James Herondale longs for a great love, and thinks he has found it in the beautiful, mysterious Grace Blackthorn. Cordelia Carstairs is desperate to become a hero, save her family from ruin, and keep her secret love for James hidden.
When disaster strikes the Shadowhunters, James, Cordelia and their friends are plunged into a wild adventure which will reveal dark and incredible powers, and the true cruel price of being a hero…and falling in love.
Synopsis from Goodreads
I've been a huge fan of Cassandra Clare's Shadowhunter world since I first picked up City of Bones almost a decade ago. While I haven't necessarily loved all of the books she's written, I definitely always go back to this series because I pick up new things every time (also, she's excellent at character and world building). Naturally, I was thrilled when she announced a series based around the Herondale, Carstairs, Lightwood, and Blackthorn children of the 1800s...and then she made us wait YEARS for it! But the first book of the new series is finally here and I dove right in!
LOTS of New Characters
I'm so 50/50 on how I feel about this. There are so many new characters for us to love (and honestly, you're going to love them) but it's equally overwhelming at times with how many perspectives we're given. Clare has never been one to dedicate entire chapters to one POV, so readers are left jumping between characters throughout every chapter. This wouldn't be a problem if there were only 3 or 4 characters to juggle, but it can be a bit challenging when it's THIS MANY new characters. That said, I still really enjoyed reading about all of them, so you can see my dilemma.
Ahhh, If Only People Talked To Each Other...
...but, of course, they can't do that because we need them to get into a ton of problems based on lack of communication. I’m still so confused why no one is suspicious of James’s behaviour - he clearly acts so differently when he’s around a specific person and I can’t figure out why the reason doesn’t become clear to people! It’s actually super frustrating, but I fully understand why it’s happening (we do need something to read about in future books!). In short, I hate Grace and would be totally fine if a demon killed her *shrug*.
This Could Be A Standalone Trilogy
I'm a big fan of the fact that this trilogy really seems like it could be a standalone series if someone is new to the books. I was worried it would be overly connected to the other books (which tends to leads to comparisons between books and is generally just a letdown) but the characters spend most of their time with other new characters, and Will, Tessa, and the rest are very much background characters and don't interrupt the new stories. I nod my hat to Cassandra Clare's storytelling; she's once again got me hooked. I finished this book and almost immediately wanted to start reading it again!
Honestly, I loved this book way more than I thought I would. After being somewhat disappointed with not having any real connection to new characters in the Queen of Darkness trilogy, I love that I'm so invested in these characters! Maybe it's something about jumping back in time that has me hooked? Either way, I'd DEFINITELY recommend this for anyone who loves the Shadowhunter series, is a fan of big series and is currently looking for one to start (go back to City of Bones and start there!), or just interested in a YA fantasy series.
FINAL RATING: 4.5/5
Hi, I'm Alexandra! I love reading (largely YA fiction, but sometimes I'll read "adult" books), playing board games, Nutella, and binge-watching TV shows on Netflix with my husband.
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