Tales From The Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson and Robin Wasserman Review
Tales From The Shadowhunter Academy chronicles Simon Lewis’ time as a ShadowHunter in training.
4.5 Stars as a collection (5 on Goodreads)!
I’m using TFTSA as my book by two authors, as it’s by multiple authors. If anyone wants me to name just one story by two authors in the collection, then I choose Born To An Endless Night. I explain why in my review, below...
Welcome To ShadowHunter Academy
I loved this short story!
We get introduced to our main characters from the previous TMI books. Simon, our main character is entertaining as he tries to remember who he is or was before he lost his memories in City Of Heavenly Fire. We get a cameo from Isabelle who offers her heart to Simon. He however says that he isn’t interested in a relationship until he can remember who he was.
The new characters we’re introduced to are either students or teachers at Shadowhunter Academy. One student in particular, George, becomes Simon’s best friend supporting him through his worries and troubles. He even moves rooms to the Dregs part of the Academy (the lower class) for Simon.
Simon struggles in his first classes. This is why he moves to the Dregs, I believe. When he first enters the Academy, he’s well known for helping Clary, Jace etc bring down Valentine so he’s automatically put up with the higher band of Shadowhunters in training. He doesn’t want to be well known, though. He just wants a chance to prove himself worthy, I think, like we all do sometimes. This is what I take away from this novella...that we (being ordinary humans, like Simon) all just need time, sometimes to be good at something. It doesn’t just happen, like that!
The Last Herondale
In this novella we get an insight into Simon’s time training at the academy. He’s not very good at first but soon learns that with practice and the want to be good at something, he can do anything...except kill vampire girls...
We also learn about another Herondale child. This character may get brought into either the rest of TFTSHA, somewhere or TDA somewhere, I think.
The Whitechapel Fiend
This novella isn’t so much about Simon. It’s still very entertaining, though! At the beginning there’s a class that involves the students taking a risk and jumping from a tree. Jace (from TMI) is the instructor. He and Simon get on well.
The second part of the novella is all about Tessa Gray, the heroine of TID. She recounts the story of The Whitechapel Fiend as part of a history class to the aspiring Shadowhunters. The novella goes back to 1888 to do this.
Jace learns that he’s related to Tessa, through her marriage to Will. He has no other living relatives so this was nice to see.
Nothing But Shadows
Simon is kept behind after a class to hear a story from a staff member at the Academy. This story follows a character from the past, James Herondale as he starts learning at the Shadowhunter Academy. James is bullied at first and doesn’t fit in. He has yellow eyes and is a shadow creature. He’s a lover of books and quiet spaces unlike everyone else. He’s bullied by Matthew Fairchild, a loud and not so fearsome boy at first but when it’s revealed why Matthew is the way he is, James sees him in a new light.
James and Matthew become parabatai at the end of this novella. This has Simon questioning just who his parabatai will be. He wants it to be Clary but doesn’t know if she’ll want to be his.
This novella teaches us that it’s okay to be different. Being different is what makes us all special/unique. Without differences, life would be boring...
The Evil We Love
Simon has been at the Shadowhunter Academy for a year at this point in the collection. Simon goes to a lecture lead by Robert Lightwood, Isabelle’s father. He recalls to the class Valentine and how his lies got him in trouble. Robert didn’t know who or what to believe when he was a student. He was just trying to muddle through. A friend of his, Michael, Robert’s parabatai in fact confesses his love for him, when he’s in love with Maryse. He therefore doesn’t love or even like Michael, anymore. Valentine, the most evil character in the Shadowhunter Chronicles wants to find and torture a werewolf because he doesn’t like the species.
In the present, Isabelle is back with her father and causing drama for the students at the end of the year. She wants to have a party and summon a demon...does she though? You’ll have to read to find out...
Pale Kings And Princes
This novella is where we see more faerie law. Helen Blackthawn was deemed a faerie in TMI. They’ve been living somewhere not Shadowhunter related because it’s illegal for them to be together in Alicante. They’re going to get married. They want to be married in Alicante, though so Helen has come to give a lecture as a sort of payment for one day and night in Alicante, where she can marry the woman that she loves.
Also, we see Simon go on a date with Isabelle to get a weapon, although he doesn’t get the weapon. He gets something much more precious.
We see Simon realise it doesn’t matter who anyone is, we should all be treated equally in this novella. No matter how we came to be who we are, it’s important to remember that we’re all the same.
I think this might be my favourite novella yet, of the collection!
Bitter Of Tongue
This novella is more about the faeries than the Shadowhunter Academy. Simon goes out with his crew of Shadowhunter friends on a mission. He gets trapped on faerie land, however, thanks to his best friend, George not being the best leader. There, in the fae land, he meets Mark Blackthorne, Helen’s brother, who’s imprisoned for being part fae.
Isabelle makes another appearance in this short story, as well as the other Blackthorne children and Emma Carstairs are spoken of, even though they don’t appear.
Does Simon get out? You’ll have to read to find out...
This novella teaches us that it’s not always right to do what’s easiest. Sometimes, we need to take a risk to make our lives better...
The Fiery Trial
This novella follows Simon and Clary as they’re asked to become witnesses for Emma and Julian’s parabatai ceremony. Both Simon and Clary are asked to see the dean of the Academy together. When they enter the meeting room, they see Jem as well as Tessa and Magnus.
Magnus takes them through a portal door and leaves them. Then it’s up to them to figure out the rest...
I really enjoyed this novella. Although, it’s not romantic love (because of Isabelle), Simon and Clary share a connection beyond anything else. What is this connection, you’ll have to read to find out!!
Born To An Endless Night
This novella is about love, family and being together no matter what.
Magnus and Alec are at the Shadowhunter Academy to give a series of lectures. They have an attic room specifically made for them, with a kitchen so they don’t have to eat any of the Academy food. A baby boy is left outside their door, however. We don’t meet his mother but it’s said that she can’t look after him, anymore.
The baby quickly becomes the main thing in both Magnus’ and Alec’s lives. Alec’s family, of course worry about the baby and whether Alec is old enough to become a “dad”. However, Alec feels ready to do this. He’s met the love of his life in Magnus and is ready to settle down and start a family.
We see Simon a little bit in this story. He interrupts a Magnus and Alec love session but he and Alec have a talk and sort out their issues later on in the novella. This was good to see, as I didn’t really understand what Alec had against Simon, anyway. When it’s revealed why Alec had a problem with Simon, I was like, okay, yes, I see that. It just didn’t click at the time of reading COHF.
Born To An Endless Night is again, another of my favourite novella’s in this collection (possibly my most favourite)! It was good to be able to see Alec as a more relatable character, instead of angry/annoyed all the time. I enjoyed reading Malec’s interactions as I thought they were cute and how a loved one would talk to their partner. I enjoyed seeing their hope for their future together, also.
Angels Twice Descending
This, as the last novella of the collection wraps up Simon’s time at the Shadowhunter Academy. There’s laughter, love, sadness and loss mixed in to this novella. Do Simon and friends ascend to become Shadowhunters? You’ll have to read to find out!
I don’t want to spoil the events so I’ll just say that this was a perfect conclusion to Tales From The Shadowhunter Academy.
As you can see I LOVED reading about Simon’s time at the Shadowhunter Academy! The short stories all focused on something different but included Simon as well. To be honest, when reading TMI I didn’t really like Simon. I found him to be a boring side character so I thought this would be boring as well but boy, was I wrong!
I liked all of the characters and the relationships, especially Simon and Isabelle and Magnus and Alec. These couples don’t really get a lot of time in TMI so I’m glad they did within this collection. Also the stories that involved characters from TID weren’t terrible, either. The story that I disliked the most was the one focusing around the fae realm because it didn’t add as much as the other stories, for me. The one I liked the most was Born To An Endless Night because we got to see the characters act as a family. Most if not all of the characters had a part in Born To An Endless Night too.
I do think that Cassandra Clare is better at writing shorter stories than long ones but that’s just me.
Have you read Tales From The Shadowhunter Academy? What did you think of it? Which was your favourite novella and why?