Books Read March 2016

REVIEWS

LADY MIDNIGHT

Cassandra Clare

5 stars

Perfect! Readers are launched back into the world of Shadowhunters five years after the events of The Mortal Instruments. Set in a world within our own that you can’t help but crave to be a part of, revisiting the world of angels, demons, werewolves, vampires, nephilim, and warlocks is such a treat. Julian and Emma were twelve when we first met them in The Mortal Instruments series, now seventeen and living in the Los Angeles Institute, this is their story…
Emma’s parents were found murdered in City of Heavenly Fire, and five years on Emma is still seeking the truth of what happened to them. The Clave believed it to be Sebastian Morgenstern who killed the Carstairs during the Dark War, but Emma has always know there was more, that something didn’t add up, and answers are finally within her reach.

This book holds a lot of familiarity, allowing readers to pick up and comfortably fall back into the world – the investigation, the fighting, the humour, the romance, it’s all there, but there’s something new too. We get a fresh look at more aspects of Clare’s universe, mainly the bond between parabatai and Shadowhunter laws. I loved the mystery in this book, the twists, the unknown. It was so gripping. And the characters, as always, come out of the page and pull you into their story. Emma is fierce and loyal and I fell for her right away. Julian is sweet and gentle, with a strong, passionate undertone that we only catch glimpses of. I loved that about him, the layers and mystery to his character. I enjoyed getting to know both our main characters and look forward to continuing the journey alongside them.

The references to past books, from quick comments to character appearances, were great. Though, if you haven’t read The Mortal Instruments series, or (like me) haven’t finished The Infernal Devices trilogy, beware of spoilers!

I am yet to read a Cassandra Clare book I haven’t fallen hard for, and this was no exception. Lady Midnight has it all and more. I already love this series and I can’t wait to find out what happens next in the land of happy tears and heartbreak.

THE SHADOW QUEEN

CJ Redwine

The princess of Ravenspire was forced to flee the castle when the wicked Irina killed her father and took rule of the kingdom. Now nine years on, Lorelai and her younger brother Leo are almost ready to strike back. They’ve been waiting in the shadows, practicing magic and aiding the fallen country, until Lorelai is prepared to claim the throne as queen. But once Irina discovers Lorelai is still alive, with great power of her own, the heirs must take action. Both Lorelai and Irina move in against each other, using their powers and the strength of the land. Then Irina dispatches a dragon-shifting huntsman to bring her Lorelai’s heart . . .

I’m a big fan of retellings. I like starting a new story with a sense of familiarity already in place and looking forward to how the author will weave the original tale and existing characters into something new. I don’t think I’ve read a Snow White retelling yet and I was eager to get to this one. The gorgeously striking cover and map inside are wonderful, and the story that follows is equally so. Lots of action from the start, a glimpse into several parts of the enchanting realm displayed on the map, strong characters with unique abilities (magical bonds, dual hearts, shape-shifting), and a sweet romance. The use of magic between Irina/Evil Queen and Lorelai/Snow White is fascinating and I enjoyed getting to learn and understand their powers, their strengths, and their limits. Both characters have animal companions, which I love. A dragon-shifter huntsman . . . I love shifters, too! So this once ticked all the boxes.

Also read this month:

The Sleeping Prince by Melinda Salisbury 5 stars

Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding

(See all reviews on Goodreads here)