WARNING: SPOILERS FOR THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS AND SOME FOR THE TEN STORIES IN THIS BIND UP
“Loving someone doesn’t mean you’re never going to make mistakes.” ― Cassandra Clare, The Evil We Love (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy)
December 7, 2016
I want to be a Shadowhunter!
Doesn’t everybody? I mean c’mon! You get to be a badass angel warrior, you always get to wear black, and you live in victorian style mini castles…is that the right words to describe Institutes? Probably not. Anyways, I finally read “Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy” by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson, and Robin Wasserman. This collection of ten stories that were previously released as eBooks follow the adventures of Simon Lewis as he goes through the esteemed Academy in hopes of Ascending to a full bodied Shadowhunter.
Just like “The Bane Chronicles”, this is a bind up of all ten and also gets a look at other people rather than just Simon. For example, my favourite story of the ten is “Born to Endless Night”. It follows Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood while still focusing on Simon’s life. There are stories that involve Jace, Clary, Isabelle, Maryse, Robert, Jem, Tessa, Will, and much more. We get more of a backstory on a lot of characters all while catching up with the OG team.
If you have read “City of Heavenly Fire” then you will know that Simon lost his memories when he sacrificed himself for Magnus. The entire novel is based around the struggles Simon has when it comes to his memory loss. He is sometimes grateful for it, but mostly it is hurting him and those around him. I haven’t read the original six books in a long while so I had to look up a lot of the references. So if you have not read “The Mortal Instruments” or have not read them in a while like me then a lot of this will not make sense. Also you will need to read the “Infernal Devices” as there are references and an entire story based around Tessa and the gang of the London Institute.
We also meet a bunch of new characters in these stories. Simon has made his own second family at the Academy and you will fall in love with them just as Simon did. Speaking of family, there is a lot of it in this. Simon’s family, The Lightwoods, and more of the Herondale clan. But family isn’t just blood, we get a bigger look at the Circle and what Valentine was up to back in the day. I was really hoping for more of a look at Luke’s werewolf days, but it wasn’t touched on that much, unfortunately.
For me, Simon Lewis has always been the reliable character. He is always there when you need him and he will do anything to protect the ones he loves, even Jace. I have always like Alec and Jace’s bond, but something about Jace and Simon, I don’t know…I find it just as interesting.
When it comes to interesting, Catarina Loss comes to mind. You remember her, right? The beautiful blue skinned warlock! Catarina is one of those characters that I didn’t expect to like, but she really grew on me in this one. She reminds me of how Magnus is to Clary. Magnus acts like a father to Clary and will do anything to protect her as we all know. Catarina is like that with Simon, but a bit more subtle…I think after losing Ragnor, she put up more of a wall and I think it was Simon that was able to get through her wall of ice.
Okay, so Isabelle. Izzy is a huge part of this story. She is sort of always there. Whether it is in person or not. Simon always seems to have her on the back burner of his mind and It’s very interesting to see how they re-connect after the memory loss.
I think my favourite part about this series of stories is the breaking down of the Nephilim. For six books, Clary sort of idolized the Shadowhunters and Tessa found Will and Jem so fascinating…but Simon sees the faults. Obviously, in TMI we have Valentine, Sebastian, and the Endarkened, but those were very blatant stains on the Shadowhunter race. Throughout the stories, Simon questions a lot about the Nephilim. He doesn’t quite understand why they think they are above everyone else. He, himself was a Downworlder and even though he doesn’t really remember it, Simon feels an urge to defend them, at least the more honorable ones.
Take the Cold Peace, for example. Simon doesn’t believe that all Faeries should be prosecuted just because some went rogue in the Dark War. Because of this view, he gets into a lot of arguments, mostly with Izzy, but he stands his ground and stay true to himself. Even when Simon was dead, he has always been honest and valiant…well sometimes.
I won’t spoil it any further, but I highly recommend this bind up! I give it 5/5 stars and will one day re-read it! You have to read “The Infernal Devices” and “The Mortal Instruments” beforehand or nothing will make sense. I am doing a re-read of TMI, so expect a “City of Bones” review soon!