Lady Midnight is the first novel of Cassandra Clare’s third series set in the Shadowhunter world, and quite conveniently it is the third series chronologically; the first being the Infernal Devices trilogy and the second being the Mortal Instruments. And, despite nearly giving up on the Mortal Instruments series, I found myself jumping in and reading Lady Midnight straight after I’d finished the series.
Lady Midnight is the first novel in the Dark Artifices trilogy, set four years after a ‘City of Heavenly Fire’ the final novel in the Mortal Instruments series. However, you don’t need to read the Mortal Instruments series (or the Infernal Devices trilogy) to read this series. Although, if you do enjoy reading books where you recognise characters from other series then you’ll enjoy the references to the other books and the appearances of certain characters.
The main characters are Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorn, both characters make appearances in ‘City of Heavenly Fire’, and what happens in these scenes shape what happens in this novel. However, there are flash back sequences that describe what happens four years prior to the novel, eliminating the to read ‘City of Heavenly Fire’.
Reading the Mortal Instruments series, I never liked the main characters: Clary and Jace. However, I did enjoy reading about Emma and Julian. Emma is reckless, and Julian is the one looking out for her, they are two opposite sides of the same coin, but that’s what made reading about them so great.
We are also introduced to Julian’s siblings, and Christina who has temporarily moved to the institute. All characters are given a separate personality, and I thought the depiction of the twins were fantastic, and how just because you’re a twin you don’t necessarily agree on everything!
There is an absence of a happy ending after ‘City of Heavenly Fire’, and this story builds on that, the issues in the Clave (the government) and the Clave’s treatment of Shadowhunters who are ill are clearly highlighted. We get to see the character’s displeasure at the Clave’s decision, and their anger makes them even more realistic characters.
The story focuses on Emma who is searching on closure about her parent’s death four years ago which was dismissed by the Clave. Unlike, the other series, this story is more of a mystery, Emma, Julian and the others are trying to solve the mystery of her parent’s death. And, for me I found this book (despite being 700 pages long) held my interest longer then any of the Mortal Instruments novels did.
However, one problem I have with this novel was the forbidden love aspect, Julian and Emma are parabatai (meaning that they are partners in battle, best friends etc.), but over the course of the novel Emma starts to develop feelings for Julian. Whilst, I think that Emma and Julian would make a good couple, I find forbidden love a bit cliché. Although it did make me (and Emma) wonder why falling in love with your parabatai was forbidden.
Overall, I’d give this novel 4/5 stars, I enjoyed the story and I enjoyed reading about the characters, and I also liked the references to both the Mortal Instrument series and the Infernal Devices series. And, I’m looking forward to reading both Lord of Shadows and Queen of Air and Darkness very soon.