When I first heard about Cassandra Clare’s new book that would take place 5 years after Heavenly Fire, I was cautious in picking up the book. Not because I disliked her books, I love them and consider them one of my favorite book series. I was skeptic because I didn’t see how I could relate/love this new characters that weren’t from the original series.
Goes to show you that there’s always room for fictional characters in your heart.
Lady Midnight takes place 5 years after Heavenly Fire and a lot of shit has gone down. First we meet Emma Carstairs, a Shadowhunter that fought in the Dark War at the age of 12. Her best friend, Julian Blackthorn was with her when all hell broke lose. Emma and Julian lost a lot during The Dark War. The Dark War was caused by Sebastian Morgenstern and although he killed most he also turned many Shadowhunter into Endarkened, which would cause the Shadowhunter to fight along side him. Emma’s parents had been murdered during the war, while Julian’s father was turned and he had to kill his own father to protect, not only himself and Emma but his 4 younger siblings.
Emma grieved for her parents but also believed that not only were they murdered, it wasn’t from Sebastian’s hand. Julian quickly learned that he wasn’t just an orphan now but a parent to his siblings.
I assumed Emma would be the core of the story, though she was very important moments and more to come, it was Julian who took the spotlight. Julian’s childhood and freedom was gone the second his father turned. At the age of 12 he had to learn to not just keep his siblings alive, but do everything a parent would do. Support them, stay up at night, heal their wounds, play with them, discipline them, and love them. He no longer thought for himself, had time for himself, but have his whole life revolve around his siblings who he began to call his children. I left drawn to Julian and connect more towards his struggles than I did with Emma. Though she one bad ass chick!
Emma and Julian became parabatai and though in the Shadowhunter world, theirs became much more complicated. Parabatai is meant to have you’re best friend for life but in a much more deeper feeling. What you feel, they feel. You become stronger together than apart. When one dies, a part of the other dies as well. Emma was glad that her best friend since childhood had become her parabatai, when Julian felt otherwise. From the start you knew Julian had began to start seeing Emma as more than a companion/ best friend but has deep feelings. In any other time, place or circumstance it wouldn’t have mattered, but the law of Shadowhunter forbid parabatai’s to have a love connection. When you learn why, makes you think, “yeah that’s not good.”
Bodies began to pile up with writings on them, which happened to be like Emma’s parents, the Blackthorns, Emma decide to investigate when Mark Blackthorn, Julian’s older half brother is returned. When the war ended, the Clave ruled that Shadowhunters are not allowed to interact with faeries. Since faeries were the ones that helped Sebastian gain power, they are now paying the price. The Wild Hunt, faeries, who had taken Mark, asked Julian to find out who was murdering their kind, as well as mundanes, in exchange to have Mark return home. Julian, of course wanting to Mark return took the deal.
Not only did they have to solve the case to keep Mark, but they had to hide him and the whole investigation from everyone, especially the Clave. Julian sees Mark as an opportunity to have some of the responsibilities off him, which he has had for 5 years, only to find out it added more. Emma has always believed that the murder of her parents was a key to something else, something bigger than the War, and was determined to find it.
This book took me way too long to finish, but it wasn’t because I wasn’t enjoying it. Life, time and other responsibilities tend to come up that prevent you from reading. I highly recommend this book to anyone, especially someone who liked the Mortal Instruments. What I found was that this had more family feel than The Mortal Instruments. Sure, friendship is a big part and important in both series, this one I feel grabbed me more with the Blackthorn family and their struggles. You learn the values of family and want you would do to save/protect it, and that hit hard for me. When it comes to my life there isn’t anything I wouldn’t do, and that’s why I connect more towards Julian. To have a book reflect so much of yourself it’s both frightening and astonishing. It’s rare in the most beautiful way.