“Well, I’m a Lovelace. My family quit Shadowhunting due to laziness in the 1700s.”
-Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan, Welcome to Shadowhunter Academy.
Hey guys! I was recently sent a copy of Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy from the lovely people at Walker Books and was excited to delve back into the world of the shadowhunters again!
While this post doesn’t contain any spoilers from this particular book in it, it is set after the entire series of The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices, so if you haven’t read or finished those two series then look away now! Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy contains spoilers for both of those!
I didn’t know much about this book going in and was surprised to see that it was written not only by Cassandra Clare, but also by Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson and Robin Wasserman. Happily though, all 10 of the novellas were seamlessly written and worked well with each other-you couldn’t tell that they were written by more than one author.
As I mentioned before, this book is set after the events of TMI, and is based around Simon. After being a human and then a vampire, he’s now becoming a shadowhunter-which means that he has to go off to the Shadowhunter Academy, undergo a few years of training and learning everything there is to be learnt about the shadowhunter world and then be tested at the end as he sees if he can ascend as a shadowhunter. But there’s one, tiny snag: After the events of City of Heavenly Fire, Simon has lost his memories, and is feeling insecure in his own identities and especially in his relationships. He can’t remember the times he’s shared with his best friend Clary, and he definitely can’t remember how he managed to get Isabelle Lightwood, deadly goddess and kickass shadowhunter to go out with him.
Over the space of 10 novellas, some longer than others, we see Simon’s journey through his years at the Academy, the challenges he faces, the new and old characters that are brought into each story and Simon becoming the person he wants to be.
I like Simon as a character, and his snark and wit are unparalleled, especially against the sometimes quite stuffy beliefs of the older shadowhunters’ world and outdated opinions. It was fun to see Simon as the one to go through the academy as he’s more of an outsider to the shadowhunter world than other characters, so you can imagine more what he’s going through as opposed to someone born into it. I also loved the snappy dialogue between Simon and his roommate, George, particularly the things that concerned them-the low standards of food, dank living conditions and difficult physical activities, along with the interactions between Simon and Isabelle.
My favourite part of this bind up of novellas is undoubtedly the range of characters that are brought into the stories. I wasn’t expecting this and it was great to see them appear at various points! Not only did we see Clary and Isabelle and Jace, but characters from TID and The Dark Artifices were also brought into it all. I would definitely recommend reading this one before you start on The Dark Artifices, as it shows what’s happening with a lot of the characters a few years before the events in Lady Midnight. Although it’s not necessary reading, I wish I’d read it before Lady Midnight as it adds more detail to the rich world of the shadowhunters.
My only issue with this book is that although it was fun and interesting to read, the writing style reminded me more of the first few books of TMI-it was much simpler and more basic. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed reading TMI, but personally, I feel that Cassandra Clare’s books have just gotten better and better, and the world building and beautiful turn of phrases in Lady Midnight and Lord of Shadows are just brilliant. Because of that, I’m giving this one 3.5/5 stars. Definitely read it if you’re a fan of the shadowhunters world, and particularly Simon!
Thanks for reading! Has anyone else read this one? What did you think of it? And would anybody be interested in a blog post on which order to read the shadowhunters books in?