Shadowhunter universe is probably one of the best fantasy universes currently – only after Potterverse and the Middle-Earth though. Cassandra Clare has great imagination, an excellent knack for combining myth, folklore and fantasy with current socio-political climate and ultimately giving us a world full of characters that we can root for. However, one of her great strengths is writing love triangles. Reading romance novels gets exhausting after a period of time and as we grow more cynical, it gets harder to empathize or even choose our favorites in a triangle. But Cassie writes such beautiful characters that it gets difficult to choose your favorites, but for a whole other reason – you want all the three to be happy, to find love and to be together. You don’t want any of them to be separated. You fall in love with all of them and then can’t extricate yourself from the entanglements of their love. My all time favorite trio is always going to be Tessa, Jem and Will from TID but this book gave me a similar feeling regards to Mark, Christina and Kieran. Their love has this undercurrent of pain, betrayal, friendship and so much more and I am very sure that I will grow to love them more.
This book is probably Cassie’s best writing in terms of character development. We get to hear many different points of view and get to know them for who they really are. Julian is tormented in his love, Ty is both sure and unsure of everything , Kit feels out of place initially but grows into his love for Ty and the Blackthorn family, Emma is brave, Livvy is strong, Dru is lonely and Mark is conflicted. We see the story from everyone’s eyes and sometimes are even able to sympathize with Malcolm- why he turned out to be the villain. There are also so many diverse personalities here and you can see that what unites them is so much more stronger than their differences. These characters make you care about them. They make you want to do something to make them happy, drive away their loneliness and fears, just be with them. It is because of these characters that everyone is still reading about the Shadowhunters even ten years after the first book.
Coming to the plot itself, much of the story is quite as expected. It’s still interesting to venture into various cities including Fairieland and learn certain unexpected things about our favorite characters and their motivations. The best part about the plot is the way current issues are woven into the narrative but they seem so true to their world as well. And it proves, if you keep denigrating/controlling/punishing one group of people because of actions of a few and because you think your group is superior, the consequences will be bloody and devastating for everyone – even the innocent – especially the innocent. That’s what happens at the end – innocent blood is shed and we will see the consequences of a bigoted and unjust world in the next book. But alas… very excruciating two year wait it’s going to be for THE QUEEN OF AIR AND DARKNESS.
Rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️