{ Review } Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare

3 stars

“Sometimes people get taken away from you whether you want it or not. And sometimes that hurts so much, it might be easier to forget.”

Read in February 2020

One of my new year’s resolution for 2020 was to finish the Mortal Instrument series, and here we are, only February and being done with that. I honestly thought that I would never finish this series, and I almost gave up on it several times. I actually first read City of Bones five years ago, almost to the day. The thing is overall this series didn’t win me, and that’s a shame because I really enjoyed the universe and many other Shadowhunter books are considered as my favourites. But unfortunately, I hate Clary and Jace with a burning passion and they made those 7 books almost unbearable for me, however I really liked Isabelle, Alec, Magnus, and Simon.


Speaking of Simon, I personally consider that Tales of the Shadowhunter Academy was to be included in TMI challenge because it features the same characters and it takes place directly after the events of City of Heavenly Fire. I already read the Dark Artifices series and one of my motivations for reading this book is that I needed more on my Blackthorn babies back story. CoHF and TotSA really fulfilled my expectations when it comes to that point, but it overall was quite long and even boring sometimes to read about. That being said, it’s time to properly start this review, but know that there will be spoilers for every book in the Shadowhunter world.

Welcome to Shadowhunter Academy ★★★☆☆

In this book, we are following Simon, who’s one of my favourite character in the Mortal Instrument series, he has lost his memory in the previous book, and he is enrolled to become a Shadowhunter. Honestly, the way he was ‘recruited’ felt a bit forced and unfair to me. His former friends wanted him to be back into their life, so they thrust the issue into him. And Simon, being the selfless and good friend he has always been, accepts to be pushed back into a life he no longer knows anything about for people he doesn’t remember knowing. The way it was handled made me kind of sad, to be honest. Since the Clave is desperate to shape new Shadowhunters to make up for the many losses they had during the Dark War, they decided to re-opened the Shadowhunter Academy and this is where Simon is going to study. We get to meet all those in-training Mundanes and Shadowhunter and already we witness the intolerance of some of them. However, I really liked George Lovelace.

“He waved good-bye to all these people he barely knew and somehow loved anyway, and he hoped they could not tell how relieved he was to be going.”

The Lost Herondale ★★☆☆☆

This one was really boring in my opinion. At the Academy, Simon and other students are sent to kill their first law-breaking Downworlder, and Simon is already questioning himself on the legitimacy of this decision. In parallel, we are introduced to Tobias Herondale, the brother of Will Herondale’s grandfather who is referred to as ‘The Lost Herondale’. The only thing I liked in this part is Catarina, she really is growing on me. It also made me consider that Clary could be a good friend when she wants to.


The Whitechapel Fiend ★★★★☆

Okay, I’m not kidding, I LOVED reading about Jem, Will, and Tessa trying to solve Jack the Ripper’s murders! Also, I really enjoyed Will as a father. This novella made me realize that I miss the Infernal Devices and that I really need to read this series one more time before the Last Hours coming out next month.

Nothing but Shadows ★★★★☆

I’ll always have a soft spot for Will Herondale, and by extension, to his kids, including cute James Herondale. In this novella, Simon is learning about James’ first time at the Academy, and all the hard time he had because of its warlock powers he inherited from his mother, Tessa. I love how Jem is an important uncle in James’ life, and his relationship with Matthew Carstairs was so beautiful. This is making me so excited for the Last Hours.

“You are the flame that cannot be put out. You are the star that cannot be lost. You are who you always have been, and that is enough and more than enough. Anyone who looks at you and sees darkness is blind.”

The Evil We Love ★★☆☆☆

This is the story I definitely didn’t need. I didn’t need to learn about how Robert Lightwood is an even more terrible human being that I thought he was. I didn’t need to know how homophobic and a coward he is. I didn’t need to read about his time in the 1980s while he was in the Circle, and I didn’t need to read about Valentine torturing Downworlders. The only thing I liked is Michel, his parabatai.

Pale Kings and Princes ★★★★☆

I really love Helen Blackthorn and Aline Penhallow, and their relationship is so pure. In this novella, we witness how Helen is treated because she is half-fae. She was exiled to Wrangel Island because of her lineage. She has come to the Academy to tell the students about his father and uncle encounter with faeries. It gives us some background for Arthur and Andrew and how they both lived their stay in Faeries. In this short story, we can once more see how Downworlders are treated like dirt.


Bitter of Tongue ★★★★☆

This novella got it all. Simon is kidnapped by a fae and he is saved by Mark Blackthorn. We can truly see his suffering, and yet how strong he remains. My heart is breaking for him and I understand more of his character in TDA. And Aline and Helen’s wedding… I just ship them so bad and, in my opinion, they really are a great f/f romance rep. Also, I’m at that point where I’ll give my whole soul for any glimpse of Emma and Julian.

The Fiery Trial ★★☆☆☆

Even though reading about Emma and Julian’s parabatai ceremony was what I was expecting the most from this book, and even though it tore my heart to read it, most of this novella bored me. I didn’t care about everything around Clary and Simon’s relationship, or about Maureen, and it felt so unnecessary. That’s being said, it was important to read about that event that would be a centerpiece of the Dark Artifices.

“True parabatai are linked long before the ceremony takes place.”

Born to Endless Night ★★★★☆

Yaaaay, I was wondering how Magnus and Alec got baby Max, and I’m so happy to have witnessed this happening. Magnus was so genuinely surprised to have all those things he never expected to have to happen to him. Magnus point of view was refreshing and I liked to read about how young and old he feels at the same time, how his immortality is no longer something he is sure of, having lost Raphael and Ragnor, and the fact that he is mourning immortals makes him reconsidering his vision of life and death. He got Alec by his side and he is still having first times with him.

Angels Twice Descending ★★☆☆☆


Okay, this story concludes a two-year journey, and I’m super upset with this death. It was useless and only served to give some depth to the act of drinking from the cup and to surprise the reader. It seems so unfair that George wasn’t seen fit to Ascend. In my opinion, he was the worthiest of them all. The story was leading him to become Simon’s parabatai, but I guess that wouldn’t have made Clary happy so let’s kill him off, that way, perfect Clary gets what she wants. It kind of ruined my mood for this whole series.

Overall, I gave this series 31 stars on 50 possible, I guess it’s a good enough average rating, but I’m still upset with the last novella. It gave me what I was expecting, meaning some ground to The Dark Artifices and The Last Hours but other than that I’m still mad.

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Have you read or will you read this book?
What did you think about it?

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French Book Blogger and avid reader 📚 - YA, Adult, NA, Fantasy, Contemporary, LGBTQ+, Romance -, LGBT & disability rep 🏳️‍🌈, Ravenclaw Potterhead △⃒⃘, English teacher 👩🏼‍🏫 living to travel 🌍, proud mom of Padfoot 🐕 and Juniper 🐈

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