Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy (Review)

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.

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My journey with this book has been over a period of more than two years but it’s also felt like it’s ended so soon (I mean I did read 70% of it in the past week so…). Overall it was a quality collection of short stories that has a natural, chronological progression and offers snippets of Simon’s time at the Shadowhunter Academy. My favourite part of the stories were all the pop culture references gone wrong, especially Avatar: The Last Airplane.

Mini review of each short story:

Welcome to Shadowhunter Academy
Great short story! Simon’s arrival at the Academy is surprising for him, as he is quite the hero. However he goes against the beliefs of those there and makes some friends who support his decisions.

The Lost Herondale
This series of short stories is a definite introduction to The Dark Artifices series. This tale proves that the law is not always right and shows the double identity of Simon.

The Whitechapel Fiend
Another great short story from this collection. It was certainly interesting hearing Tessa’s stories of the past, and the interactions between Simon and Jace are golden.

Nothing but Shadows
Aw now I just really miss The Infernal Devices and the Jem/Tessa/Will era books, Nothing but Shadows is a sweet story about James ‘Jamie’ Herondale, aka the son of Tessa and Will. It’s set within the context of Catarina Loss telling Simon a story.

The Evil We Love
Simon’s letter to Izzy gets returned, unread… But then she comes to the Shadowhunter Academy. It kinda fell flat a bit for me and there were really two very different stories trying to be told at the same time, and quite frankly I was far more interested in the story Robert was telling than the Sizzy drama oops. The conclusion didn’t really conclude that part of the tale either?

Pale Kings and Princes
I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’m very much over Simon and Izzy’s relationship drama but hey now it’s concluded? I admire Simon for his constant efforts to fight for Downworlder rights though, and the date idea from Jace is my humourous highlight from this short story. The end of the story is jarring and tragic, its conclusion makes me want to scream why but marvel at the genius of it at the same time.

Bitter of Tongue
Considering the teaser at the start of the short story contained mention of Kieran I was a little disappointed to discover just how minor his role in the short story was? I did like the inclusion of more Blackthorns though, and the ending where Simon observes Julian elicits similar feelings as The Dark Artifices series, for Julian deserves the world and he’s only a kid with a universe of responsibility placed upon his shoulders.

The Fiery Trial
I quite liked this one because while it kinda continues on from the last story in terms of relating to the Blackthorns, it’s almost a three-in-one tale of parabatai. Emma and Julian’s ceremony is beautiful but the real winner of the story is the scene where Magnus, Catarina, and Jem feed Simon and Clary tea and scones (if you know, you know).

Born to Endless Night
A story that perfectly captures the chaos of the Lightwood family (including “extended family” members Jace, Clary, and Simon), with a focus on Magnus’s relationship with them. We get to hear the story of Magnus and Alec’s warlock baby and how the Shadowhunter Academy has changed since Ragnor’s time teaching there.

Angels Twice Descending
A bittersweet final short story. Kinda saw the twist coming but also, why was that necessary? I’m truly saddened, though happy for Simon; I hate him significantly less now, huh. (And also, RIP Jon Cartwright the 35th.)

~I received a copy from Walker Books Australia and willingly reviewed it~

Do you like reading short stories and novellas?

 Xoxo, Cas

2 thoughts on “Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy (Review)

  1. I’m not usually a fan of short stories, but I feel like they were well-connected enough here that, like you said, there was a natural progression and it didn’t feel awkward to read.
    – Reese

    Liked by 1 person

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