Category: queen of air and darkness

Title: Queen of Air and Darkness

Author: Cassandra Clare

Age Group: Teen/Young Adult

Genre: Fantasy

Series: The Dark Artifices, book three

Star Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

               I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.

               So, I’ll start this review by being completely honest: I’ve been avoiding this book since it came out last December, partly because I just wasn’t ready for it to end, and half because Lord of Shadows tore my soul to shreds. I’ve checked it out at my local library a few times, and had to return it almost every time. I couldn’t renew it anymore this time, so as soon as I was finished with Queen of Ruin, I pushed it to the top of my stack, figuring that I could no longer avoid it. This book took me a week and a half to finish, and I’ve been chewing on it for almost three weeks. To tell the truth, guys, I’m still not ready to put my feelings to paper. But I’ve been sitting on it long enough, and if I keep avoiding it, I won’t write it. This book is probably one of the most emotional and intense of Clare’s books, and the last book in The Dark Artifices series is one that I will never forget. I was absolutely blown away, and I’m so very happy and sad that it’s all over!

               Queen of Air and Darkness picks up where Lord of Shadows left off, with the Blackthorn family and Emma Carstairs shattered after a horribly traumatic death. Left reeling over it, Julian makes a heartbreaking decision. Emma is desperate to keep the only family she’s ever had together, and The Clave is dangerously teetering, on the brink of a bloody civil war among Shadowhunters. One part of the family heads to Los Angeles to discover the cause of a dangerous disease that is decimating the warlock race. Meanwhile, Emma and Julian must put the thoughts of their forbidden love aside as they journey to Faerie to retrieve The Black Volume of the Dead. But the secrets waiting for them within the Court are dark, dangerous, and powerful, and may tear the foundation of the Shadowhunters apart. Caught in a deadly race against time, they must save the world before the dark power of the parabatai curse destroys them and everyone they care about…

               This book, to be completely frank, absolutely destroyed me, which is why I avoided it so long. It was beautifully written, and I adored the black and white illustrations throughout. That was such a cool bonus! As with all sequels, it took me a little bit of time to remember what was happening. But the pacing was breakneck, and I was immediately absorbed in the novel. I also enjoyed all the different points of view; one of the things I love about Clare’s books is the scope of them. I also really liked all of the Easter eggs left throughout the book: appearances of other familiar faces, secrets that I didn’t get throughout the series until this book. I was totally spellbound by this mammoth book; counting the bonus material, it was over eight hundred pages. This book absolutely gutted me, emotionally: I was laughing, or straight up ugly crying throughout. Nonetheless, this book was a great ending to one of my favorite Cassandra Clare offerings, meaty and dark and tender, and full of surprises! Especially that ending. HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO ACCEPT THE END OF THIS WHEN IT ENDED LIKE THAT?! Come on, Cassandra, you’re killing me here! The bottom line: The last book in The Dark Artifices trilogy, Queen of Air and Darkness may be Cassandra Clare’s best book yet. Next on deck: No Beast So Fierce: The Terrifying True Story of the Champawat Tiger, the Deadliest Animal in History by Dane Huckelbridge!

https://literatureobsessed.blogspot.com/2019/08/queen-of-air-and-darkness-by-cassandra.html

Title: Queen of Ruin

Author: Tracy Banghart

Age Group: Teen/Young Adult

Genre: Fantasy

Series: Grace and Fury, book two

Star Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

               I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.

               Grace and Fury was one of my favorite books of last year, so I’ve been anxiously awaiting the sequel. It’s been sitting in my library stack, so when I was finished with The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, I dove in. I devoured Queen of Ruin in a mere three days; this set of books are my favorite in Tracy Banghart’s entire body of work. Action-packed, relevant, and shocking, I loved every moment of Queen of Ruin, even the ones that had me screaming in rage and sobbing in frustration. I’ve been chewing on it since I finished, trying to get my thoughts straight before I put them to paper. This series has been billed as the YA Handmaid’s Tale, and that comparison is pretty spot on.

               Queen of Ruin picks up where Grace and Fury left off, with Serina leading the rebellion on Mount Ruin, and Nomi just barely escaping the palazzo with her life. Both girls must decide to fight for their rights, as well as those of their fellow women, but forces beyond their control conspire to stop them. Both sisters must make a choice: continue to fight against Viridia’s restrictive, misogynistic laws, or create a new world, in which women have choices, can make money, and have all the freedoms they deserve. But pulling off a revolution of this scale is far from easy, and not everyone will emerge from the wreckage unharmed…

               This book was absolutely amazing. Because it was a sequel, it took me a few chapters to remember everything that happened. But once things got going, I was spellbound, and I was constantly thinking about it, even while I was doing something else. The pacing was breakneck but smooth, and I really liked the way that the narrative went back and forth between Serina and Nomi. I also loved the character development of all of the women in the book, but especially Serina and Nomi. This book had me screaming and cheering, often. That’s not to say, though, that there also weren’t formidable villains. I won’t give it away for those that haven’t read it yet; but this book really frustrated me. The tension was constant, and I devoured every word. And that ending! I’m so happy with the way that things ended. Sequels make me so nervous, because all too often, they don’t hold up to the books that come before it, but I didn’t need to worry about this with Queen of Ruin. It more than surpassed my expectations, and I loved every moment of it. The bottom line: Bloody, fierce, and unforgettable, I loved Queen of Ruin; my only complaint is that it’s all over now! Next on deck: Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare!

https://literatureobsessed.blogspot.com/2019/07/queen-of-ruin-by-tracy-banghart-review.html

Author: Our lady and saviour Cassandra Clare

Rating: 5/5 (what did you expect??)

DON’T MIND ME CRYING IN THE BACK! Honestly, the emotional capacity of this novel superseded all expectations. Cassie’s ability to make me care more about her characters than anyone irl is inspiring and terrifying. 

I honestly believe that Queen Of Air And Darkness is CC’s most sophisticated and advanced work yet; she seems to improve with every instalment of The Shadowhunter Chronicles. Her writing bridges the seemingly immense gap between maturity and humour – keeping her style relatable and funny whilst also being artistic and well-developed. Her 3rd person narration adopts the nature of the character she describes – Julian’s sections are compassionate and tortured, Mark’s whimsical and longing, Diana’s brave and believing. I can’t deny her talent.

I have to dedicate an entire paragraph to Ty Blackthorn because… I mean he is just everything I needed from 21st century media representation. Cassie doesn’t sugar-coat the less ‘quirky’ side of autism: the struggles, the confusion, the isolation. But, more importantly, she showcased all the wonderful things about it, my favourite scene being Ty and the starfish. As an autistic person, this means the world to me, especially since fans of the series love Ty despite/because of his nature.

That’s the end of my spoiler-free section! I’m not going to say this book is perfect (see spoilery section for details) but generally, adored this finale (if you can call it that) and I recommend it to anyone. To non-TMI fans, TDA is 10 times better than TMI, if you didn’t like TMI you might love this series anyway.

*SPOILERS AHEAD DUDES*

Right, I did have a couple of problems with this book. First of all, Cassie’s unstoppable need to pair up every single character into a relationship. I could have done without the Diego/Divya scene at the end, Cameron/Livia in Thule seemed forced, and Kieran/Mark/Cristina felt empty by the end. I did LOVE Kierarktina for the most part, just the ending felt a bit limp. Secondly, Thule didn’t really do it for me. It was the only trope that CC hadn’t fallen victim to, and I just thought it was unnecessary? I understood why it happened and if you liked it, I’m glad! It just wasn’t for me. Also, the parabatai bond just… went? They turned into massive giants and…just…what???

Rant over. Now, the good bits! Drusilla Blackthorn guys! She deserves the world, I love her character development and the complex relationship between her, Ty and Kit. I love that we got to see more of Helen and Aline, too. They’re each other’s foils in a way – Helen being soft and steady, Aline sparky and exciting. Their dynamic was brilliant. And the wedding?!?! I wasn’t expecting that man I was crying. Alec’s little speech was beautiful and I’m over the moon that he was elected as Consul.Cassie knows how to indulge her fans almost as well as she knows how to break them.

This is probably my favourite instalment of the Shadowhunter Chronicles so far!