Review Blog

Mar 21 2019

Queen of air and darkness by Cassandra Clare

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Dark Artifices book 3. Simon and Schuster; 2018. ISBN: 9781471116704. 880p; p/b.
In this third instalment in the Dark Artifices series of Shadowhunter novels, Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorn must deal with the loss of Julian's sister and the Inquisitor, as well as the oppressive machinations of the latter's replacement. Even more so than usual for sequels, Queen of air and darkness is hard to get into at the start, being part of a well established series and spending a lot of time at the start dealing with the events of the previous book. However, once the reader's caught up and the new plot kicks into gear, there's plenty to like. While the antagonist's racist agenda is a bit one-dimensional and old hat, it's not the real focus, serving as a backdrop to explore troubled romances and the coping of loss, which it does well.
The prose is descriptive and engaging, and Clare proves she knows how to keep some levity in a grim situation without adversely affecting the tone. Fans of Clare's other novels will find this just as fantastic and enthralling as her other titles. The book makes use of a diverse range of character representations including transgender.
Some readers may be put off by the size of the book and due to the vast thickness of the novel, this is recommended for avid readers, lovers of Clare's other novels and bookworms. Although the sheer engaging and impossible-to-stop reading way Clare writes for her audiences, the story will seem like it is over quickly.
Vincent Hermann

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