Queen of Air and Darkness, by Cassandra Clare

chainofnovels's review against another edition

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"Without sorrow, there can be no joy."

I can now say that I've reread all of Cassie's main series during quarantine.

What an accomplishment.

ohmydemigod's review

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I AM SO PUMPED FOR THIS BOOK. I need justice to be served. Please oh please.

Updated (12/27/18):

Rating: 3.5

It’s taken me some time to digest the events and my feelings about this book. Many things didn’t go quite as I expected them to, some for the better and some for the worse. And this has me feeling largely underwhelmed.

I very much like that the book picks up right after the events of the last book. Any gap in time would’ve felt disrespectful to the readers chance to mourn the two characters who passed at the end of LOS. I also really liked that Emma and Julian’s feelings were still known, even if to a select few unfortunate people, because if it were completely a secret again this really would have dragged on.

My favorite part of this book was by far the trip to Thule. Seeing Livvy was enormously helpful to the progression of the plot, namely for Julian. I also loved the diversity in characters and relationship. I’m always here for books that go against the norm and conventional plot lines. I will support and defend these characters until I die!!

To me, Annabel’s death was extremely underwhelming. And the whole demon “clone” was also immensely disappointing. In addition, I am very confused and disappointed about what happened to Ty. Kit was there to support and protect him (and he was so underrated), and Dru as well even though she was kept out of the dark, but I feel like he was abandoned in this book. Maybe I’ll feel differently once I do a reread, but I feel terrible about this outcome for Ty, and that entire plot line..

My biggest disappointment came in the ending. The standoff with the Cohort was very... odd to me. I do not like the outcome of that as well. The quick resignation there definitely surprised me. I was also a bit bored with the perfect “happy ending” this story was given. Everyone’s getting married, having babies, giving away positions of power. It felt almost cringey to read it all, like loose ends were being tied up just for the sake of a happy ending.

I am, however, excited to see what comes of he cliffhanger ending. I think this was the one major area with unanswered questions, what was leftover in Thule. As always, I will be eagerly awaiting the next installment to this series, because I still hold these characters close to my heart. Let’s see where this goes...

franstaffs's review

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adventurous slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


abookflower's review

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5 stars aren't enough.
5 stars will never be enough.

coachamanda's review

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***I have no idea why it says reading for the second time Im really bad at this but I have not even read it through once I just don't know how to work this thing

*****I have not finished this book I am only about 70 pages in so it could possibly get really good and I just wouldn't know that and I admit it. But now that I've said that I'll share my opinion of the first part because I have no desire to read further.

This book is terrible. I have never reviewed anything before, I never really felt a need, but this book is by far the worst book I have read in my entire life. The fact that this book exists gives my actual pain, and whenever I have to think about this book my overall day gets worse. The time I have spent reading this book is the most time I have wasted in my life. If I never have to hear the name Cassandra Claire again I will still have heard it too much. Now that I'm done with my initial rant, I'll give some reasons.

There are a few reasons why I feel this is the worst book I have ever read. It is amazingly liberally biased and makes no effort to hide that fact that it is making an effort (a bad one) at symbolizing our present political situation. The whole thing with building a wall and hating downworlders feels very cheap to me. The way I see it the two sides represent the two political parties, which is not a terrible deal on its own. The terrible part is because it is incredibly onesided and unbalanced. The Blackthorns and other protagonists are on the "good" side. I call it the good side because the objectives are so obviously morally correct that any sane person would agree to them. Not killing downworders. Pretty basic right? Not blaming a whole race for the crimes of a single entity. These ploys make it seem like these political sides the Claire has assigned to her books are very one sided. Obviously in this book one is right, but in the real world it is not so black and white. This brings me to my next point.

All of the characters are so clearly black and white. There are the good people and the bad people. Zara and her friends are so clearly bad that it gets unrealistic to most of the people in the world. I'll cite the "snickering" the the funeral. Really????? like what??????? why?????? They are so evil and I'm pretty sure no explanation was given to why???? They are just bad for the sake of being bad and giving to protagonists motivation and challenges. This makes that whole storyline boring and just ugh.

Though I understand that Claire likes to make her characters diverse, it feels like she is just looking at a checklist of character traits she has to include to make her book appeal to a certain kind of people. This makes it all seem very forced and overall really, really, stupid.

Lastly, I hate Diana's storyline. Let me make this very clear. I do not hate her storyline because she is transgender. I hate her storyline because the only thing she talks about is the stupid fairy guy. I hate it because it is so boring.

I hate the way this book is formatted. The fact that every character gets pov time is so ridiculous. It feels like every two pages they change. Right, when I would start to get into a characters plot, their section would be over and I would have to read a bunch of stupid unnecessary stuff and forget what was happening to this character. This style sucks!

One last little things about the series in general. I feel like it is just a money grab for Claire. The plot of the other books is basic at best, and she really enjoys telling the same story over and over again. The fact that she has revived her original characters (Clary, Jace, Izzy...) just feels very forced to me. I would rather have said goodbye after the last book in the mortal instraments than watch them get old and helpless.

So as I said, I am not even close to finishing the book, so it could get amazing, but sadly, I will never know. These are just the things that have been bugging me. So ummm, if you don't agree with anything I said, thats okay it's just my opinion on the book. I'm just being honest about some of my problems with it.

stephlg's review against another edition

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"Sometimes the bravest thing we can do is confront out own failings"

"I could slay them with my deadly sense of humour and wicked charm"
~ Kit

livnoe's review

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How am I supposed to wait for the wicked powers now huh? What even what the what what what now. I am the empty shell of a human.

eli_gv's review

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For the time being, I have no words. I will be writing a review soon.

It's been a full twenty hours since I've finished this book, and my thoughts are still scattered and all over the place, mind spoilers and a stream of possible profanities ahead

First of all, I was emo over this book before it even came out, I was convinced that we were going to get a heartbreaking ending that was devastating and signaling the end of all joy, thus, I'd mentally, emotionally, and physically prepared myself for the worst over the past year, five months, and twelve days from release date to the day when I had QoAaD in my hands. All of this is not to say that I didn't cry my eyes out.

But, while this book started off with a much darker tone, there were of course more lighthearted moments, my first laugh was on page 151 with Mark opening the door and standing there butt naked, I was too emo before then. Emma telling Dane "You sounded like an elephant. A sexist elephant." The OfficeMax situation that the faeries didn't get. Kit being a wonderful comedic relief, the Uber jokes, Kit saying:
"'I forgot my weapons. But I do have this fork." he wiggled it. 'You are so forked,' He said to Barnabas."

First and foremost, we pick up literally where we left off in LoS, not even forty pages later, Julian goes to Magnus to stop his emotions (loved how Magnus referenced Will) I couldn't I- the Blackthorns are devastated, and Julian's emotions are OFF? He can't even comfort them I-
My first tears were shed on page 45, like the buildup was no more and sister snapped and cried. And that was round one, that funeral was so- it was a double funeral and my heart actually couldn't and the illustrations really didn't help with containing my feelings.
Then as if seeing Ty climb up Livvy's pyre wasn't enough, we see Michael freaking Wayland appear next to Robert's pyre and it's page 66 and I'm crying again.

Ok, so Ty, the entire subplot with him and Kit doing necromancy... had me screaming. Ty, did we not just see Malcolm Fade play with necromancy to revive his girlfriend Annabel, who went batshit crazy and killed your sister? Ty, please. And the whole time, I was like, Kit will reason with him, he'll make Ty see that it's a terrible idea, but Kit- Kit, kind of really just wants Ty to be happy, so of course he's like, ya let's go get the list to bring Livvy back.
Christopher Herondale, please. And the more that subplot went on the harder it was for Kit to try to stop Ty, but he had so many chances.
That aside, I was screaming every time Kit described Ty, this boi is so in love, and I just kept hollering 'MY KITTIES" because while they were doing something supremely stupid that I wish I could've stopped, they were being adorable as hell. THAT HUG ON THE BEACH WAS SO SOFT. Will the repercussions of calling Livvy's ghost be terrible? Did she herself and Magnus, not say it? They did. Regardless of their emo ‘not saying goodbye and keeping their feelings hidden from each other’ *cough, not Kit, cough, who said: "'I love you, Ty. I love you.'" THE GASP THAT LEFT MY LIPS* I'm ready for an angsty ass reunion in The Wicked Powers, it'll be great, we love angst, Cassie can write some damn good angst. I want it, Cassie wants it, we’re getting it. I can already see it, it'll be wonderful.

I still can’t believe Kit Herondale confessed his love for Ty. But Ty said... nothing. He literally went like, y’all heard sumn?
And of course, in his embarrassment, Kit literally moved fucking continents I’m- He’s such a Herondale because that was a whole other level of extra.

Speaking of ships I'd die for and fight to save with my bare hands, Kierarktina? Markieratina? HOT FAERIE THREESOME, it happened, and it was everything. Who knew that we'd get a hot faerie threesome, with a soft ending. I have loved Mark since LM and he's wonderful, and Cristina is a kind-hearted badass, and Kieran turned into the softest boi ever, and they're so happy together. I'm emo, they DESERVE THE WORLD. I was terrified something was going to happen to our trio, but they're thrIVING, and I support them.

I must also note that Kieran's character development, was the most wonderful thing ever. He went from being very reserved and cold, to being the SOFTEST BOI OF THIS SERIES, fight me on this, his love for cat calendars? Him watching horror movies with Dru and asking her for relationship advice? Kieran loving honey? Kieran with powdered sugar in his hair? Kieran saying modern phrases? Kieran’s interactions with Tavvy? Kieran confessing his love for both Mark and Cristina? Kieran kissing both Mark and Cristina in front of everyone, literally right in front of Julian. What is this? That’s right, a LEGEND. I love him.

Ahem, Diana and Gwyn? Hands down, I love them. Diana is a freaking badass, and Gwyn is the sweetest, and they- they deserve the happiest of lives together, thank you. I didn’t expect to love Gwyn so much, but I do? And he comes through lads, gals, and pals. I need a novella where we see more on them.

Helen and Aline were everything I could've wanted and more. I love them, I love how Aline defended the shit out of Helen all the time and Helen was always doing her best. They're so wonderful, and I'm glad they're heads of the LA Institute. I’m so proud of my girls.

MALEC WAS EVERYTHING! I WILL GO DOWN DEFENDING THESE TWO PRECIOUS BOIS. Round three of intense tears and ugly sobbing was thanks to them. I was so scared when Magnus was dying and Alec was talking to Jace about regretting not having married Magnus and ugh, my feelings. The relief that went through my body when Gwyn gave Alec the Lake Lyn water. But I knew, I knew that they'd be okay and that they were going to have a wonderful blue and gold wedding on the beach like Magnus mentioned once, but Alec remembered. The fact that Alec gave Magnus a wedding rune pin since he can't have marks- and together they drew Alec's marriage rune... That whole scene made me feel like a proud mother even though they're both older than me. It was SO WHOLESOME.

Also, Alec being appointed Consul, and Mark being an ambassador to faeries in the Downworler-Shadowhunter alliance, Diego as Inquisitor? What is this wholesome and appropriate power distribution? Everything I could’ve asked for. My crops are watered, my wallet is full, me? I’m great. It's such a 180 from the messy ass hoes we had in power in QoAaD, I'm at peace.

Clace… they satisfied my heart any time they were on a scene, I loved them and I didn't know how much I missed them until they were there. I lived for every Kit and Jace interaction. And I loved having both of them as these leading figures and I’m so proud of them.

Sizzy was, still is, and will always be everything. Izzy’s cooking is still hell, but we love her. And Simon is still an adorable dork, and we love him. We love their relationship, though I wish we could’ve had a bit more of them. What’s up with their wedding? Is that happening? When will we see it? I’m ready.

Dru is a legend and that’s a fact try to change my mind. That right, ya can’t.

Protect Tavy 2kforever thanks

I love these ships and babies thank you.

Ahem, now, to address the Mothership of TDA

Emma and Julian... I mean, am I happy they got a happy ending? Yes. Do I trust that there will really be no repercussions? Hell to the no. I don't think that it was that easy, there were no consequences, they turned into giants burning with heavenly fire, and they stomped around the Imperishable Fields, killing Cohort members (I was so shook I stopped reading for five minutes just to process) and- there was no consequence none, their parabatai runes conveniently spoofed away. I don't trust it was that easy, shit will go down and it's gonna suck. To be honest, while I was living for the fight prior to Emma getting stabbed to near death. But beside that, I found the resolution to fall a little flat. I honestly thought that we would get such a devastating ending, I was prepared for Emma and Julian to not end up together, for them to be Mundanes, for them to die or something tragic like that. I mean the build up was so big, and the end was just a bit too... convenient. I thought it would’ve been very powerful if this series ended with absolute devastation. Especially since the next series is after Jem, Will, and Tessa’s story. We would’ve been emo for years just waiting for TWP. I just feel like it was an easy way out? And I would’ve liked to see a different type of ending. It just had the potential to destroy us and leave us on a bad and hopeless note but we got the happy ending again.

That’s all to say, I’m trash for Cassandra Clare, and that Malec wedding was everything, so... I mean, Cassie said this was the ending she felt was right, and I respect that. But the Malec wedding could’ve been its own thing. I felt the last 100 pages were flat save the Malec wedding. The resolution and climax were over and the rest felt a little unnecessary.

I really liked Diego’s and Jaime’s brotherhood in this book? It was kind of everything.

Also, two random details:
1) The Alec tapestry went full circle and I loved that
2) That scene on Malec’s wedding, when Jace is playing the piano (wholesome) Kieran a flute (mah boi) and Simon his guitar (the nostalgia)
Can I petition they make a band and play exclusively at weddings and parties? They can become the MOST popular freaking band.

Now to address the elephant in the room... Thule. I have one word: EW. Umm, maybe, EUGHH or even a loud and unapologetic FUCK.

When I say I hated being in Thule, I mean I hated BEING IN Thule. Listen, it was a world of pain. And while it was very engaging, I wanted to get the fuck out as soon as humanly possible. All that anger and disgust toward Sebastian, came rushing back in a damn instant, I didn’t like being there it made me so emo, seeing Livvy actually destroyed any remaining emotions out of me. I could make a list of everything I hated about Thule but- you know what, I will:

The fact that Clary died in Thule
Sebastian won in Thule
Jace is Sebastian's slave, he's literally bound to that nASTY HOE
Sebastian 2.0 said he “preferred redheads” I actually gagged and slammed my open palm onto my desk in disgust
Magnus turned into a demon and asked Alec to kill him, and he couldn’t deny Magnus that so he did Then he killed himself... to which, I- first of all, literally- WHO GAVE ANYONE THE RIGHT FOR THIS, I just want to talk...
Jem is dead in Thule???
Ty is dead in Thule????
Tavvy is dead in Thule?????
Dru is dead in Thule??????
Julian and Emma were Endarkened???????
Livvy was left alone. Who’s crying? ME BITCH
Izzy’s dead??????????!!!!!!!!!!!!
Simon is who knows where the fuck!
Parabatai all turned into monsters overnight
Shadowunters don't EXIST?
DiD i MeNtIoN sEbAsTiAn?!

The only thing three things I liked about Thule, were
1) We had Livvy
2) Raphael, he was- I love him and I missed him, and he was able to make laugh with his embarrassment on Malec naming their kid after him.
3) That wholly satisfying moment when Julian got revenge on Annabel and killed her, he stabbed her like Annabel stabbed Livvy. I was rooting for Julian.

Most of the time though I was like: Cassie, I don't want any of it, you can keep it.

As for Zara, I've said this since Lady Midnight, she can choke. I can't believe she was blackmailing Diego in LM, she insulted Alec and Magnus in LoS, was a bigot in all three books, took credit for the death of Malcolm, and, she was the worst in this book, she had absolutely no compassion for the Blackthorns, was outright disrespectful during Livvy's funeral, took Emma's sword and was sauntering around with Cortana (Who does she think she is?) and she stabbed Emma on the back (like a coward) and then stabbed Emma in the chest! I was livid, and I wanted giant Emma and Julian to step on her. She was a bitch for the sake of being a bitch and she’s a character that just gets my blood BOILING.

Livia's Watch had me emo, we love unity. No, but that scene of the Alliance marching toward battle had me in chills. That whole battle was FANTASTIC.

Kit being a descendant of the First Heir... that scene when he just poofed away the Rider's horses and his hands were glowing I- MY NOTES WENT FULL CAP LOCKS... I can't wait to explore more of that it'll be interesting, especially if he has to go to faerie, he can become the leader the Seelie Queen and Unseelie King wanted. My boi Kieran can be with Mark and Cristina. It will definitely be interesting to see Ash and Kit together, I think their dynamic will be very interesting since they're opposites in a way, Ash is the darkness to Kit's light. Ash is the son of Sebastian fucking Morgenstern and the Seelie Queen, whi- woah, I just processed Ash and Kit are distantly related... Ew. Get that NASty relation away from my best boi Kit Herondale. The Seelie Queen is Kit's like great grandmother or something, oh no.
Speaking of oh no, Evil Jace. He, can choke. He wants Clary, and I don't really want him near Clary or Jace Jace, or anyone, really.

While I don’t trust all that, I think this book served as a really good set up into The Wicked Powers. The ending had that air of the calm before the storm, which I'm sure will ensue in future books. I don't really see it as a finale, there were some ends left lose, that's why I see QaAaD as a sort of bridge into the next series. I’m not mad about it nor am I wholly disappointed.

I'm so excited to see Kit and Ty and Dru as our protagonist, because speaking of, Dru is one of my absolute favorite characters, I feel like she's so underrated and I love her! There's so many things that will happen, I'm ready to see Kit perhaps develop or learn to control his faerie/Shadowunter magic. I’m pumped to see him living with Jem and Tessa, and you bet he will be the softest big brother, I'm calling it. Yes, Tessa is pregnant, and I'm so happy for my Jessa to be soft and living their best lives.
I'm excited to see Ty at the Scholomance and how he'll do there. (I will not rest until we get an angsty Kitty reunion in TWP, mark my words it’ll be Angst Central)
Dru may go to the Academy, and that’ll be interesting to see for sure. GAH I JUST LOVE DRU.
I love my protagonists for The Wicked Powers so MUCH, UGH!

As for our villains, we have Ash who I don't know will be bad for sure, but he is a weapon, so I don't trust him. The Seelie Queen will of course have a very big role in how she continues raising Ash, she could tip him into falling onto darkness completely. We also have the fact that Ty has Livvy's ghost permanently tied to him which- I just- *incoherent sad mumbles* there will surely be consequences for that which we'll see in TWP. Do I want to see those consequences? Not really???? And there’s Evil Jace who will surely fight with Jace Jace and I-

Also, it appears Ash has a crush on Dru… and I'm pretty sure Jaime and Dru will have a thing in TWP when she'll be older. It will be an interesting love triangle to see develop.

Nevertheless, this was a great read, I'm very excited for The Last Hours and The Wicked Powers (it's years away) but, it's Cassie, so it's worth it and I know since TWP may very likely be the final Shadowhunter series, it'll be kickass as hell and 100% worth the wait. I’m getting emo just thinking about it, so I’ll put the brakes on that thought.

Can’t believe I forgot to mention this, but that epilogue was so unnecessarily evil. Literally hit my feels like NO ONE’S BUSINESS. I wasn’t ready to get more attacked than I’d already been but, ok, go off sis. Hit me in my 2015 City of Bones first read-through feelings, I guess.

ironkittyrebel's review

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if only cassandra write our regional soap operas, it would've been interesting to watch. there is this term we use in my mother tongue(tamil). thodar kadhai(தொடர்கதை). i would like to say that Shadowhunter world is literally a thodar kadhai. i mean what the fuck was that epilogue?

1) the book was sooooo long that could put you in a sleep or could save you in a zombie apocalypse. i mean throw it at any oncoming zombie, you'll slay and survive. i loved everything but sometimes i was overwhelmed by the sheer volume and that's why it took me months to finish? also there are toooooo many plot lines and those are hard to follow and will be forgotten in the next page.

2) i would sell your soul to the roadside demon if Blackthorns can live happily ever after. they deserve happiness. i love their bond so much it hurts if something bad happens to them. even the thought is beyond scary. i was weeping when they approached the giants(you know who and when). the talks they did to bring certain people back. i was ugly sobbing when i was on my way to work. i have got no tissues with me. tears-snot-running-down-cry. it was embarrassing as fuck and also shoutout to the guy who was sitting adjacent to me for not asking why I was weeping.

3) am i the only one who was uncomfortable with mark-christina-kieran thing? look, i can't just accept it okay. it's soooo strange.

4) Julian Blackthorn. that's it.

5) Alec and Magnus are fucking married bro. this moment will go down in history of lgbt literature. i love them soooo much. oh god the whole thing was soooo beautiful i was giving aaah and oooh sounds in the middle of the night

6) also that thing with Ty. i was beyond frustrated to see his actions. i can totally understand but i just can't. is it because i'm becoming an adult? now that is scary.

caterina_x's review

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I remarked to someone recently, when I was halfway through the book, that it felt long because of too many subplots, but I realised I was wrong. There weren't any subplots, they were all plots. And that was my main issue with this installment. I've read 1000-page books in the past and never tired of them, but here I was often frustrated. When I finished, I actually said "Finally."

My issues:

--Too many POVs. Everyone was a POV; even someone who was supposed to be a cameo (Alec if I remember correctly?) had a POV section. None of the POVs had a different voice, and occasionally I'd be unsure whose POV I was reading for several paragraphs. Several of these sections weren't necessary at all, imo. What was the point of having Helen's POV, for instance?

--Too many stories happening at the same time (the subplots I was talking about). Instead of a central story + subplots, we followed each one in detail. Every Blackthorn plus their friends were deemed central to this story and thus all the plots were afforded equal space in the narrative. It made the book sprawling and not in a good way. A lot was happening at the same time, but there wasn't a decent sense of progression, of things actually happening and moving forward. I felt impatient at several points of the narrative.

--In this book I was reminded why I'm not a fan of Clare: everyone (who was of age) got paired up. I wonder if she's terrified of a character ending the book single, that it means it's a failure of them. Even Diego is hinted at becoming close to someone, in a desperate attempt to assure us that he didn't stay single. As someone who's been single for a long time, I'm almost offended. The worst part was how this affected the pacing: not only did we have to follow everyone's plotline, but we also followed each and every romantic side-story in full detail. The pure fluff love declarations in the end (by almost everyone) are the kind of writing I hate and I skimmed all of them.

--Another reason I'm not a fan of Clare's prose: half of her word count is Julian's blue eyes, his "sea-green glass bracelet", and Emma's blond hair. The book might have been a good deal shorter if we weren't reminded of the "Blackthorn blue" eye colour every other page.

--The cameos from TMI stopped being cameos and became secondary characters. They were there in half the book. It's fun to see familiar characters (the point of a cameo), but at some point my head hurt trying to make sense of the huge number of named characters interacting together.

--There was a resolution of sorts, but when you're a mega-selling YA author you can get away by not resolving everything in the final book of a trilogy. Instead, you use it to set up the next one.

All in all, although I enjoyed the fast-pace and the immersive, uncomplicated fun of the previous two books, I felt disappointed by this one. I'm not a huge fan of Clare's and although the first two TDA books started changing my opinion of her writing, now I am firmly back in my belief that she's not for me. They're good fun, if you like this sort of story & the endless romantic adventures of young adults, and I'm happy I read the trilogy, but I'm also very happy that I read it for free on scribd and didn't pay for it. After reading 2500 pages of Clare-writing in a short space in a time, I'm satiated and will be pleased not to read anything of hers for a few years.