Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare
Goodreads challenge: 131/70
Some lights were never meant to burn for long.
Talk about an unpopular opinion. It’s been nearly three weeks since this novel’s release, and I think I’ve seen one person give it less than four stars. That’s it.
My situation with Queen of Air and Darkness is an odd one. I read up to page 250 and considered DNFing it for the first time, but persevered. The thought returned shortly after page 300, and again a bit before 400. At page 438 I stopped; I told myself that I didn’t need to force myself to keep reading even if it was a Cassandra Clare book. However, I was curious about the ending, so I flipped to the epilogue. While interesting, it didn’t tell me much. Then I flipped toward the end — I’m not sure of the page but I had roughly 150 pages left — and skimmed most of what remained. I read most of the final battle, though I don’t know exactly what caused it, and the very end. So no, I didn’t DNF it, but I skipped a good portion of the middle.
What do I call that?
Because I didn’t fully finish Queen of Air and Darkness, I refrained from rating it. Nonetheless, I have thoughts, and that’s what this review is for.
Can I call this a review?
Let’s start with what I liked.
My absolute favorite part of this beast of a book was the relationships. While I did love the friendships many characters shared and the familial — Blackthorn and otherwise — bonds, my favorite was the romance, hands down. I won’t name names, as this is the trilogy conclusion and romantic relationships can be spoilers, but oh, my heart! There’s a married sapphic couple, a trans woman finding confidence as she finds love, and a perfect polyamorous trio that was everything Herongraystairs had the potential to be. Now I’m breaking my no names rule, because it’s absolutely necessary to mention that everyone’s favorite gay couple *cough* MALEC *cough* is back and gayer than ever! My queer heart is so happy, it could burst.
I liked getting to know some of the other characters, like Kieran, Dru, Cristina, and the Seelie Queen, and seeing beloved characters again.
SEASON 2 SHADOWHUNTERS SPOILERS
To be quite honest, it was weird seeing Jocelyn alive. She was only mentioned a handful of times and always in passing, but it’s been so long since I read a CC book that I lowkey forgot she was only dead in the show.
One thing I didn’t like was that characters from The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices were drawn back into the plot. Cameos and occasional fighting and/or magical assistance is one thing, but returning them unnecessarily to the spotlight is entirely another. They had their books, their problems, let’s get back to Emma, Julian, and company, thanks. I can’t be sure of anything, but the epilogue was certainly suggestive of what’s to come.
My biggest issue, though, is the pacing. I’m going to be blunt and say that I don’t think this novel needed to be 900 pages. Normally I devour CC’s books. This time around, I was bored out of my mind and debating whether or not to continue reading 250 pages in. 250! Less than a third of the way through! I don’t know what happened between pages 440 and 750 (approximately) but prior to page 440, I was so bored that I skipped all of that. I’ve never done that in my life, with any of the hundreds of books I’ve read. If this sounds overly dramatic, it’s because it’s one a.m., but you get my point. The story seriously could’ve been condensed.
Since I didn’t read the novel in its entirety, I’ll conclude here. Queen of Air and Darkness definitely wasn’t everything I hoped it would be, but I do plan to read Cassandra Clare’s future work. She has a lot going on in 2019, two books and a novella collection, if I remember correctly, and I’m hoping that I enjoy those considerably more.
Have you read this book? If so, what did you think, and if not, do you plan to? Which of Cassandra Clare’s series is your favorite? I’d love to know!
Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a fabulous day/night! Merry Christmas to all who celebrate!
Until next time…