Book Review: Lord of Shadows (Spoiler-Free)



Emma Carstairs has finally avenged her parents. She thought she’d be at peace. But she is anything but calm. Torn between her desire for her parabatai Julian and her desire to protect him from the brutal consequences of parabatai relationships, she has begun dating his brother, Mark. But Mark has spent the past five years trapped in Faerie; can he ever truly be a Shadowhunter again?

And the faerie courts are not silent. The Unseelie King is tired of the Cold Peace, and will no longer concede to the Shadowhunters’ demands. Caught between the demands of faerie and the laws of the Clave, Emma, Julian, and Mark must find a way to come together to defend everything they hold dear—before it’s too late.

Purchase From:

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository


*Warning: There will be spoilers about Lady Midnight in this post. Read at your own risk!*

I have been waiting for this book for what feels like the longest time and, unlike some other highly anticipated releases, Lord of Shadows did not disappoint me. I don’t even know where to begin.

Let’s start with that cliffhanger in Lady Midnight. I went into this novel expecting and Mark-Emma-Julian love triangle and that didn’t really happen in the way that I thought it would. I expected a bit more angst and instead it was kind of easily resolved, though I promise you there’s still plenty of conflict and romantic angst if you’re into that kind of thing, which I totally am.

In fact, the ships that kind of start off this book get upended pretty quickly, which I found interesting and fun. It kept things interesting and I never felt annoyed because, to me at least, there never seemed to a real love triangle. What I mean is, you can pretty much guess who everyone’s going to end up with and even if the characters themselves don’t.

Plus, I really liked how everyone loves each other. For example, Emma and Mark become really close and I liked their friendship. I also love how much Julian loves his siblings, as was evident in the first novel, but especially how he’s willing to swallow his feelings for Emma if it means she and Mark are happy together. It’s nice that not only are the Blackthorns so close but they’re family also includes Emma, Cristina, and even Kit now.

This book wasn’t just about the relationships, however, though I thought they were great. There’s various plots going on that kept be very engaged throughout the book. First of all, this book brought a lot of new characters, mainly in the form of the Centurions. These people are like the elite Shadowhunters. They train at a special school called the Scholomance. They’re also incredibly annoying, especially their quasi leader Zara.

Someone on Tumblr referred to Zara as the Dolores Umbridge of the Shadowhunter world. I saw her more as Tomi Lahren but either way, she’s literally the worst. I don’t want to spoil anything so I’ll just say she’s very annoying and her ideas about Shadowhunters and Downworlders are so outrageous. She, and the people that hold her same ideals, call themselves the Cohorts and honestly, it gave me serious Trump supporters vibes. At one point I think Kit even refers to them as fascists. This book got real political and I kind of loved it.

Besides that though, there was also a lot of other stuff going on, mainly with the hot mess Malcolm laid the foundation for in Lady Midnight. Everyone wants their hands on the Black Volume of the Dead, which Malcolm used to raise the dead previously, and, of course ,every one wants it for different reasons and for their own agendas. There are also some other problems brewing that get revealed throughout the novel.

I’d also like to point out the incredible LGBTQ representation in this novel. II thought Clare did an incredible job with it. She hits almost every part of the spectrum in this novel in such an organic way that while I was surprised by some things it still felt authentic, again unlike some other books I’ve read recently.

There was also such incredible character growth and development in this novel, not just for the teens like the Blackthorns, Emma, and Cristina, but also for Diana, and I totally loved it. I also really enjoyed the new friendships we got in this novel. The end of Lady Midnight hinted at something between Kit and Ty but I loved that they, along with Livia, became this amazing team. They were so cute together.

I also really liked that we got to see a bit more of Dru. I’d like to see more of her in the third novel but this was a great start into seeing more of her and what life is like for her. She was also great body positivity representation. Seriously, the rep in this book is a 10/10 in my opinion.

Also, there are so many callbacks to The Mortal Instruments, The Infernal Devices, and Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy. It made me want to reread all the books all over again because of all the references and appearances by some of my faves. This book was such a fan made book and by that I mean if you’ve read every Shadowhunter book and have been a fan for years you will totally love this book. It’ll give you all the feels, honestly. Additionally, there’s already tons of theories about what all the callbacks mean and I’ve got a few of my own, which made this book even more fun.

Lastly, I feel like it would be a disservice to my readers if I didn’t warn you that this book will break you. I saw people talk about how they needed tissues and how heartbreaking it was and I was like, “Okay, I’m ready for what Cassie is going to put me through.” But I was not and you won’t be either and that’s all I’m going to say.

If you’ve read Lord of Shadows, let me know what you thought of it in the comments below and if you haven’t read this book yet, what are you waiting for?

Borrow or Buy: Buy it!


5 stars

Favorite Line:

“When a decision like that is made by a government, it emboldens those who are already prejudiced to speak their deepest thoughts of hate. They assume they are simply brave enough to say what everyone really thinks.”

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Book Review: Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy



Simon Lewis has been a human and a vampire, and now he is becoming a Shadowhunter. The events of City of Heavenly Fire left him stripped of his memories, and Simon isn’t sure who he is anymore. So when the Shadowhunter Academy reopens, Simon throws himself into this new world of demon-hunting, determined to find himself again. Whomever this new Simon might be.

But the Academy is a Shadowhunter institution, which means it has some problems. Like the fact that non-Shadowhunter students have to live in the basement. At least Simon’s trained in weaponry—even if it’s only from hours of playing D&D.

Join Simon on his journey to become a Shadowhunter, and learn about the Academy’s illustrious history along the way, through guest lecturers such as Jace Herondale, Tessa Gray, and Magnus Bane. Written by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson, and Robin Wasserman, these moving and hilarious short stories are perfect for the fan who just can’t get enough of the Shadowhunters.

Purchase From:

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository


Although I knew the stories in this book took place before Lady Midnight I wasn’t a dedicated enough fan to buy each digital short story so I was very happy when this book came out. Of course, once it did come out I took forever to finally get around to reading it but I’m incredibly glad I picked it up before reading Lord of Shadows because there’s a few references in there from Tales that are way more interesting to read if you’ve read Tales.

Now to my actual review. I loved this book. It was so great to be back in the Shadowhunter world and to see another aspect of it. I was really interested in the Shadowhunter Academy and seeing how Shadowhunters’ prejudices against Downworlders and Mundanes were so strong. It’s so upsetting, honestly.

The Mundanes that attend the academy were called “Dregs,” which was so incredibly rude. What I loved about these stories was seeing things from Simon’s perspective. Simon went from being a mundane to a rat (briefly) to a vampire to a mundane again before learning his memories were taken by a demon and going to the academy.

Essentially, Simon has a very interesting world view. Naturally, he doesn’t like how the Mundanes are treated at the academy and he sticks up for them and stands up against the Shadowhunters, which was just a constant reminder of why I always loved Simon. Also, he’s just as nerdy as he always has been. I loved his references to Mundane culture and how the Shadowhunters didn’t get them at all. I thought that was incredibly funny. Additionally, I also loved the other characters especially George, Jon, Caterina, and Marisol.

I also liked how these stories gave perspective into some of my other favorite characters. “Born to Endless Night” was in the point of view of Magnus when he goes to the school with Alec and that story was so incredibly cute and perfect for my Malec shipper heart.

In “The Evil We Love,” we get to learn more about Robert Lightwood’s history with Valentine, which was really interesting and didn’t make me sympathetic towards him but definitely made me understand him more.

My favorite story was definitely “Nothing but Shadows,” though. The Infernal Devices are my favorites out of all the Shadowhunter books so getting to see Tessa, Jem, and Will again was great but I also loved getting to know Will and Tessa’s son James. He attends the Academy and goes through a rough time at first, similar to what Simon was going through when he first went to the Academy. I also loved getting to know the kids of my other favorite ships in TID. They were all interesting and funny in their own ways.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. There were definitely some stories that I felt were a bit slower than others but the ones that were good were really good and made up for any slack in the other stories. I definitely recommend reading this book if you love the Shadowhunter series. It’s kind of essential, anyway.

Also, my giveaway is still going on, so if you haven’t entered yet you can enter here!

Borrow or Buy: Buy!


4 stars

Favorite Line:

“You are a flame that cannot be put out. You are the star that cannot be lost. You are who you have always been, and that is enough and more than enough.”

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Book Review: Lady Midnight

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Synopsis from Amazon:

It’s been five years since the events of City of Heavenly Fire that brought the Shadowhunters to the brink of oblivion. Emma Carstairs is no longer a child in mourning, but a young woman bent on discovering what killed her parents and avenging her losses.

Together with her parabatai Julian Blackthorn, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches across Los Angeles, from the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica. If only her heart didn’t lead her in treacherous directions…

Making things even more complicated, Julian’s brother Mark—who was captured by the faeries five years ago—has been returned as a bargaining chip. The faeries are desperate to find out who is murdering their kind—and they need the Shadowhunters’ help to do it. But time works differently in faerie, so Mark has barely aged and doesn’t recognize his family. Can he ever truly return to them? Will the faeries really allow it?

Glitz, glamours, and Shadowhunters abound in this heartrending opening to Cassandra Clare’s Dark Artifices series.

I had to return Lady Midnight to the library and I was so sad because all I want to do is reread it over and over again. It was so good!

First of all, I love all the characters. Emma is a BAMF and I like her better than Clary although not as much as I love Tessa. And Julian is such a sweetheart but he’s also pretty hard core, which is such an interesting combination of personality traits. My heart went out to Julian because he’s had to take care of his younger siblings for the past five years and he was only 12 when he had to start doing this. It’s completely unfair and I just wanted to give him a hug multiple times throughout the book.

I really love all the Blackthorns but Ty’s probably my favorite, after Julian of course. I liked that he’s different and the way he handles things. I think in us human terms he probably has Asperger’s or is somewhere on the autistic spectrum. I liked that even though he goes about things his own way his family still loves and respects him and I hate that the Clave might see him as a problem just because he’s different.

I also really like Mark and Cristina. Mark was hilarious as he adjusted to being back in the Shadhowhunter world and out of the Faerie Hunt. Cristina is just a great person. She’s the perfect friend Emma needs because Cristina listens to Emma without judgment but also tells Emma when she’s doing something crazy.

I could go on and on about these characters but I don’t want to spoil anything. What I will say is this book was filled with twists and unexpected turns and I couldn’t put it down. When a good amount of visits from characters in The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices, which made my heart soar. I’m so glad to be back in the Shadowhunters world and just like everyone else I’m now impatiently waiting for the next book.

Borrow or Buy: Buy! I want this book on my shelf so bad!


5 stars

Favorite Line: This was a really tough call. There’s some many memorable quotes from this book but I have to see this one is my absolute favorite.

“And if my heart was a canvas, every square inch of it would be painted over with you.”

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Man Crush Monday: William “Will” Owen Herondale


The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare involves one of the most interesting love triangles I’ve ever read. That being said, although I truly love Jem I also really love Will and I believe we’re supposed to love them both just as protagonist Tessa Gray does.

Therefore I had to dedicate a Man Crush Monday to Will. He’s incredibly handsome with his jet black hair and blue eyes. More than that, he’s got that complicated, bad boy, dark past that makes him incredibly irresistible even though it totally shouldn’t.

When we’re first introduced to Will he’s adventurous and snarky, pushing away the people that love him because he feels he has to. The only person he lets love him is Jem and their friendship is amazing. They’re parabatai, which in the Shadowhunter world means they’ve taken an oath to protect and look out each other for the rest of their lives. It’s kind of like they got married but they’re like brothers, not husband and wife.

Anyway, I honestly think I loved Jem and Will’s relationship more than Tessa and Will’s relationship because the bond between Jem and Will was just so strong. I won’t spoil it but they’re friendship goals to the max.

But back to Will as a person. He’s really funny, loves books (a man truly after my own heart), and he’s weirdly afraid of ducks. Oh, and did I mention he’s very attractive. Because he his. Even Magnus can’t keep his eyes off him.

Honestly, if you haven’t read The Infernal Devices trilogy yet please do so immediately. Even if you don’t like The Mortal Instruments still read this prequel series. I think it could stand on it’s own and I liked it better than The Mortal Instruments anyway. Although Alec and Magnus are still my OTP so you do miss out on that. Seriously though, read these books!

Swoonworthy Line:

“Of course you can have a true Shadowhunter name. You can have mine.”

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Book Review: Clockwork Princess


Synopsis from Amazon:

A net of shadows begins to tighten around the Shadowhunters of the London Institute. Mortmain plans to use his Infernal Devices, an army of pitiless automatons, to destroy the Shadowhunters. He needs only one last item to complete his plan: he needs Tessa Gray.

Charlotte Branwell, head of the London Institute, is desperate to find Mortmain before he strikes. But when Mortmain abducts Tessa, the boys who lay equal claim to her heart, Will and Jem, will do anything to save her. As those who love Tessa rally to rescue her from Mortmain’s clutches, Tessa realizes that the only person who can save her is herself. But can a single girl, even one who can command the power of angels, face down an entire army?

The tangled threads of love and loss intertwine as the Shadowhunters are pushed to the very brink of destruction in the breathtaking conclusion to the Infernal Devices trilogy.

*This book is part of my POPSUGAR 2016 Reading Challenge.*

This was book was everything I needed and more. It concluded the trilogy perfectly and even though I knew how it would end there were still some things that took me by surprise.

This novel starts off a few months after Clockwork Prince. We begin with Tessa preparing for her wedding to Jem and Charlotte being forced to convince her superiors (mainly the Consul) that she’s not only capable of doing her job but that she’s right about Mortmain and his plans (although he has been MIA for a while).

Of course, as a woman in the 19th Century, Charlotte is being constantly underestimated so this causes many problems. Meanwhile, Will and Tessa are still dealing with their feelings for each other by basically not dealing with them at all.

What I really loved about this novel, though, was the major appearance of the Lightwoods. Gabriel and Gideon took more of a center stage in this novel, as did their love interests, which I really like. I also find it interesting learning more about Izzy and Alec’s ancestors and I’m curious to find out if they’re descendants of Gabriel or Gideon.

All in all, just like every other book Cassandra Clare has written, this novel was filled with fight scenes, lots of love, the same old love triangle, and a magical world that us mundanes could never truly understand.

My only issue, and I had this issue with the first two books, is as much as I love Jem personally it always felt like Tessa really loved Will and she felt more of a kindness to Jem. For example, her scenes with Will always seemed more passionate and intense, like she literally keep herself from loving him. Whereas with Jem she loved that he was kind and sweet but there was no scorching hot passion there. He didn’t make her heart race.

Still, overall, I really enjoyed this book. Truly, I don’t know how Clare continues to expand and stretch this world she’s created but I hope she never leaves it because I’m always excited to learn more about these Shadowhunters and my favorite warlock, Magnus.

Also, be sure to check out the extra epilogue to Clockwork Princess on Clare’s Tumblr page. If you’re a Jem fan like I am, you’ll love it.

Borrow or Buy: Buy!


5 stars

Favorite Line:

“Of course you can have a true Shadowhunter name.You can have mine.”

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Book Review: The Bane Chronicles


Synopsis from

Fans of The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices can get to know warlock Magnus Bane like never before in this collection of New York Times bestselling tales, in print for the first time with an exclusive new story and illustrated material.

This collection of eleven short stories illuminates the life of the enigmatic Magnus Bane, whose alluring personality, flamboyant style, and sharp wit populate the pages of the #1 New York Times bestselling series, The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices.

Originally released one-by-one as e-only short stories by Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson, and Sarah Rees Brennan, this compilation presents all ten together in print for the first time and includes a never-before-seen eleventh tale, as well as new illustrated material.

I love Magnus Bane. I love his sass and that he’s so kind and genuinely loving even though he sometimes tries to pretend he’s not. Therefore when I found out there was a book centered completely around Magnus I knew I had to read it.

Although the first story about what happened in Peru was terrible and left me worried about the rest of the stories, this book was actually really good. I think starting with the Peru story was the greatest mistake made in the creating of this collection of stories because it totally set the book on the wrong foot.

I obviously love Cassandra Clare’s writing and I know I’ve liked Maureen Johnson in the past but combining three authors’ writing into one book is never easy and I was scared of the outcome. Like I said the first story didn’t make me anymore confident in it but the next story was much better and as the stories went on, each one got better and better.

Of course my favorites were the stories with Alec but I liked the others too. It totally spoiled the Infernal Devices trilogy for me but honestly that’s fine. I’m still going to read them but word to the wise if you don’t want to be spoiled definitely read those first before reading this.

The stories of Alec and Magnus were so cute though. There’s a story about Alec’s birthday and their first date and they’re both adorable. It’s interesting seeing them in the early stages of their relationship because we didn’t really get to see that in the Mortal Instruments series. Alec is such a dork but in the cutest way and it’s fun watching Magnus fall in love with Alec.

Overall, I think I could’ve gone without reading this whole book and just read the stories with Alec but I’m not mad I read the whole thing. It was definitely interesting and made me excited to read the Infernal Devices. I’m glad I didn’t actually purchase it though. I’d only reread the Alec stories and I’m sure I could find those online if I really wanted to. Still, it’s worth a read.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow!


4 stars

Favorite Line:

“Trust. It is like placing a blade in someone’s hand and setting the very point to your heart.”

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Book Review: City of Glass


Synopsis from Goodreads:

To save her mother’s life, Clary must travel to the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters – never mind that entering the city without permission is against the Law, and breaking the Law could mean death. To make things worse, she learns that Jace does not want her there, and Simon has been thrown in prison by the Shadowhunters, who are deeply suspicious of a vampire who can withstand sunlight.

As Clary uncovers more about her family’s past, she finds an ally in mysterious Shadowhunter Sebastian. With Valentine mustering the full force of his power to destroy all Shadowhunters forever, their only chance to defeat him is to fight alongside their eternal enemies. But can Downworlders and Shadowhunters put aside their hatred to work together? While Jace realizes exactly how much he’s willing to risk for Clary, can she harness her newfound powers to help save the Glass City – whatever the cost?

Love is a mortal sin and the secrets of the past prove deadly as Clary and Jace face down Valentine in the third installment of the New York Times bestselling series The Mortal Instruments.

*Spoiler Alert: If you haven’t read the first two books in The Mortal Instruments series please be warned, there will be spoilers!*

I resisted reading this series for a long time and I have no idea why. Probably because it was so hyped up, honestly.

Well I’m the first to admit it is well worth the hype. These books keep getting bigger and better and I’m not sick of them yet.

Cassandra Clare is an excellent storyteller. By telling the story in a close third that follows various characters throughout the book, the story feels like a movie. I’m not stuck with just Clary or Jace the whole time. I get to check in with Simon and Alec as well. Additionally, although I knew one of the plot twists going into the book (this is one of the few books I voluntarily spoiled for myself) I was still shocked by it. I didn’t know the whole story so learning the truth was very interesting and not a let down at all.

Moreover, this book was action packed. With Valentine setting his sights on taking over the Clave and ridding the world of Downworlders everything is thrown into chaos and some lives are even lost. It was interesting seeing how the Shadowhunters and Downworlders handle battle and seeing Clary, Jace, and Simon’s roles in the whole thing. The three discovered their own strengths (and weaknesses) in this book, which was fun to read. I loved seeing Clary be strong and not back down from a challenge. She went after what she wanted and it was amazing seeing her be so fierce and brave. Jace and Magnus, as always, were sassy and provided comic relief at the best times. And Simon didn’t annoy me at all in this book. I actually really like Simon now; he’s grown on me.

Besides all the violence and fighting in this book, it’s also surrounded with themes of family, love, friendship, and has a ton of happy moments that made me smile as much as I teared up. It was an excellent balance of not being too sappy but also not too crazy and sad. Clare wrote this book really well and I’m excited to see what happens next in this series. Although honestly, the series could’ve ended with this book and I would’ve been satisfied. I’m glad it’s not over though. I’m too invested in these characters now to let them go.

Borrow or Buy: Buy!!

Favorite Line:

“Clary, since the first time I saw you, I have belonged to you completely. I still do.”



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