Review: Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare
I finally got to read this book! Queen of Air and Darkness was one of my most anticipated books of 2018. I wanted to read it as soon as I finished Lord of Shadows, so you can imagine that this was quite the wait.
This book definitely didn’t disappoint. There was action, character relationship develop and happenings that you wouldn’t see coming. Cassandra Clare continues to expand the world and find new ways to make each series unique and intriguing. I don’t want to say too much about this book specifically, as you should really read The Infernal Devices and The Mortal Instruments before this series, but we dive deeper into Clave politics in this series, which was fascinating and felt topical.
My one non-spoiler-y critique is that it didn’t feel like a final book for a series. There are a lot of things that felt unresolved and I got more City of Glass vibes than City of Heavenly Fire. That said, we are setting up for what will likely be the last Shadowhunter series, The Wicked Powers, but I did feel like I wanted more of a complete conclusion because it did feel like we had a lot of loose ends.
Overall, I still adored this book! I definitely shouldn’t have read it on the train because it made me emotional. I, of course, gave it 5 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.
That’s all for my non-spoiler-y thoughts. If you haven’t read Queen of Air and Darkness, you have been warned that spoilers lie ahead.
Hello, people who’ve read the book! I have so many thoughts and feelings about this book that I’m not sure how coherent this post is going to be, but here we go.
Queen of Air and Darkness opens up exactly where Lord of Shadows left off, Annabel has just murdered Robert Lightwood and Livvy Blackthorn and the Council Hall is in chaos. I love how grief was handled in this book coming. Every character dealt with it (or didn’t deal with it) in a different way, which is realistic. Everyone grieves differently and this is especially visible within the Blackthorn family.
I just can’t with Julian sometimes. He’s never been my favourite character, but he takes a turn at the beginning of this books. After he felt like the parabatai curse coming on, he goes to Magnus for some sort of fix and Magnus puts a spell on him that dampens his feelings. Julian already has some cruel tendencies and the absence of his feelings makes him take everything too far. There are so many moments when I was like, “No Julian, don’t do that!” and I wanted to throw the book.
But no one irritated me more than Horace and Zara Dearborn. That said, the Cohort is not only topical but can also be a reflection of many different points throughout mundane history. It also made that there wasn’t one big bad, which was a refreshing change from Cassandra Clare’s other series.
Horace Dearborn threatens to expose Julian and Emma’s relationship unless they go into Faerie, retrieve the Black Volume and kill Annabel Blackthorn. But of course, he never intended on them coming back because he sends someone to kill them. This leads them on a quest through Faire, trying to make a deal with the Seelie Queen, to the Unseelie court where they find Jace and Clary, Kieran kills the Unseelie King and then Julian and Emma end up in Thule.
Going to Thule was insane. The world is so different just because one thing happened differently in the Dark War. Clary is dead, Julian and Emma aren’t parabatai and Endarkend, and Livvy is alive!
Backtracking a little bit, the reason why the Seelie Queen had wanted the Black Volume is to trade the book for her son that she had with Sebastian Morgenstern. Sebastian and the Seelie Queen had a kid, Ash! And he has crazy evil powers and an attachment to Thule Jace. After our Emma and Julian kill Annabel and Thule Sebastian, Ash takes Thule Jace and flies off into the sky, leaving Julian and Emma to portal back to our world alone.
We learned in Thule that the water from Lake Lynn cures the Warlock disease that’s being caused by the blight. This where Diana, Gwyn and the wild hunt come to the rescue.
Complete side note about Diana: I love Diana so much. Her and Gwyn are adorable and I love how she stood against hate even when Horace had threatened to expose her. She believed that even though the Cohort were the loudest, there were more Shadowhunters who disagreed with them and that there was hope for the Clave. I also like how the narration in her perspective emphasized that she didn’t have to tell people if she did not want to. It was her choice and her right to choose when to open up. She’s spectacular and hands down one of my favourite Cassandra Clare characters of all time.
Now that we have a cure for the Warlock sickness, Magnus is back with full force and this means that he can give Julian back his feelings! Julian getting his emotions back made him like the best strategizer, but I also knew that this meant that we’re building to a climax with the parabatai curse. He orchestrated a plan to expose the Cohort and their lies, but this is thrown off when a battle breaks out and in the middle of this battle the parabatai curse comes to fruition. Sure enough, they become giant “true Nephalem” and start to wreak havoc. I would have liked to see a little bit more fallout from that because it seemed weird to me that there were no repercussions after that had happened. But their parabatai ruins are gone and so is the parabatai bond. So they can finally be together!
We also find out during the battle that Kit is the First Heir (a descendant from the daughter of the Seelie Queen and the Unseelie King) and is the last in the line of Herondales descended from the First Heir. We start to learn about this in the Ghosts from the Shadow Market novellas and it also sets up what will likely come up in The Wicked Powers! I’m sad that he’s not going to be living with the Blackthorns, but he’ll be safe and be able to train still while living with Jem and Tessa.
I loved all the relationships, both new to TDA and from the TMI. The relationship between Kieran, Mark and Christina is something that we rarely see and the love that they all share is beautiful. Each person has a different kind of energy and presence that they provide to the relationship that the other two need and respond to. It’s not that they would be unhappy to a couple of two people (whichever two they may be), but it’s absolutely clear that they’re happiest together.
Another relationship that I adore is Kit and Ty! Kit and Ty’s mission to bring Livvy back was looming throughout the book, but I hadn’t expected Ty to actually attempt it. These two are adorable and my heart broke for Kit when he realized that at the moment Ty wasn’t able to love him or reciprocate the love that he has. I’m sure more will be explored in The Wicked Powers because they’re both going to be in it, so there has to be a reunion.
The last hundred or so pages are dedicated to what happens after we beat the Cohort. Jia steps down as Consol and implements a new voting system to decide who will take over the position. Much to the Cohort’s anger, Alec Lightwood is elected Consol! Alec has grown tremendously since City of Bones and he’s up there with my favourite characters in the Shadowhunter Chronicles.
Of course, there are secret cohort sympathizers and Zara and the rest of them threaten to kill themselves unless everyone who is not with them leaves Idris. All Shadowhunters who aren’t with the cohort end up leave Idris and it’s sealed behind them. Basically, the Cohort locked themselves in. Alec and the rest of the Clave work to find alternatives for things they had in Alicante, such as the Shadowhunter Academy. He also offers Mark his job as head of the Shadowhunter-Downworlder Alliance.
When Cassandra Clare was teasing this book, she said that there would be a wedding. I thought it would be Simon and Izzy, who got engaged during Lady Midnight, but it was Alec and Magnus!!! They are my OTP across all books, TV, movies, etc. and I’ve been waiting for them to be able to get married how they wanted to. And now that Alec is Consol, they got married in Shadowhunter gold and Warlock blue and it was the sweetest thing.
That’s all for my very long spoiler-filled review of Queen of Air and Darkness. This book is packed with stuff and I wasn’t able to talk about everything, so please leave a comment if there is something that I missed that you wanted to discuss.
We won’t be getting The Wicked Powers for a very long time because we first have the red scrolls of magic and the last hours, but I plan on making predictions once we’re closer to the release.
Until next time, have a lovely rest of your day and read something awesome!