The Queen of Air and Darkness – The Dark Artifices – Cassandra Clare

I have been on the Shadowhunters bandwagon for a while. Although I ve avoided the shadowmarket books and the bane chronicles, I ve kept up with the main books, The Infernal Devices, Mortal Instruments and now the Dark Artifices.  Oh and the TV show – which I feel a little sad is coming to an end.

Queen of Air and Darkness is the third in this trilogy, following a new set of Shadowhunters, but still linking back to the tried and tested fan favourite characters.  This is one of those books that if you haven’t read the previously books you’ll be confused, and it’s not worth reading.  The last book was so long ago It took me a while to get back into this; To remember who was where, who’d done what and who some of the characters were but once Id been back in this world for a few chapters it felt like Id never been away.

Jace and Clary are there, part of the story. But this is about a war, for power, control and unquestioning loyalty, for shadowhunters and the fae courts. Its about learning who can be trusted and what people will give up for the good of the world.

Theres the Emma/Jules love story that is so Romeo and Juliet, or Edward and Bella if you want to be a little more modern.  Emma and Jules are best friends, parabatai – linked and bonded for life as partners, but not in the way that they want.  They are in love, all consuming but the stories, warning of this happening in the past is enough to scare them.

Previous books have told us that Parabatai in love become monsters, that the Seelie Queen may have a solution to breaking the bond, that Robert and Libby were lost in the fight against the Queen of Air and Darkness, and fear is more powerful then any other emotion, except maybe love.

With Jace and Clary missing, Emma and Julian are sent to Faerie on a mission, only they aren’t alone, and Julian isn’t acting like himself.  After making a surprising ally the pair make their way to see the Seelie Queen, then find themselves on horseback and finally meeting up with Jace and Clary before being thrust into another world altogether. One in the future, where Livvy isn’t dead and they can actually be together. Things are never as they seem and they quickly realise the benefits of this new world, and the urgency of getting back to their own one.

As with most YA fantasy books there is an epic battle and alls well that ends well, even with a little necromancy thrown in.

There were parts of this book I thought I had worked out:

  1. The magic in the other world permanently broke the Parabatai bond and Em and Jules were free of the curse.
  2. That older Livvy would come back with them
  3. Zara would accidentally stab herself with Cortana

Okay so the last one was a wish, I also got really annoyed with myself for not realising who Kit was. Looking back I dint think there were that many clues, but I feel like I should have known!

I enjoyed the book, and it closed the series for me nicely. I don’t think Ms Clare will ever be done with the Shadowhunters, their her baby (despite what claims may be out there it’s her name on the book) but I think for me its done. I wont be picking up the supporting Novellas, stories and bits. I ve enjoyed the journey but I think the age gap between when I started the books and now is making me choose different books and I am now that little bit too old to get lost in them in the same way.

That said I have booked a ticket for the QoAD and Wicked King tour in Birmingham for next month. I ve never met either Cassandra Clare, or Holly Black and the Waterstones version of the book is so so pretty that I couldn’t resist the opportunity to get it signed!

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