A friend of mine, Isa from the Bookdutchesses, was reading the Ghosts from the Shadow Market novella’s and was telling me about how some of the novella’s are linked to the TDA books. So by saying this she basically talked me into reading them as well asap. Originally, I was planning to read them when the entire printed book would be released in 2019. But she had me so excited that I decided to not wait any longer.
So when I started reading these novella’s, I was really enthusiastic because of Isa’s enthusiasm and of what she told me about the novella’s already. And of course because of the character that would be a huge part of the stories; Brother Zachariah. TID being my fave books of all shadowhunter books, meant that these novella’s were bound to become precious to me.
Continue reading with precaution!
These novella’s contain spoilers for when you haven’t read the prior written books yet and when talking about them I might spoil some things here or there if you aren’t familiar with what happend in the Infernal Devices and the Mortal Instrument books. I try to minimize the spoilers as much as possible though!
Also: In hindsight, looking back to my own experience, since I’ve read Lady Midnight & Lord of Shadows first, I definitely recommend reading these novella’s before reading Lord of Shadows at least, since there are some details from these novella’s that will resurface in the Dark Artifices books. When you’ve read the novella’s, there’s just a bit more background story to some things resurfacing in the TDA books, so it just provides you with an even more beautiful reading experience I think. It isn’t necessary persé but I’d definitely recommend to not skip these novella’s!
In this article, I’ll be posting my mini reviews on Every Exquisite Thing and Learn about Loss , #3 and #4 in the series. Because I have quite a huge intro and conclusion in these particular articles, I decided it would be best to split all my reviews since there are 8 mini reviews in total coming your way.
#5 a Deeper Love
It is only three years since Tessa Gray lost her beloved husband William Herondale, and she is searching for a reason to live, trying to find the path of being a warlock with the guidance of her friend Catarina Loss. World War 2 rains down destruction on their world, and Tessa and Catarina become nurses who make bargains at the Shadow Market for enchantments to help suffering mundanes. But can Brother Zachariah bear to see the woman he loves risk her life, or might he consider breaking sacred vows to save her from loneliness?
Beforehand, I knew I wasn’t really ready to read this one, knowing Tessa was still grieving over Will – just F*** my life, because I grieve him still as well all these years after finishing Clockwork Princess’s epilogue for the very first time. Thinking about Will shatters my heart into a thousand pieces and makes it skip a beat or two or three at the same time. Thankfully it wasn’t as emotionally ‘heavy’ to read as I was expecting. Sure, I was gutted on numeral occasions because of referrals to Will and of what happened to Brother Zachariah in this one for example, but still. It was more bearable than I would’ve thought beforehand, lol.
At this point in December, London was at its darkest. The sun went down just after three in the afternoon. Because of the air raids, London was under blackout orders every night. Blackout curtains blocked light from every window. Streetlamps were turned off. Cars dimmed their lights. People walked the street carrying their flashlights to find their way through the velvety darkness. All of London was shade and corner and nook, every alley blind, every wall a dark blank. It made the city mysterious and mournful.
To Tessa, it felt like London itself grieved for her Will, felt his loss, turned out every light.
In this story we follow Tessa when she’s in London helping Catarina, a warlock we’ve come across before in other shadowhunter books, during World War 2 in a local Hospital where they care for the wounded. She’s trying to go on without Will and struggling with the knowledge that her descendants will grow old and die as well – being a warlock and immortal is only now fully impacting on her after her saying goodbye to Will. It’s heartbreaking.
“She did not know how to do this, how to go on agelessly as her descendants grew older than her.”
Meanwhile Brother Zachariah gets mixed up in something bad with the Fey, when looking for a Lost Herondale – and I am so intrigued to see how this part of the Herondale line got mixed up with the Fey and can’t wait to read more about that. This search also reunites him with Tessa, who he’s been kind of avoiding for the years after Will died because well, we all know it; there are just too many feels when it comes to these three and add in the death of our beloved Will < too much to handle.
Those bombs would be falling near the Institute, near St. Bart’s hospital where Tessa worked. Fear for her ran through Zachariah, cold as the river cutting across the city. In these empty days since Will’s death, emotion was a rare visitor for him, but when it came to Tessa, feeling always bloomed.
They’re both grieving Will and seeing Tessa and Jem/Brother Zachariah having ‘a moment’ was so precious and beautiful and so frigging heartbreaking at the same time, knowing that Jem isn’t in a place where he can do something about it all. They are both so lost without Will but when they’re together, because that human part of Jem that’ll always belong to Tessa and Will and not to the Silent Brothers is still so very present here, there’s still so much to look forward to, to hope for… right?
“I know what you are thinking.” His voice in her mind was soft. His skin under her hands was so warm. She knew it was fever, but she told herself it was not. She lifted her face and looked into his, the cruel runes shutting his beloved eyes forever, the unchanged planes of his countenance. “I think of it too. What if it ended? What if it were possible for us? A future? What would we do?”
“I would seize that future,” she said. “I would go with you anywhere. Even if the world is burning, if the Silent Brothers hunted us to the ends of the earth, I would be happy, if I was with you.”
I loved it so much to get to know Catarina a bit better, seeing how she’s only been present fleetingly throughout the books that have been published so far. And Catarina is really one of my faves knowing how caring she is towards others. I love that about her so much. I really hope we get to read more of her in the future because I need more of her!
So basically this is a story in which we get to read more about Catarina, which was just awesome I think. And a story in which we have a bit of a Tessa/Jem moment, which they both so very much deserve. There’s also a bit of story-line going in regarding Brother Zachariah’s search for a Lost Herondale which makes you want to continue reading even more so, since it’s all mixed up with the Fey. So, yeah, I think this was yet again a really great addition and can’t wait to share my reviews of the next stories!
#6 the Wicked Ones
Celine Montclaire goes to the Shadow Market to escape. She would go anywhere in Paris, or the entire world, to escape the suffering she experiences at the hands of her family. She did not expect to meet Valentine Morgenstern there, or to have him promise her freedom and the heart of the man she secretly loves. On one condition, of course. At the Shadow Market, nothing is for free.
Another super interesting short story, this one. This time we’re in Paris in 1989 and we’re following 17 years old Celine Montclaire, who was recently added to Valentine’s Circle.
Reading her story was really heartbreaking and sad I have to say. Learning about her upbringing and past made me so angry for her because her parents were so terrible and it has influenced her so much throughout the years, and not in a positive way I think. She is so strong when it comes to survival but so vulnerable as well when it comes to so many other things and because of that, she is so easily manipulated by Valentine. My hate for him keeps growing when reading this novella and seeing again how cruel he can really be, damn.
“We’re only doing this because we love you”, her mother would say before locking her in the basement. “We’re only doing this because we love you,” her father would say before lashing her with the whip. “We’re doing this because we love you,” when they set the Dragonidae demon on her; when they dumped her for the night, eight years old and weaponless, in a werewolf-ridden wood; when they taught her the bloody consequences of weakness or clumsiness or fear.
I think this was a great addition seeing we get some more insight into Valentine’s Circle and some snippets of characters who were a part of it, like Robert Lightwood and Stephen Herondale. And because of the scenes with them in it, this story was not only dark and saddening and heartbreaking, but lighthearted from time to time as well. Celine, Robert and Stephen – even though Robert is already a sneering son of a B…. in this one – was so much fun to read. I’d definitely see these three being a great group of friends who go on all sorts of adventures together. I enjoyed reading about their time in Paris a lot!
“You sure there’s not some kind of rune to keep these foul beasts away?” Stephen Herondale said as a thunderous flutter of wings descended. He ducked, whacked blindly at his feather foe.
The flock of pigeons quickly passed, without dealing any mortal blows. Céline waved off a couple of stragglers, and Stephen breathed a sigh of relief. “My Hero,” he said.
“The great Herondale warrior afraid of pigeons?” she teased, hoping he wouldn’t hear the quaver in her voice.
“Not afraid. Simply exhibiting a prudent amount of caution in the face of a potentially demonic creature.”
“I look upon them with great suspicion,” Stephen said with as much dignity as a pigeon-phobe could muster.
Seeing the bargain Celine struck with Valentine and him sinking his claws deeper and deeper into Celine, I’m really curious to read more about this all. This has doom, heartbreak and disaster written all over it. I mean, we know how it all went for a lot the Circle members but still… I’d just love to read more about Celine – I’m just so greedy hahaha. There’s still so much potential here, so much possibility’s and things that could be explored.
These two novella’s were so amazing to read! Even though they were really emotional and heartbreaking at times, I’ve devoured them whole. I just couldn’t stop reading! I loved seeing Tessa and Jem/Zachiarah having a little moment together in a Deeper Love.
And I really liked reading about Celine in the Wicked Ones as well as coming across Stephen Herondale for example and a younger Robert Lightwood and reading more about Valentine too. That was all so interesesting! And I especially really hope we’ll get more of Celine in the future! She was such an interesting character to read about.
Reviews of #7 and #8, the last (for now) novella’s, are coming your way soon as well!