Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare
Raise your hand if you’re a Shadowhunter fan! And another if you miss the TMI characters! And a foot if you love Simon!
*hovers in mid-air and raises all body parts for good measure*
Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy is a compilation of various short stories detailing Simon’s life and lessons at the Shadowhunter Academy, shortly after the finale of City of Heavenly Fire, the final installment of Cassandra Clare’s indescribably fabulous The Mortal Instruments series. It’s a combination Simon’s resent-day shenanigans and academy lessons told as flashbacks with familiar characters. Oh, yeah–the familiar characters is key. All of the stories told in TFTSA are either Simon’s or that of another from TMI or TID (with the exception of Nothing but Shadows which gives a little preview of the MCs of the upcoming prequel-sequel series, The Last Hours). It. Is. Glorious!
Dear sweet Simon Lewis is all grown up and becoming a Shadowhunter! After losing his memory in CoHF, hero-of-the-shadow-world Simon enrolls in Shadowhunter Academy (which has reopened to replenish Shadowhunter ranks with mundanes after the Dark War) so that upon graduation/Ascension he’ll have his memories back. I loved Simon in TMI but I genuinely adore him in this: he’s both a hero and an advocate, while still being his adorably awkward self. Plus you get to see how he acts when he’s taken away from our familiar TMI people and put into a new situation with new people in a world he’s forgotten existed, which is interesting in itself because it makes Simon and his growth the real focus point. Let’s face it–Jace and Clary and Alec and Magnus and Izzy all have an uncanny ability to distract our Shadowhunter-obsessed minds with their presence; TFTSA is meant to be Simon’s story and giving the rest of our beloved characters only guest appearances ensures that.
Because it’s a compilation of a bunch of different stories, TFTSA is reeeeeaaally difficult to do a traditional review for without spoiling anything (at least for me, probably because I/m overexcited). So instead here are ten non-Simon people/things or whatever that stood out:
- WHY MUST SHADOWHUNTERS ALWAYS BE SUCH INSUFFERABLE DICKS TO MUNDANES WHEN IT IS LITERALLY THEIR DESTINY TO PROTECT THEM?????????
- George is my new best friend.
- Also George could be my new boyfriend. Hi, Scottish hot-stuff–are you by any chance a descendant of Jamie Fraser?
- Izzy and Simon are still perfection no matter how much they fight.
- Will and Tessa, my bbs! How I’ve missed you!
- Robert Lightwood you still annoy me.
- James Herondale and Matthew Fairchild–I don’t need to wait for TLH to know that we will get along just swimmingly.
- Jonathan Cartwright and Marisol give me life.
- Magnus and Alec, I loved you then and I love you still and I will love you forever.
- I will never tire of Jace and Clary’s relationship. Never. Never ever.
See? So many Easter eggs! So many reunions! So much TMI love all wrapped up with a precious Simon-shaped bow!
One thing I will say that is marginally negative (I know, I’m sorry) is that most of the stories are entirely or primarily in another POV or about another person. While this was absolutely wonderful at giving glimpses into other lives we’ve missed, I would have enjoyed getting to see more of what it’s like at the Academy just for Simon.
All in all, I really enjoyed this book. Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy thoroughly combines demon-slaying with Clave politics (a major theme of TDA) and Shadowhunter-mundie dynamics (an on-going issue), and it throws enough references to/appearances of major players of the original TMI books that we get to see how all their lives are now, but not so that they eclipse Simon’s story . It–surprise, surprise–proves a worthy addition to the Shadowhunter world!
Click here for the book synopsis on goodreads!
PS. I STRONGLY recommend reading this before Lady Midnight if you haven’t read either yet. If you’ve read LM already, and even Lord of Shadows I would seriously suggest pausing to read TFTSA before Queen of Air and Darkness or Chain of Gold come out–there’s a ton of fun, cool, cute tidbits and details you’ll miss otherwise that add a little extra something to the series 🙂