Welp, I devoured Queen of Air and Darkness. A 900 page book. Actually, I read it in around 6 hours. Can someone do the math and tell me how many pages that is an hour?
Okay, I read Queen of Air and Darkness super fast and it was complicated and amazing. Some people wrote reviews the VERY day of QOAAD’s publication and I saw video review reviews published within ONE DAY of publication. HOW are people able to review a massive book so fast? (OK, I know people ask me how some of us are able to read that fast. But reading and reviewing???? SO fast??? That fast??)
Anyway, it’s been a week, a little over a week, since I read Cassie Clare’s masterpiece, and I’m finally ready to attempt a review!
Since this is very hard to figure out how to write, I’m going to attempt to narrow this review down to some simple points – plot, relationships, and maybe spoilers??? Okay, actually lots of Spoilers.
So Much Plot!
All of Cassie Clare’s books are plot heavy. But the entire Dark Artifices series took plot to a whole other level. Everything tied together with every other Shadowhunter book – from the original Mortal Instruments and the Infernal Devices, to all the Ghosts of the Shadowmarket books.
Which, by the way, I haven’t read the Ghosts of the Shadowmarket books. I want to do so soon!
Can I talk about this without spoilers? Um, probably not. So, let’s just say the rest of this review will be spoilery.
Several plot points i want to highlight. I mean, the book was 900 pages long. Hard to only pick a couple of points.
Ash Morgenstern … or does he have a different last name??? Idk
I actually saw several conspiracy claims that the strange faerie boy from Lord of Shadows was Sebastian Morgenstern’s son. It sounded plausible, but i was slightly skeptical.
The faerie queen couldn’t really fall that hard for Sebastian? But she did, apparently. But fun things! Ash is not in the Seelie Court because no one loves drama more than the Unseelie King.
Also, I’m terrible, absolutely terrible at connecting theories together. So, yeah, I was skeptical of the theories. Some of them were right, coooooool! Much smarter people then me, apparently. But, I’m still very cynical of believing conspiracy plots in potential future books.
Faerie Drama. Lots of drama. Thousands of years of drama.
“Prince Oban. His revels are famous for their duration and their debauchery.” He frowned as a group of naked acrobats hooted from a nearby tree. “He makes Magnus Bane look like a prudish nun.”
Mark looked as if he’d just heard that there was an alternate sun that was nine million times hotter than the Earth’s sun. “You never mentioned Oban.”
“He embarrasses me,” said Kieran.”
I absolutely loved all the scenes in Faerie. Kieran’s family is all so different, his very wicked brother, his kind brother, and of course the Unseelie King. Okay, did Oban remind anyone else of Loki???
And gasp, the Unseelie King and Seelie Queen were married once???? And had a daughter??? Who ran away to the human world??? What? And is related to the Herondales? Everything ties back to the Herondales, I guess?
Well, I was kind of happy with everything that actually went down in the Unseelie Court. The wicked king (yep, that’s a Cruel Prince reference) is finally out of the way, and Kieran makes a fantastic king.
I don’t trust the Seelie Queen and there’s going to be some interesting things happening in the future.
Also, Kit is the real heir? maybe that will REALLY matter in future books???
Thule. Other worlds.
So cool. Really complicated and it could be potentially problematic. But still so cool???
Honestly, I had lots and lots of fun reading through the Thule sections. The double Sebastian and Jace were so weirdly fascinating. And all the truth about how important Clary is??? Yes!!! That was AMAZING and shut down all the jerks who diss on YA female protagonists.
Um, the actual truth behind the Parabatai Curse
“Parabatai. A cruel sort of bond, he thought, that made one person out of two people, and left such devastation when half was gone.”
Okay, I love Emma and Julian. But we’re not talking about relationships yet. Let’s just talk about Parabatai. What a surprise???
But really, the whole Parabatai turning into gigantic fiery angelic nephilim was really, really weird. And i think it should be VERY emphasized that the only way to become human again was the great love Julian had for his siblings. Family brought him back down to earth. But somehow no one was talking about that??? I just don’t get this too much.
And if random parabatai pairs can turn into fiery giant angels, wouldn’t the fairies and Downworlders have legends abut this? I guess the Seelie Queen knew but was hiding this fact?
I’m sure Cassie Clare has mapped out what this Parabatai Curse means for the Shadowhunter world, but right now, it just feels messy. And very weird.
The Cohort being Royally Racist
“Horace reminded him of politicians shouting on TV, red-faced men who always seemed angry and always wanted you to know there was something you needed to be afraid of.”
There are few people in books that I hate more than the Cohort. Zara reminds me of Delores Umbridge and all my nightmares about spiders rolled into one detestable human being. Maybe that’s being unfair spiders but I am absolutely terrified of spiders, so sorry Charlotte’s Web.
And I know that Zara is not the only member of the Cohort but this gal is definitely the face of the Cohort. So, she and her dad get all the hate.
As an American, the Cohort and Horace Dearborn reminds me of a certain American political leader. And the Downworlders Registry made me SO MAD. I wanted to crawl through the page and punch Zara’s teeth out.
But HUGE APPLAUSE to Helene and Aline for a creative get around to actually not registering innocent people. Also, I love Helene and Aline.
War or Just a Battle? I’m Not Sure
Was that an actual war between the Cohort and Faeries and Shadowhunters? Is one giant battle a war? I don’t know because I don’t make up war definitions.
But it was cool and then Julian and Emma turned into giant Angelic fire beings. And Kit was super powerful. And the Cohort lost. Kind of.
Then the Cohort took Idris, and I wanted to shred the book because I was SO MAD. Why didn’t Emma stab Zara right through the heart??? WHY, WHY, WHY is Zara still alive?
Me, to Zara & every other Cohort member
Potential Bad Things Happening
This book definitely ends with some major unsolved threads. Thule and alternate Jace. The very shady Seelie Queen and her wicked plans to destroy all the Shadowhunters. The Cohort and their control of Idris.
I mean, yes, things were resolved for the Blackthorns. But the Cohort + Seelie Queen are planning on causing lots of problems.
Now for, Relationships!
Julian and Emma
“As long as you exist and I exist, I will love you.”
Obviously, this entire series has revolved around Julian and Emma. These two are tied together by fate itself. I think through this book, they grew so much.
I mean, Julian tried to shut down his emotions, and that ended up disastrously hurting Emma. And I was so proud of Emma for standing up to him and putting slightly psychopathic non-emotional Julian in his place.
And then of course, they traveled to Thule and Julian realized how he NEEDED his emotions. As someone who grew through Reactive Attachment Disorder (a mental health condition where you literally have no emotions due to childhood trauma) I felt so deeply for Julian in his emotionless prison. I have been in that prison and it is deeply isolating.
“You might be in the cage, Jules, but as long as you are like this, I am in the cage with you.”
Then when the Parabatai Bond is over they can be together, yay! And i was fine with that, yeah. And Julian and Emma sure do love their PDA, just saying.
Kit, Ty and Dru
“Kit felt a rush of tenderness toward Ty, mixed with near-panic. In other circumstances, he thought, he would just have lied. But he couldn’t lie to Ty.”
I’m going to talk about grief later in today’s review, but I will say this now – Kit, Ty and Dru’s story in this book was heart-moving.
First, Kit and Ty are adorable. I love both of them, and I understand the decisions they each make. Ty desperately working to resurrect his sister, and Kit helping because his cares so deeply for Ty. Then, unable to change Ty’s mind, even after telling him how much he loved him. Kit was so hurt, and I was hurt for Ty AND Kit.
I want things to be right with Kit and Ty. Of course, things aren’t right now. Will they ever be right? Will we ever know?
I also deeply respected and loved the way Kit interacted with Dru. Kit just gets along with people and understands and wants to help. And Dru has gone through so much, please just let someone watch horror movies with her.
Kieran, Mark and Christina
OH!!!! I LOVE THESE THREE SO MUCH!!! They are everything. I know this series is kind of hinged on Julian and Emma, but I love Christina, Mark and Kieran.
Christina is just so wise and feels so deeply, and is the best friend ever. She’s brave and doesn’t care what anyone thinks.
My Fav Moments
“You can’t fix grief,” said Simon. “A rabbi told me that when my father died. The only thing that fixes grief is time, and the love of the people who care about you.”
“I wouldn’t know,” said Kit. “My father was eaten by demons.”
When your twin leaves the earth you live on, it never turns the same way again: the weight of their soul is gone, and everything is off balance. The world rocks under your feet like an unquiet sea. I can’t tell you it gets easier. But it does get steadier; you learn how to live with the new rocking of the new earth, the way sailors gain sea legs. You learn. I promise.”
Also, one of my favorite moments in the entire book, is when Simon gives Julian the Dungeons and Dragons iron toy. It’s a very, nerdy, roll your eyes kind of moment. AND THEN JULIAN USES AN IRON TOY TO DISARM A FAERIE WARRIOR.
Have you read Queen of Air and Darkness? What did you think? Were there any moments that made you cry? Or laugh? (I’m still laughing at Simon & his D&D iron toy)
Isn’t the Chain of Gold cover stunning?