It’s taken me a while to finish this book due to all my university readings, but here it is, finally.
The newest instalment in the Shadowhunter world sees Julian, Emma and their family take on even more fearsome enemies. After the death of Malcolm in Lady Midnight, the Blackthorns thought they were safe. Unfortunately, they were wrong. Demons are being forced from the ocean and attacking anything in sight. I felt sorry for Emma with this, seems she can’t get away from her fear of the deep ocean. Especially after the ordeal she had in the last book.
Julian, Emma, Mark and Cristine have a mission involving fairies which is quite conflicting for them and, as usual, they are forced to keep this involvement a secret for fear of what the Clave would do. It’s always interesting to see Cristina’s pure interest and curiosity about the fey in spite all the hate and tension between the Shadowhunters and the Faeries. She’s able to see them as the intriguing, beautiful creatures they are without being hateful towards all fey. She’s like the heart of the group.
Additionally, it’s intriguing to see how Mark deals with the mission now that he is free and with his family for good. He loves his family but part of his soul is still drawn to the wildness and freedom of the fey, especially The Wild Hunt. Not only that but he still has feelings for Kieran, even after his part in hurting Julian and Emma.
It’s frustrating and heart-warming to see Mark and Cristina grow closer together, but, Kieran is still an obstacle. Even after everything, Mark and Kieran still have one of the strongest bonds I’ve read about. Talk about an angsty romance. To make things even more angst-ridden Mark is still divided about being with Cristina, though she’s definitely a big part of him. To top it all off, Cristina develops a friendship with Kieran, at times it’s almost romantic. It’s like an angsty threesome! I’m not a big love triangle fan but this one got into my heart. I wanted it to work out, though I imagine a threesome relationship would be hard to make work.
Despite them fighting it, Julian and Emma still feel drawn to each other, though they each think the other doesn’t love them. Their relationship demonstrates how you can’t help you fall in love with. At times their relationship is awkward but underneath everything, they’re still best friends. I love both of them and I desperately want them to be together without fear of the Clave’s punishment. They both develop greatly in this book which is amazing to watch. It’s intriguing to see Julian’s darker side and what he will do for the people he loves, he goes to some pretty dark places in this book which is frightening at times.
In the first book, we were introduced to Kit, who turned out to be the lost Herondale descendant. It bothers me that he is also Christopher. Can’t the Herondales come up with another name for their boys! I’m glad he has such a distinctive nickname. We see him trying to find his place in this new world, both without his father and with the truth of his heritage revealed. He was raised in the Shadow World, yet it’s like he’s discovered a whole new world. It’s cool to see someone raised to believe Shadowhunters as these cruel authority figures discover himself one of them. But with the understanding of the Blackthorns, he manages to find his way through.
Kit grows close to the twins. At first, it’s simply because they’re the same age but as he gets to know them, they become good friends, becoming an inseparable trio. It’s nice to see the Blackthorns, especially Ty, making friends outside their family. Their friendship is pure and understanding since Kit has lived in the mortal world and knows about the Asperger’s Spectrum. I love seeing a new person’s perspective on Ty and to see him open up to the possibilities of a new friend. We learn from Livvy that he’s been ridiculed by others in the past for his quirks, people he thought were his friends. Livvy’s protectiveness comes out full pelt against Kit but they manage to come to an understanding. The twin’s behaviour clearly displays the trouble Ty has endured from other Shadowhunters judging him for his differences. I wish I could slap each and every one who ever mock poor Ty, he’s such a sweetheart!
The actual events that unfold are a complete twist and turn. It leads you down one path, then a slide and finally a roller-coaster. I couldn’t put it down, which became a bit of a problem. The Shadowhunters ventured into lands we haven’t seen before, ride with The Wild Hunt, were lured into Court politics and fought against badass fairy warriors clad all in Bronze. It was one of the most epic Shadowhunter quests we’ve seen so far. The Blackthorns are their friends really would go above and beyond for each other.
The Clave has changed dramatically since the Mortal Instruments books. A fanatical group known as The Cohort has gained moment and make a play for the LA Institute, threatening the very home the Blackthorns hold so dear. They hate all Downworlders and want them all monitored with severe punishments for any infraction of the Law. They’re hateful bigots and I absolutely hate to read about them, but it’s a good reflection of how people act. They become so scared or hateful, sometimes even both, that they demand unspeakable things. Their demands are especially strong because of the unexpected tragedy their people endured five years ago. This does not excuse their horrendous behaviour or their proposed Laws.
I must confess, I have a love/ hate relationship with Cassandra Clare’s books. She makes me fall in love with these great characters then breaks my heart in the most unexpected way. The end of the book completely shattered me, it hadn’t been at all what I’d expected. I’ve been in a book mourning period ever since. And now I must wait another year for the next one! I give it a 5/5 but be warned, the ending is heartbreaking.