Here are snippets from LADY MIDNIGHT, the first installment in THE DARK ARTIFICES trilogy scheduled to be released on March 8, 2016, that Cassandra Clare has shared online:
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….
“Yeah,” he said, eyelashes lowering as his gaze traced the movement of her fingers. “It hurt me being away from you. It feels like there’s a hook dug in under my ribs, and there’s something pulling at the other end. Like I’m tethered to you, no matter the distance.”
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 a look at Emma and Julian’s parabatai ceremony
Mark whirled on them. His eyes were blind, unseeing. “You bring the twins in front of me and you kill them over and over. My Ty, he doesn’t understand why I can’t save him. You bring me Dru and when she laughs to see the fairytale castle, all ringed round with hedges, you throw her against the thorns until their pierce her small body. And you bid me wash in Octavian’s blood for the blood of an innocent child is magic under the Hill.”
Cristina looked after Emma, her hand going to the pendant at her own throat. It was silver, in the shape of a circle with a rose inside it. The rose was wrapped around with thorny briars. Words were written in Latin on the back: she didn’t need to look at them to know them. She’d known them all her life. Blessed be the Angel my strength who teaches my hands to war, and my fingers to fight. The rose for Rosales, the words for Raziel, the Angel who had created the Shadowhunters a thousand years ago. Cristina had always thought Emma fought for her parabatai and for revenge, while she fought for family and faith. But maybe it was all the same thing: maybe it was all love, in the end.
Now he looked at her sideways. “You don’t think I look like a Shadowhunter any more?”
“Do you want to?” Cristina asked.
“I want to look like my family,” Mark said. “I cannot have the Blackthorn coloring, but I can look as much like Nephilim as possible. Besides, if I wish to be part of the investigation, I cannot stand out.”
Cristina held back from telling Mark that there was no world in which he didn’t stand out. “I can make you look like a Shadowhunter.”
She had wondered, when he’d looked into her eyes and said that he’d had to learn to make do without mirrors in the Wild Hunt, whose eyes he’d been looking into for all those years. Who’d been his mirror.
Now she knew.
“Do I?” Diana leaned back in her chair, tapping her pencil against the back of her right hand, where the Rune of Sight was inked. Every Shadowhunter had a Voyance rune on their dominant hand, allowing them to see through glamours. Emma’s was on her left. “Well, if I know what you did, and you know what you did, maybe you should tell me what your punishment should be?”
“I should have to take care of a box of kittens,” Emma said immediately. “Definitely a box of kittens. You know how cruel kittens are, with their tiny little claws and terrible attitudes.”
“I’m calling.” Emma lunged for her phone.
“No!” Julian said, forcefully enough to stop her. “You know we can’t tell anyone. About Mark —“
“You’re not going to bleed to death in a car for Mark!”
“No,” he said, looking at her. His eyes were eerily green-blue, the only bright color in the dark interior of the car. “You’re going to fix me.”
“I know things haven’t been exactly right between us since I got back from England,” he said. “And I don’t know if it’s because I’m a little jealous of Cristina, or a lot jealous of —“
“JULIAN,” Emma said.
“Loved?” he said in a cold voice. “Do you no longer? Remember, half-blood, I know that you can lie.”
Mark flicked his eyes up. He saw the storm in those eyes, but behind the storm he saw two boys as small as stars in a distant sky, locked together under a blanket.
“You’ve got a lot of responsibility now,” Jace said to Julian. “You’ll have to make sure Emma winds up with a guy who deserves her.”
Julian was strangely white-faced. Maybe he was feeling the effects of the ceremony, Emma thought. It had been strong magic; she still felt it sizzling through her blood like champagne bubbles. But Jules looked as if he’d been slapped.
“What about me?” Emma said, quickly. “Don’t I have to make sure Jules winds up with someone who deserves him?”
“Absolutely. I did it for Alec, Alec did it for me — well, actually, he hated Clary at first, but he came around.”
“I bet you didn’t like Magnus much, either,” said Julian, still with the same odd, stiff look on his face.
“Maybe not,” said Jace, “but I never would have said so.”
“Because it would have hurt Alec’s feelings?” Emma asked.
“No,” said Jace, “because Magnus would have turned me into a hat rack.”
“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.
“I don’t know,” Mark said, looking down at his own long pale fingers tangled in the little boy’s brown curls. “He just – Julian left, and Tavvy fell asleep on my lap.”
He sounded amazed, wondering.
“Of course he did,” Cristina said. “He’s your brother. He trusts you.”
“Nobody trusts a Hunter,” Mark said.
“Hello? This is Clary Fairchild.”
“Clary? It’s me, Emma.”
“Oh, Emma, hi! I haven’t heard from you in ages. My mom says thanks for the wedding flowers, by the way. She wanted to send a note but Luke whisked her away on a honeymoon to Tahiti.”
“Tahiti sounds nice.”
“It probably is — Jace, what are you doing with that thing? There is no way it’ll fit.”
“Is this a bad time?”
“What? No! Jace is trying to drag a trebuchet into the training room. Alec, stop helping him.”
“What’s a trebuchet?”
“It’s a huge catapult.”
“What are they going to use it for?”
“I have no idea. Alec, you’re enabling! You’re an enabler!”
“Maybe it is a bad time.”
“I doubt there’ll be a better one. Is something wrong? Is there anything I can do?”
“I think we have your cat.”
“Your cat. Big fuzzy Blue Persian? Always looks angry? Julian says it’s your cat. He says he saw it at the New York Institute. Well, saw him. It’s a boy cat.”
“Church? You have Church? But I thought — well, we knew he was gone. We thought Brother Zachariah took him. Isabelle was annoyed, but they seemed to know each other. I’ve never seen Church actually like anyone like that.”
“I don’t know if he likes anyone here. He bit Julian twice. Oh, wait. Julian says he likes Ty. He’s asleep on Ty’s bed.”
“How did you wind up with him?”
“Someone rang our front doorbell. Diana, she’s our tutor, went down to see what it was. Church was in a cage on the front step with a note tied to it. It said For Emma. This is Church, a longtime friend of the Carstairs. Take care of this cat and he will take care of you. —J.”
“Brother Zachariah left you a cat.”
“But I don’t even really know him. And he’s not a Silent Brother any more.”
“You may not know him, but he clearly knows you.”
“What do you think the J stands for?”
“His real name. Look, Emma, if he wants you to have Church, and you want Church, you should keep him.”
“Are you sure? The Lightwoods —“
‘They’re both standing here nodding. Well, Alec is partially trapped under a trebuchet, but he seems to be nodding.”
“Jules says we’d like to keep him. We used to have a cat named Oscar, but he died, and, well, Church seems to be good for Ty’s nightmares.”
“Oh, honey. I think, really, he’s Brother Zachariah’s cat. And if he wants you to have him, then you should.”
“Why does Brother Zachariah want to protect me? It’s like he knows me, but I don’t know why he knows me.”
“I don’t exactly know … But I know Tessa. She’s his — well, girlfriend seems not the right word for it. They’ve known each other a long, long time. I have a feeling they’re both watching over you.”
“That’s good. I have a feeling we’re going to need it.”
“Emma — oh my God. The trebuchet just crashed through the floor. I have to go. Call me later.”
“But we can keep the cat?”
“You can keep the cat.”
(This is a flashback)
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.”
“Let me tell you a truth before you die, Emma,” said the voice. “It is a secret about the Nephilim. They hate love, human love, because they were born of angels. And while God charged his angels to take care of humans, the angels were made first, and they have always hated God’s second creation. That is why Lucifer fell. He was an angel who would not bow to mankind, God’s favored child. Love is the weakness of human beings, and the Angels despise them for it, and the Clave despises it too, and therefore they punish it. Do you know what happens to parabatai who fall in love? Do you know why it’s forbidden?”
“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 dissmisively. “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.
Not since she’d left home had Cristina so clearly and painfully remembered what they had been to each other when they were younger. How much she had loved Diego. Her heart had felt torn to pieces when he cried out for his brother, pleading with him. Jaime, Jaime, ayúdame. Help me. And then he had cried out for her, and that was worse. Cristina, no me dejes. Regresa.
Cristina, don’t leave me. Come back. I love you.
I’m here, she’d told him. Not gone. She remembered him asking if there was someone else …
“Emma.” Raw pain. “I said what I said because —sometimes I think I asked you to be my parabatai because I wanted you to be tied to me.“
Ty was sitting beside his sister, carefully tying several pieces of licorice together
She clutched at him, at his shoulders, his sides, her fingers digging into his skin, dragging him harder against him. He gasped into her mouth when she reached down to grab his soaking wet shirt and tore it up over his head. Her knees came up to clasp his hips and he shuddered, once, as if he were going to break.
“I’m here,” he said, and went over to pick up Tavvy. Tavvy put his head down on Jules’ shoulder, looking sleepy, and getting paint all over Jules’ t-shirt. But Jules didn’t seem to care. He put his chin down in his younger brother’s curls and smiled at Emma.
“Forget it,” he said. “I’m going to take this one off to bed. You should probably get some sleep, too.”
But Emma’s veins were buzzing with a sharp elixir of anger and protectiveness. She could almost taste it in her mouth. No one hurt Julian. No one. Not even his much-missed, much-loved brother.
“I will,” she said. “I’ve got something to do, first.”
Julian’s blue-green eyes narrowed. “Emma, don’t try to —”
But she was already gone.
“It isn’t easy, having the Sight, if you’re a mundane,” Julian said in a low voice. “You see things nobody else sees. You can’t talk about it because no one will understand. You have to keep secrets, and secrets — they break you apart. Cut you open. Make you vulnerable.”
The low timbre of his voice shuddered down through Emma’s bones. There was something in it that frightened her. Something that reminded her of Mark’s eyes, distant and lonely.
“Jules,” she said, surprised. He was hardly a mundane with the Sight, and as far as she knew, he didn’t know anyone who was.
Muttering something like “never mind,” he spun her away, then pulled her back toward him. Years of practicing fighting together made them an almost perfect dancing team, she realized with surprise. They could predict each other’s movements, glide with each other’s bodies. She could tell which way Julian would step by the cadence of his breath and the faint tightening of his fingers around hers.
Julian’s dark curls were wildly tousled; when he drew her near him, she could smell the clove spice of his cologne, the faint scent of paint underneath.
The song ended. Emma looked up and over at the band; the clarinetist with the red hair was watching her and Julian. Unexpectedly, he winked. The band struck up again, this time a slower, softer number. Couples moved together as if magnetized, arms wrapping around necks, hands resting on hips, heads leaning together.
Ty lifted his face. He’d always had delicate features, more elfin than Helen or Mark’s. His father had said he was a throwback to earlier generations of Blackthorns, and he looked not unlike some of the family portraits in the dining room they rarely used, slender Victorian men in tailored clothes with porcelain faces and black, curling hair and names like Jesse and Rupert. “Then what is it?”
Julian hesitated. The whole house was still. He could hear the faint crackle of the computer on the other side of the door.
He had thought about asking Ty to look into the poison. But that would require him to say, I should be dead. The words wouldn’t come. They were like a dam, and behind them were so many other words: I’m not sure about anything. I hate being in charge. I hate making the decisions. I’m terrified you’ll all learn to hate me. I’m terrified of losing you. I’m terrified of losing Mark. I’m terrified of losing Emma. I want someone to take over. I’m not as strong as you think. The things I want are wrong and broken things to want.
He knew he could say none of this. The façade he showed them, his children, had to be perfect: a crack in him would be like a crack in the world to them.
“You know I love you,” he said, instead, and Ty looked up at him, startled, meeting his gaze for a flicker of a moment.
Chapter sampler Highborn Kinsmen (pdf file)