Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Genre: Fantasy

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 disease 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. 

Queen of Air and Darkness was the end to yet another Cassandra Clare trilogy I didn’t know I needed. While somehow continuing to deliver a masterful story inside of the Shadowhunter world she’s been building since 2007. That’s 12 years – a little less than half of my very existence that I’ve been reading her stories and falling more and more in love with these characters.

“You can’t fix grief,” said Simon. “A rabbi told me that when my father died. The only thing that fixes grief is time, and the love of the people who care about you, and Tavvy has that.”

Queen of Air and Darkness dives into familial grief in such an amazing way. The timeliness of the novel’s release in my own life was either coincidental or kismet – I do not know. But there were so many parallels and similarities I could see between the ways the characters dealt with grief and my family’s own dealings with grief after losing my grandfather last summer.

One thing I have always appreciated about good writing is how books have the capability to help us through hard things in our lives without us even realizing we needed it. This book did that for me.

Aside from the topic of grief, QOAAD gave us a continuation of so many character arcs in the most satisfying of ways while also dealing with real-world issues. In the Dark Artifices, we saw issues of grief, LGBTQ+, autism, familial/generational curses, interracial (read inter-species?) dating, adoption, miscarriages, pregnancy, feminism, and so many other things. A lot was packed into this without it being too heavy or triggering [for me].

Have you read The Dark Artifices or any of the other Shadowhunter series? What do you think about there being two more series?

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