My Rating. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Synopsis from GoodReads
Welcome to Edwardian London, a time of electric lights and long shadows, the celebration of artistic beauty and the wild pursuit of pleasure, with demons waiting in the dark. For years there has been peace in the Shadowhunter world. James and Lucie Herondale, children of the famous Will and Tessa, have grown up in an idyll with their loving friends and family, listening to stories of good defeating evil and love conquering all. But everything changes when the Blackthorn and Carstairs families come to London…and so does a remorseless and inescapable plague. James Herondale longs for a great love, and thinks he has found it in the beautiful, mysterious Grace Blackthorn. Cordelia Carstairs is desperate to become a hero, save her family from ruin, and keep her secret love for James hidden. When disaster strikes the Shadowhunters, James, Cordelia and their friends are plunged into a wild adventure which will reveal dark and incredible powers, and the true cruel price of being a hero…and falling in love.
Where to start? So I will try and keep spoilers to a minimum but I promise nothing. I just adored this book. It’s everything I love from the Shadowhunter world. Edwardian London. Herondales. Lightwoods. Magnus Bane. Idris. Honestly I could go on. Even though I had this book on pre order for forever and rushed to pick it up on release day I was hesitant to actually start it. With the Covid-19 epidemic running rampant around the world my anxiety understandably was at a peak. So I didn’t want that to ruin my experience with the book. Once my mental health was in a better state I decided to pick it up! And I’m so glad I did. It was like a warm hug off a friend. It helped me calm down even more. Throwing me back into a world I adore with characters new and old. Some of which we met in Tales of the Shadowhunter Academy, so I already felt like I knew a few of the main cast.
I’m still glad the Herondale overdramatise streak is still loud and proud in here. Not just with James but Lucie too. The characters are beautifully crafted and there are some really vulnerable moments in the book where you just want to run in and protect them! The dynamics between all boys. They really do love each other and are not afraid to admit it. The girls were just as well crafted and so modern for the time period which I know isn’t probably very realistic but whatever it’s fantasy.
The story mainly follows Cordelia Carstairs and her mission to save her family honour from being disgraced. She and her family move to London to be closer to her Parabati Lucie Herondale and her family. Cordelia who has always been in love with James Herondale and is devastated to learn James is in love with someone else. Grace Blackthorn the adoptive daughter of James aunt who despises the who Herondale line (read The Infernal Devices trilogy) and is out for revenge. So we spend the entire book with numerous will they won’t they encounters from multiple individuals. Sometimes it’s a little confusing. But throughly heartwarming and I already cannot wait for the sequel to be announced.
This whole cast of characters blend together really well and feel like an already well established unit. It was a fantastic introduction to the new Shadowhunter gang and was done in a way where you don’t have to have read all the other books in the Shadowhunter Chronicles to be able to understand what’s going on ( I do recommend it though ) One of the few little things that bugged me was how James referenced his parents as Will and Tessa rather than Mum and Dad. Such a minor thing but still one of my bug bears. I still definitely 1000% recommend this book though.