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.
This review contains spoilers.
It’d just like to start by saying that my thoughts about this book are probably going to be deeply unpopular because unlike the majority of fans, I really didn’t like this. I was really hoping that it would be better than Lord of Shadows but it was actually much worse and I don’t understand why it was 900 pages. It could easily have been 300 because barely anything happened all throughout.
My main problem with this story was the romance. I really hate when the plot takes a backseat to the romance and this definitely happened in Queen of Air and Darkness. If Cassie wants to write a romance book then she should just do it! She shouldn’t completely take apart a fantasy book and turn it into a multiple different romance stories. We had Emma and Julian; Mark, Kieran and Cristina; Diana and Gwyn; Helen and Aline; Alec and Magnus; and then this weird relationship between Ty and Kit. I seriously don’t know what is happening with them but I really don’t care because they are the most uninteresting characters to me.
I was especially disappointed with the route she took for Mark, Kieran and Cristina. Cristina had so much potential to prove herself to be a badass Shadowhunter – Cassie even hints at it in Thule! – but instead we got a girl obsessed with two guys and this weird threesome! I was expecting it but it still didn’t make it any less bizarre. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very happy for these characters but it didn’t need to be their WHOLE STORYLINE. They could have done so much more but they didn’t and that really frustrates me.
Speaking of Thule… what even was that? It was over 100 pages long and I was so bored throughout. The whole time I was reading this I couldn’t stop thinking about City of Heavenly Fire because it felt like I was just reading that all over again but instead of Clary killing Sebastian, Emma does. Then characters who had died, namely Raphael and Livvy, were alive and that ticked me off. We already had Sebastian’s death in Heavenly Fire and it was much more meaningful because of the previous books but this version of him dying? I didn’t care. Why did we need that? If I’m reading a new series, I want it to be different and this book felt like Cassie took bits from the other series and combined them in Queen of Air and Darkness. There was just nothing original about this book!
I was really annoyed by how much Annabel is missing from the story. Considering the title is referring to her and the first book hinted at her being a monster – where the hell was she? Apart from killing Livvy she didn’t do anything and she died so easily. Such a disappointment because I really wanted her to be a powerful enemy but it seemed Cassie forgot about her because she was too busy making every character fall in love with each other!
Then we had the original characters making an appearance: Jace and Clary; Simon and Izzy; Alec and Magnus. That really annoyed me because it felt like she was just bringing them in because of how successful they made her, not because they were needed in any way whatsoever. I read six books with these characters, I’m ready to move on. I’m reading The Dark Artifices for the Blackthorns not Jace and Clary. Plus it felt like they were only a shadow of their former selves – like she brought them back but not all the way. Either bring them back or don’t (preferably the latter). The story at the end with Magnus and Alec getting married was nice but it was also kind of boring. I think I just wanted to be finished with this book and my annoyance spilled over which kind of soured their wedding.
The ending also felt like we’d be seeing more of Jace and Clary which again annoyed me. I understand each series links to one another but come on, she has created a vast world and for some reason she keeps writing stories about the characters from The Mortal Instruments. I want new and exciting characters. I want new stories! But instead I’m just getting a copy paste version of The Mortal Instruments? I can’t be the only one who feels this way?
So that summarises my feelings towards this book. I can’t believe how massively downhill this series went! I absolutely loved Lady Midnight but the next two books were huge disappointments and I’m not quite sure why Cassie chose to make them so romance heavy. With that being said, I am still interested in her 2019 releases and will definitely be buying them. I just hope they are better than this trilogy was!