5 stars · book review

Review : Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare

Title : Queen of Air and Darkness
Author : Cassandra Clare
Series : The Dark Artifices #3
Genre : YA fantasy
Release Date : December 4th, 2018
Publisher : Margaret K. McElderry Books



Dark secrets and forbidden love threaten the very survival of the Shadowhunters in Cassandra Clare’s Queen of Air and Darkness, the final novel in the #1 New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling The Dark Artifices trilogy.What if damnation is the price of true love?

Innocent blood has been spilled on the steps of the Council Hall, the sacred stronghold of the Shadowhunters. In the wake of the tragic death of Livia Blackthorn, the Clave teeters on the brink of civil war. One fragment of the Blackthorn family flees to Los Angeles, seeking to discover the source of the blight that is destroying the race of warlocks.

Meanwhile, Julian and Emma take desperate measures to put their forbidden love aside and undertake a perilous mission to Faerie to retrieve the Black Volume of the Dead. 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.

*NO spoiler for QoAaD, but may contain some minor spoilers for Lady Midnight and Lord of Shadows (link to my review of each book)

Queen of Air and Darkness is not my first Cassie Clare’s books, nor it is the first series of her that I completed. It is, however, the first series that I follow through, from the announcement of the series, to the release of book 1 till book 3, and until I end up here, writing review for the last book in The Dark Artifices. I’ve spend the last 2.5 years, between the release date of each books, scrolling through Cassie’s tumblr to look for snippets and artworks regarding this series. I started this journey at roughly the same age as the characters’s, and now I’m older than most of the characters. Which is why, even if it won’t be my favorite series ever, The Dark Artifices will hold a special place in my heart.

Queen of Air and Darkness began immediately after the ending of Lord of Shadows. We see how the Blackthorns and their friends deal with the aftermath of certain character’s death. We see how they grief in their own, unique way–from Julian’s plan to revenge until Ty’s way to fill the hole in his heart. Sadly, they can’t grief properly, since now the Black Volume of the Dead is at the hands of their greatest enemy who plan to use it against the Shadowhunter. Not only that, there’s also a poison in the heart of Shadowhunter itself–in the form of the Cohort. And let’s not forget that each characters’s also has their own problem, and some problems might be more dangerous than others. From the beginning, it’s clear that their journey in QoAaD won’t be easy. With over 800 pages, they visit various places to try to save the Shadowhunter world, and yet some encounters brought more problems to them rather than solutions. As always, Cassie awe me with how she writes the journey. Even when I thought that there’s no way it’d end well, she always found an answer, some of them surprising and unexpected, while some I already knew (I did read a lot of fan theories, after all. One of them, at least, is bound to be right 😉 ).

Since QoAaD is the last book in this trilogy, we see how each characters grew up and change–be it for the better or for worse. Aside from being a book filled with journey to right the wrongs, it’s also a book to see how each characters deals with their own problems. We have, in total, 15 POVs here, so we get to know the character’s thoughts and feelings better than in the previous books. My favorite in this book (aside from Julian, of course, who has been my favorite since book 1), is surprisingly Kieran. Not only because he became funnier here, but I also see how much he change from the arrogant Faerie prince we knew in book 1. I won’t talk too much about the characters or their relationship or their problems’s outcome so I won’t spoil anything important, but rest assured that most of their problems are solved in one way or another.

All in all, Queen of Air and Darkness is a tale about heartbreak, pain, family, and loves, and how they save each others through it. While QoAaD is not a book without flaw (I certainly think that 15 POVs is one or two too many!), I still think it’s the best way to end a series. It might be the last book in a trilogy and meant to serve as the ending, but it also serves as some kind of prologue for the next installment, The Wicked Powers. If you’ve loved Cassie’s previous books, I think you won’t be disappointed!

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