King’s Cage (Red Queen 3)-Should You Read It?

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Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Rating: 4/5

This is the third book in the Red Queen series. Following the ending events of Glass Sword, Mare is imprisoned by king Maven. The book title comes from her experience of feeling that she is constantly in a cage created by the king.

With Mare having Silent Stone shackles at all times, her powers are useless. She becomes weak, a pawn in Maven’s game. Maven forces Mare to enlighten Newbloods to come to his side and fight for him, that they will be duly rewarded.

One of the interesting aspects about this novel compared to the previous one is that we get Cameron’s point of view, a Newblood girl from the group rescued at Corvium Prison. When we get her perspective, we see what is going on with the Scarlet Guard, Cal, and the Newbloods during Mare’s imprisonment. This addition gives the reader a new perspective on Mare and Cal as people.

While Mare is imprisoned, she can tell that Maven must still have feelings for her. She uses that to her advantage, until he declared his engagement to the Lakeland Princess. During the wedding ceremony of Maven and the princess, Mare makes a daring escape with the help of someone the reader would not have expected, but her helper has their own goals in mind.

The whole first half of the book involves Mare’s imprisonment, but does not mean it it lacking. We learn a lot about the other nations and their opposition to Maven as king, as well as some of the high houses of Norta who think likewise.

The second half of the book involves taking Corvium, helping Newbloods, and making a bunch of political alliances in the Scarlet Guard’s plans to take over Norta. It also features a nice spotlight on Cal and Mare’s relationship, but when Cal is being put forth to be the king to take over Norta, Mare is furious, since he previously stated he did not want to be king again. This leads to an interesting cliffhanger in regards to there own romance.

Mare is also reunited with her family and becomes and auntie. She also meets a bunch of interesting Newbloods who want to see a world undiscriminating by blood, just like Mare.

This book was not quite as good as the first one, but it was better than the second, despite the fact that Mare is imprisoned for a huge chunk of the novel. If you thought the second one was a bit meh, fear not! This book more than makes up for the slow bits, leaves the reader with a lot of questions, as well as itching for more!

Crewe Chase and the Pearl Defender (Crewe Chase #2)-Should You Read It?

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Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 4/5

Picking up right where Crewe Chase and the Jet Reapers left off, this book is much better than the first one! While the writing is simple and there are still a number of written redundancies that the reader does not need, the plot pick up, and the book had a leading promise for the adventures (and battles?) that await Crewe in the future.

In this second installment, we know Crewe has been admitted to the Jet Reapers, and that Cheyenne wants him out, but we do not know why.

Crewe gets his personal training from his favorite teacher at the castle, Professor Abernathy, who gruel’s Crewe down with physical force to help him become stronger. When Crewe finally sees that Abernathy has his best interests in mind, despite her treatment of him, he finally grows as a character.

Fans of the gravedigger scorpion, Rockcave, will not be dissapointed by this second book. One of the main subplots involves Crewe finding a way to create a portal on his own so that he may allow Rockcave a short vacation with the Scorpion Queen and to mingle among his own kind. The steps Crewe must take to satisfy his paired animal involve a whole assortment of people who Crewe is not so fond of–including Cheyenne.

While Crewe becomes stronger and proves his worth to learn how to make a portal, he learns a number of things about the Jet Reapers, including that they have a holding area for Cados. when Crewe finds a Cados leader and his wife and son in detainment being treated poorly, he begins to question the motives of the Jet Reapers.

Among the Jet Reapers is a Pearl Defender, someone who does not think all Cados are bad, and that not all wizards are good (and where have we heard this before? The dream of his mother as well as from Cheyenne–what could their connection be?)

The end leaves promise of a more exciting battle to come. If you can move past the set up and installment of the first novel, this one surpasses it greatly and shows promise for future installments in the series, so at least give this second book a try before you give up on Crewe Chase!

Crewe Chase and the Jet Reapers-Should You Read It?

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Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 3.5/5

I was an advanced reader for this book, and to be honest, it is pretty hard to rate. I dived in knowing nothing about the book (I didn’t read a description or anything). All I knew was that “fans of Harry Potter” would love this book and that it is a fantasy book.

To begin with, yes, it is very reminiscent of Harry Potter, but it deviates from that pretty quickly.

The prologue is mysterious and interesting and is actually forgotten for the most part as the story goes on. The premise is that wizards are 1% of the global population and dropping due to their being hunted by the envious Cados humans who are jealous of wizarding powers.

Crewe  Chase is orphaned at birth, but his uncle kindly takes him in. When the Cados find out about their wizardry, Crewe is then orphaned at the age of 8 once again. A time skip brings us to 18-year-old Crewe and his hopes of getting accepted into Barbota University, a secluded school where wizards can practice magic and re-cultivate the magical culture. All Crewe wants is vengeance against the Cados.

Most of the characters are kind of plain and dry, but when Rockcave was introduced, I was in love! He’s my favorite and the animal linking is definitely one of the most interesting elements of the book. The plot was slow at first, but once Crewe arrives at the university, the pace picks up and the mystery of the Jet Reapers, as well as whoever is behind Crewe’s demise, keeps the plot fresh and moving forward. Overall I enjoyed the plot and would like to read the second one, but the thing that brings the book down is the writing.

The writing is very simple and there are many rewritten redundancies that I have learned to avoid in my own writing by numerous professors and writers when I edit my work (yes, we know the girl has green eyes and she is hot, and wasn’t it stated that Liam grew up on a farm when Crewe says later, “I didn’t know that,” wait what?) so that was a bit throwing. There are also a number of typos that were a bit irksome. Normally as an advanced reader, I send in to the editor the typo’s or redundancies that i notice, but with my digital copy I have location numbers, rather than page numbers, making it a bit hard to cite, and there were too many, just too many.

Despite all this, the question lies here: should you read it? Overall it was an enjoyable read and the simplistic writing made the story move fast, which I like. After the beginning and the very Harry Potter-esque qualities, the story picks up. The characters are a bit meh, but the plot is interesting enough to have me curious as to what comes next. The writing does not reflect the age of the character very well, and at the same time, it does. When I was 18, I was excited about college and had some end-goal in mind, and I even had a bunch of the same people in my classes once I was in my major. The ideals of the character match his age, but the language Crewe uses is very simplistic, but this leaves potential room for character development, which is good.

All in all, I would say that if you were or are one of those Harry Potter fans, give this books a chance. If you have never read Harry Potter, even better, because this story will be more fresh! I was interesting growing up with Harry, who was school age, and not being older having Crewe to continue the tale of magic for an older version of me and an older audience in general. Also, if you are a contemporary fantasy fan, I would say give this book a chance. It is for a somewhat selective audience, but I will be recommending it to those I know would appreciate and love this sort of tale.

A Darker Shade of Magic-Should You Read It?

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Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 4.5/5

I dived into this book not really knowing much about it or what to expect. The beginning was a bit slow in that it took a few chapters to get into the mechanics of the worlds and how the main character travels between, but once it picked up, it really picked up! A great first book for a series that keeps the reader itching for more, something we need more of in today’s fantasy publishing’s.

While there are characters that are relatively young in age, this is not a young adult novel, it is a fantasy novel (also confirmed by the author, depending on which name she uses on the book will determine the target audience).

Kell is one of the last Antari, a magic user that can travel between worlds. There are four worlds, although one has been seemingly destroyed by dark magic. The remaining three worlds exist like sheets of paper, one placed on top of the other, and they have absolutely nothing in common save for all the worlds have a city named London in a similar place geographically: Grey London, Red London, White London, and the no longer existent Black London. Each of the London’s has its own unique features. Grey London is just that: grey, boring, and lacking magic (somewhat reminiscent of the London we know in our reality). Red London, Kell’s London, is bursting with festivity and magic and the ruling empire is flourishing, while White London is controlled by whoever is the strongest, whoever can kill and murder their way to the throne.

When Kell is given a package to deliver to another London, he is nearly killed in the process. Opening it to find a half jagged and half smooth black stone, Kell recognizes it as an implement of black magic, a relic from Black London that must go back. When his stone is pick-pocketed by a young thief, Delilah Bard, he must get it back, and expose the secret of magic to the citizen of Grey London.

Lila seeks adventure. She would love to have her own pirate ship one day, but when magic is introduced to her world, she aims to follow Kell in his trek to return the black magic stone to Black London. Kell can only travel between worlds if he has a relic from the world he is traveling to, a piece of that world that will allow him to connect. Black London is at the bottom of the stack, and getting there means moving through each of the London’s.

When the rulers or White London are found to be responsible for harboring the black magic stone in the first place, Kell and Lila must join forces to bring down the evils of White London and to get the stone back to the destroyed Black London from whence it came.

After starting this book and not knowing what to expect, I was drawn by the craft and characters that Schwab lays forth in her novel. Kell and Lila are both vastly interesting and unique characters that make me want to follow their adventures into the next book. The chapters are written episodically with a title for each section to get the reader thinking about what might be coming next. I would highly recommend this book for not only fantasy readers, but readers who enjoy a fast-paced adventure with great characters, so yes, you SHOULD read this book! I am looking forward to following Kell and Lila in the next part of their adventure in A Gathering of Shadows, the second book in the trilogy.

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Frostblood-Should You Read It?

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Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Rating: 4.5/5

You may have come across this book at your local Barnes and Noble, Costco, or Target. With it being in all these places, being a debut novel by Canadian author Elly Blake, it makes you wonder, should you read it?

  • I tried to keep the following details of the novel relatively brief and non-spoilery, but I also wanted to give enough detail for the events throughout the novel to put forth the main idea and conflict as it unfolds in the novel as well.

The premise of the story is that there is a kingdom divided by blood. While there are regular humans, there are also Frostbloods, who can manipulate frost, and Firebloods, who can manipulate fire. The lore of the blood origins is interesting, and Frost and Fire were once allies, but no more.

Firebloods are being hunted in the kingdom, and despite her mother’s efforts, the Frost King has found Ruby and imprisoned her. When two Frostbloods come to set her free, she is wary about their reasoning, but only gets the response that they need her fire power for something, but they will not say what.

Going through rigorous training at an abbey in the mountains, elderly Brother Thistle and young Arcus attempt to train Ruby in hopes to destroy the Frost King’s throne of ice. The speculation is that the Frost King’s of past and present are being manipulated by a creature that possesses the throne of frost.

Before Ruby can help Brother Thistle and Arcus with their mission, she is captured by the same soldiers who initially raided her village and killed her mother. Ruby is now titles as one of the Frost King’s champions, to be used in a fighting arena against soldiers, beasts, and frost users in fights to the death. When she continues to win, the Frost King is sure he has found the one to partner with him and his throne.

This is a fast-paced book, one of the quickest I have read in quite some time, and it was fantastic! What prevents it from being a 5/5 on my score chart? Well, the plot was relatively predictable and slightly cliche in that SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS Arcus was the prince the whole time and the pacing of the romance was the usual guy-is-an-ass-but-they-fall-in-love story that we see all the time, it was still an AMAZING premise, especially for a debut novel. Out of all the debut novels I have read from various authors, this one is probably one of the most well-crafted and plot-driven books I have read.

I would highly suggest picking up this book, because it is well worth it, and Elly Blake deserves to be on your top 10 YA author list for sure!

The Rose Society (Young Elites #2)-Should You Read It?

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Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Rating: 5/5

Just as fantastic as the first novel, The Young Elites, The Rose Society follows Adelina on her path of revenge. Her power continues to grow, and she forms her own society similar to the Dagger Society: the Rose Society, with her own powerful Young Elite followers.

Being cast aside from the Dagger Society for the murder of one of its members, Dante, and the unintentional murder of her prospective lover, prince Enzo, Adelina ventures on her own to find her own powerful Elites to form an army with her sister in tow. Her goal: bring down the Inquisition Axis that attempted to kill her on multiple fronts, the Inquisition that ruined life as she knew it. Teren Santoro is the Inquisition man that Adelina seeks revenge against, and ultimately, seeks to take the throne of Kenettra to reestablish peace between the Young Elites and other malfettos with the people who were unaffected by the plague.

Adelina and her sister set off in search of a powerful Young Elite of rumor: Magiano, an Elite who can mimic the powers of other Elites. When they finally find Magiano, he agrees to follow in her Rose Society if she can pass a test: steal the Night King’s diamond pin, a task that is meant to be impossible. When the sisters infiltrate one of the Night King’s parties using Adelina’s illusion abilities, they find that Maggiano is also present, ready for a show. When things do not quite go as planned, Adelina finds herself forced (and seems to take pleasure in) killing the Night King with her abilities and taking what she was there for in the first place.

Having proven herself a strong leader, many of the Night King’s followers have decided to follow Adelina and join her Rose Society, while others hunt her down for the murder of their master. On a ship heading back to Kenettra, Adelina meets Sergio, the rumored rain master who was banished from the Dagger Society previously for his inability to control his power. Adelina promises wealth from the Kenettran treasury for those who help her rise to power and take the throne.

Meanwhile, while Adelina plots to take the throne, Raffaele seeks Meave, a ruler from another country who can bring the dead back to life. Their idea is to bring prince Enzo back from the dead and basically use him as a puppet to control two thrones, rather than just one. Enzo may not be quite the same person after coming back from the other side.

When Adelina’s Rose Society and Raffaele’s Dagger Society clash, a fight for the throne of Kenettra ensues, and Young Elites face each other for power.

This book was just as amazing as the first. The thing that makes this series well worth the read is the unique power and revenge that Adelina seeks. She is a villain in the making, and yet we the reader seem to root for her. The series is full of action and unique characters, and the fight for power continues in an adventurous and iconic way that will be concluded in the third novel, The Midnight Star. Marie Lu is on my top five list of best young adult authors at present, and she is well worth looking into; so far I have been satiated to the utmost by all of the works I have read by her (Legend, Prodigy, Champion, The Young Elites, and The Rose Society) and I greatly look forward to anything she brings us in the future.

Highlight: Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy

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Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy consists of ten short stories or novellas written by Cassandra Clare and various co-authors. These stories are connected by Simon Lewis, who was once human, became a vampire, and is now a mundane again having lost his memories in the events of City of Heavenly Fire. Through these novellas we get to see the road Simon takes to become a Shadowhunter and to gain his memories back, meeting some of our other favorite characters as guest speakers in the academy along the way. Each short story is introduced with a quote from the story as well as a wonderful comic book illustration by Cassandra Jean that give a bit of insight to the story before reading.

DISCLAIMER: I would HIGHLY recommend reading all the other major novels in the series (with the exclusion of The Bane Chronicles) before reading these short stories. There is a lot of intervention and new tales form some of the major characters across the Shadowhunter series spectrum.

Each novella will have its own summary and reflective review along with the introductory comic images.

 

“Welcome to Shadowhunter Academy” by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan

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Simon leaves his family and friends behind with no memories of them from past events, only from the present. In this story, we are introduced to the Shadowhunter Academy and all its glory. Simon seems to be revered as a hero, but he has no recollection of what his part was in the previous war. More comfortable rooming in the dungeons with the other mundanes, Simon finds that being a Shadowhunter might be more challenging than he thought. With his new roommate and friend, George Lovelace (a boy adopted into a Shadowhunter family, making him a mundane as well), Simon is ready to take on whatever challenges the academy puts forth for him, whether it’s the lack of indoor plumbing, or the appearance of a surprising gust speaker in one of his first classes!

This is a good introduction to some of the characters we will see throughout the novellas, as well as the Shadowhunter Academy itself and how things work between the various students and staff present.

 

“The Lost Herondale” by Cassandra Clare and Robin Wasserman

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This story begins with some rigorous morning training, something that is a part of the academy daily life whether you are a mundane or of Shadowhunter blood. When Simon seemingly fails compared to everyone else (yet again), the coach keeps him back, along with 19 of the other supposedly top students in the class. A Downworlder has been causing problems, and Simon, among others, has been chose for this out-in-the-field training session to take care of the Downworlder. We learn that many of Simon’s classmates (including his roommate, George) thought he was lying about losing his memories just to seem laid back or cool. Before the students go out on their first “field” mission to kill a vampire, one of the institute heads comes in to talk about Tobias Herondale and how he left his own in battle, the worst thing a Shadowhunter could ever do. Since they could not find him to sentence him, they sentenced his pregnant wife to death. After finding out that Simon came face-to-face with the vampire on the mission and preferred to talk to it over killing it (although Isabelle comes in and destroys it), she confides in Simon that those many eyars ago (1818?) she saved the child from Tobias’s wife, placing an enchantment on her to make her appear that she was still pregnant. Simon learns that, out there somewhere, there is a lost line of Herondale’s living a mundane life. He debates on whether or not to tell Clary and Jace, but since he doesn’t know them that well at present, he decides to wait.

This story was interesting because I am a Tessa and Will fan, and learning even more history about the Herondale line was fun. I believe Tobias is Will’s grandfather’s brother (or something of the sort). Introducing this Herondale story gives us insight into potential Herondale’s that may join us in the future of the Shadowhunter novels, which is an interesting addition.

 

“The Whitechapel Fiend” by Cassandra Clare and Maureen Johnson

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Jace makes an appearance to help train the young Shadowhunters how to leap from heights and land in an efficient manner (through practice with a tree). Of course, Simon isn’t that thrilled or that great at the process. The students also get another guest speaker: Tessa. She recollects a story from 1888 when her children were very small and a demon was murdering women and removing their internal organs. Jessamine, Shadowhunter ghost and protector of the London Institute, figures the demon wants a mother. In an attempt to save the children and play mother, the Shadowhunters are able to dispel the demon whose murders brought upon the name of Jack the Ripper. Jace finally confronts Tessa, and the feeling of knowing there is another Herondale who shares his blood brings Jace Solace. Simon finally builds up the courage to write a letter to Isabelle, despite his lack of memories.

This story was interesting in that it went from the time skip of 2008 to 1888, bringing us back to a story told from Tessa’s time. The Infernal Devices being my favorite of Clare’s novels, the short story within the story was refreshing and fun to see some of the action with Tessa and Will as Shadowhunters as well as new parents.

 

“Nothing but Shadows” by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan

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While Simon and Jon butt heads in class about the superiority of those with Shadowhunter blood over those without, he is asked to stay after class to hear a tale told by history teacher and warlock, Catarina Loss. A time jumps lands us back in 1899 with a thirteen-year-old James Herondale newly admitted to the Shadowhunter Academy. James is a shy bookworm with yellow eyes and begins his reputation at the academy poorly; all he really wants to do is make friends, but he may not have the social skills to do so. When an amiss battering ram being used on the practice field by the students should have killed James, he turned into a shadow, the hunk of wood going right through him. While he can bear marks, he has also inherited the strange demon powers his mother possesses. This makes his reputation even worse, and when a demon pyxis exercise goes terribly wrong, he is expelled. He isn’t alone, though; one other Shadowhunter aims to be expelled with him and become his parabatai. With the outcome of the story, Simon reflects upon his friendship with Clary and decides to write to her and maybe someday ask her to be his parabatai.

This story was the most interesting so far. We get to see a bit of James Herondale, what kind of Shadowhunter and person he is, and how he met his parabatai. I have a feeling that this will be a lead-in to Clare’s newest series, The Last Hours coming in 2018 and featuring the children of some of our favorite Shadowhunters. By far the best of the novellas in the book (thus far).

 

“The Evil We Love” by Cassandra Clare and Robin Wasserman

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It’s nearly summer time at the Academy and the students get a leave-off from the Inquisitor himself, Robert Lightwood, with assistance, to Simon’s dismay, from his daughter, Isabelle. Robert wants to leave the students off to ponder about when given power and how to use (or not use) those powers given. He tells of a time when he was a member of Valentine’s Circle, how close he was to the start of the Dark War himself. We meet Stephen Herondale, a new addition to the Circle, but the most devoted to Valentine. We also get to see the parabatai relationships between Lucian Graymark and Valentine as well as Robert Lightwood and Michael Wayland. The story jumps back and forth between Robert and his rush with power in 1984, and 2008 where Simon fights with his own dilemmas over Isabelle. When Isabelle asks the other Academy students to help her summon a demon at the end-of-year party, they all oblige, except for two: Simon and another girl. It turns out that the demon summoning was a test of following those with power blindly, the Inquisitor hoping some of his lectures of his time with Valentine would strike the students, but no. Only two students could resist the call of power, could demonstrate the difference between right and wrong based on Robert’s lectures. Now Simon continues his quest to find himself and possibly set up a date with Isabelle.

This story was okay, but not the most interesting. The better aspects of this story were the past that we get to see with some of the parents of our favorite Shadowhunters from The Mortal Instruments. We get a glimpse of Valentine’s ideal power and goals, and why he aims at such goals through the weakness of the Clave, his hatred of Downworlders, and the death of his father. We also see a little bit more about Robert Lightwood and why he, perhaps, treats Alec the way he does and was maybe never completely in love with his wife from the start.

 

“Pale Kings and Princes” by Cassandra Clare and Robin Wasserman

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Summer break has ended and Simon is back at the academy, aiming to write a 500 word paper about what he did over the summer, like possibly ruin his relationship with Isabelle yet again. When Helen Blackthorn comes to tell the story about how her father was ensnared by the magic of faeries, she is ridiculed for her half-blood nature. Many Shadowhunters died and lost family members to the faeries that joined Sebastian in the war, and faeries are looked down upon no matter the situation. When Simon goes to chat with Helen after class, to explain that he find the discrimination wrong since she is a Shadowhunter, he finds Isabelle hiding in wait for him in Helen’s living area. Simon and Isabelle are urged to go on a date, and Isabelle keeps trying to get Simon to do things Jace has suggested, when Simon is nothing like Jace! In the end, Simon is invited to Helen’s wedding during her brief stay in Idris, but he is invited as Isabelle’s plus one!

This story is a bit of a lead-in to the next story, which shows Helen’s wedding and a glimpse of the other Blackthorn children as well as Mark in his Wild Hunt setting. A major difference between this story and others is that Helen’s story is short and told within a few pages of her summarizing events, whereas other stories go back in time and tell the event from that perspective. This made the story have a little less impact, but this story was more about Simon and Isabelle rebuilding their relationship, rather than the learning focus of an academy lecturer.

 

“Bitter of Tongue” by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan

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Everyone at the Academy gets a turn to lead a mission, and not it is George’s turn. He is extremely excited, but tends to lack the caution of Simon and some of the elite Shadowhunters. When George’s team is sent to investigate a faerie sighting, George wants the group to split off just far enough that the three pairs can hear each other. When George spots the faerie that has been drawing mundanes in, Simon lunges at him to stop, noticing that it is a trap. With his lunge, Simon falls into the world of the faeries. The one who lured him in with the trap wants to claim him, but Mark Blackthorn lays claim on Simon as Simon is to be a Shadowhunter and thus one of Mark’s brethren. Simon lays the news that there is no search party for Mark, but his sister is getting married. As Mark relays his memories of his sibling, Simon struggles to put a name with a face, knowing Clary had mentioned the Blackthorns at least a few times. When Isabelle comes to help Simon escape from the faerieland, they return to George and the group to a warm welcome. The story ends with Simon and Isabelle’s attendance of Helen’s wedding, where Simon humbly observes the Blackthorn children and reflects upon Mark’s previous ruminations.

This is actually a unique sort of lead-in story for Lady Midnight. The time period of this story places Mark with the Wild Hunt and we find that Emma and Julian have not been through the parabatai ceremony just yet. It also gives us the view of Mark’s feelings of being in the land of faerie and his feelings toward his family members that we do not see much of in Lady Midnight as his end of the tale.

 

“The Fiery Trial” by Cassandra Clare and Maureen Johnson

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Simon and Clary have been invited by Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorn to skip out on school and duties to witness their parabatai ceremony. When Magnus gets a portal ready for travel, Simon and Clary find themselves in a familiar, yet obscure and empty, Central Park. When Clary vanishes in thin air and the angel statue’s gaze follows Simon, he knows something is wrong. A swan boat takes Simon through the tunnel of love where Jace tells Simon it is important to remember when they first met, it is key information for events to come. Simon is also visited by various females that he has had in is life, including Maia, Maureen, and Clary. When Simon must choose to save one, he knows who it is immediately and Jumps into the river, fighting the current to save his best friend. When he sees that she is struggling to reach him as well, they awake to find themselves back on a couch at the Academy having tea. It turns out that Jem, Magnus, and Catarina gave them the hallucinogen water of Lake Lyn, the trial by water that has shown the two that they are, in fact, meant to be parabatai. When they finally attend the Fiery Trial in the City of Bones, Simon sees a glimpse of something behind the eyes of Emma and Julian, something he recognizes in himself. It is in that moment that Simon’s memory decides to come forth, showing him a time when he was going to confess his love to Clary, and a time when he indirectly met Jace as well.

At first this story was very strange. Reading it did have the effect of one drinking a hallucinogenic water from a sacred lake. When it was obviously something that was not really happening, it was more interesting to read into the things that the visiting characters of Simon’s subconscious were hinting at. When Simon realizes that being parabatai means being inseparable, he and Clary know that their relationship is perfect for the bond, they just need to let Jace know. It was fun seeing Julian and Emma during their ceremony knowing their feelings for each other and seeing how reluctant they seemed to be because of those feelings, yet they continued on with the Fiery Trial. It will be fun to see Simon and Clary paired at long last as well.

 

“Born to Endless Night” by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan

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Magnus has been invited to be a guest teacher at the Academy for a few months. Bringing Alec with him, he has only eyes for his lover, while everyone else seems to have eyes for him. When Simon and his friends opt for some archery practice, they are stopped in their tracks when they find a blue warlock baby left on the steps of the Academy. When the whole Lightwood family makes an appearance on campus to see the baby, Magnus realizes that he and Alec may be in this for the long haul. When Simon finally approached Alec about the alleged reason for the dislike between the two, Alec clarifies that Simon not only saved his life, but the lives of those he loves. Simon tells Alec that Jace implied something quite different, and the two parabatai duke it out in their own way. With little baby Max Lightwood joining the family. Maryse has the excitement of being a grandmother, and Magnus rationalized that Alec will one day leave them, but he and Max will live forever.

This was a nice introductory to the adopted baby warlock that we only get a small glimpse of in Lady Midnight. It was interesting to see how Alec and Magnus came to take him in in the first place and the feelings behind adopting the child as well. It is also a potential lead-in for future novels. I hope we get to see more of baby Max Lightwood!

 

“Angels Twice Ascending” by Cassandra Clare and Robin Wasserman

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It is finally time for the class of mundanes to attempt ascension. Some of the mundanes have double thoughts about becoming Shadowhunters. While they showed prowess in the events of the Academy, not all were fit to become Shadowhunters, and those who were cowards fled the night before. When ascension time comes, Simon is nervous, but he has Clary and Isabelle there, knowing they have faith in his becoming a Shadowhunter. While we know from events that Simon successfully ascends and later becomes Clary’s parabatai, not all the students make it through ascension, and the brutal death of those unworthy is terrifying. To Simon, even those who did not make it were still worthy, and they had a place among Shadowhunters in a home belonging to the past.

Trying to be a bit more vague with the last story, it was a good one. I was a bit upset, but the resolution and burial of a dear friend as a Shadowhunter brings us back to the London Institute and an allusion to Jessamine, while not explicitly stated in the story. It was a great end to a wonderful collection of stories that really add to many aspects of the Shadowhunter series.