The day after tomorrow is the day we have been waiting for since the day we finished reading Lord of Shadows, which for some was its release day back in May 2017, which is why I have compiled a list of everything* we know about the final The Dark Artifices book (*or maybe nearly everything since I’m not a robot 😉 )
I started saving links as soon as Cassie shared the first piece of information about Queen of Air and Darkness so buckle up, dear readers, because this is going to be long, but I hope you’ll still read it and leave comments:
First of all, we do know that the book “title references a poem by A.E. Houseman called “Her Strong Enchantments Failing” and the chapter titles are once again from a poem by Edgar Allen Poe. This time it’s City in the Sea.
Another thing we know is the jacket copy text:
What if damnation is the price of true love?
Innocent blood has been spilled on the steps of the Council Hall, the sacred stronghold of the Shadowhunters. In the wake of the tragic death of Livia Blackthorn, the Clave teeters on the brink of civil war. One fragment of the Blackthorn family flees to Los Angeles, seeking to discover the source of the disease that is destroying the race of warlocks. Meanwhile, Julian and Emma take desperate measures to put their forbidden love aside and undertake a perilous mission to Faerie to retrieve the Black Volume of the Dead. What they find in the Courts is a secret that may tear the Shadow World asunder and open a dark path into a future they could never have imagined. Caught in a race against time, Emma and Julian must save the world of Shadowhunters before the deadly power of the parabatai curse destroys them and everyone they love.
- There is no time jump, Queen of Air and Darkness starts right after the events of Lord of Shadows.
- “Emotionally, I think Queen of Air and Darkness will not, though I can understand why one might worry, be an unremitting tragedyfest!” and it’s “about how grief changes people in ways that are sad, transforming, deepening, even positive; how death doesn’t have to be a pointless waste — how you can honor someone’s memory in a way that changes the world. In QuaD are funny parts, and there are happy romantic parts and friendship fuzzies and squee parts, because life is a mosaic of feelings and because loss doesn’t mean you’ll never laugh again, and you may value those good moments even more than you would have before.”
- The book “will wrap up the main story for the major protagonists yet leave threads open to be picked up and continued.” There seems to be a cliffhanger (of sorts).
- There is going to be “[o]ne wedding, one funeral, one execution.”
- A Shadowhunter will kill another Shadowhunter.
- There will be deaths, but we don’t know how many characters will die.
- The Clave will be very different at the end of the book.
- “We’ll learn more about the blight in Queen of Air and Darkness”.
- “at least one of the locations is somewhere we’ve never been before. Somewhere very strange…”. and “there’s a whole middle section of the book that is set in a location we’ve never encountered before. I think it’s going to give rise to a whole lot of speculation, and be a fun addition to the Shadowhunter world!” This place is probably Thule that Cassie mentioned in an inteview with her publisher.
- All the warlocks’ magic is depleting and we’ll find out why.
- “The warlock sickness does become more serious.”
- Since all the warlocks are sick, “it is left to the Shadowhunters to try to figure out how to save them.”
- The Riders will be in QoAaD and we’ll find out what consequences Emma is going to face after Fal’s death.
- It will be a “big deal” that the Mortal Sword is broken and not around.
- “Possibly TMS [the Mortal Sword] can be re-forged, or fixed in a magical way — that’s part of what QoAD is about.” and “there is a LOT of upset in the Clave about the breaking of the Mortal Sword, with pro-Emma and anti-Emma factions believing different things.“
- We will find out what the Dark Artifices are. Cassie said “they aren’t precisely objects.”
- QoAaD “is a book with a lot of epic happiness and epic sadness”
- The book is 893 pages long (including the ‘sequel’ to A Long Conversation).
- The epilogue is set about two weeks after the last chapter.
- The epilogue is from the Seelie Queen’s point of view!
- There will be two epilogues.
- The last word is “good“.
- The sequel to A Long Conversation is called A Love That Never Tires and it’s set during the epilogue.
- We have met the Queen of Air and Darkness.
- The whole First Heir situation is going to be “elucidated“.
- “There’s a theme that recalls sleeping beauty, and a significant scene regarding thorns.“
- We do see a ghost.
- Cassie suffered a lot when she was writing Queen of Air and Darkness. On a scale from 1 to 10: “10. I thought I might die. 🙂“
Julian and Emma
- The effects of the parabatai curse will cause a physical change in Emma and Julian.
- “You’re definitely going to see some unexpected effects” of the parabatai curse.
- “The curse works differently at different times. You’ll certainly see why it’s working strangely in that part of QuaaD when you read it but I can’t tell it to you — it’s a big spoiler.”
- The parabatai curse will be resolved and we’ll find out why romantic parabatai love is forbidden.
- Emma “grieves for Livvy like a sister would. Her grief is very raw and intense — in one scene she sobs uncontrollably over some of Livvy’s old clothes because she was about to put them in the wash for her, and then remembered there was no point. :(“
- “Julian uses some…unorthodox methods to deal with his emotional state.”
- “There’s an interesting bit in Queen of Air and Darkness where Emma talks to Julian about something one of the Cohort said, in which they mocked him for having a girl parabatai“.
- “We will see Julian’s studio again and briefly, the art room and portraits”.
- Cassie didn’t specify/tag this, but it’s likely that Emma and Julian will have sex in a proper place like a bed in QoAaD.
- Julian is going to interact with Cameron.
- “Helen has a POV that runs through the story and covers her and Aline taking over the Los Angeles Institute, their relationships with the Blackthorns and others, their need to deal with the Cohort’s policies, etc. They discuss their time on Wrangel, but not extensively since they’re so focused on the emergencies happening now. And Mark and Helen definitely have some thoughtful and serious time together.“
- She will find out that Julian used to run the Institute and we’ll see her reaction to it.
- Helen worries that Dru won’t love and accept her, and worries she has no idea how to deal with kids or raise them.
- Helen will meet Kieran.
- Helen and Aline “meet a Faerie who reminds them of Taylor Swift.”
- “Dru is a secondary character, which means she has her own arc and storyline but drives a different set of narrative choices than say, Julian or Emma.” and “She also has some fun stuff to do with Kit and Ty in QuAAD.“
- She is a badass in QoAaD.
- Dru worries Helen has been away so long that they won’t understand each other, and resents Helen for doing the things Julian usually does because it feels to her as if he’s being replaced.”
- Dru is going to have a sister – brother – moment with Julian and “Dru and Kit have some good friendship moments as well.”
- She will interact with Maryse and with Jaime.
- “Dru and Kieran watch a horror movie.”
- “you will glimpse one of Dru’s new friends in TWP in a crowd scene.”
- “He does become closer to Dru, and also to Kit.”
- “He goes to a diner. He finds a woodrat. He toasts marshmallows. He eats potato chips for breakfast. He encounters a dancing warlock.”
The Blackthorns in general
- The Blackthorns, especially Dru, will have a good relationship with Aline.
- We can expect something surprising from Livvy.
- We learn more about Eleanor Blackthorn. “It’s mentioned in QuAAD that she had a body shape a lot like Dru and Dru can wear her old clothes.”
- “Obviously the dynamic between Kit and Ty is going to be significantly affected by Livvy’s death. It’s a crushing occurrence for Ty, and the way he responds to it is going to affect his future and his relationship with Kit. Kit is desperate to make sure Ty is okay in the moment, so much so that it may blind him to longer-term issues.”
- “you’ll get the answer to Kit’s mother’s identity in Queen” but we won’t know “entirely what that’s going to mean for Kit — that part is TWP.”
- “Kit interacts more with Jace”
- It is possible that Kit and Ash are related.
- Cristina will “have a robust romantic story.”
- We’ll see more of Mark x Tina x Kieran. Their dynamic a big part of the story. Their relationship “grows more complicated, and the three of them grow closer.”
- We will meet her mum.
- “You’ll find out more about how the Rosales family became close with faeries in Queen of Air and Darkness”
- Kieran’s true name will be revealed.
- We will meet Oban, another one of his brothers, and find out about Kieran’s life before the Wild Hunt; “about some significant things he did.” Adaon will return.
- Kieran being an exiled prince “is even more significant in Queen, where we start to see how the politics of faerie are falling apart and building back up again, and what role Kieran has in all of that. Who will sit the Unseelie Throne if not the King we know is a big piece of the QUAAD puzzle, and Kieran is integral to that — with Mark, or Cristina, or both, by his side. ;)”
- “Diego is the one who takes care of Kieran in the Scholomance (along with Divya and Rayan) and it’s all from his POV. The Scholomance experience really changes Kieran, in the way he looks at the world, at Shadowhunters and even at his own responsibilities to his people. In the meantime he annoys Diego by sleeping under his bed, and Diego feeds him juice, berries, meat, and anything else unprocessed. :P“
- Kieran and Diego “actually get along pretty well!”
- Cameron Ashdown will surprise everyone in QoAaD.
- “[a]ll things involving Cameron” are unexpected.
- Cameron “has some hidden depths you’ll see on display in Queen, and an unexpected part to play.“
- Cameron’s sister Paige and his cousin Vanessa show up. and we “also find out Cameron was behind a significant plot point in Lady Midnight.”
- “Cameron’s role is pretty complex, but we do see him interact with Emma and the Blackthorns. And I’m going to say yes, he does have a love interest different from Emma, in a somewhat unexpected way. O_o“
- “The red of the dress is important actually, and is a dress she wears in the book — you’ll find out why!”
- The missing runes on the book cover will also be addressed.
- “Annabel has her own motivations and priorities that are quite different from those of any other character in the series, and in QuAD you’ll get to see more of what those motivations are.”
- We’ll also find out whether she is still capable of positive emotions like love.
- “You’ll definitely see more of Ash, and in unexpected ways. He’s important to the story going forward.”/ he has “a more significant role to play and [is] several years older – that time in Faerie works differently thing is strange and interesting indeed!”
- Ash “does some rather surprising things and may have some rather surprising powers.”
- He “appears in QoAD in some unexpected places, making some unexpected alliances.“Ash is “important to the ongoing story”.
- The Ash and Dru connection does have “some interestingly strange elements…”
Characters from The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices
- Church will provide “an important clue to our heroes.”
- Magnus, Alec and their children are in the book. Max and Rafe will comfort Tavvy.
- “Alec get a huge promotion offer in December…” and “Alec has a much more significant job waiting for him”.
- We will see the Lightwoods’ reaction to Robert’s death “through the eyes of the Blackthorns, Emma and Kit.”
- Clary’s “visions will be addressed again and you’ll find out what happens to her”. Fans will have closure.
- About Clary and Jace: “Of course we find out what happens to them both. They are close friends with our protagonists and important people in the Shadowhunter world!“
- We’ll find out why Clary and Jace’s runes work in Faerie and what their secret mission is.
- “Jace certainly has feelings about Robert’s death and we do get to see them. Whether Jace and Clary can make it to the funeral though depends on if they can make it back from their mission safely … “
- Clary appears to have a POV in QoAaD.
- Simon and Isabelle will feature and Julian is going to interact with Izzy.
- Simon and Kieran will meet again.
- “You’ll definitely hear more about Simon’s experiences and where he is with his Judaism in Queen of Air and Darkness”.
- Lily and Maia “both do show up, though I would say Maia has a bigger part than Lily.“
- We’ll also see Bat. He and Maia will be “doing some unexpected stuff.”
- Catarina Loss will also return.
- Jem and Tessa will appear and we “do learn a significant thing” about them. Tessa is also affected by the warlock sickness.
- Luke and Jocelyn, and Maryse make an appearance.
- Jaime and Diego are reunited.
- QoAaD will serve as further introduction to Jaime, who is going to be important in The Wicked Powers.
- Diana will have a POV in QoAaD and “you’ll get to learn more about her feelings for Gwyn firsthand.”
- Diana and Gwyn “have to navigate the difficulties of human/faerie romance (especially with the Cold Peace and war coming), Diana’s issues with the violence of his job, dangers they are both in, etc. But the connection between them is strong and Gwyn truly loves and admires her.“
- Rayan “along with Divya Joshi he forms a sort of power triad with Diego at the Scholomance, in terms of the Centurions who aren’t assholes. He helps Diego hide Kieran, and rescues Kieran from a specific and unusual torment set up by the Cohort. He also runs afoul of Horace Dearborn …“
- “It’s a big cast so while of course we need to build on our main relationships, there’s room for some new interactions as well.”
- We have seen Shade in a previous book and we will find out who he is in Queen.
- Sister Emilia from Learn About Loss “makes a brief appearance”.
You can read two excerpts from Queen of Air and Darkness here and here – please note that information from these are NOT included in the article. Also make sure to check out the snippets that Cassie has shared so far.
And now, last but not least, I thought I’d share Holly Black’s reaction to Queen of Air and Darkness with you:
Oh, you are not ready for Queen of Air and Darkness. I don’t even know how to describe what happens. Everything that you think you know, what could happen, you are so WRONG! There is something that happens yeah. … But you’re gonna be so happy. So so happy! I know it’s useless but OH MY GOD! I know this isn’t helpful but NO REALLY!”
So that’s what we know. If I missed anything important please leave a link to the information in the comments or tweet me @Catreads.
Please bear in mind that some of Cassie’s responses and snippets are over a year old so some things might have changed and not be in Queen of Air and Darkness after all.