|Release Date||March 8, 2016|
|Publisher|| Simon & Schuster|
(Margaret K.McElderry Books)
|Series||The Dark Artifices|
| Preceded by|
City of Heavenly Fire
| Followed by|
Prince of Shadows
| Released after|
City of Heavenly Fire;
TSA: Angels Twice Descending
| Released before|
Chain of Thorns
Lady Midnight is the first novel in the upcoming The Dark Artifices series.
It's been five years since the events of City of Heavenly Fire that brought the Nephilim to the brink of oblivion. Los Angeles Shadowhunter Emma Carstairs is no longer a child in mourning, but a seventeen-year-old girl, bent on discovering what killed her parents and revenging her losses.
Together with her parabatai Julian Blackthorn, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches from the warlock-run nightclubs of the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica. If only her heart didn't lead her in treacherous directions… like towards the only man in the world she’s forbidden to love.
Los Angeles. It's been five years since the events of The Mortal Instruments when Nephilim stood poised on the brink of oblivion and Shadowhunter Emma Carstairs lost her parents. After the blood and violence she witnessed as a child, Emma has dedicated her life to discovering exactly what it was that killed her parents and getting her revenge.
Raised in the Los Angeles Institute with the Blackthorn family, Emma is paired as a parabatai with her best friend, Julian Blackthorn. A series of murders in the city catch her attention — they seem to have the same characteristics as the deaths of her parents. Could the murderer be the same person? And her attention isn't the only one caught: someone has been murdering Downworlders as well. The Fair Folk make a deal with the Institute: if the Blackthorns and Emma will investigate the killings, they'll return Mark Blackthorn to his home. The catch: they have only two weeks to find the killers. Otherwise it's open war between faeries and Nephilim.
The Shadowhunters of the Institute must race against time to catch the killers, even as they begin to suspect the involvement of those closest to them. At the same time, Emma is falling in love with the one person in the world she's absolutely forbidden by Shadowhunter Law to love. Set against the glittering backdrop of present-day Los Angeles, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches from the warlock-run nightclubs of the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica.
The chapters listed below are in its current writing stages, as is the book, and are thus not final.
Part One: Steel and Temper
- Kingdom By the Sea
- Out of the Cloud by Night
Teaser #1(replaced on the site)
The cycle hit the beach and spun out. Emma went into a rolling crouch as she flew free of it, keeping her elbows in, pushing the air hard out of her lungs. She turned her head as she hit the sand, slapping her palms down to roll herself forward, absorbing the impact of the fall through her arms and shoulders, her knees folding up into her chest. The stars wheeled crazily overhead as she spun, sucking in her breath as her body slowed its rolling. She came to a stop on her back, her hair and clothes full of sand and her ears full of the sound of the wildly crashing ocean...
Emma swallowed. She was remembering Julian, two years ago, standing in the overlapping circles of fire where the parabatai ritual was performed. The look on his face as they each stepped into the central circle and the fire rose up around them, and he unbuttoned his shirt to let her touch the stele to his skin and carve the rune that would bind them together for their whole lives. She knew if she just reached out now, she could touch it, touch the rune cut into his shoulder, the rune she had put there...
"Have I?" asked Mark. "Is this my home?" He looked over at Emma. "I can say this to you because you are not a Blackthorn. You do not have Blackthorn blood running through your veins. I have been in the land of Faerie for years and it is a place where mortal blood is turned to fire. It is a place of beauty and terror beyond what can be imagined here. I have ridden with the Wild Hunt. I have carved a clear path of freedom among the stars and outrun the wind. And now I am asked to walk upon the earth again."
"You belong where you're loved," Emma said. It was something her father had said, something she had always believed. She belonged here because Jules loved her and the children loved her. "Were you loved in Faerie?"
A shadow seemed to come down over Mark's eyes, like curtains closing in a dark room.
Mark stepped out. The elegant lines of the suit seemed to sweep upward, making Mark appear taller, more polished. For the first time since his return every bit of the feral faerie child in him appeared to have been brushed away like cobwebs. He looked human. Like someone who’d always been human.
"Why do you bite your nails?" he said.
Julian, who hadn't even been conscious that he was gnawing on the side of his thumb - the satisfying pain of skin between his teeth, the metal of the blood in his mouth - dropped his hands into his lap. "Bad habit."
"People do that when they're stressed," said Mark. "Even I know that." His fingers scrabbled uselessly at his tie. He frowned down at it.
Julian got to his feet and went over to his brother, taking the loops of the tie in his hands. He couldn't remember who had taught him how to knot a tie. Malcolm, he thought. It had almost certainly been Malcolm.
"But what do you have to be stressed about, little brother?" Mark said. "You weren't carried away by Sebastian Morgenstern. You've spent your life here. Not that the life of a Shadowhunter isn't stressful, but why are you the one with the bloody hands?"
Julian's hands faltered for a moment. "You don't know everything about me, Mark. Just like I'm willing to bet I don't know everything about you."
"Did you tell my brother?" Mark asked.
Emma looked up at him. The spotlight had tracked away from them, thank Raziel, and Mark was sharp-boned light and shadows in the moving illumination. "Tell which of your brothers what?"
"You know," said Mark.
"Perfect Diego is the boy Cristina's mother wants her to marry," Emma told Livvy. Now it was Cristina's turn to look betrayed. "It's not an arranged marriage, not exactly, it's just that her mother loves him, he's a Rosales —"
"He's related to you?” Livvy asked Cristina. "Isn't that a problem? I mean, I know Clary Fairchild and Jace Herondale are a famous love story, but they weren't actually brother and sister. Otherwise I think it would probably be a …"
"Less famous love story," said Emma, with a grin.
Cristina waved her hand dismissively. "The Rosaleses are a huge Shadowhunting family. I don't think he's even a cousin. My mother just thinks it would help cement the Rosales empire. She thinks he's perfect, so handsome, so smart, such a Shadowhunter, perfect perfect perfect —"
"And now you know how he got his nickname," said Emma.
Emma took her witchlight out of her pocket and lit it—and almost screamed out loud. Jules's shirt was soaked with blood and worse, the healing runes she’d drawn had vanished from his skin. They weren't working.
"Jules," she said. "I have to call the Silent Brothers. They can help you. I have to."
His eyes screwed shut with pain. "You can't," he said. "You know we can't call the Silent Brothers. They report directly to the Clave."
"So we'll lie to them. Say it was a routine demon patrol. I'm calling," she said, and reached for her phone.
"No!" Julian said, forcefully enough to stop her. "Silent Brothers know when you're lying! They can see inside your head, Emma. They'll find out about the investigation. About Mark—"
"You're not going to bleed to death in the backseat of a car for Mark!"
"No," he said, looking at her. His eyes were eerily blue green, the only bright color in the dark interior of the car. "You're going to fix me."
Emma could feel it when Jules was hurt, like a splinter lodged under her skin. The physical pain didn't bother her; it was the terror, the only terror worse than her fear of the ocean. The fear of Jules being hurt, of him dying. She would give up anything, sustain any wound, to prevent those things from happening.
"Okay," she said. Her voice sounded dry and thin to her own ears. "Okay." She took a deep breath. "Hang on."
She unzipped her jacket, threw it aside. Shoved the console between the seats aside, put her witchlight on the floorboard. Then she reached for Jules. The next few seconds were a blur of Jules's blood on her hands and his harsh breathing as she pulled him partly upright, wedging him against the back door. He didn't make a sound as she moved him, but she could see him biting his lip, the blood on his mouth and chin, and she felt as if her bones were popping inside her skin.
"Your gear," she said through gritted teeth. "I have to cut it off."
He nodded, letting his head fall back. She drew a dagger from her belt, but the gear was too tough for the blade. She said a silent prayer and reached back for Cortana.
Cortana went through the gear like a knife through melted butter. It fell away in pieces and Emma drew them free, then sliced down the front of his T-shirt and pulled it apart as if she were opening a jacket.
Emma had seen blood before, often, but this felt different. It was Julian's, and there seemed to be a lot of it. It was smeared up and down his chest and rib cage; she could see where the arrow had gone in and where the skin had torn where he'd yanked it out.
"Why did you pull the arrow out?" she demanded, pulling her sweater over her head. She had a tank top on under it. She patted his chest and side with the sweater, absorbing as much of the blood as she could.
Jules's breath was coming in hard pants. "Because when someone—shoots you with an arrow—" he gasped, “your immediate response is not—'Thanks for the arrow, I think I'll keep it for a while.'"
"Good to know your sense of humor is intact."
"Is it still bleeding?" Julian demanded. His eyes were shut.
She dabbed at the cut with her sweater. The blood had slowed, but the cut looked puffy and swollen. The rest of him, though—it had been a while since she'd seen him with his shirt off. There was more muscle than she remembered. Lean muscle pulled tight over his ribs, his stomach flat and lightly ridged. Cameron was much more muscular, but Julian's spare lines were as elegant as a greyhound's. "You're too skinny," she said. "Too much coffee, not enough pancakes."
"I hope they put that on my tombstone." He gasped as she shifted forward, and she realized abruptly that she was squarely in Julian's lap, her knees around his hips. It was a bizarrely intimate position.
"I—am I hurting you?" she asked.
He swallowed visibly. "It's fine. Try with the iratze again."
"Fine," she said. "Grab the panic bar."
"The what?" He opened his eyes and peered at her.
"The plastic handle! Up there, above the window!" She pointed. "It's for holding on to when the car is going around curves."
"Are you sure? I always thought it was for hanging things on. Like dry cleaning."
"Julian, now is not the time to be pedantic. Grab the bar or I swear—"
"All right!" He reached up, grabbed hold of it, and winced. "I'm ready."
She nodded and set Cortana aside, reaching for her stele. Maybe her previous iratzes had been too fast, too sloppy. She'd always focused on the physical aspects of Shadowhunting, not the more mental and artistic ones: seeing through glamours, drawing runes.
She set the tip of it to the skin of his shoulder and drew, carefully and slowly. She had to brace herself with her left hand against his shoulder. She tried to press as lightly as she could, but she could feel him tense under her fingers. The skin on his shoulder was smooth and hot under her touch, and she wanted to get closer to him, to put her hand over the wound on his side and heal it with the sheer force of her will. To touch her lips to the lines of pain beside his eyes and—
Stop. She had finished the iratze. She sat back, her hand clamped around the stele. Julian sat up a little straighter, the ragged remnants of his shirt hanging off his shoulders. He took a deep breath, glancing down at himself—and the iratze faded back into his skin, like black ice melting, spreading, being absorbed by the sea.
He looked up at Emma. She could see her own reflection in his eyes: she looked wrecked, panicked, with blood on her neck and her white tank top. "It hurts less," he said in a low voice.
The wound on his side pulsed again; blood slid down the side of his rib cage, staining his leather belt and the waistband of his jeans. She put her hands on his bare skin, panic rising up inside her. His skin felt hot, too hot. Fever hot.
"I have to call," she whispered. "I don't care if the whole world comes down around us, Jules, the most important thing is that you live."
"Please," he said, desperation clear in his voice. "Whatever is happening, we'll fix it, because we're parabatai. We're forever. I said that to you once, do you remember?"
She nodded warily, hand on the phone.
"And the strength of a rune your parabatai gives you is special. Emma, you can do it. You can heal me. We're parabatai and that means the things we can do together are . . . extraordinary."
There was blood on her jeans now, blood on her hands and her tank top, and he was still bleeding, the wound still open, an incongruous tear in the smooth skin all around it.
"Try," Jules said in a dry whisper. "For me, try?"
His voice went up on the question and in it she heard the voice of the boy he had been once, and she remembered him smaller, skinnier, younger, back pressed against one of the marble columns in the Hall of Accords in Alicante as his father advanced on him with his blade unsheathed.
And she remembered what Julian had done, then. Done to protect her, to protect all of them, because he always would do everything to protect them.
She took her hand off the phone and gripped the stele, so tightly she felt it dig into her damp palm. "Look at me, Jules," she said in a low voice, and he met her eyes with his. She placed the stele against his skin, and for a moment she held still, just breathing, breathing and remembering.
Julian. A presence in her life for as long as she could remember, splashing water at each other in the ocean, digging in the sand together, him putting his hand over hers and them marveling at the difference in the shape and length of their fingers. Julian singing, terribly and off-key, while he drove, his fingers in her hair carefully freeing a trapped leaf, his hands catching her in the training room when she fell, and fell, and fell. The first time after their parabatai ceremony when she'd smashed her hand into a wall in rage at not being able to get a sword maneuver right, and he'd come up to her, taken her still-shaking body in his arms and said, "Emma, Emma, don't hurt yourself. When you do, I feel it, too."
Something in her chest seemed to split and crack; she marveled that it wasn't audible. Energy raced along her veins, and the stele jerked in her hand before it seemed to move on its own, tracing the graceful outline of a healing rune across Julian's chest. She heard him gasp, his eyes flying open. His hand slid down her back and he pressed her against him, his teeth gritted.
"Don't stop," he said.
Emma couldn't have stopped if she'd wanted to. The stele seemed to be moving of its own accord; she was blinded with memories, a kaleidoscope of them, all of them Julian. Sun in her eyes and Julian asleep on the beach in an old T-shirt and her not wanting to wake him, but he'd woken anyway when the sun went down and looked for her immediately, not smiling till his eyes found her and he knew she was there. Falling asleep talking and waking up with their hands interlocked; they'd been children in the dark together once but now they were something else, something intimate and powerful, something Emma felt she was touching only the very edge of as she finished the rune and the stele fell from her nerveless fingers.
"Oh," she said softly. The rune seemed lit from within by a soft glow.
- The book is set in August 2013, coincidentally the same month The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones premiered.
- The book was originally supposed to be set in 2012.
- The book is set to be told from different points of views, namely: Emma, Jules, and Cristina's, among others yet to be revealed.
- Aside from beginning the pattern of nobility titles for The Dark Artifices book titles, Lady Midnight is also named after the Leonard Cohen song.
- ↑ http://www.shadowhunters.com/App/
- ↑ http://www.cassandraclare.com/my-writing/novels/the-dark-artifices/
- ↑ http://cassandraclare.tumblr.com/post/45930475334/spoilers-the-dreaded-read-more-tag-questions-about
- ↑ https://twitter.com/cassieclare/status/452840661038161920
- ↑ https://twitter.com/cassieclare/status/486295749366272000
- ↑ http://cassandraclare.tumblr.com/post/94644201804
- ↑ http://twishort.com/8d6bc
- ↑ https://twitter.com/cassieclare/status/510811897340649473
- ↑ http://cassandraclare.tumblr.com/post/19332943016/lady-midnight