Would you trade your soul mate for your soul?
A Shadowhunter’s life is bound by duty. Constrained by honor. The word of a Shadowhunter is a solemn pledge, and no vow is more sacred than the vow that binds parabatai, warrior partners—sworn to fight together, die together, but never to fall in love.
Emma Carstairs has learned that the love she shares with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, isn’t just forbidden—it could destroy them both. She knows she should run from Julian. But how can she when the Blackthorns are threatened by enemies on all sides?
Their only hope is the Black Volume of the Dead, a spell book of terrible power. Everyone wants it. Only the Blackthorns can find it. Spurred on by a dark bargain with the Seelie Queen, Emma; her best friend, Cristina; and Mark and Julian Blackthorn journey into the Courts of Faerie, where glittering revels hide bloody danger and no promise can be trusted. Meanwhile, rising tension between Shadowhunters and Downworlders has produced the Cohort, an extremist group of Shadowhunters dedicated to registering Downworlders and “unsuitable” Nephilim. They’ll do anything in their power to expose Julian’s secrets and take the Los Angeles Institute for their own.
When Downworlders turn against the Clave, a new threat rises in the form of the Lord of Shadows—the Unseelie King, who sends his greatest warriors to slaughter those with Blackthorn blood and seize the Black Volume. As dangers close in, Julian devises a risky scheme that depends on the cooperation of an unpredictable enemy. But success may come with a price he and Emma cannot even imagine, one that will bring with it a reckoning of blood that could have repercussions for everyone and everything they hold dear.
“Everyone is afraid of something. We fear things because we value them. We fear losing people because we love them. We fear dying because we value being alive. Don’t wish you didn’t fear anything. All that would mean is that you didn’t feel anything.”
Universe: A-R-E Y-O-U O-K-A-Y?
MAJOR SPOILERS THROUGHOUT:
DECEMBER 3, 2018 REVIEW (5 STARS)- I loved this book (as much as one can love something that ripped their heart out). I went through a roller coaster of emotions while reading this book. I laughed, I smiled, I screamed in frustration and in joy, and I cried. Boy, did I cry.
Emma- I love Emma. While I don’t agree with all of her decisions, I do believe that she is trying to do the right thing. Everything she has done for the past two books has been what she thought was right and I can’t fault her for that. I think that if she stays by the Blackthorn family’s side and is there for them in the next book, things might just turn out okay. I have a lot of faith in Emma.
Julian- My poor, sweet Julian. I love him so much and I just know that that ending is going to completely tear him apart in Queen of Air and Darkness. I honestly shudder to think what he might do as a result.
Julian is the type of person that would literally burn the world down if it meant the safety and happiness of those he cares about. He would say screw everyone else and he would convince himself that he is doing what is best. That is a really scary trait for a character to have, but I think that it only strengthens Julian’s appeal. He deeply cares for those around him and he will do whatever it takes for his family. I really admire that about him. No one could ever say he doesn’t care. In fact, I feel like some would say he cares too much.
Cristina- Cristina was one of my favorite parts of this book. It had been so long since I read these books the first time, and I had honestly forgotten how much I loved her. She is such a beautiful person inside and out and I can’t wait to see how her story will end.
Mark- I. LOVE. HIM. There are no words to describe how great he is and how much happiness he brings to me by just being in the scene. He is just so caring and he is trying SO hard to be worthy of his family. He is trying to adjust to his life away from the fairies and turning his back on what has been his home for years. I am so happy that he got to reunite with Helen at the end there. I just hope that he can stay strong and be there for his family through what is coming.
Ty- How could anyone not love Ty? He is just absolutely precious and I would die to make sure he is safe. I am so scared of what is going to happen to him in QoAaD. I can’t imagine losing a twin like that and during the end, I can tell that he felt her die. This would be hard for anyone, and with Ty having autism and losing one of the only people he feels understands him, I honestly don’t know what state he is going to be in when he wakes up. I am not gonna lie, I am scared to death of what I am going to find.
Kit- I love Kit. How could I not? He has that Herondale charm that pulls me in… Every. Dang. Time. I want him to be there for Ty in the next book and I really hope they get together in The Wicked Powers. Their ship name is Kitty for crying out loud. If that doesn’t say absolutely adorable and meant to be, I don’t know what does.
Livvy- Have you ever been watching a sad movie that you had seen before and you knew that it ended tragically, but you seemed to find yourself hoping against all odds that you were magically wrong and that everything would turn out okay? That is how I spent the last 100 or so pages of this book, but the last chapter especially.
During my first read, I was absolutely shocked by her death and I cried. During this reread, I knew Livvy was going to die so I looked for any foreshadowing and I tried to prepare myself. Let me tell you, no amount of preparing myself worked. I sobbed when Livvy died. I was devastated. Livvy was such a bright light in the world and she had SO much potential. I really wish she would have been given the opportunity to live her life to the fullest. Good people die all the time and it is just so sad that she was one of them. I will miss her dearly.
Dru- I’m not gonna lie, Dru becomes background noise a lot of the time to me. I forget that she is there and I really feel bad about that now. When her POV was introduced in this book, she talks about how lonely she feels and how she thinks they forget about her. I kind of felt like Cassandra Clare was calling me out there, just a little bit. I am truly interested in finding out what will happen to Dru from now on and there are just so many unanswered questions when it comes to what happened during her parts of the books. My curiosity is killing me.
Kieran- I loved Kieran during this book and I felt really bad for him. He deserves to be happy and I hope he finds in a polyamorous relationship with Mark and Cristina. That is a ship I would kill to see come true.
Diana- During my first read, I was absolutely shocked when it was revealed that Diana was transgender. I never saw it coming and, while rereading this, it was so obvious and Cassie laid the groundwork for it beautifully. I cried when I reread the chapter when she was telling Gwen and I am just so happy for her.
Gwen- Have I mentioned lately how much I love him? He was so compassionate when Diana told him her story and I couldn’t ship them any more if I tried.
Magnus and Alec- It just warmed my heart to see them together and so happy during this book. And after that part where Alec stood up to Zara about his relationship with Magnus, I truly feel like they have come full circle. I really hope that Magnus and the other Warlocks are going to be okay because I don’t know if Alec or I could survive his death.
Clary and Jace- I absolutely sobbed when Clary told Emma that she thought she was going to die. I have never been Clary’s biggest fan, but I can’t imagine what the Shadowhunter world would look like without her in it. She has been a part of my life for 5 years now and I don’t want to say goodbye to her. I can’t. Jace would be absolutely devastated if she died and it scares the absolute crap out of me to think about what he might do without her.
Diego- I’m not 100% mad at him after reading this book, but I’m not happy with him either. He should have told Cristina about Zara. He has weeks to do so and he didn’t. His loss. Cristina has Mark and Kieran now, who are SO much better.
Jaime- When Jaime first showed up, I really thought I wasn’t going to like him. Surprisingly though, I really liked his character and I adore the friendship he has with Dru. I hope to see it blossom in QoAaD and TWP.
Annabel- I feel bad for Annabel and I don’t really blame her for what happened at the end of this book. She was just risen from the dead, clearly has PTSD, and should never have been given the Mortal Sword.
Robert and Jia- What was Robert and Jia thinking? Honestly! Annabel was in no condition to be there under public scrutiny like that. As soon as Magnus collapsed, they should have called it off. F*** their carefully laid plans. Everything is screwed up now because they couldn’t just WAIT!
I never really liked Robert but I am sad that he died. Alec and Isabelle will be in so much pain and now the position of Inquisitor is open. I honestly don’t know how this could have gotten any worse. At least Jia is still alive… right?
Zara and the Cohort- I KNEW that Zara was trouble from the moment she appeared on the page. She is a lying, good for nothing, bigot that deserves to rot in Hell. It disgusts me that people like her exist and I hope that her and the rest of the Cohort gets what’s coming to them. I even kind of hope that the Downworlders are the ones that give out the punishment when it is all said and done. How’s that for poetic justice?
The Unseelie King- He just needs to go away. GOOD BYE! Nobody wants you here with your revolutionary plans! (Though I must admit, meeting him and seeing his court was pretty awesome.)
Ash- I knew from the moment I saw him who he was and even if he doesn’t end up being Sebastian’s son, I will still be true in my mind. I have a lot of questions surrounding Ash, but the main one I have is: Will he be like his parents? Please, for the love of all things holy, tell me the apple fell far from the tree with him!
SIDE NOTE- WHAT THE ACTUAL HELL IS THE SHADOWHUNTER UNIVERSE GOING TO DO WITHOUT THE MORTAL SWORD? I don’t even want to think about it.
Overall, I absolutely adored this book even though it ripped my heart out and fed it to me a few times. Even though this was a reread, I went through all of the same emotions I went through the first time. My heart is shattered and I don’t know what is going to happen now. Actually, I do know! Queen of Air and Darkness comes out tomorrow! Finally after nearly 18 months, I am going to get to see how this story ends!
MAY 26, 2017 REVIEW (5 STARS)- I absolutely loved this book. If I could give it more than 5 stars, I would. Definitely the best book Cassandra Clare has written so far. I cannot wait for the next book in the series. Absolutely phenomenal job Cassandra Clare. I cannot imagine a world without Cassandra Clare’s books in it. This book only proves that more. Cassandra Clare has a way of cutting your heart out with her words and making you love it at the same time. This book is a true testament to how great of an author she is. I can’t tell you much about what the future will bring with her books, all I do know is that it is going to be a long 2 years waiting for the next book (Queen of Air and Darkness). If the next book is even a tenth as great as the first two, it will easily be Cassandra Clare’s best series/trilogy so far! Read it!