What they find in the Courts is a secret that may tear the Shadow World asunder and open a dark path into a future they could never have imagined. Caught in a race against time, Emma and Julian must save the world of Shadowhunters before the deadly power of the parabatai curse destroys them and everyone they love.
Synopsis from Goodreads
If you were on Instagram the first week of December (and follow any #YA accounts), you probably saw that Queen of Air and Darkness was released and everyone was freaking out about it – and I don’t blame them! We left Lord of Shadows immediately after witnessing the murder of one of the Blackthorn’s and Julian’s heart wrenching tears; how was Clare going to start the next book? The good news is QoAD picks up seconds after the death and we are again sprinting to keep up with the characters as the Shadowhunter world begins to unravel.
Solid Ending to a Busy Trilogy
Overall, I was really happy with how this ended. There were a lot of moments in previous books (and the beginning of this one) that felt very forced or written in for shock value, but Clare managed to keep me excited to find out what would happen next. I love the way Emma and Julian’s relationship was resolved. I thought Clare got really creative with what happened to them and was really impressed with their ending. I was also super frustrated with Livvy’s death at the end of Lord of Shadows (a moment that felt rushed and forced), but Clare found a way to connect it to this book and make it meaningful. I still don’t love it (who wants a child to die??) but I understand her reasoning a bit more and can appreciate that she had a plan in place for these characters. This was a very busy trilogy, but Queen of Air and Darkness did a good job in wrapping up a lot of loose ends.
Interesting Choices in Relationships
I don’t want to give spoilers, so I will be a bit vague when I talk about how impressed I was with Clare’s decision to include a relationship that’s outside of the norm. I’ve often felt in the last few books that she’s been including things simply for shock value (i.e. my original opinion of Livia’s death at the end of book 2), but in this instance I was really impressed with how she developed and handled a relationship that many would consider “abnormal”. This relationship type is not often (if ever) found in mainstream novels, especially in YA fiction, so I thought it was a great move on her part to introduce this relationship in a way that explains why it should be accepted and understood by everyone. Well done, Ms. Clare; you’ve once again jumped ahead of the curve in encouraging people to understand that love is love, and it comes in all forms.
Too Many POVs
I’ve found throughout this trilogy that I’ve had a hard time connecting with the main characters, largely because it’s hard to figure out who the main characters are. While the story seems to revolve around Emma and Julian, there are so many POVs that they often get lost in the shuffle. I miss the writing of the original Shadowhunters novel where Clary’s voice was the most prevalent, even though other characters had the opportunity for a POV as well. In the recent books, it’s become overwhelming to keep track of all the different POVs we are given, which resulted in me not becoming as close with these new characters. I think the Blackthorns, Emma, Christina, Kit, and all the other characters we’ve been introduced to have so much potential, but we barely had the chance to learn about them. It’s clear Ty, Kit, and Dru will be the getting their own series in the future (so much of this book was definitely laying the groundwork for that) but I wish we’d learned more about Emma and Julian in this series.
Of course, the Shadowhunters world will never truly be over, so I was not shocked at all by the ending of QoAD. There have been too many new characters and worlds created in this series for Clare to simply end it on a positive note. While we’re finally getting a new trilogy from the perspectives of Will and Tessa (and friends) children, I don’t think there’s any doubt that we’ll be visiting this contemporary Shadowhunter world very soon. I’m predicting that it’ll be another 5 year (or so) time jump so that Ty, Kit, and Dru will be mature enough to be protagonists. But Clare continues to surprise us, so it’s really anyone’s guess. Either way, Queen of Air and Darkness was a good end to the trilogy and I can’t wait to read what comes next for them!
FINAL RATING: 4/5
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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