Book review: Cassandra Clare’s imagination runs wild again in Lady Midnight

Lady Midnight, the first book in The Dark Artifices series, is all about political deviance, never-ending drama and unwavering love.

Lady Midnight

Cassandra Clare

(Margaret K. McElderry Books)


It has been six years since Cassandra Clare last introduced a new series set in the world of shadowhunting from her Mortal Instruments series.

Lady Midnight launches The Dark Artifices series, which focuses on Emma Carstairs, who was introduced in 2014's City of Heavenly Fire – and it does not disappoint.

Clare’s imagination once again fills the pages with a thrilling world that promises political deviance, never-ending drama and unwavering love.

When we last saw Emma, she was 12 years old and had valiantly fought beside her best friend Julian Blackthorn in a vicious war against Sebastian Morgenstern and his mind- controlled army that rocked the world of every shadowhunter.

The battle left Emma and Julian orphans, and they moved to Los Angeles to help raise Julian’s younger siblings.

Five years later, Emma has grown into an exceptional warrior. The force that drives her determined spirit is the hope that she will one day find the killer who murdered her parents.

Even though most in the shadowhunter world believe the Carstairs’ deaths were the result of Morgenstern’s wrath, Emma isn’t convinced – especially when people start turning up dead with the exact same marks that were found on her parents’ bodies.

Emma turns to Julian to help solve the mystery. As they investigate, the friends learn that the murders are the tip of the iceberg.

Because they are a tight-knit family, the younger Blackthorn kids insist on pitching in to help. Each uses his or her talents to figure out and locate missing pieces of a very big puzzle. The Blackthorns, Emma and various friends rally together, determined to bring justice to their city. Unfortunately, time is not on their side, and they must race against the clock to stop another war from tearing their world apart.

Clare’s ability to tell a fresh new story, while overlapping critical components from her previous series, is worthy of praise.

Readers can rest easy in the familiarity of her shadowhunter world, but also bask in the excitement of embracing a new roster of gritty characters.

Lady Midnight incorporates the importance of responsibility, the call of justice and the willingness to risk it all for those you love.

* Lincee Ray / Associated Press