I loved The Infernal Devices and The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare so I was both excited and wary about a new trilogy set in her Shadow World. I was excited because when I love something, I always want more of it and Lady Midnight, the first book in The Dark Artifices trilogy, is obviously more of it. I was wary because after nine books about a single world, not counting the two short story collections, it seemed like things ran the risk of getting trite or trope-heavy.
My excitement was with good reason and my wariness was quickly wiped away.
Focusing on Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorn, Lady Midnight is the first Clare book to focus on the life of a Shadowhunter from the perspective of a girl who has been a Shadowhunter all her life. Emma is sort of a combination of Will and Jace from the other series, but something about her makes her really compelling. Maybe it’s that she isn’t afraid to name what she thinks are her faults, and when she names them she figures out how to use them to make herself stronger. And Julian… tell me you read this book and didn’t fall a little in love with the boy who loves the girl, who raises his siblings, who runs what is basically an army, and then hides to paint so he can put his secrets there and not be weak to anyone else. I bet you can’t.
Honestly, though, as good as Emma and Julian are, though, it’s the supporting cast of characters, each of whom is absolutely integral to the story, that made the book that much more interesting. The twins Ty and Livvy, especially, with their fierce protectiveness of each other in their own individual way, sweet Dru and Tavvy who just want to be loved so they love back without question, Mark, who is torn between worlds and forced to choose which one he loves most, and Cristina and Diego, not members of the family, but bringing the reader’s perspective to what happens in the family.
Book 2 in this series doesn’t come out for awhile, and I will buy it when it does. For now… I won’t mind rereading all the other Cassandra Clare books…