Review - Queen of Air and Darkness
The first book of 2019 was FINALLY read (I procrastinated about reading this one for several reasons) and I decided after my favorite books I’m going to pen a little review. I finished QoAaD on Jan 25th, and while it’s taken me a few days around work and other obligations to cobble this together, here we are!
You’re all thrilled, I know, but I’m doing it more for me than anyone else so… meh? And while I try to avoid it, this post may (will) contain SPOILERS for the novel and previous novels, so that is your warning.
Procrastination reasons: work, life, two jobs, etc, etc, but the main, MAIN one… I didn’t want it to end again. I reluctantly closed the cover on City of Heavenly Fire, and I sobbed my heart out at the end of the Clockwork Princess. I grow so attached to the world of the Nephilim that the end of the books comes at me with a kind of eager dread. Mercifully, the sting was taken out of this one with the knowledge that 2019 is the year of Cassandra Clare books!
So on to the review!
Queen of Air and Darkness brought us back to the Shadowhunter world to finally answer the question: WHY is love between parabatai forbidden? And while every chapter pushed us inexorably toward the answer (which is fucking INSANE, btw), the characters threatened to drag us in all other different directions with their discoveries, both those of the world and of themselves.
One of my favorite things about Clare, when the Shadowhunter books began, was that she was inclusive, and QoAaD is no different. While we began with Magnus and Alec, struggling to find their relationship in the chaos of the world nearly ending, we now have a multitude of characters discovering themselves and that what they love, or who, is perfectly okay. From Christina, Mark and Keiran’s poly relationship, to Diana’s transformation, Clare doesn’t keep herself from having characters that are finally true to so many in the real world.
Interestingly, that’s not all the inspiration she’s taken from the real world either. The current political and social climate is pulled into the Nephilim world and reshaped to focus on Downworlders and Shadowhunters, including who leads them and their motivations. For example, I’m sure plenty of people will have noticed that sneaky little ‘wall’ reference when Shadowhunters are speaking about containing the world of Faerie, and how utterly ludicrous it would be to do so. #ISeeWhatYouDidThere #AndILikeIt
The introduction of Thule, an alternate reality/dimension, also answered the question ‘what would have happened if Sebastian won?’ It gave a nice emphasis to how important and powerful our heroine Clary had been in the outcome of earlier battles, reminding young women that, yes, we CAN make one helluva difference in shaping our world.
But when all was said and done, was I happy with the ending of QoAaD? Yeah, as a matter of fact. Helped hugely by Clare deciding, screw it, let’s throw one helluva cliff hanger in there and drive every hardcore fan fucking nuts.
I highly recommend anything Clare touches. I’ve been a big fan of hers for many years, following her from when she started out writing fanfiction. For every hater out there whining about her monopolising on the Shadowhunter world… go fuck yourselves? Like, seriously, the argument you’re making is that how dare she continue to sell books based on the same world but all of which have their own heroes, heroines, and villains? How dare she make money on a great idea and writing about it?
Grow up. If you don’t like the books, don’t read them. If you’re angry that Clare got herself a publishing deal that gets all the books from the same world published? Sheath your envy. It’s showing.