Melanie's Reviews > Queen of Air and Darkness

Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare
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bookshelves: fantasy, young-adult, signed, angels, demons, fae, ghosts, lgbtqiap, paranormal, read-in-2018, romance, vampires, shifters

1.) City of Bones ★★★
2.) City of Ashes ★★
3.) City of Glass ★★★
1.) Clockwork Angel ★★★
4.) City of Fallen Angels
2.) Clockwork Prince ★★★★
5.) City of Lost Souls ★★★★
3.) Clockwork Princess ★★★★★
6.) City of Heavenly Fire ★★★★★
*.) The Bane Chronicles ★★★
*.) Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy ★★★
1.) Lady Midnight ★★★★★
2.) Lord of Shadows ★★★★
*.) Ghosts of the Shadow Market 8/10

“There was blood on the Council dais, blood on the steps, blood on the walls and the floor and the shattered remnants of the Mortal Sword.”

Friends, it has been a ride. I have spent the last six months reading everything that Cassie Clare has created for the Shadowhunter world, and it was all leading up to this moment – the release of Queen of Air and Darkness. And friends, it was so worth it. Not only was reading all of these books and stories, and falling in love with so many of these characters and worlds, a highlight in my reading year, it was just a highlight in my 2018. And I just want to thank each and every single one of you that came along with me on this journey.

“Blood always matters, to the wrong sort of people”

And this book picks up immediately after the events in LoS. Fascists are trying to control the Clave and dictate how Downworlders should be treated. In Faerie, the Seelie and the Unseelie court are trying to hurt each other, while the Unseelie King has something that the Seelie Queen doesn’t want to live without. Warlocks are hurting, so many of our main cast of characters are missing, and so many people are grieving the loss of loved ones.

“Sympathy is common. Knowing the exact shape of the hole someone’s loss leaves in your heart is rare.”

Queen of Air and Darkness is truly a love letter to grief. The first section of this review is going to be spoiler free, so I’m going to try to be really vague. Ty is choosing to ignore his grief, Alec is throwing himself into work and wanting a better world because of his grief, Julian thinks revenge is the only way to work through his grief, Emma has finally made headway with her past grief, to only be forced to experience more all over again. We see parents grieving the loss of their children, children grieving the loss of their parents, and everyone grieving the loss of loved ones because of wars they didn’t ask to be a part of. But that’s what happens when you love people, and you let them in, because nothing is permanent, and grief is inevitable. There is no wrong way to grieve, but you do get to choose the actions you perform in the name of that grief. And we get to see people make a lot of hateful choices, and take a lot of hateful actions, because of their grief; Cohorts and fae queens and kings alike.

And this third and final installment in The Dark Artifices series does get rather dark, so please use caution. Content and trigger warnings for hate speech (always challenged and always negative), threatening to out someone, talk of wanting to sexually assault someone, self-harm, death, loss of a loved one, murder, torture, captivity, blood depictions, strong depictions of grief, trauma, and depression, talk of suicide, a lot of violence, and war themes.

As always, Cassie is so very inclusionary and gives us so much rep that is very respectively done. From so much sexuality and gender representation, to racial diversity, to giving us a main character on the autism spectrum, to body diversity, to really respecting mental health in this book. I’m not saying that Cassie Clare is the pinnacle of what representation in books should be, but I’ll be dammed if she isn’t trying, and if she isn’t doing a better job than any other cis white woman writing YA currently.

Overall, it is also actually wild how talented Cassandra Clare is, because the cast of her books are so large and expansive, but I’d die for almost every single one of them. I had so much fun reading this last installment, even if it wasn’t my favorite. But I will talk more about that below! I will say that I need The Red Scrolls of Magic, The Last Hours, & The Wicked Powers right this very second. Like, the wait is probably going to kill me. But I’m going to die with the biggest smile on my face.

Please use caution reading the rest of this review if you have not read this book and all the series leading up to this book! And as always, I’m going to do a little mini character breakdown on my thoughts and feelings on all the main characters in this book. Spoilers ahead!

(Art by Alice Duke!)

Emma Carstairs - You all, I can’t even talk about Emma properly. She is my favorite Shadowhunter of them all. I love her, I love her bravery, I love her empathy, and I love how she loves. I’ll be honest, the worst part about turning the last page of this book is knowing that I’ll never be able to read another new book where she is the main character.

Julian Blackthorn - First off, Madalyn pointing out that Julian is probably demisexual added ten years to my life and I needed you all to know this. Next, Julian Blackthorn is my everything and I hate that I’m so weak for this soft boy, but it is the damn truth.

Also, because I’m a perv and this needs to be said, Julian and Emma reciting the parabatai vow while fucking? My kink. My fucking kink. Damn. The gifts CC gives us.

Church - The real MVP of this book.

Helen Blackthorn-Penhallow - Helen and Aline are going to be the best moms ever, and I am so happy that Cassie finally let us see this power couple! And I can’t wait to actually see them fall in love during TRSoM, but I know it is going to be my favorite thing in this entire series!

Aline Blackthorn-Penhallow - Okay, Helen and Aline are my TRUE OTP! And Aline literally give me life, while standing up for Helen, during this entire 900+ page story. And I’m here for any story that is a bout an Asian girl getting into a sapphic relationship with a fae girl. I mean, it is kind of my life goal.

Mark Blackthorn - You all, we did it, and CC answered our prayers! And she gave us the polyamorous relationship of my dreams! I will say that I don’t entirely love that they only have their cabin to share their love, but I hope that a lot happens in future books to make this trio able to truly spend all of their lives with one another. But that scene on the boulder between the three of them? 11/10, I will be rereading once a week for the rest of my life.

“All this time we were waiting for you. We loved each other, and it was a great thing, but with you, it is even greater.”

Cristina Rosales - I just love Cristina. I love her friendship with Emma, but I loved her deciding, at her own pace, what she wanted in her life. And she’s so damn strong, while being so damn giving, and she honestly deserves the entire world. Also, no offense, but Cassie Clare also gave her the worst Shadowhunter weapons, imo.

Kieran - I mean, you all know I’m trash for dark (ever changing) haired fae princes who end up being king. But like, I’d love Kieran even if he was none of those things. He is honestly probably my third favorite character in all of the Shadowhunter world. And when all the fae people were remembering all the kind things he did for them, and when the little girl gave him the white flower? Friends, I’m weak, and soft, and crying, and in love with Kieran so very much.

Adaon - Wow, the resident sleeper and true hero of this story.

Kit Rook / Christopher Herondale - Alright, Kit is going to have the coolest power(s) in the Shadowhunter world. But I truly loved how this book officially proved that Kit is going to have an actual claim to rule all of Faerie, and I’m here for it.

Tiberius Blackthorn - Oh Ty, my sweet Ty. You know this necromancy and dark magic are going to follow him all the way through TWP! You all also know that I’m a sucker for siblings who are best friends, and Thule Livvy’s letter actually gutted me.

“I love you. I love you. I love you.”

Livvy Blackthorn - I don’t really understand how ghost Livvy works, or how the connection with Ty works, but it equally breaks and warms my heart. But I do really wish she would have just been able to rest in peace.

Octavian Blackthorn - I feel like Poor Tavvy is the character that is looked over, but it is because he is still so little. But I cried really hard when he told Julian that he just wanted to go home at the end. Julian really raised all these kids to be brave, to be strong, and to love always.

Dru Blackthorn - Dru truly has grown up and came into her own during these three books. I love her, and I loved seeing her journey. And I especially loved seeing Ty spend more time with her. I can’t wait to see her grow and shine even more in TWP where she will be a main character.

Ash - Did Cassie really have to give him Rhysand wings? Truly? Honestly? Lord, why? But… I’m here for it, and I also ship him and Drusilla so damn hard already. When he picked up that picture that Julian drew and learned her name? I screamed. I can’t wait for that to make another appearance.

Magnus Bane - You all know Magnus is my favorite. Every book I fall more and more in love with him. And seeing him as a dad? It is truly the best. Also, Magnus having a heart to heart with Ty about gutted me, because it was so damn beautiful.

Alec Lightwood - I honestly feel like Alec was a real shining star in this book. And he is going to completely change the world with unconditional love. And seeing him become Consul of the Clave? I don’t even have words. Alec started out as a character that was hard for me to like, now he’s a character that’s hard for me not to love.

“No shining new world could be built on blood and bones.”

Zara Dearborn - Worst part of this book? That Zara didn’t die. And now she has her own little private city to breed her hate. I am so not looking forward to what is going to come of her and her hateful gang being left alone. Real talk, I would have been like, “We will leave all you Cohorts alone, as long as you give us her!” *winky face* I’m a petty and bitter bitch.

Horace Dearborn - Thank you, next.

The Kelpie (that Julian saved) - I always love the magical creatures of stories, that come and help and save that day. But this was too damn much for me. TOO DAMN MUCH.

Manuel Casales - This guy is so chaotic evil. And I’m so bitter that he didn’t die while Emma and Julian were on their wild rampage.

Diego Rosales - I also really couldn’t ever truly like Diego. Yeah, he did Kieran a solid, and I respect it, but I still never really liked him. He is one of the few side characters I’m okay saying goodbye to.

Jaime Rosales - I feel like CC is just going to give Dru all the options between Ash, Cameron, and Jaime, but Jaime is the one that skeezes me out for some reason. I just, don’t want it to happen. Nice dagger gift and all, boy no.

Diana Wrayburn - I will say that I was a little uncomfortable with how Julian and Emma found out about Diana being trans, but I am honestly just so happy that she is living her best life now, while being able to be open. And the talk she has with Julian and Emma, when she is like, “No, I’ve always been a woman.” Praise/bless. Give me an entire Diana series, please, Cassie Clare.

Gwyn - Wow, the best character in the entire Shadowhunter universe. The blessings.

Catarina Loss - Catarina is the best side character, and she does so much good, and she is so pure, and I wept extra hard when she stood by Magnus at his wedding. Like, these warlocks put me in my feels every single time.

Ragnor Fell / Shade - And this warlock just makes me laugh so damn hard. And I cheered out loud when the reveal actually came to fruition! I can’t wait to see even more of him with Ty in Scholomance.

Annabel Blackthorn - What a missed opportunity in this book to not give Annabel a better story. I’ll talk more about this below, but Annabel deserved better, especially with how breathtaking this cover it.

The (old) Unseelie King - I don’t know if I just forgot, or if I never picked up on it, but this dude had a half skeletal, half handsome face? That’s actually badass.

The Seelie Queen - This bitch. She legit just shows up in every book, in every timeline, just to rain on everyone’s parade.

Tessa & Jem - I screamed all over again after they announced they were pregnant. And now that they are going to raise a Herondale, Kit, so he can be safe? Ah, I just love this little family so much.

Izzy & Simon - I really wish they played bigger roles in this story, and that we would have received two weddings in this 900+ page tome!

Clary Fairchild - I won’t lie, I was really disappointed when we found out what Clary’s vision really was. God, I mean, I knew Cassie wouldn’t actually kill her, but I wanted to so much more, and it was a really anticlimactic reasoning.

Jace Herondale - “I would die for Jace to shoot finger guns at me” - Lea, 2018. Real talk, Jace had me actually laughing out loud during this entire book and I loved and hated every single second of it. Especially his banter with Kit, I mean, Christopher. And when Jace voted in Alec for Consul of the Clave? The tears just won’t stop, friends.

Evil Jace Herondale - Lord, why do you want us to suffer?

“There is nothing simple about vengeance, and nothing pure”

Okay, so one element or “trope” that I hate when books do is that alternate and/or parallel universe storyline. And I never, in a million years, would have guessed that Cassie Clare would pull this in QoAaD, but here we are. I’ll be honest, I kind of loved the concept of a Mad Max world where Sebastian Morgenstern not only won the Dark War, but now rules, but the entirety of Part Two was a little too much for me. Especially because they didn’t even bring back Thule Livvy and Thule Raphael. And in return, it almost felt like tragedy porn seeing them live again. And now we have an evil Jace in our world and on the loose to… kill Clary? Love Clary? To do something with Clary? Yikes.

But the true reason I am giving this book four stars, and the reason I probably think it is the weakest book in The Dark Artifices is because of Annabel. What a missed opportunity to have an amazing villain character. Instead, she dies at 60%, only for us to be rickrolled with a demon pretending to be her. She died so easily, too, and it felt so bad. I mean, she is on the cover of this book! And the title is completely her! Why would she barely show up in the 900+ pages, have the lamest death, and have no character development when she could have been such an amazing and intricate character.

“Please don’t leave me in this world without you.”

And then let’s not forget about Julian and Emma turning into giant, angel versions of King Kong, picking up and yeeting the bad guys. Even though, Zara conveniently didn’t get yeeted. Like, for a second I actually thought Emma was going to die, and then, in turn, Julian would have died, too. But when Emma said, “Let us burn.” I thought they would just die and become angels together, and my emo and sappy ass would have loved that. But instead, the whole wild giant thing happened, and then words of their loved ones “healed” them. Which was eyeroll worthy, but also sweet. Yet, when the heavenly fire didn’t damage ANYTHING except their parabatai bond? You all, I can’t. It just feels so unsatisfying. And Emma and Julian really are my favorite couple in all things Shadowhunter, but even I can’t just accept that and pretend it was realistic. I honestly think CC just wrote herself into a hole, and putting a bright and shiny bow on it was the only option, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it.

I will also say that the ending was completely and utterly fanservice, but it was fanservice that I ate up with a spoon and asked for more. Magnus and Alec’s wedding was everything, and Alec’s proposal made me actually ugly cry. Just seeing everything that these two have been through, all the lives they’ve impacted, all the family they have made, they were just so damn deserving of this happiness. And then the short story after the epilogue? With Jace and Clary in that greenhouse? God, that greenhouse. It really feels so full circle, doesn’t it? All of these original characters have brought me so much happiness in 2018, and seeing them get moments of pure happiness at the end of this book was honestly everything.

“As long as you exist and I exist, I will love you.”

Overall, I’d give my life for Emma Carstairs and any of the Blackthorns and I will never forget this reading experience. Picking up City of Bones this year was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. And now I finally get to wait and suffer for the next thing Cassie Clare publishes with the rest of you! And special thank you to Lea, Sol, Madalyn, Jane, & Amber for allowing me to cry and scream and gush with you! You all made the experience even more special and I love you all! ❤

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Reading Progress

June 15, 2018 – Shelved
June 15, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
June 15, 2018 – Shelved as: fantasy
June 15, 2018 – Shelved as: young-adult
June 15, 2018 – Shelved as: signed
November 24, 2018 – Shelved as: angels
November 24, 2018 – Shelved as: demons
November 24, 2018 – Shelved as: fae
November 24, 2018 – Shelved as: ghosts
November 24, 2018 – Shelved as: lgbtqiap
November 24, 2018 – Shelved as: paranormal
November 24, 2018 – Shelved as: read-in-2018
November 24, 2018 – Shelved as: romance
November 24, 2018 – Shelved as: vampires
November 24, 2018 – Shelved as: shifters
December 4, 2018 – Started Reading
December 4, 2018 –
page 1
0.11% "Happy early holidays, everyone! I’ll see you all on the other side, godspeed, love you, and happy reading! 🎁✨

December 5, 2018 –
page 400
43.86% "Me, starting part two:

December 6, 2018 –
page 684
75.0% "Me, starting part three:

December 6, 2018 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-50 of 81 (81 new)

stardustreader YOU GOT AN ARC OF THIS?? Lucky duck!

message 2: by Erin (new)

Erin I haven't read any of Cassie Clare's books but I want to own them all because the covers are GORGEOUS

message 3: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Brown I read the first 4 of the Mortal Instruments series & just couldn't continue because I was so annoyed with a certain plot point that just seemed to never be resolved. Vague, I know. I don't want to spoil you. Here's hoping you enjoy them more than I did!

Melanie stardustreader wrote: "YOU GOT AN ARC OF THIS?? Lucky duck!"

NO! Actually, I doubt there will even be ARCS of these, but if they do release early finish copies, I promise my ass won't be one of the ones that get them! Hahah! I just bought a signed preorder! 💗xx

Melanie Erin wrote: "I haven't read any of Cassie Clare's books but I want to own them all because the covers are GORGEOUS"

This makes me feel better, Erin! And I hope you're having the happiest of reading, love! 💗xx

Melanie Melissa wrote: "I read the first 4 of the Mortal Instruments series & just couldn't continue because I was so annoyed with a certain plot point that just seemed to never be resolved. Vague, I know. I don't want to..."

THIS REALLY INTRIGUES ME! Mostly because I am still shook over the ending of the first book, and if it ends up "being real" I'm side eyeing this entire fandom! Hahahaha! But I hope whatever you're reading right now is five star worthy, love! 💗xx

Blanca Massagué Awesome review, Melanie.

Lara (Bookish_turtle) YESSSSS! Can't wait for this one!!!

message 9: by Antonio (new)

Antonio When did you start making books also I am his daughter

⟪Bëllä⟫(=^・^=) YOU GOT A ARC OF THIS.SO.FREAKIN.LUCKY.Lucky Puggie

message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

Queen of Air and Darkness is 893 pages long, including the sequel to A Long Conversation. o.0

message 12: by Jorleny (new) - added it

Jorleny Hi Jorleny Greenidge

Taasia ✨ I can't believe you managed to get through all of Cassie Clare's backlist, Melanie! I can't wait for QoAaD though!

Melanie Lara wrote: "YESSSSS! Can't wait for this one!!!"

I am so excited! 💛xx

Melanie Taasia wrote: "I can't believe you managed to get through all of Cassie Clare's backlist, Melanie! I can't wait for QoAaD though!"

I honestly cannot believe it either, Taasia! But praise/bless! Hahaha! I am so excited to read this with everyone! 💛xx

message 16: by Ace (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ace You had me so excited. And then you said only for US buyers and I died. 😭

Nizar samraoui Histoire De violence

Melanie Lightwood-Chase wrote: "You had me so excited. And then you said only for US buyers and I died. 😭"

Awh, I'm sorry... yeah... I wish more book pre-orders were international! Especially for a book as big as this one! 💛xx

message 19: by Nick (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nick Can’t wait!!!

Melanie Nick wrote: "Can’t wait!!!"

I can't wait to see your thoughts and feels, Nick! 💛xx

Lance You made it through too! It was such a wild ride I really CANNOT! Looking forward to your review!

message 22: by Emma (new)

Emma How did you finish it so fast? It took me more than a week to read a 500 page book!

Melanie Lance wrote: "You made it through too! It was such a wild ride I really CANNOT! Looking forward to your review!"

Awh, Lance! It was so good! I am not going to know what to do with myself without a new CC book! Ahhhh! 💛xx

Melanie Em wrote: "How did you finish it so fast? It took me more than a week to read a 500 page book!"

I took Tuesday off, so I just ate soup and read this book! Hehehe! 💛xx

message 25: by Tennouf (new)

Tennouf Hello how did you finish it so fast?? Et thank you very much for your conversation 💛💛


message 27: by Nick (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nick I loved your review! I’m glad Julian and Emma got their happy ever after

message 28: by Sumit (new)

Sumit RK Excellent Review, Melanie! Loved It. 👍

message 29: by Melanie (new) - added it

Melanie I haven't read all of this review, of course, because I don't want to spoil myself but God I can't wait to read this book some day. Now I'm really motivated to finish TMI and TID <3

booklover#2000 i DON'T Really RAKAMAND IT
2165713666 MAE NAM IS Jules

Shannon Slaughter Are you me? I also read all the books back-to-back for the first time starting in September with City of Bones. And I agree with everything that you mentioned about my concerns and it was the reason why I couldn't give the book a perfect rating either although there was a lot of things that I did like.

My biggest complaint was Annabelle as well. She's on the cover. She is the queen of air and darkness and yet her death was so anti-climactic, I thought "okay she has to come back." They couldn't just killed her off this way.

I'm really glad that most of the characters had a happy ending though.

Leonie Judy Nyankson Interesting and lucky can't wait

message 33: by Andy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Andy This review is so spot on and I watched Madalyns video and I’m shook you guys pretty much 100% covered my reactions 😂.

Melanie Lea (drumsofautumn) wrote: "PUT THIS QUOTE ON MY TOMBSTONE ALSO I LOVE YOU"

I love you MORE! 💖xx

Melanie Nick wrote: "I loved your review! I’m glad Julian and Emma got their happy ever after"

Awh, thank you so much, Nick! And thank you SO much for going on this Shadowhunter journey with me! It means the world to me! 💖xx

Melanie Sumit wrote: "Excellent Review, Melanie! Loved It. 👍"

Thank you so much, sweetheart! I hope you're having happy reading! 💖xx

Melanie Melanie wrote: "I haven't read all of this review, of course, because I don't want to spoil myself but God I can't wait to read this book some day. Now I'm really motivated to finish TMI and TID <3"

I can't wait for you to finish, sweetheart! You have to gush with me forever! Hehe! But no pressure! Happy holidays! 💖xx

Melanie Shannon wrote: "Are you me? I also read all the books back-to-back for the first time starting in September with City of Bones. And I agree with everything that you mentioned about my concerns and it was the reaso..."

Oh my gosh, Shannon, you truly are my twin this year! Hehe! I love it! I hope you're having happy holidays and happy reading after QOAAD, love! 💖xx

Melanie Leonie Judy Nyankson wrote: "Interesting and lucky can't wait"

I hope you enjoy! 💖xx

Melanie Andrea wrote: "This review is so spot on and I watched Madalyns video and I’m shook you guys pretty much 100% covered my reactions 😂."

Awh! This makes my heart so damn happy, Andrea! Thank you for this comment! I hope you're having happy reading and not too much of a book hangover from this one! Hehe! Happy holidays, love! 💖xx

Katherine Your review looks so put together and I wanna read it so bad but this is one of those books that I dont think I will be able to handle if I get spoilers - BUT AT THE SAME TIME I NEED THEM!

Il read it when I get the book.

Melanie Katherine wrote: "Your review looks so put together and I wanna read it so bad but this is one of those books that I dont think I will be able to handle if I get spoilers - BUT AT THE SAME TIME I NEED THEM!

Il rea..."

Hehehe! I know that feeling, love! I hope you're having the happiest of reading and holidays though! 💖xx

Annie The Cupcake I agree on every word

message 44: by liv (new) - rated it 4 stars


message 45: by lisa (new) - rated it 3 stars

lisa Once again, the end of another series for me. Your review (as always) was spot on, from how Emma and Julian ended up together (ooooh sHocKeR) to the full circle with Jace and Clary and the hot faerie threesome as Emma (and now I) refers to it hitting the spotlight was just fantastic. I have to admit I was skeptical about picking up TWP because Kit and Ty are not my most beloved characters of the bunch (that would be you, Mark) but Zara? Jace from Thule? Fucking Ash and Kit? Oh I gotta see this one now. CC has me by the balls till 2024, ladies and gentlemen. The one thing I’m pissed about is how Kit didn’t try harder to keep Ty from attempting to resurrect Livia. We just spent two books seeing what necromancy does to the world and only the very end is when he tries to stop it? Disgraceful. That whole bit with the demon being able to walk into the Sanctuary unscathed or the seraph blades not working on the demon or Thule Jace and Ash reappearing? That’s called biting them in the ass. Also, you can’t just name a book a character and make said character have a crappy storyline. Still, I enjoyed reading it and I’m happy you enjoyed it as well. I wonder what it says about me that I finished this in two days (procrastination at its finest) but took ten days to read Blanca & Roja 🤷🏽‍♀️💜.

Red_Queen_Lover Lovely review! I would have liked to see your thoughts on Kit and Ty's relationship though. I agree with the whole parabatai reciting thing, lmao

message 47: by Brin (new) - added it

Brin I loved your review! I’m currently on page 454 and I’m loving this book so much. It makes me so sad that this is the last book in the Dark Artifices series😢

Taasia ✨ I just finished, and I completely agree! This was definitely the weakest in the series, IMO! Fantastic review, Melanie! Also, thank you next for Horace is absolutely iconic and we stan

Melanie Annie wrote: "I agree on every word"

Awh, thank you, Annie love! 💖xx

Melanie Olivia wrote: "BEST REVIEW EVER OH MY GOD"

Hehe! You are too kind, Olivia! Thank you! 💖xx

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