Last week I finally completed The Dark Artifices series by reading the final concluding novel, Queen of Air and Darkness and I have a hell of a lot of feelings. I did a whole non spoiler post about The Dark Artifices and all my opinions on the series in general but now I just need to talk about this book because I have a lot of feelings and emotions.
Behold the beauty that is this book!
Ok I sorted my talking points into sections because like I said, I have a lot of feelings going on. I’ve probably missed some things because this book is huge and I only started taking notes after about 300 pages. Also I will be going into depth about things and so Spoilers lay ahead.
I sobbed for the first few chapters…
This leaves off right from Lord of Shadows meaning right after Robert Lightwood and Livvy Blackthorns death and the waterworks started up all over again. It took me forever to get through just the first three chapters because I couldn’t see through my tears. The portrayal of grief was so strong, and the whole family’s reactions were heart-breaking, I felt like I was grieving myself.
The Alternate Universe…
I have conflicted feelings about Thule.
It was just so weird! I was not expecting it at all and that kind of drew me out of the story because during those chapters I was in a permanent state of What the actual Fuck! It was most definitely not the direction I thought the story was going to go in in the slightest.
There were things I enjoyed though for example Livvy. She was just so badass and yet her story was heart-breaking. I loved hearing what happened to the Mortal Instruments characters and seeing what could have happened had they not been there.
Cassandra kind of called out all the haters that said Clary was nothing special which I thought was great. I have to admit back when I read TMI, Clary did annoy me quite a lot and I wanted her to fight more but now I’m older and some time has passed since reading it I’ve come to appreciate her character more and the rolls she played in that series.
What happened to Magnus and Alec though was devastating. I found that the saddest out of the whole Thule experience. Alec having to kill Magnus before he turned into a demon and the killing himself! It was like Cassandra Clare was trying to murder me too. On a lighter note though Magnus’ reaction to the whole thing back in the real world was hilarious.
My favourite part of the whole Thule thing however was Raphael Santiago. I’d forgotten how much I’d missed him! If one character could be brought back to the dead from any book series I’d want it to be him. After reading I spent a lot of time scrolling Tumblr and I came across this which accurately represents my feelings:
I’m invested in all of these relationships so much. I love them all.
I suppose I should start with the main couple, Julian and Emma. Throughout the three books I can’t say they’ve been my favourite couple. I didn’t understand their decisions when it could hurt not only them but Julians whole family, but this is coming from me who barely feels anything at all. In this however, I did warm to them considerably and I’m glad it worked out for them in the end.
Next I want to talk about Kit and Ty. Kit’s love for Ty was so freaking obvious in this book! That boy is in love! He went along with Ty’s insane plan to help bring back his dead twin sister using dark and illegal magic because he didn’t want Ty to get hurt or in trouble and do it alone! Of course in true Herondale fashion it doesn’t end well because when does it ever with that family? It was sad to read but I liked it. It’s set up for them to reunite in Wicked Powers where hopefully Ty will be in a better place. I can’t wait to see what happens with these two.
Jessa! As much as I wanted more of Jem and Tessa I LOVED what we got. They’re having a baby for crying out loud! Baby Carstairs is already my favourite thing ever. I believe Cassandra has confirmed it’s going to be a girl but people online are speculating it’s gonna be twins and I am 100% on board with this, I want it to happen so much. Another reason I like Kit’s exit is because he’s going to live with these two! He’s going to live with two amazing people who are gonna love him and Baby Carstairs will grow up with a big brother and she’s gonna know all about his love for Ty and I’m so excited!!
Aline Blackthorn Penhallow was amazing in this book and her love for her wife was so evident. The two of them are adorable. I think they’re going to appear in the Red Scrolls of Magic books, showing how they met, possibly? maybe? I don’t know but I really hope they do.
A minor ship set sail in this book too. In the Ghosts of the ShadowMarket novella, The Land I Lost, there’s a Shadowhunter by the name of Joaquin and a French werewolf queen person and they hit it off in that short story and they were together in this!!! I love seeing the side characters from the novellas being acknowledged in the main books like Jon Cartwright and Marisol from the Shadowhunter Academy bind up. Here’s hoping these two get a happier ending.
I’ve also got to give a shout out to Diana and Gwyn who were adorable in this book and I want them to live happily ever after for all eternity.
And finally, KIERARKATINA ARE CANNON! I hate the ship name because I get confused on how to spell it but I am so happy! I had a huge grin on my face throughout the entirety of their scenes. I’m so happy Cassandra officially got them together. I also loved the domestic moments between them once they were cannon like in Idris when Cristina wondered off and Mark and Kieran were practically tripping over themselves to go find her. This was my first time reading more about a Polyamorous relationship and I loved them and want more content featuring these three.
It’s great to see so many diverse characters in this series. I’m happy to see more representation added to a series that was predominantly white and straight to begin with.
Ragnor Fell is alive and my happiness and love for the world has been restored! I Fell in love
(I’m cringey I know) with Ragnor when I read the Bane Chronicles. I’m considering rereading just for more of him. I had my suspicions that the warlock Shade was him since he was introduced but nothing could prepare me for the joy I felt when he said, “tell Magnus Ragnor says hello” (or something like that). I love him.
Like I said, Thule was a weird part of this book but I loved the characters it brought back from the dead. In a way, seeing Livvy grown up was closure for my broken heart. She was badass and as much as I never want to go back to that alternate universe I hope she’s happy over there. It also brought Raphael who, like I’ve said was my favourite part of that part. He was so funny when he was listening about normal Magnus and Alec and how they’d named their child after him. He’s another reason I want to reread the Bane Chronicles.
I feel bad for saying this but I didn’t get everyone’s obsession with Julian at first but after rereading the first two books and finishing this I’m now in agreement. Julian is hardcore. He’s gone through so much shit in his life and I’m happy to see him getting the recognition for everything. I love his relationship with his siblings, especially Tavvy which is just too cute.
I adore Mark Blackthorn, I really do, and I still do in this book but Kieran just made me so happy in this book. Who would have thought back in Lady Midnight that he’d fall in love with two shadowhunters and become the KING of Unseelie. He’s so soft and comical. He loves Mark and Cristina so much and he likes cute animal calendars! How could anyone not fall in love with him!
And finally, I feel like a prayer needs to be said for Cristina Mendoza Rosales. She went to LA thinking she was going on just your average travel year and then she meets Emma and the Blackthorns and get’s tangled up with faeries, breaks multiple laws, becomes part of like a revolution and finds not one, but two loves of her life.
There are many amazing moments in this book, and like I said at the start, I’m probably forgetting a bunch but here are some of my favourite things:
- Julian announcing he’d started a war while he casually cooked pancakes for his family
- All the Blackthorns joining together to save their brother who’d turned super sized angel.
- THE MALEC WEDDING! Magnus Bane and Alexander Gideon Lightwood are officially married!!!
- Jace, Simon and Kieran playing music together at said wedding.
- Literally any moment when Aline stood up for her wife. Like when she literally smashed a lamp because people weren’t paying attention to her beloved and was like “I love you baby please continue”. And also when she said “We do what I say and I do what Helen wants, What do you want baby?”
- Emma carrying the tapestry of Alec around Idris because the ugly wretch Horace Dearborn was going to through it away.
- Diana being a badass and cutting off Horace’s arm and then escaping with the help of her faerie warrior boyfriend. I stan one legendary queen.
The ending to The Dark Artifices trilogy was a wild one to say the least.
I mean Julian and Emma TURNED INTO ANGELS! I’m sure Tessa Gray is filing copyright claims as I type.
I’m glad the Parabatai connection wasnt severed as I thought it would be. Them turning into actual giants wasnt what I had in mind as an alternative but it was awesome and they killed Horace Dearborn, so what’s not to love.
Talking about Dearborns, I’m so pissed Zara didn’t die. I wanted her to be eaten by demons or left to be picked apart by chickens or sliced over and over until she was covered allover in papercuts and then dunked in vinegar. But nope.
Moving on now because that got dark …
The most important thing about this ending is that ALEC GIDEON LIGHTWOOD IS CONSUL! I REPEAT ALEC GIDEON LIGHTWOOD IS CONSUL!!!!!!
Was it over shadowed by the fact that ten seconds later the racists took over and the good guys abandoned Idris? Yes, yes it was. And as much as I don’t understand this decision I’m gonna try and keep positive. I have total faith in Alec and partial trust in Cassandra Clare and I’m hoping this new storyline will be interesting.
And finally, the Epilogue. Ok, I don’t get what the point of introducing Ash was in this book? Sure, it was a gasp worthy moment when I found out he was Sebastians son and yes I’m kind of looking forward to seeing him in future books mainly because I’m rooting for him to be a good guy (unlikely) and form some sort of relationship with his aunt Clary.
But I feel like hardly anything happened with him in this? He was a bargaining tool for the Unseelie King and then aged up two years when he went to the alternate universe but then when he has a chance to go back and be part of the main universe he didn’t and then showed up with Not-Jace in the Epilogue. I’m really hoping his storyline is better in Wicked Powers.
And as for Not-Jace. I’m, again, conflicted and didn’t see it coming. I’m intrigued for what’s going to happen with him and I’m scared for Normal-Jace and Clary. There’s just a lot going on in my head.
So there we go. Every thought I’ve ever had about Queen of Air and Darkness written down with art throughout. I feel like I’ve been writing this for hours and in that time all my excitement for the book came flooding back.
I don’t know how I’m going to wait three whole years to find out more about this story and what the hell happens. I need answers NOW!
If you somehow made it to the end of this novel like review then thankyou, I really appreciate it.