Simon Lewis has been a human and a vampire and now he is becoming a Shadowhunter. But the events of City of Heavenly Fire left him stripped of his memories, and Simon isn’t sure who he is any more. He knows he was friends with Clary and that he convinced the total goddess Isabelle Lightwood to go out with him … but he doesn’t know how. So when the Shadowhunter Academy reopens, he throws himself into a new world of demon-hunting, determined to find himself again, rediscover his relationships and ascend as a true Shadowhunter. But he soon realises that nothing is ever straightforward at the Academy…
“You love, and tremble, and burn. Do not let any of them tell you who you are. You are the flame that cannot be put out. You are the star that cannot be lost. You are who you have always been, and that is enough and more than enough.” – Nothing But Shadows
First I just have to comment on how flipping gorgeous this cover is. I am in love! Cassandra’s books always have such beautiful covers and I cannot express enough how much I love the spine. It just looks so amazing because it’s such a huge book and I love taking it off my shelf and running my fingers down it. The poster is also amazing! It’s just the cover of the book but it’s so pretty, guys. I love it so much!
Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy contains ten stories about Simon’s adventures at the Academy and they are as follows:
1) Welcome to Shadowhunter Academy
2) The Lost Herondale
3) The Whitechapel Fiend
4) Nothing But Shadows
5) The Evil We Love
6) Pale Kings and Princes
7) Bitter of Tongue
8) The Fiery Trial
9) Born to Endless Night
10) Angels Twice Descending
It starts off really slowly but it picks up so much as you get further in. It is over 600 pages so I’m not too surprised it started off a little slow but in true Cassie style, it was impossible to put down by the third story! I won’t go through the stories individually because it will take too long so instead, I will talk about my favourites and what I loved about them.
“To be a Shadowhunter was to live in the shadow of death.” – The Evil We Love
But first, the characters! I really loved Simon in this book! I couldn’t get enough of him in The Mortal Instruments and to suddenly have nearly 700 pages of him? Yes, please! I love how he always speaks his mind and if he doesn’t agree with something or think something’s not right he will always tell people exactly what he thinks. He isn’t afraid of being judged or trying to impress everyone and I really love that. Another character I became really attached to was George. He was so cute and dorky, I loved him. I really like how he constantly stuck by Simon’s side even when he had to leave their nice room for a mouldy one in the basement. He just supported everything Simon said or did and chose him as a friend over the true shadowhunters. George really stuck out for me over the other characters and even though they were in a lot of the book I didn’t like them or appreciate them as much as George. A lot of the time they were just background characters for me and not really important. Simon and George were the most important characters for me!
I loved how we got to see another side to Simon and Jace’s relationship! They got on a lot more and I think it was because Simon couldn’t remember all the jealously and hate he first felt forwards Jace and because he no longer had feelings for Clary, it didn’t affect how he felt towards him anymore. So he was able to get to know him better and talk to him more without all his feelings for Clary getting in the way. I really loved watching Simon fall in love with Izzy all over again, they are so cute together. It was nice not seeing him trying to force his feelings for her and just waiting for them to naturally happen and come back to him. It was so interesting reading about him after the events of City of Heavenly Fire. I love how we got to see him slowly start to remember everything and re-build all his relationships with everyone. I hope we get to see more of him as a Shadowhunter and possibly him and Izzy fighting together because that would be awesome!
Now to talk a little about my favourite stories! Out of all ten, I had three favourites and they are The Whitechapel Fiend, Bitter of Tongue and Born to Endless Night. I really enjoyed Angels Twice Descending until I got to the ending. I completely disagreed with the ending and it’s the first time I haven’t enjoyed how Cassie has ended her book. I won’t say why because it’s a major spoiler but if you have read it, I would love to know if you agree or disagree with me. So far I haven’t found anyone who agrees with me because they really liked the ending. I just felt really disappointed with the book afterwards, like I read over 600 pages and then I just felt like I was slapped in the face when I reached the ending. I don’t want to say too much because I’ll be drifting into the spoiler zone but just know I felt severely let down by it.
I think The Whitechapel Fiend shows why Cassie deserves to be called the Queen of Fantasy because she absolutely killed it in this story. It really shows why she is so amazing at writing Urban Fantasy because she took a story from 1888 and added her own unique twist on it and I thoroughly enjoyed it! It was really gripping and was full of many twists, it was a really exciting read and I cannot recommend this story enough. We got to see Jem, Tessa and Will all working together again to solve this crime and it was truly amazing! I love the relationship they have together, it’s so cute! I will definitely be reading this story again just because it was so interesting and was really action-packed!
As much as I really enjoyed The Whitechapel Fiend, I enjoyed Born to Endless Night a whole lot more! It was such a great story and a lot of it was actually told from Magnus’s perspective! It was a really funny and enjoyable read because we got to see more of Alec and Magnus’s relationship and Magnus is still as funny as ever! I was laughing so much reading this because Magnus is such a sassy character! I fell in love with him all over again in this story. Another reason I loved Born to Endless Night is because it also showed another side to Alec. I never really liked Alec in The Mortal Instruments but I really liked him in this story and I really do love his relationship with Magnus. As soon as I finished it I just wanted to go back and read it all over again! It’s a story I will never tire of because I just adore Magnus and Alec!
Bitter of Tongue was a real surprise because I did not expect it at all. I suppose I should have because it ties in with Lady Midnight but I really didn’t! We got to see freaking Mark and Kieran! Kieran was my absolute favourite character in Lady Midnight, I love him so much! Like even when he was only just introduced I loved him! I just felt an immediate attachment to him and that was that! He was my new favourite character! It hinted at their relationship and I loved how he was the light in Mark’s darkness. By the way, if you have read Lady Midnight but not this, it doesn’t really matter because nothing major happens to make you have to read this first. It just introduces Mark’s story, Kieran and the Wild Hunt.
I enjoyed this a lot more than The Bane Chronicles! I did enjoy The Bane Chronicles but I did find that it dragged a little and was quite boring in some places but Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy was absolutely amazing! It was incredibly funny and filled to the brim with all our favourite characters! I would highly recommend you read this if you haven’t already! Do not hesitate just because it’s short stories, you will love it! We find out a lot more about other characters and it’s actually quite surprising! It’s 600 pages of awesome and you need to read that awesomeness!