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The class book review: Lady Midnight, by Cassandra Clare

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Title: Lady Midnight
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Children’s UK

Teacher review

Cassandra Clare’s novels are the first to go from our library shelves. They are like hot-cakes. Everyone wants one and devours them in the quickest way imaginable, savouring their taste as they burn feverishly on the tongue. When I was asked to review Lady Midnight, the first in a new series of Clare’s "The Shadowhunter Chronicles" world, I eagerly accepted – knowing that many of our students would want to review them. And I was right.

I love the phenomenon that Clare’s books bring. A couple of years ago, I attended the Hay-on-Wye literary festival and listened to Clare speak about her final book in the "Mortal Instruments" series. The queues, fan art, costumes – everything was unimaginable. As an English teacher, I loved seeing the impact that these books were having on young people. I wanted to high-five every teenager there, saluting their reading powers and the fact that many had travelled to Hay, a small Welsh village, just to meet Cassandra Clare. I mean, wow. If a writer can get that response from teenagers, they have my endorsement.

Below we’ve got three of our fantastic Year 10 students reviewing Lady Midnight. I’ll leave them to it, for they’ll do a far better job than me.

Amy Newsham is head of English at Central Lancaster High School

Pupil reviews

Hold your breath, for once again CASSANDRA CLARE, one of the most talented writers in the world, has come up with a new novel, which, no doubt, is one of the greatest novels. In a new storyline, this novel clearly explains the strong bonds of a family – obviously featuring shadowhunters.

It features a girl named Emma Carstairs and her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn. Parabatai is a sacred bond two can have: they can be everything to each other but they cannot ever fall in love. Emma wants to find out who killed her parents, but this is put on hold when bodies of both faeries and humans turn up, bearing the same marks that were on Emma’s parents’ bodies. Together, Emma and Julian try to solve this mystery. Things happen between the two of them, which are rare and should not happen. This can lead to them not being shadowhunters anymore.

All of them, family and friends, have to put all their efforts in to solve the mystery in two weeks. Julian Blackthorn and his family are in major danger as the murderer has something to do with the Blackthorn family.

But…there are questions: 

  • what if one of their own betrays them? 
  • would Emma be able to find out the murderer in time to save the Blackthorns? 
  • would Emma and Julian break one more law? As it says: “THE LAW IS HARD BUT IT IS THE LAW”.

If you are crazy about the Shadow World, I bet you would like this novel. It makes you crazy. I could have read it in one night if I could but I couldn’t. I think these Shadowhunter novels are going to get as famous as Harry Potter. 

Fuhaira Chaudhary, Year 10

This novel by Cassandra Clare is a gripping tale based on the hunt of revenge by the character Emma Carstairs, who eagerly attempts to reveal the truth behind her parents’ deaths. It is difficult to describe the content of this book, as each character is significantly developed with a storyline of their own that all add up to uncover the mysteries.

This novel I personally found intriguing as each character has their own secrets that complete the novel and detail their personalities. The key theme within this storyline is trust between Emma Carstairs and her best friend, Julian Blackthorn, who are uniquely bonded through parabatai.

The world in which Cassandra Clare has created in her Shadowhunter series is slightly chilling – particularly when you consider that she has single-handedly imagined this miniature society. Her series of books are well thought-out and have many twists and secrets to uncover as the truth of the characters unfolds.

A definite five-star must-read, and I look forward to the next book in the series being released.

Mo Duncan and Dellen Drake, Year 10

If you or your class would like to write a review for TES, please contact Adi Bloom, on

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