“Being told that love is forbidden does not kill love. It strengthens it.”
Read in May 2017
My Rating: 5 of 5 stars
What a journey. What a torturous and epic journey. This is not a review, more of a booktalk, so it will be spoilery. Also thank you Pauline for insisting that I read this book. I’m ruined, but I’m so glad I listen to your advice girl!
Cassandra Clare’s writing has gotten so much better! I never finished TMI because I didn’t like the way she wrote, and boy, she has stepped up her game in Lady Midnight with a really pleasant writing style and a captivating plot. This
book masterpiece was so much more mature than her previous work and so so much darker, so much better than I could ever have imagined. I loved that Cassandra Clare took for granted that the readers were as familiar with the Shadowhunter universe as the characters were. It really helped me to not be bored at the beginning of this series by starting over the process of descriptive parts.
In Lady Midnight we are following Emma Castair, who had lost her parents 5 years ago, when she was 12. Even though their murders were attributed to Sebastian Morgenstern, a rogue Shadowhunter, Emma never believed the official version of their death and has been investigating ever since, gathering information and clues, living for her revenge. She lives in Los Angeles with her parabatai Julian. Julian’s father also died, so he is in charge of his 4 younger siblings, taking care of them, he had to learn to be a parent to them. He basically was deprived of his childhood and he had to be in charge and responsible. He had to grow up faster than he should have, bearing the weight of his family on his shoulders. And I think this is the reason why I fell in love with him so quickly, for the fact that being the one who had to take care of all of them, no one took care of him the way he deserved.
Emma is a wonderful main character, and now my favorite female Shadowhunter ever (goodbye now Izzie). She is a fierce fighter, so skilled, every bit as badass, determined, and courageous as a heroine should be. She is sometimes careless, but she also knew when to stop herself from being too reckless. I loved that even if she has so much grudge and anger inside her, she stayed so devoted to the Blackthorns. I immediately liked her, her layers and struggles made her so relatable (and also finally a blond character with light brown eyes I can feel close to), and I loved the way she was faithful to her Shadowhunter attire (both to her stele and to her sword, Cortana).
Jules and Emma’s relationship was beautiful and glorious and painful. The chemistry, tension, and understanding between them are tangible, and I shipped them since the moment Jules arrived back in the Institute. And I knew, I knew in my bone that they and I would suffer from that, the Angel punished us for this forbidden love. Indeed, Julian and Emma are parabatai, warriors bound for life, their souls linked. Parabatai are here for each other in every way, through physical and mental wounds, fighting side by side, they have a special connection that makes them stronger when they are together. But the thing is, they only can love each other in a platonic way, as romantic love between parabatai is explicitly forbidden by the Law. And the Law is hard but is the Law. And it made the romance so steamy, complicated and heartbreaking.
“We are bound together, Emma, bound together—I breathe when you breathe, I bleed when you bleed, I’m yours and you’re mine, you’ve always been mine, and I have always, always belonged to you!”
The growing tension between them was everything to me, I adore Julian so much and I felt his inner struggle, trying to suppress his feelings, I just need to hug him close and never let him go. I loved how the more I read about him, the more layered he became, not only a tender heart but also ruthless when he needed to be, to protect the one he loved (however, I’m a little scared by the path he has taken, sometimes not morally right. And with the title of the following book… I can’t help but wonder what’s going to happen to him). And those scenes, the one in the car, the dance in the Lottery, the one on the beach, the one in the painting studio. All of them, provoked so many feelings inside of me. Wrecked my heart. I
want need them to have a happy ending SO BAD. I need them to find a way to either make being parabatai and in love work or to break the parabatai bound. They have to. I’m begging you, Cassandra, be merciful of my heart. Save my babies, and please make Emma to not hurt Julian by faking being with Mark, I cannot handle the thought of Julian being hurt.
The supporting characters were so so well written. I don’t know how Cassandra managed to write so many different characters, each one with his or her own specificities. The only common point between them was their rebellious mind, making a point to never follow the rules, breaking them several times. I loved Cristina, she was such a good friend, just the right amount of sassiness (she and Emma would make perfect parabatai). I also loved all the Blackthorns. Ty was my favorite, I think it is the fact that he was considered different, it made me want to protect him even more and Livvy was so badass for her age, so protective. The twins were a necessary addition to their group. I liked Mark just fine, I wasn’t as in love as some may seem (maybe because I haven’t read CoHF?) I liked the fact that he was just not used to be around humans anymore, always with his weird comments; he really made me laugh so often.
In a nutshell, even with all the action and fighting, this book is about love. And love can take so many different forms. The love between members of a family, between friends, between parabatai, between lovers. About what one can or cannot do for love. About what one could our couldn’t handle for the ones he loves, what they are willing to risk. About the consequences of love. And I’m so grateful that I read about so many shades of love.
“Laws are meaningless, child. There is nothing more important than love. And no law higher.”
Pre-review: Thanks Cassandra Clare for breaking my soul.
Have you read this book? What did you think about it?