** Spoilers Ahead**
The Clave are dicks. I mean seriously. In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, the Clave is the who rules the Shadowhunters, with the Council that makes the decisions. They are not the most understanding of people. They are definitely judgemental. For those who read City of Heavenly Fire know that outcome of the Dark War lead to the Shadowhunters basically cutting ties with Fairies because of their roles in Sebastian Morgenstern’s rebellion. This meant that the two older Blackthorn siblings, Helen and Mark who are half fairy. Mark was taken by the Wild Hunt at the beginning of the City of Heavenly Fire and Helen was banished to Siberia by the end. They both had nothing to do with Sebastian and the fairies who fought with him but since they had fairy blood, the Clave was afraid they were side with them so they banished one and abandoned another. So basically because of the actions of a few, everyone like them are punished. (Does that sound familiar to anyone?) Emma’s parents were found dead with strange markings, blamed on Sebastian’s rebellion even though their deaths resemble nothing that he or his followers did before or after. Emma is convinced that their death is not related and their killers are still out there but the Clave have shut the door on in. That leads five years later when Lady Midnight begins.
I had some concerns about reading this book but ultimately decided to go ahead. I had already bought the book. I’m glad I did. It reminded me more of the original trilogy of The Mortal Instruments. New characters in a new city. It also had a little bit of a different set up then past books. It’s a more of a murder mystery then anything else. There have been several mysterious murders around LA. The deaths of mundanes and fairies have been showing up with the same strange markings that covered the bodies of Emma’s parents but the LA Institute can’t investigate because it involves fairies and they are off limits thanks to the Cold Peace. Even more off limits, talking to fairies, so when an Envoy of them show up, Emma, Julian and company must make a decision. Especially when Mark is part of the the bargain. The book is fast paced, full of twist and turns. Their investigations lead them to a murder cult to necromancy and not knowing who to trust. Emma is a warrior, spurned on by her need for vegeance. Julian, her parabatai, though only 17 is everyone’s caregiver. Since Mark and Helen are not there and their Uncle Arthur is not fully capable it has been up to him to make sure things work. The other Blackthorn siblings, Twins Livia and Tiberius (Ty), Dru and Tavvy all play parts. And Cristina, a Shadowhunter from Mexico City. As they investigate they have to keep it secret from the Clave because they can’t know they made a deal with Fairies or that Mark is back. Mark is very interesting character. As half Shadowhunter and half Fairy, he has always been a boy of two worlds. No more then he is now. Time in Faerie moves differently so in one way years have passed for him but in another way he hasn’t aged at all. He know looks the same age as Julian, even though Julian is now five years older. Mark has accepted that the Shadowhunters were not coming for him so pledged his allegiance to the Wild Hunt. I think the Blackthorn siblings thought that when Mark came back he would be the same as he was before but he’s not. He has to learn all over again to be a Shadowhunter.
They are so many great characters. I love the gender flip that Emma is the warrior and Julian is the caretaker. Emma has had relationships but Julian had not. Ty is autistic but Shadowhunters don’t know what that is. The Clave does not respond well to Shadowhunters who are different nor do they think anything in Mundane is worth while. Mark is Bisexual and Cristina is Latina. All these differences are presented in positive lights. You can say what you want about Cassandra Clare but her books are full of diverse characters and that should be celebrated. If I do have one grip is that at times I felt Clare brought up past characters for no reason then just to bring them up. In some cases it made sense to have Magnus, Clary and Jace show up as they now hold high positions within the Clave but the other times it wasn’t necessary. They had their story. I want to read about Emma, Cristina, Mark, Ty, Livia and company. Let’s keep it that way. Other then that I enjoyed it and I’m curious how the mystery will unfold. To learn more about the Parabatai curse and how Kit fits into all of this.