Queen of Air and Darkness (The Dark Artifices #3)by Cassandra Clare Published 04 Dec 2018
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|Publisher||Margaret K. McElderry Books|
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All first editions of Queen of Air and Darkness will include ten black and white interior illustrations, and a new short story!
Dark secrets and forbidden love threaten the very survival of the Shadowhunters in Cassandra Clare’s Queen of Air and Darkness, the final novel in the #1 New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling The Dark Artifices trilogy. Queen of Air and Darkness is a Shadowhunters novel.
What if damnation is the price of true love?
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.
"Queen of Air and Darkness (The Dark Artifices #3)" Reviews
I shall obviously write my review when I actually read the book, haha.
- This was the first book signing that I’d ever been to and I had an absolute blast! This took place on the last day of classes for the autumn term though, so I had to hustle to the event after class! (Guess who was still crazy early? Haha, this girl! *raises hand*)
- Let's see what I remember. Phones weren't permitted to be used during the event, and I'm a goody-two shoes (no matter how much of a badarse I imagine myself to be), so I couldn't take any notes, ugh.
- This event took place in a huge, university auditorium. Cassie was in conversation with Carrie Ryan at the event, who, if I'm being totally honest, I hadn't heard of until then. Carrie wasn't that engaging of an interviewer, so I can't recall much about her, sorry.
- Cassie is a very funny interviewee. She's as funny in person as she is in her books.
- One anecdote that she told wasn't even hers! LMAO, oh Cassie! xD Essentially, she took credit for a really funny story about her bestie, Holly Black, when it really involved Holly and Kelly Link. If you want the full details, check out my Wicked King signing. Holly had a good laugh about it, when she found out Cassie lied about it!
-Another anecdote DID involve Holly. The two of them went to upstate New York to an apparently haunted, mental institution for research. They weren't allowed in because the building was condemned, I believe. Long story short, the two of them hopped the fence and snuck in, only to be discovered by the police, LOL. They told the police that they're authors, in an effort to avoid being arrested for trespassing, and the police were like, "Oh, you mean like a historical novel about New York?" and Cassie goes, "No, it's a book about demons"...to which the police responded, "Get outta here before we arrest you!" xD
- The audience also had the opportunity to ask her questions, some of which turned into them thanking her for all of the different types of representation in her novels, which I thought was really sweet.
- There was a trivia section with REALLY HARD QUESTIONS btw, so naturally I didn't win any of the prizes, some of which were a Magnus plushie and an ARC of the Red Scrolls of Magic.
- We weren't allowed to bring backlist titles from home and were only permitted to have our new copies of Queen of Air and Darkness signed and personalised. Oh! And we also received Shadowhunter Army pins at the event. It had this insignia on it:
- This portion of the event was really impersonal because of how many people were in attendance. There were SO MANY! The signing-line tickets were assigned in the order of purchases (kind of like at a delicatessen, where you are assigned a ticket number), and I was letter F, so it wasn't too bad of a wait for me. The part I didn't like is that we could only say about a sentence to her before we were hurried away from the signing table (in an assembly line-esque fashion), so that they could get to the next people. Also, we couldn't have actual photos with Cassie. The staff from the booksellers took "action shots" as we were getting our book signed.
- I remember telling her that I've been reading her books since 2007 and they've had such a huge impact on my life (I kind of panicked; I was a bit starstruck, haha) and she responded with, "Well, thanks for sticking with my books for so long." OMG GUYS, I WAS WITHIN BREATHING DISTANCE OF CASSIE CLARE AND I SPOKE TO HER AND SHE SPOKE TO ME AND OMG!!! <3
- I think, because of this, if I hadn't added this section about my experience here, I would have forgotten what my feelings were about meeting one of my favourite authors in person. I'm so grateful that I had the opportunity to do so, as I know that there are many people who haven't. She was really lovely and nice, and I'd definitely jump at the chance to see her again...but hopefully, it'll be a bit smaller???
My review is up!: https://youtu.be/IEReoynz6eo
The inside dust jacket!!!
This is one of the most beautiful covers!
Well shit! This book had all the feels in the world!! Sadnesssssss, happiness, anger - ALL OF THEM!
I'm happy with this ending. That epilogue! You know what? I said I wasn't going to read any more books she writes in this series because I'm done. But after all of that, I might read the other books coming out to see what else is going to happen. Always makes me nervous with my favorite authors out there because I'm afraid they are going to kill too many of my loves. There are actually books I haven't continued because I know a love is going to die. Guess it's time to buckle up buttercup and read ALL THE BOOKS!
Peace, love and apple pie!
My opinion on this is basically ONE LONG EXTENDED SCREEEEEAM. Ok I love this series. I absolutely am obsessed with it. My hEarT. Of course finales come with so many expectations, but this was amazing. But then I am Shadowhunter trash and these books can do no wrong afjdskald. I will say that is is incredibly hard to write a review...my brain is a smooshed swirl of emotions.
but basically: GOOD JOB BOOK. YOU RIPPED ME IN HALF AND ALSO HEALED MY SOUL. BLESS.
➸ My ships. MY SHIPS.
Look I had expectations and wishes, and they were met. Although, I mean, I had a lot of cool theories that didn't happen -- GOD I WISH I WROTE FANFIC because I have thoughts. But anyway, I love the romance in these. I know we roll our eyes a lot at the whole "It's the end of the world but you're kissing right now???" thing. But also: it makes sense. Like at one point Cristina told Emma she had romance problems and Emma was like, THANK GOD. LET'S TALK ABOUT THAT INSTEAD OF DEATH. So I get that??? I think it's entirely natural that a bunch of teens who are stressed to the point of breaking will find comfort and longing in kissing one (or two idk go for it, childs) another.
also fkkkkk I LOVE MY SHIPS.
➸ How my heart beats for my Blackthorns.
The family is so STRESSED here omg and devastated and wrecked. I love how they all tore away from each other and realised it wasn't helping. Helen is a sweetheart gift, I'm so glad she's here to be mum/big sister!! Mark continues to be SO PURE and wholesome afjdksald I love him. (He like makes donut sandwiches and he's so pleased with himself arranging the plates.) I love that Julian just SNAPPED because he held up for so long, it was good to see a human side. Dru got way more of a part and I loved it!! THE BLACKTHORNS ARE EVERYTHING.
I also just want to say I really really love Kieren. Far too much afjdklsa my faerie, dramatic deadly son. And Cristina !!!! LOVE CRISTINA!! Also Diana. And Kit is precious and his story has only just begun so afjdklsad I cannot wait for his trilogy even though it's going to be forever till it comes AHHHH.
➸ Was it too long???
Here's the thing: 50% of me loved every. frikkin'. page. Because I want maximum time with my children. However, the book was genuinely uncomfortable to hold. It took me forever to finish it because my brain was screaming "READ MORE!!" but it physically hurt to hold. I knoooow. There are kindles. But I just think it should've been a bit shorter. Or two books? Two books would've been fine.
➸ The plot was INTENSE THOUGH.
So much happened like afjdksald I'm a whirlwind. It's impossible to talk about the details without spoilers though, so I'm just living it as: it was so long, but yet never dull. I loved how it balances the soft moments (with coffee and cuddles and coloured pencil smudges and beach kisses) with the hardcore action moments (fighting in Faerie, slashing swords, using impossible magic, badass battles, heartwrenching traumaaaaa).
➸ I also have NO idea how Cassandra Clare keeps this all straight in her head. 0_0
I'm just...wow. There are so many threads, so many details (like who has which knife and how that's important later) and it just boggles my mind!! The histories all twine together and reference each other and it's just Good™ and clever.
➸ And it doesn't spare the emotions.
I LAUGHED. I CRIED. I WAS A MESS. I was like anxiety laughing all the time??? There's less sassy comebacks in this one because the book is SO DARK. But god, I live for the one-liners. But seriously it ripped me to pieces AND it was satisfying and good.
I THINK THE THING TO TAKE AWAY HERE IS THAT I LIKED THIS BOOK. Just a little. Not much obviously. I'm chill. *hACKS UP A LUNG* It gave me what I desperately wanted with my sons' ships. It gave me maximum Blackthorn time. There was mercy AND vengeance. There were plot twists, cunning schemes, and love. It was the kind of emotional wave that you just stand there, fists clenched, and scream for a very long time bECAUSE YOU FEEL TOO MANY THINGS AT ONCE.
ugh ok. I need to go cry until The Red Scrolls of Magic and Chain of Gold are out.
"But I thought -- you said we would be done with each other."
"I am not done with you," said Kieran. "I could never be done with you, Mark Blackthorn."
"I am also an excellent cooke," said Mark, putting an acorn onto his s'more. Everyone stared.
"He can't help it," said Cristina loyally. "He has lived with the Wild Hunt for so long."
"I don't do that," said Kieran, eating a s'more in the correct fashion. "Mark has no excuse."
This was... a whole mess.
**Spoilers are marked in text, and in case character talk was what you were here for, I keysmashed a bit at the bottom of this page.
➽P A C I N G I S S U E S G A L O R E
Fuck, you guys, the scope and pacing of this was wild ride. Generally, this just felt very thrown together in comparison to the fairly well-balanced nature of earlier books.
Let’s talk some details.
First of all, the concept of Thule… is good. [And Melanie’s description of it as a Mad Max version of the Shadowhunters world is honestly real.] BUT it takes up about a quarter of this 900 (nine hundred) page book, and it. has. no. bearing. on the plot. until the epilogue. in which it is used to set up another whole ass trilogy.
Also, what the fuck happened with Anabelle? Anabelle honestly has one of the better villain setups Cassie has ever pulled off, and the fact that she does nothing except die, and dies halfway through the book is just. It’s just a mess. I hate it.
Just as in… every one of CC’s conclusions I’ve read, I think the first five chapters or so should have been incorporated into the last book. She has a tendency to set up The Final Showdown conflicts at the beginning of the third book rather than at the end of the second, which messes with her flow, leaving us with abrupt book two endings (Lord of Shadows. i loved that book but admit it, this is a problem) and lacking buildup for events in book three.
Here is a simple way this couldve been done to this particular book: end it not on the note of [spoilers removed], but on the note of Julian’s trip to see Magnus. This both makes the ending of book two less abrupt and, more importantly, given how weirdly disconnected some of this conflict feels, sets up an approximate book three conflict.
Oh, and speaking of villains, remember how Zara was going to die and I was going to be all
Yeah. I don’t either.
➽F A N S E R V I C E I N P S
Remember back in my review of book one, when Jace and Clary’s heavyhanded but brief cameo was the most I’ve liked them in the entire canon of the universe, and yes it was fanservice but it was fun? Oh man. Good old days. This could have been The Mortal Instruments book #7, City of I Don’t Give A Shit for all the TMI presence.
I don’t even know if I’m referring to stuff with earlier characters, because I actually don’t mind that too much. Magnus and Alec, two of the only characters in TMI I actually like, have stopped being done dirty finally; Jem and Tessa are two of my favorite fictional characters and I can’t even pretend to complain about their cameo; even though I never got to their minor presence in TMI part two, Helen and Aline are amazing. So maybe it’s not even about the fanservice; it’s just that the. scope. is. so. so. wide. By this, I am of course referring to: Thule, and the return of Sebastian Morgenstern and his secret?? son?? a character I will not even pretend to give a shit about. And also Emo Jace.
And okay, listen, I know Cassandra Clare isn’t exactly trying to get all of her work done completely sans-fanservice: the investment in the characters and relationships is the backbone of her work, what makes it so easy to enjoy. But unlike some of her other books, this just… fell flat? It feels like the heart, the enthusiasm, the genuine love that she poured into The Infernal Devices and earlier books in this series was just... missing.
➽T H E A C T U A L E N D I N G
Uh, so first of all, I will say that I didn’t totally 100% hate the actual ending. I just didn't really feel it was built up enough. And to me, it demonstrated just how little progress was made within this book.
Here's the thing: of the three main character dynamics used for conflict within this series — Christina & Kieran & Mark, Kit & Ty, and Julian & Emma — only one is genuinely resolved. And the thing is, this lack of resolution sort of works; one dynamic is about half-resolved and just dealing with problems, and one is not even close to being resolved but they're getting a whole series written about them, so fine. But I think my overwhelming feeling upon first finishing this book was... wow, is that all we're resolving? Is that all the progress we've made? Really, in 900 pages? In that case... couldn't it have just been 500 pages?
Moving on. The final battle is... sort of cool, but it is awkwardly written, and feels fairly contrived. We know something magic is going to happen at the end, and we hope it'll lead to a somewhat decent ending, but the buildup falls apart just a little on the way. On that topic: [spoilers removed] To me, it just feels like this series has been pretending the ending is going to make us all sooooo sad, and it doesn't. It's a series about hope and coming together, which is great — it just shouldn't be talked about as a tragic romance, that's all.
➽I S W E A R, I D I D N’ T H A T E I T
Um… I thought the first 20% or so of this book was really pretty solid? This section was also a lot funnier! Examples of this phenomenon include:
➽“and- julian is like sebastian morgenstern!” *cue Diego laughing really hard*
Julian putting his boots on Horace’s desk like a legend
➽“you two have really fucked up.”
➽“ever wanted to move objects with your mind?” “sure, sounds great!”
➽“who hates you? I’ll kill them!” which is just a deeply Aline thing to say
I’ve sort of alluded to this already, but the most coherent main theme of this book is the idea of grieving for the lost being a necessary process, and when that theme stands out amongst the generally muddled plot, it’s handled well. Julian’s arc around grief is nuanced and fairly well-handled; Emma’s arc has sort of always been about grief, it’s just that this book realizes it better than earlier books. Ty’s arc around grief is honestly just kind of heartbreaking. Kieran’s arc focuses more around finding forgiveness, but it feels coherent with the rest of the arcs. Alec’s arc (I know) is around worrying about eventual grief and is… honestly better than any character arc he got in TMI? SORRY.
For those of you in the comments saying I’m rating generously… I mean, I guess I am. But I can’t actually give this book two stars because, as I deepdived into in previous reviews (#shamelessselfpromo), I like these characters way too much.
OH AND. You all know I’ve been talking about this nonstop, but Mark and Christina and Kieran!! Being a canon dynamic!! I really really wanted more out of their buildup, to be honest, because it’s been utterly fantastic up to this book, but I’m just. So so happy. That the polyamorous trio is canon. I’ve been waiting six months but the rest of you have all been waiting years so round of applause for that!!
I also think, removing all critique, that juggling ten to fifteen lead characters with any degree of success is incredibly difficult, and the fact that this is even somewhat pulled off is really impressive. I mean, even putting important-in-the-future characters like Dru (who deserved more airtime), Tavvy, Dark Livvy, Gwyn (codename the only man i trust), Cameron, Jaime (who i dislike. just facts), Diego (who i now love!!), and Ash (??) to the side, and even eliminating villains like Zara, Manuel, Horace, the Seelie Queen, the Unseelie King, Annabel, Sebastian, and Dark Jace, and even not counting the massive presence of TMI characters like Helen, Aline, Jace, Clary, Magnus, Alec, and Ragnor Fel — several of whom have actual character arcs in this book — we still have Julian and Emma, Mark and Christina and Kieran, Kit and Ty, and Diana starring as genuine leading characters. That’s a total of thirty-one names including eight leads. Impressive as fuck.
➽E N D I N G T H O U G H T S
No one has ever accused me of being coherent.
→this series could also be called Julian Makes A Bad Decision: News at 11
→Everything Diana And Gwyn Have Ever Done. It’s Flawless And Good
→There was a line in this book in which Aline’s posture is described as “straight,” which is something no self-respecting gay would write without making a joke. That’s not a flaw. I just think I’m funnier than I actually am.
Anyway. Yes, as we’ve discussed, the entire existence of this whole world is kind of ridiculous, but I’m not going to pretend I don’t love it.
looking out for:
The Red Scrolls of Magic | 2 April 2019
Chain of Gold | 19 November 2019
The Wicked Powers | sometime, 2022
dark artifices reviews:
book one | ★★★★★
book two | ★★★★★
book three | ★★★☆☆
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Trigger Warnings: grief, self mutilation, death, war, murder
My review for Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare was first posted on my blog. Find it here.
Queen of Air and Darkness is the book I have been waiting for all year. I don’t think I have ever anticipated a Cassandra Clare book as much as this one. The ending of Lord of Shadows scared me to my core and if you ask me about it today you have a 110% chance of me bursting into tears at the mere mention of it. This finale to The Dark Artifices series did not disappoint. It left me reeling and having so many damn questions. You can bet I screamed WHAT at my book around about 100 times a page. I was absolutely shattered.
This finale will probably be Cassie’s best. They continue to get better the more she writes and I am so damn happy to be able to experience this journey with everyone as we dive into the Shadowhunter realms. I am also self-proclaimed Shadowhunter trash – while also seeing everything wrong with the books and Cassie, I’m not blinded, don’t worry.
As a warning, this review will contain spoilers. The spoilers will be for the previous books in this series so you have been warned. I can’t talk about this book without mentioning certain events. If you haven’t read this series, come back after you do so we can discuss. If you haven’t read this series and don’t want to, read forward and be spoiled, my friends.
Queen of Air and Darkness picks up exactly where Lord of Shadows dropped off. With Julian holding Livvy after she has been murdered. We get to experience every ounce of grief that the Blackthorn family feels throughout the book and it is honestly enough to knock you off your feet. I promise you that you will burst into tears several times at work…not that I did that. The finale of The Dark Artifices takes you on a journey. There are countless storylines and at times it is a tad difficult to keep up. Obviously, it is better to have read all the Shadowhunter Chronicles to understand how people relate to certain things but it really isn’t needed. You can jump into this series and scream – obviously don’t just jump into Queen of Air and Darkness without having read the previous books.
Throughout this book we get to follow Julian and Emma’s struggle to tamper down their feelings, Ty dealing with his grief for Livvy in the wrong way, Kit being a Herondale, Drusilla coming in to herself, Diana and Gwyn’s love story continue, Cristina, Kieran and Mark drama, Cohort business (seriously this was some Donald Trump shit), some Faerie Drama and finally find out who the mysterious Ash is (we all knew). Within 800 pages a lot has to happen and it does. We get to see all the old characters whom we loved and I even found myself liking Clary and Jace – something I thought was impossible when I read The Mortal Instruments. I can barely even begin to talk about each plot line because there is just so much going on. You will be thrown in a whirlwind and be actively engaged no matter who’s the storyline you are reading. There are plenty of changes throughout the long ass chapters Cassie writes to get a feel for everyone.
I should probably start off with the one thing I disliked about Queen of Air and Darkness. I don’t know if I ever publicly spoke about it on my blog but anti-hero Julian was all that I ever wanted in this series. To see Cassie jump outside her comfort zone and write him would fuel me. While we did get somewhat of an antihero Julian it was not what I had imagined. In fact, it was slightly disappointing and something I’m not sure added to the plot. Julian turning off his feelings simply felt weak. You’re telling me the boy who walked miles to get groceries for his siblings would turn off his feelings for them? Try again.
That’s all I didn’t like though, so Cassie really did smash it out of the park.
Throughout the series, we have had glimpses of Aline and Helen. We have never really gotten to see them which is disheartening as the only f/f couple in the series. We finally get to really meet them and I must say that I adore them. Aline was so damn relatable to me and Helen was just an angel who wanted to care for her siblings, even if they didn’t want her to. The couple themselves were so damn sweet and I adored every moment of their relationship on the page. They were truly so special to read. I am sure we’ll see more of them in future books as well which has me squealing with excitement.
There wasn’t much Jem and Tessa in this book either which was fantastic. If you know me, you’d know I hate that ship. I get it. Everyone thinks it is the best love triangle to ever exist in the sense that you can’t ‘choose’. Bitch, I chose and now I can’t like Jem. I hate him. So, having not much of them throughout this book was fantastic. Though I could have done with more Simon and Isabelle, oh well.
Interdimensional travel is typically something that turns me off a book. However, Thule was magnificent. A world completely opposite from the one our character lives in where Sebastian Morgenstern won the war. It was chilling. The fact that Cassie thought of that? Ugh, her mind. She is a genius. However, she really didn’t include as much Annabel as I thought she would considering she is on the cover. I wonder where that will come in to play?
The relationships in this book as well. Cassie diving in to a poly relationship was fantastic, Cassie’s further development of Emma and Julian was brilliant, Magnus and Alec’s already established relationship filled me with joy and I don’t even like them, and lastly, Drusilla’s future love life will probably be complicated but y’all know I love her.
Cassandra Clare carefully crafted it so every single plotline that ran through this story intersected at the end. They all came together in a big way that you know leads off into the next series. I can truly not wait to read whatever she puts out next. I honestly need it in my hands like yesterday. The ending of this particular story left me breathless. I can’t wait to see what hints that we found throughout this book to come to fruition in future books.
I would desperately love for Cassie to give us a nice happy ending for the Blackthorns but with the fact that The Wicked Powers is based around Kit and Ty (who I can’t even begin to talk about in this book) tells me this family hasn’t had the last of its dramas.
Overall, Queen of Air and Darkness will probably be my favourite book of 2018. I am still reeling from the events and want to scream about them from the rooftops. Heck, this is the first review I’ve sat down to write straight after finishing the book. Cassandra Clare gives us a bit of everything in this finale and even more. I can’t wait to hear everyone’s thoughts and theories on what will happen next.