prisoner by the faerie Courts. All Emma, Mark, and Julian have to do is solve the murders within three weeks…and before the murderer targets them.

Their search takes Emma from sea caves full of sorcery to a dark lottery where death is dispensed. And each clue she unravels uncovers more secrets. What has Julian been hiding from her all these years? Why does Shadowhunter Law forbid parabatai to fall in love? Who really killed her parents—and can she bear to know the truth?

Author: Cassandra Clare

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Rating: 4.5/5

“There was beauty in the idea of freedom, but it was an illusion. Every human heart was chained by love.” 

Cassandra Clare has done it again. There’s a reason she’s sold so many books: She’s really great at writing characters you absolutely love and putting them through adventures you can’t ignore.

In Lady Midnight, we are reunited with Emma Carstairs, whom we first met as a child in City of Heavenly Fire, the sixth and final book in The Mortal Instruments. She and her parabatai, Jules, live in the Los Angeles Institute with Jules’ four younger siblings and mentally distant uncle.

Emma has built herself into quite a Shadowhunter, which is unsurprising considering her characterization in Heavenly Fire. She’s still bent on finding out who killed her parents. Jules has taken over the job of raising his siblings since his two older half-siblings have been either exiled or kidnapped by the faeries’ Wild Hunt. They’re also joined by Cristina, a Shadowhunter from Mexico who becomes close friends with Emma and has her own past that we get to learn about.

Soon, as is inevitable in a book such as this, Emma and Jules and the crew are roped into solving a mystery. It will lead them to the answer of who killed Emma’s parents, but it will also kick off what promises to be even more danger and intrigue before they can all live happily ever after.

“Everyone is more than one thing,” said Kieran. “We are more than single actions we undertake, whether they be good or evil.” 

Allow me to just say that Jules is a TOTAL heartthrob. He paints, cooks, cleans, takes care of kids, shoots a freaking crossbow while standing on the hood of a moving car, and will die for the ones he loves in literally half a second. I actually cannot think of a way to make him dreamier. And yet he is also humanized and relatable.

As is pretty common with protagonists, Emma can be frustrating at times, but she also inspires fierce loyalty in us as readers. I also really, really loved Cristina and Mark.

Cassandra Clare also does a fantastic job of building a rich, diverse cast. I love that you cannot assume any of her characters’ sexuality! It adds a whole new dynamic to the puzzle of guessing where a story’s going, and I was definitely surprised by at least one romantic moment in this book — not because it seemed out of character for that person, but because I shamefully hadn’t even considered that they might make that choice. I’m always glad to be shaken out of my biases and assumptions!

I saved this book until now so that I can read the whole trilogy straight through (since Queen of Air and Darkness comes out next week). Hey Past Deedi: Future Deedi thanks you.

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