Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy [Review]

SPOILER FREE REVIEW

Shadowhunter Academy Cover.jpgSynopsis (Taken from Goodreads.com): 

Simon Lewis has been a human and a vampire, and now he is becoming a Shadowhunter. But the events of City of Heavenly Fire left him stripped of his memories, and Simon isn’t sure who he is anymore. He knows he was friends with Clary, and that he convinced the total goddess Isabelle Lightwood to go out with him…but he doesn’t know how. And when Clary and Isabelle look at him, expecting him to be a man he doesn’t remember…Simon can’t take it.

So when the Shadowhunter Academy reopens, Simon throws himself into this new world of demon-hunting, determined to find himself again. His new self. Whomever this new Simon might be.

But the Academy is a Shadowhunter institution, which means it has some problems. Like the fact that non-Shadowhunter students have to live in the basement. And that differences—like being a former vampire—are greatly looked down upon. At least Simon is trained in weaponry—even if it’s only from hours of playing D&D.

Join Simon on his journey to become a Shadowhunter, and learn about the Academy’s illustrious history along the way, through guest lecturers such as Jace Herondale, Tessa Gray, and Magnus Bane. These ten short stories give an epilogue to the Mortal Instruments series and provide glimpses of what’s in store in the Dark Artifices.

Pages: 672

Goodreads Rating: 4.44/5 Stars

My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

My Opinion

This anthology has been sitting on my shelf since November, when the book was first released. It was staring at me longingly and since the show Shadowhunters returned (Honestly, I’m not even sure why I still bother to watch it), I needed a dose of what the Shadowhunting world is actually like.

In the end, I do regret not reading these novella’s before diving into Lady Midnight last spring. After reading the stories in Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy, I have a better understanding of the events and subplots from Lady Midnight and I wish I had that knowledge before I read that book. To sum up in fewer words, I highly recommend reading this anthology before diving into Cassie’s newest trilogy. (As always, our master storyteller has been tying in story lines from across all of her books, so it’s definitely best to read the books in order!)

Overall, I greatly enjoyed the characterization in these stories. We got to meet new faces and go on adventures with old faces, and learn more about the pasts that have effected the current outcomes of the world. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that Simon was one of my all time favorite characters from The Mortal Instruments, but seeing him in this context and seeing him dealing with so many different issues definitely brought me to respect him in a different way. I was also surprised by how attached I grew to the newer minor characters that we didn’t get know as well. I’m also curious to see whether or not we will be getting a further glimpse of them in the future…

Although there were moments where I could definitely tell that Cassie wasn’t the main writer on some of the stories, I could also tell that the team of authors who brought these pieces together have a deep love for and understanding of the Shadowhunter world. If anything, these ten stories helped to enrich the world building that Cassie has been working so diligently on in her other books. Not only that, but these stories touched on the finer aspects of the world building – of politics, history, beliefs, and everything that makes a shadowhunter.

Another observation I made was my surprise as to how immersed into the stories I get. Usually I have a hard time reading anthologies and skim over the stories. That was not the case with this novel in the least – I found myself taking the time to soak in the adventures and characters and gave myself the opportunity to thoroughly enjoy everything on the pages. I didn’t rush through this – considering it took me ten days to read it, which is due to my work schedule and family events – and I’m very happy that I gave myself the time to enjoy it.

If anything, these stories have gotten me more excited for Lord of Shadows, so I’m counting down the days until May 23rd!

*****

The Shadowhunter Chronicles (In Chronological Order)

*****

“I think sometimes it’s too hard to believe in yourself. You just do the things you’re not sure you can do. You just act, in spite of not being certain. I don’t believe I can change the world – it sounds stupid to even talk about it – but I’m going to try.”
― Cassandra Clare, Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy

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