Queen of Air and Darkness snippets
Here are snippets from QUEEN OF AIR AND DARKESS, the third and final installment in THE DARK ARTIFICES trilogy scheduled to be released on December 4, 2018, that Cassandra Clare has shared online:
“Mark knocked, and a harried-looking Simon Lewis opened the door”
Fear prickled up and down Emma’s arms like goosebumps. Since she was twelve, she had been terrified of the ocean: she had always believed her parents had died in it, dragged below the surface by Raziel knew what, choked to death on bitter seawater. The surge and crash of waves, the imagined black velvet of the ocean’s depths, had filled her nightmares.
Even when she found out her parents had been murdered on dry land by Malcolm Fade, their bodies thrown into the sea after death, the fear remained. She reached for it now, welcomed it in. She could feel it filling the empty spaces, the hollows left by grief.
She glanced back down at the sea. The surging whirlpool below, the waves slamming like dark blue walls against sheer needles of stone, looked like a painting of a maelstrom, a photograph of a hellscape taken from a safe distance.
The wind screamed in Emma’s ears like a warning. Another wave hurled itself against the cliffs, sending up an explosion of spray. Emma smiled grimly into the wind and salt, and jumped.
“I can’t do this.” Helen tried to keep her voice steady, but it was nearly impossible. She hoped the strain would be covered by the sound of the waves crashing below them, but Aline knew her too well. She could sense when Helen was upset, even when she was trying hard not to show it.
“Baby.” Aline moved closer, wrapping her arms around Helen, brushing her lips softly with her own. “You can. You can do anything.”
Helen relaxed into her wife’s arms. When she’d first met Aline she’d thought the other girl was taller than she was, but she’d realized later it was the way Aline held herself, arrow-straight. The Consul, her mother, held herself the same way, and with the same pride — not that either of them was arrogant, but the word seemed a shade closer to what Helen imagined than simple confidence. She remembered the first love note Aline had ever written her. The curves of your lips rewrite history. The world is changed because you are made of ivory and gold. Later, she’d found out it was an Oscar Wilde quote, and had said to Aline, smiling, You’ve got a lot of nerve.
Aline had looked back at her steadily. “I know. I do.”
They both had, always, and it had stood them in good stead. But this —
“This is different,” Helen said. “They don’t want me here –“
“They do want you here.”
“They barely know me,” Helen said. “That’s worse.”
Kit glanced around, wondering if the growing number of people was bothering Ty. He hated crowds. Magnus and Alec were standing with their kids near the Consul; they were with a beautiful black-haired girl with eyebrows just like Alec’s and a boy — well, he was probably in his twenties — with untidy brown hair. The boy gave Kit a considering look that seemed to say you look familiar. Several people had done the same. Kit guessed it was because he looked like Jace, if Jace had suffered a sudden and unexpected height, muscle and overall hotness reduction.
Isabelle shook her head, then bent down and unclipped a chain from one ankle. She held it out to Emma. “This is blessed iron. Poisonous to faeries. Wear it and you can pack a hell of a kick.”
“Thanks.” Emma took the chain and wrapped it twice around her wrist, fastening it tightly.
“Do I have anything iron?” Simon looked around wildly, then reached into his pocket and pulled out a small metal figure of an archer. “This is my D&D character, Lord Montgomery —”
“Oh my God,” said Isabelle.
He wanted to ask Ty if he was all right, but he knew the other boy wouldn’t want it. Ty was staring at the Market, tense with curiosity. Kit turned to the phouka.
“Gatekeeper,” he said. “We request entrance to the Shadow Market.”
Ty’s gaze snapped to attention. The phouka was tall, dark and thin, with bronze and gold strands threaded through his long hair. He wore purple trousers and no shoes. The lamppost he leaned against was between two stalls, neatly blocking the way into the Market.
“Kit Rook,” said the phouka. “What a compliment it is, to still be recognized for one who has left us to dwell among the angels.”
“He knows you,” muttered Ty.
“Everyone in the Shadow Market knows me,” said Kit, hoping Ty would be impressed.
The phouka stubbed out his cigarette. It released a sickly-sweet smell of charred herbs. “Password,” he said.
“I’m not saying that,” said Kit. “You think it’s funny to try to make people say that.”
“Say what? What’s the password?” Ty demanded.
The phouka grinned. “Wait here, Kit Rook,” he said, and melted back into the shadows of the Market.
“He’s going to get Hale,” said Kit, trying to hide the signs of his nerves.
“Can they see us?” Ty said. He was looking into the Shadow Market, where clusters of Downworlders, witches and other assorted members of the magical underworld moved among the clamor. “Out here?”
It was like standing outside a lighted room in the dark, Kit thought. And though Ty might not express it that way, Kit suspected he felt the same.
“If they can, they’d never show it,” he said.