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Queen of Air and Darkness snippets

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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:

#1

“Mark knocked, and a harried-looking Simon Lewis opened the door”

#2

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.

#3

“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.”

#4

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.

#5

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.

#6

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.

#7

Emma had been halfway up the stairs on the way to Cristina’s room when she had seen Mark, leaning against the wall on the landing and looking dejected. “Dru won’t let me in to talk to her,” he said. “I am worried. It is like a faerie to grieve alone, but not, I understand, like a Shadowhunter.”

Emma hesitated. She was about to say that it wasn’t unlike Dru to lock herself in her room alone, but Dru had looked more than a little upset when she’d left the kitchen. “Keep trying,” she advised. “Sometimes you have to knock for twenty minutes or so. Or you could offer to watch a horror movie with her.”

Mark looked glum. “I do not think I would enjoy a horror movie.”

“You never know,” Emma said.

He turned to head back up the stairs, and hesitated. “I am worried about you and Jules as well,” he said, more quietly. “I do not like the Inquisitor, or the idea of you being questioned by him. He reminds me of the King of Unseelie.”

Emma was startled. “He does?”

“They give me the same feeling,” Mark said. “I cannot explain it, but —“

A door opened on the landing overhead: it was Cristina’s. She stepped out, glancing down. “Emma? I wondered if you were —“

She stopped when she saw Mark, and she and Mark stared at each other in a way that made Emma feel as if she had disappeared completely.

“I didn’t mean to interrupt,” Cristina said, but she was still looking at Mark, and he was looking back as if their gazes were hopelessly tied together.

Mark had shaken himself, as if he were casting off cobwebs or dreams. “It is all right — I must go speak with Drusilla.” He had bounded up the stairs and out of sight, disappearing around the bend in the corridor.

Cristina had snapped out of it and invited Emma in, and now it was as if the moment with Mark had never happened, though Emma was itching to ask about it. “Mark will need you,” she said again, and Cristina twisted her hands in her lap.

“Mark,” she said, and paused. “I don’t know what Mark is thinking. If he is angry at me.”

“Why would he be angry at you?”

“Because of Kieran,” she said. “They did not end things well, and now Kieran is at the Scholomance, and far away, which was my doing.”

“You didn’t break him up with Kieran,” Emma protested. “If anything, you helped keep them together longer. Remember — hot faerie threesome.”

Cristina dropped her face into her hands. “Mrfuffhfhsh,” she said.

“What?”

“I said,” Cristina repeated, lifting her face, “that Kieran sent me a note.”

“He did? How? When?”

“This morning. In an acorn.” Cristina passed a small piece of paper to Emma. “It isn’t very illuminating.”

Lady of Roses,

Though the Scholomance is cold, and Diego is boring, I am still grateful that you found enough value in my life to save it. You are as kind as you are beautiful. My thoughts are with you.

Kieran

“Why did he send you this?” Emma handed the note back to Cristina, shaking her head. “It’s weird. He’s so weird!”

“I think he just wanted to thank me for the escape plan,” Cristina protested. “That’s all.”

“Faeries don’t like thanking people,” said Emma. “This is a romantic note.”

Cristina blushed. “It’s just the way faeries talk. It doesn’t mean anything.”

“When it comes to faeries,” Emma said darkly, “everything means something.

#8

Faerie magic was quiet, Kit thought. There was no noise, no tumult, no flashing warlock lights. In between one breath and another, Mark, Kieran and Cristina simply disappeared.

#9

“You hated the Shadow Market in London,” Kit said. “It really bothered you. The noises, and the crowd —“

Ty’s gaze flicked down to Kit. “I’ll wear my headphones. I’ll be all right.”

“…and I don’t know if we should go again so soon,” Kit added. “What if Helen and Aline get suspicious?”

Ty’s gaze darkened. “Julian told me once,” he said, “that when people keep coming up with reasons not do something, it’s because they don’t want to do it. Do you not want to do this?”

Ty’s voice sounded tight. The thrumming wire again, sharp with tension. Under the cotton of his shirt, his too-thin shoulders had tightened as well. The neck of his shirt was loose, the delicate line of his collarbones just visible.

Kit felt a rush of tenderness toward Ty, mixed with near-panic. In other circumstances, he thought, he would just have lied. But he couldn’t lie to Ty.

#10

A ghost, Kit thought. Like Jessamine. He looked around wildly: surely there would be more ghosts here, their dead feet leaving no traces on the grass?

But he only saw the Blackthorns, clinging together, Emma and Cristina side by side, and Julian with Tavvy in his arms, as the smoke rose up and around them. Half-reluctantly he glanced back: the young man with the dark hair had moved to kneel beside Robert Lightwood’s pyre. He was closer to the flames than any human could have gotten, and they seemed to eddy within the outline of his body, lighting his eyes with fiery tears.

Parabatai, Kit thought, suddenly. In the slump of the young man’s shoulders, in his outstretched hands, in the longing stamped on his face, he saw Emma and Julian, he saw Alec as he spoke about Jace; he knew he was looking at the ghost of Robert Lightwood’s parabatai. He didn’t know how he knew it, but he did.

#11

“You have changed, son of thorns,” said the Queen.

#12

“Please. I’ve taught at Shadowhunter Academy. I —” Catarina began to cough, her shoulders shaking. Her eyes widened in alarm.

Cristina slid out of bed, alarmed. “Are you all right —?”

But Catarina had vanished. There wasn’t even a swirl of air to show where her Projection had been.

Cristina hastily threw on her clothes: jeans, an old t-shirt. She wished with all her heart that Emma was here, that they could talk about last night, that Emma could give her advice and a shoulder to cry on.

But she wasn’t. Cristina touched her necklace, whispered a quick prayer to the Angel, and headed down the hall to Mark’s room.

He’d been up as late as she was, so there was a high possibility he was still sleeping. She knocked on the door hesitantly and then harder; finally Mark threw it open, yawning and stark naked.

Híjole!” Cristina shrieked, and pulled her t-shirt collar up over her face. “Put your pants on!”

“Sorry,” he he called, ducking behind the door. “At least you’ve already seen it all.”

#13

The pyres were still burning as the procession turned and headed back toward the city. It was customary for the smoke to rise all night, and for families to gather in Angel Square to mourn among others.

Not that Emma thought it was likely the Blackthorns would do that. They would remain in their house, closeted in with each other: they had been too much apart all their lives to want comfort from other Shadowhunters who they barely knew.

She had trailed away from the rest of the group, too raw to want to try to talk to Julian again in front of his family. Besides, he was holding Tavvy, who was cried out and almost asleep.

“Emma,” said a voice beside her.

She turned and saw Jem Carstairs.

#14

“They fear your influence,” said Gwyn. “They know others listen to you. You are very persuasive, Diana, and startlingly wise.”

She made a face at him. “Flatterer.”

“I am not flattering you.” He stood up. “I am afraid for you. Horace Dearborn may not be a dictator yet, but he yearns to be one. His first move will to be to eliminate all who stand against him. He will move to extinguish the brightest lights first, those who illuminate the pathway for others.”

Diana shivered. “You are cynical, Gwyn.”

“It is possible I do not always see the best in people,” he said, “as I hunt down the souls of slain warriors on the battlefield.”

She raised her eyebrows. “Are you making a joke?”

“Maybe.” He looked puzzled. “I think I might have. Was it funny?”

#15

“That’s why I did all this,” Ty said. “I want you with me in any way you can be.”

#16

Something struck Cristina’s back; she screamed as her feet left the ground. A harpy had sunk its claws into the back of her gear jacket and was lifting her into the air. She thought of stories about how eagles flew high into the sky with their prey and then released them, letting their bodies smash open on the earth below. The ground was already receding below her with terrifying speed.

With a scream of fear and anger, she slashed up and backward with her sword, slicing the harpy’s claws off at the joint. The demon shrieked and Cristina tumbled through the air, her sword falling out of her hand, reaching out as if she could catch on to something to slow her fall — she saw Mark’s pale, terrified face turned up toward her harpies surrounding him in a dark cloud —

Something reached out to seize her out of the sky.

She gasped as a hand caught her elbow, and she was yanked sideways to land awkwardly atop something warm and alive. A flying horse.

#17 

In the reflection of the window glass, Kit saw the bedroom door open and Ty come in. He was still wearing his mourning clothes, though he’d taken off the jacket and was just in a black long-sleeve T-shirt. And Kit knew it was too late to run, that he cared about these people now, and specifically Ty.

“I’m glad you’re here.” Ty sat down on the bed and started unlacing his shoes. “I wanted to talk to you.”

The door was still slightly open and Kit could hear voices coming from the kitchen downstairs. Helen’s, Dru’s, Emma’s, Julian’s. Diana had gone back to her own house. Apparently she lived in a weapons store or something like that. She’d gone back to get some kind of tool she thought could fish the splinters out of Julian’s bleeding hands.

Ty’s hands were fine, but he’d been wearing gloves. Kit had seen Julian’s when he’d gone to rinse them out at the sink, and they’d looked like shrapnel had blown into his palms. Emma had stood nearby looking worried, but Julian had said he didn’t want an iratze, that it would just heal the skin closed over the bits of wood. His voice had sounded so flat, Kit had barely recognized it.

“I know how this is going to sound,” Kit said, turning so his back was against the cold glass. Ty was hunched over, and Kit caught the gleam of gold at his neck. “But you’re not acting the way I expected.”

Ty kicked his boots off. “Because I climbed up the pyre?”

“No, that was kind of actually the most expected thing you did,” said Kit. “I just…”

“I did it to get this,” Ty said, and put his hand to his throat. Kit recognized the gold chain and the slim disk of metal attached to it: Livvy’s locket, the one he’d helped her put on before the Council meeting. He vividly remembered her holding her hair aside as he fastened the clasp, and the smell of her perfume. His stomach lurched.

“Livvy’s necklace,” he said. “I mean, I guess that makes sense. I just thought you would…”

“Cry?” Ty didn’t look angry, but the intensity in his gray eyes had deepened. He was still holding the pendant. “Everybody is supposed to cry. But that’s because they accept that Livvy is dead. But I don’t. I don’t accept it.”

“What?”

“I’m going to get her back,” said Ty.

#18

“Julian, remember what Dane said, that you were the kind of guy who would have a girl for a parabatai?” She knelt up on the bed, raising her chin to look him directly in the eye. “That’s what I always loved about you, even before I was in love with you. You never thought for a second about it diminishing you to have a girl as your warrior partner, you never acted as if I was anything less than your complete equal. You never for a moment made me feel like I had to be weak for you to be strong.”

#19

“I am not a princess,” Cristina said; she was leaning over him, one of her hands braced against the blanket. Kieran’s face was close to hers, so close she could see the dark fringe of his eyelashes. “And I do not want you to go.”

#20 

Julian’s room was small, and painted an incongruously cheerful shade of blue. A white-painted four-poster bed dominated the space. Emma tugged him toward it, sitting him down gently, and went to bolt on the door.

“Why are you locking the door?” Julian raised his head. It was the first thing he’d said since they’d left Ty’s room, though he’d followed her calmly enough.

“You need some privacy, Julian,” she said. She turned toward him; God, the way he looked broke her heart. Blood freckled his skin, darkened his stiff clothes, had dried in patches on his boots. Livvy’s locket glittered in the hollow of his throat, though it had dangled against Livvy’s sternum. Emma remembered that locket: a gift from Julian to his sister when she’d turned thirteen, it had belonged to their grandmother. It had a circlet of the family thorns on the front, and Julian had added an etching to the back: a pair of crossed sabres, Livvy’s weapon.

It held a picture of Ty, Emma knew. She’d barely noticed Livvy wearing it at the Council meeting, though she knew Livvy often wore it when she was feeling nervous, the same way Emma kept tight hold of Cortana.

She wished she’d noticed Livvy more in those last moments, paid more attention to her, rather than worrying about the Cohort, about Manuel and Zara and Jessica, about Robert Lightwood and exile, about her own broken, messed-up heart. She wished she had held Livvy one more time, marveling at how tall and grown-up she was, how she had changed from the chubby toddler she recalled in her own earliest memories.

“Don’t,” Julian said, roughly.

Emma came closer to him; she couldn’t stop herself. He had to look up to meet her eyes. “Don’t do what?”

“Blame yourself,” he said. “I can feel you thinking about how you should have done something different. I can’t let those kind of thoughts in, or I’ll go to pieces.”

He was sitting on the very edge of the bed, as if he couldn’t bear the thought of lying down. Very gently, Emma touched his face, sliding the palm of her hand across his jaw. He shuddered and caught her wrist, hard.

“Emma,” he said, and for one of the first times in her life, she couldn’t read his voice — it was low and dark, rough without being angry, wanting something, but she didn’t know what.

“What can I do,” she breathed. “What can I do, I’m your parabatai, Julian, I need to help you.”

#21   Chapter Three: Nothing That is Ours

The pyres were still burning as the procession turned and headed back toward the city. It was customary for the smoke to rise all night, and for families to gather in Angel Square to mourn among others.

Not that Emma thought it was likely the Blackthorns would do that. They would remain in their house, closeted in with each other: They had been too much apart all their lives to want comfort from other Shadowhunters who they barely knew.

She had trailed away from the rest of the group, too raw to want to try to talk to Julian again in front of his family. Besides, he was holding Tavvy’s hand.

“Emma,” said a voice beside her. She turned and saw Jem Carstairs.

Jem. She was too surprised to speak. Jem had been a Silent Brother once, and though he was a Carstairs, he was a very distant relative, due to being more than a century old. He only looked about twenty-four, though, and was dressed in jeans and scuffed shoes. He wore a white sweater, which she guessed was his concession to Shadowhunter funeral whites.

Jem was no longer a Shadowhunter, though he had been one for many years, and was one of the most famous of the Carstairs family, along with his cousin Cordelia.

“Jem,” she whispered, not wanting to alert anyone else in the procession. “Thanks for coming.”

“I wished you to know how sorry I am,” he said. He looked pale and drawn, but that couldn’t be grief for Livvy, could it? He’d barely known her. “I know you loved Livia like a sister.”

“Can we talk?” she said abruptly. “Just us?”

Read the rest of chapter three here.

#22

Gwyn seated himself opposite her, large hands at his sides, his brow creased with concern. His size and bulk somehow made him seem more helpless than he would have otherwise. “I know what happened,” he said. “When death comes in great and unexpected ways, the Wild Hunt knows it. We hear the stories told by spilled blood.”

Diana didn’t know what to say — that death was unfair? That Livvy hadn’t deserved to die that way, or any way? That the broken hearts of the Blackthorns would never be the same? It all seemed trite, a hundred times said and understood already.

Instead, she said, “I think I would like it if you kissed me.”

Gwyn didn’t hesitate. He was beside her in a moment, graceful despite his bulk; he put his arms around her and she was surrounded by warmth and the smell of the forest and horses. She wrinkled her nose slightly and smiled, and he kissed her smiling mouth.

It was a gentle kiss, for all his size. The softness of his mouth contrasted with the scratch of his stubble and the hard musculature under her hands when she put them timidly on his shoulders and stroked.

It had been a long time, and she had never imagined something quite like this: moonlight and flowers and kissing in glades were for other people.

But apparently not.

#23

What’s that?” Tavvy asked, his eyes big.

“This,” said Aline, “is a frittata. And you’re all going to eat it.” She slammed it down onto a metal trivet in the center of the table.

“Don’t like frittata,” said Tavvy.

“Too bad,” said Aline, crossing her arms and glaring at each of them in turn. “You made Helen cry yesterday, so you’re going to eat this frittata — which, by the way, is goddamn delicious — and you’re going to like it. It’s what’s for breakfast and since I’m not Helen, I don’t care if you starve or eat Cheetos for every single meal. Helen and I both have a lot of work to do, the Clave isn’t giving us an inch, all she wants is to be with you guys, and you are not going to make my wife cry again. Understood?”

The younger Blackthorns nodded, wide-eyed.

#24

It had only been a few days since Robert Lightwood’s death, but Horace Dearborn had already completely redecorated his office.

The first thing Emma noticed was missing was the tapestry of the Battle of the Burren. The fireplace was lit now, and over it Alec Lightwood’s image had been replaced by Zara Dearborn’s. It was a portrait of her in gear, her long blond-brown hair falling to her waist in two braids like a Viking’s. ZARA DEARBORN, CLAVE HERO, said a gold plaque on the frame.

“Subtle,” Julian muttered. He and Emma had just come into Horace’s office; the Inquisitor was poking around in his desk, seemingly ignoring them. The desk at least was the same, though a large sign hung behind it that announced: PURITY IS STRENGTH. STRENGTH IS VICTORY. THEREFORE PURITY IS VICTORY.

Dearborn straightened up.  “‘Clave hero’ might be a bit simple,” he said thoughtfully, making it quite clear he’d heard Julian’s comment. “I was thinking ‘Modern Boadicea.’ In case you don’t know who she was —“

“I know who Boadicea was,” said Julian, seating himself; Emma followed. The chairs were new as well, with stiff upholstery. “A warrior queen of Britain.”

“Julian’s uncle was a classical scholar,” said Emma.

“Ah, yes, so Zara told me.” Horace dropped heavily into his own seat, behind the mahagony desk. He was a big man, rawboned, with a nondescript face. Only his size was unusual — his hands were enormous, and his big shoulders pulled at the material of his uniform. They must not have had time to make one up for him yet. “Now, children. I must say I’m surprised at you two. There has always been such a… vibrant partnership between the Blackthorn and Carstairs families and the Clave.”

“The Clave has changed,” said Emma.

“Not all change is for the worse,” said Horace. “This has been a long time coming.”

Julian swung his feet up, planting his boots on Horace’s desk. Emma blinked. Julian had always been rebellious at heart, but rarely openly. He smiled like an angel and said, “Why don’t you just tell us what you want?”

Horace’s eyes glinted. There was anger in them, but his voice was smooth when he spoke. “You two have really fucked up,” he said. “More than you know.”

Emma was jolted. Shadowhunter adults, especially those in positions of authority, rarely swore in front of anyone they considered children.

“What do you mean?” she said.

He opened a desk drawer and took out a black leather notebook. “Robert Lightwood’s notes,” he said.

“He took them after every meeting he had. He took them after the meeting he had with you.”

#25

“They collected their weapons from the bed of the truck, snapping on wrist protectors and buckling weapons belts. Cristina strapped her trusted balisong to her belt, while Mark found a runed black whip and cracked it a few times: he wore a look of pleasure on his face as it snaked across the darkening sky.”

#26

“We have a lot of allies,” Julian said, sounding surprised.

Emma stuck her tongue out at him. “We have a lot of friends, Julian,” she said. “We have a lot of friends.”

#27

Ty touched his hand absently to the locket at his throat. “That was good. You did a really good job, Dru.”

“Yep.You kept your cool,” said Kit. He glanced up and down the street. “I’d suggest we go get milkshakes or something to celebrate but this is kind of a dark alley situation.”

“Shadowhunters don’t worry about dark alleys,” said Dru.

“Have you learned nothing from the death of Batman’s parents?” said Kit, feigning shock.

Ty smiled. And for the first time since Livvy had died, Dru laughed.

#28

“We might as well talk, Mark,” Kieran said. A bright moon had risen; it illuminated the dark ocean, turned it to a sheet of black and silver glass, the colors of Kieran’s eyes. The night desert was alive with the sound of cicadas. Kieran was walking beside Mark with his hands looped behind him, deceptively human-looking in jeans and t-shirt. He had drawn the line at donning any gear. “It does us no good to ignore each other.”

“I have missed you,” Mark said. There seemed no point in not being honest. “Nor did I intend to ignore you, or to hurt you. I apologize.”

Kieran looked up, a surprised flash under dark lashes. “There is no need to apologize.” He hesitated. “I have had, as you say here in the mortal world, a lot on my mind.”

Mark hid a smile in the dusk. It was irritatingly cute when Kieran used modern phrases.

#29

Diego sighed. “Yes, I disappointed Cristina and I lost her regard—you must understand what that is like. To have let down someone you loved. To have disappointed yourself.”

“Maybe not exactly,” said Kieran, with a shadow of his old wryness. “Nobody calls me Perfect Kieran.”

“I don’t call myself Perfect Diego!” Diego protested, feeling that the conversation had degenerated. “Nobody would call themselves that!”

#30

“Octavian.” It was Magnus’s voice. He was standing in the doorway still, looking down at the small tearstained boy in front of him. There was a great weariness in his eyes, but also an immense compassion: the kind of compassion that came with great old age.

He seemed as if he would have said more, but Rafe and Max had joined him. Silently they filed down the steps and went over to Tavvy; Rafe was nearly as tall as he was, though he was only five. He reached to hug Tavvy, and Max did too—and to Mark’s surprise, Tavvy seemed to relax slightly, allowing the embraces, nodding when Max said something to him in a quiet voice.

Helen got to her feet, and Mark wondered if his face wore the same expression hers did, of pain and shame. Shame that they could not do more to comfort a younger brother who barely knew them.

“It’s all right,” Simon said. “Look, you tried.”

“We did not succeed,” said Mark.

“You can’t fix grief,” said Simon. “A rabbi told me that when my father died. The only thing that fixes grief is time, and the love of the people who care about you, and Tavvy has that.” He squeezed Mark’s shoulder briefly. “Take care of yourself,” he said. “Shelo ted’u od tza’ar, Mark Blackthorn.”

#31

“Why?” Emma said, her voice shaking. “Why would something this horrible happen because of the parabatai bond? It’s supposed to be something so good. Maybe the Queen was right and it’s evil.”

#32

“Clary rarely went into the greenhouse, not because she didn’t like it, but because it was a special place to her. This was the place she’d really felt magic for the first time — not just known it existed, but felt it in a way that seemed to open the world to incredible possibility.
It had changed little since then. She turned to Jace….”

#33

“I’m here on my own account,” Magnus said, in a low and distant voice. “I need your help. There is absolutely no one else that I can ask.”
“That’s not what I . . .” Julian pushed sopping-wet hair out of his eyes, his voice trailing off in realization. “You’re remembering someone.”

#34

“I’m dead, aren’t I?” Livvy’s voice was steady.

#35

“If we’re an army, what are we called?” said Simon.

Julian turned and unpinned the rolled-up canvas hanging on the wall behind him, which had been held in place with tacks. A gasp went up as it unfurled.

Julian had painted a banner, the kind an army would carry before it in wartime. The central item was a saber, point down, painted a shimmering pale gold. Behind the saber spread a pair of angel’s wings, while on each side clustered symbols of Downworld—a star for vampires, a spell book for warlocks, a moon for werewolves, and a four-leafed clover for faeries.

Dangling from the hilt of the saber, so small many would not be able to see it, was a locket with a circle of thorns on the front.

“We are called Livia’s Watch,” Julian said, and Emma saw Ty sit up straighter in his chair. “We carry this banner in honor of my sister, so that all who have been hurt by the Cohort will not be forgotten.”

#36

Tavvy was running over to see what was happening, and Jaime was asking if Dru still had the knife he’d given her, and she couldn’t help smiling, her first real smile since Livvy.

Jaime came back, Dru thought. Finally, someone didn’t leave — they came back instead.

#37

“Have you heard of the First Heir?” said Clary.

#38

Reluctantly Cristina followed as they pushed swiftly through the crowd. The air was full of sweet, harsh smoke, mixing with the mist from the occasional pool of water.

“Prince Kieran.” A faerie woman with hair like a dandelion clock drifted up to them. She wore a dress of white filaments, and her eyes were green as stems. “You come to us in disguise.”

Mark’s hand had gone to his weapons belt, but Kieran made a quick settling gesture at him. “I can trust you to keep my secret, can I not?”

“If you tell me why an Unseelie Prince would come hidden to his own brother’s revel, perhaps,” said the woman, her green eyes keen.

“I seek a friend,” Kieran said.

The woman’s eyes darted over Cristina and then Mark. Her mouth widened into a smile. “You seem to have several.”

“That’s enough,” said Mark. “The prince would proceed unhindered.”

“Now, if it were a love potion you sought, you might come to me,” said the faerie woman, ignoring Mark. “But which of these two Nephilim do you love? And which loves you?”

Kieran raised a warning hand. “Enough.”

“Ah, I see, I see.” Cristina wondered what it was she saw. “No love potion could assist with this.” Her eyes danced.

“Enough, I said!” Kieran flushed. “What would it take to end this bedevilment?”

#39

The morning air caught the edge of Emma’s hood as she turned. “What is this about?” One of the Faerie girls shook her head. “The King is suspicious, naturally. Too long has there been enmity between the Courts. The Riders are inspecting each guest.” Emma froze in horror. “The Riders of Mannan?”

#40

Diego did know of the Hollow Place, a secret room in the Scholomance where, it was said, a pool had been filled with enchanted water. To gaze into the water was to gaze into your own soul: to see all the evil you had ever done, intentionally or otherwise.

They turned a corner and encountered a blaze of light. It was Rayan, standing in the middle of a long corridor, wearing a grim expression. He had a massive sword strapped to his back.

“They dragged him into the Hollow Place,” he said. “I couldn’t follow them—I don’t have my stele on me. Do either of you?”

“I do,” said Diego, and they jogged down a short, sloping hall to a set of closed doors. Loud giggles spilled out from inside the room.

Diego scrawled a quick Open rune on the door. It wrenched open with a puff of rust and they charged inside.

The Hollow Place was a wide space with granite floors, clear of any furniture. The walls were rough rock, glittering with mica. In the center of the room was a tile-lined pool with water so clear and clean it reflected like a mirror. Gold metal lettering deco- rated the floor: And God split open the hollow place, and water came out from it.

“Well, thank the Angel,” drawled Manuel, who was leaning against a far wall in a pose of total disinterest. “Look who’s here to save us all.”

Zara giggled. She was surrounded by a group of other Cohort members—among them Diego recognized several Scholomance students and their family members. Mallory Bridgestock and Milo Coldridge. Anush Joshi, Divya’s cousin. Several Centurions were there too: Timothy Rockford, Samantha Larkspear, and Jessica Beausejours were standing around smirking while Anush dragged Kieran toward the pool in the center of the room. Kieran was jerking and twisting in his grip; there was blood on his face, his shirt.

“It’s a fair punishment for the princeling, don’t you think?” said Zara. “If you look or swim in the water of the pool, you feel the pain you’ve inflicted on others. So if he’s innocent, it should be just fine for him.”

“No one is that innocent,” said Rayan. “The pool is to be used sparingly, to allow students to seek for truth within themselves. Not as a torture device.”

“What an interesting thought, Rayan,” said Manuel. “Thank you for sharing. But I don’t see any of the teachers running in here to stop us, do you?”

I swore I would protect Kieran. Diego reached for his ax, only to realize it wasn’t there. He saw Zara’s eyes narrow and turned; Divya had yanked Rayan’s sword from its scabbard and was pointing it at the Cohort.

“Enough,” Divya said. “Stop it, all of you. And I’m especially ashamed of you, Anush,” she added, shooting her cousin a dark look. “You know what it’s like to be treated unfairly. When your mother finds out . . .”

Anush let Kieran go with a shove. He landed at the edge of the pool with a grunt of agony. Move away from the water, Diego thought, but Kieran was clearly wounded; he knelt in place, dazed and gasping.

“We’re just having a little fun,” protested Anush.

“What are you going to do, Divya, attack us?” said Samantha. “Just for having a little fun?”

“He’s bleeding,” said Diego. “That’s more than just ‘a little fun.’ And what happens if you kill him? Do you really want to deal with the consequences? He’s the son of the Unseelie King.”

There was a rumble of discontent among the Cohort. Clearly they’d never thought about that.

“Fine, fine,” said Zara. “Be killjoys. But I knew he was here, hiding out in your room,” she said to Diego. “I saw a hollowed acorn on your floor. So this is your fault. If you hadn’t brought him here, none of this would have happened.”

“Give it a rest, Zara,” said Divya, still holding the sword levelly. “Diego, go get Kieran.”

Diego started across the room, just as Manuel spoke. “Why don’t you look in the water yourself, Rocio Rosales?” he said. “If you think your soul is so clean. It should be painless for you.”

“Cállate la pinche boca,” Diego snapped, nearly at Kieran’s side; the faerie prince was coughing, blood on his lips. He’d started to pull himself upright when Manuel moved with the speed of a snake: Planting a boot in Kieran’s back, he kicked him into the water.

#41

Emma didn’t care what they did to her; she had to get to Julian. He was still on the ground with Livvy in his arms, resisting all efforts by the guards to lift her dead body away from him.

“Let me through,” she said. “I’m his parabatai, let me through.”

#42

“What are you doing out and about without your shadow?”

“Ty’s not my shadow,” said Kit crossly.

“My apologies. I suppose you’re his.” Shade’s eyes were solemn. “Have you come to tell me of the progress you’ve made in your foolish plan to raise his sister from the dead?”

#43 Chapter 2: Melancholy Waters

Melancholy Waters

Cristina stood despairingly in the extremely clean kitchen of the Princewater Street canal house and wished there was something she could tidy up.

She’d washed dishes that didn’t need washing. She’d mopped the floor and set and reset the table. She’d arranged flowers in a vase and then thrown them out, and then retrieved them from the trash and arranged them again. She wanted to make the kitchen nice, the house pretty, but was anyone really going to care if the kitchen was nice and the house was pretty?

She knew they wouldn’t. But she had to do something. She wanted to be with Emma and comfort Emma, but Emma was with Drusilla, who had cried herself to sleep holding Emma’s hands. She wanted to be with Mark, and comfort Mark, but he’d left with Helen, and she could hardly be anything but glad that at last he was getting to spend time with the sister he’d missed for so long.

The front door rattled open, startling Cristina into knocking a dish from the table. It fell to the floor and shattered. She was about to pick it up when she saw Julian come in, closing the door behind him—Locking runes were more common than keys in Idris, but he didn’t reach for his stele, just looked sightlessly from the entryway to the stairs.

Read the rest of the excerpt here.

#44

The first thing Emma noticed was missing was the tapestry of the Battle of the Burren. The fireplace was lit now, and over it Alec Lightwood’s image had been replaced by Zara Dearborn’s. It was a portrait of her in gear, her long blond-brown hair falling to her waist in two braids like a Viking’s. ZARA DEARBORN, CLAVE HERO, said a gold plaque on the frame.

“Subtle,” Julian muttered.

#45

“But we can’t tell her about Shade.” Ty was pale as the moon. “Or the Black Volume.”

Kit sat up. “No—no, definitely not. It would be dangerous for Dru to know anything about—about that. All we need to tell her is that we’re trying to get back on good terms with the Shadow Market.”

Ty’s gaze slid away. “You really like Drusilla.”

“I think she feels very alone,” said Kit. “I get that.”

“I don’t want her to be in danger,” said Ty. “She can’t be in any kind of danger.”

#46

“Mark!” Kieran said again, and this time the catch in his voice was alarm. He ran toward Mark, drawing Cristina after him, his hand in hers. They stumbled together into the center of the clearing just as a contingent of faerie guards burst into the clearing, their torches blazing like banners against the night.

With them was Manuel Villalobos.

#47

“There is a fire inside us, and as it blazes, it burns, and the burning causes pain – but without its light, I cannot see to draw.”

#48

Jaime breathed against him, low irregular breaths; his eyes were closed. Some of Diego’s earliest memories were of holding his brother. When he was six and Jaime was three, he had carried him everywhere. He’d been afraid that otherwise Jaime, toddling around on his short little legs, would miss out on all the things in the world Diego wanted him to see.

#49

It was her, the strange human girl he’d once seen in the Unseelie weapons room. Dark hair, eyes the color of the sky. A murder of crows circled behind her. Not a photograph, but a drawing, done with a wistful hand, a sense of love and longing emanating from the page. A name was scribbled in a corner: Drusilla Blackthorn.

#50

“And I want to with you,” Mark said, his eyes softening. “But do you have the rune?”

The rune.

The birth control rune. Cristina had never put it on; she’d never thought she was that close to needing it. “Oh, no,” she said. “My stele is down in the Institute.”

“Mine as well,” he said. Cristina almost giggled at the disappointed look on his face. “Still,” he said, brightening. “There is much else I can do to make you feel good. Allow me?”

#51

Watch over Tiberius. There are many ways to be endangered by magic.

#52

Kier,” Mark said, and he saw Kieran shiver at the use of the old nickname. “Today you stood up and offered all your powers as a prince and faerie to save my family. How can you not know how I feel?”

Kieran was staring at his own hand, where it hovered at the edge of Mark’s shirt collar… Mark’s arms hooked around Kieran’s neck, drawing him down into a kiss.

#53

“Annabel,” said the King. “Ash. I have had this day some interesting tidings.”

#54

Sometimes you need to guard people against the things they want, as well as the things they fear.

#55

“Oh, very well,” said the Queen, and in her eyes Emma saw an odd light of eagerness. Perhaps she was more desperate for the book than Emma had thought? “As a sign of my good faith, I will give you part of what I promised. I will tell you, Julian, how certain bonds might be broken. But I will not tell her.” She gestured at Emma. “That was not part of the bargain.”

#56

Julian took a swig from the bottle. “I felt like I was being torn apart inside,” he said matter-of-factly. “To stand there and say those things about Livvy—to call that bastard monster ‘sir’—to keep from ripping Annabel limb from limb—”

“Do it now, then,” said a voice from the shadows. “Rip me apart, if you can.”

#57

Visual Emma snippet

#58

Dru wrinkled up her nose. “I have to be the bad guy?”

“Come on,” said Kit. “You’ll get to boss us around. Don’t tell me you won’t enjoy it a little bit.”

She grinned. “Yeah, probably. Okay, deal. I’ll see you there.”

Kit turned to unlock the door and let himself out. Then paused. Without looking at Dru, he said, “I’ve spent my whole life lying and tricking people. So why is it so hard for me to lie to this one person? To Ty?”

#59

Diana sank back in her seat. Whatever had happened, she knew it was no fault of Kieran’s or the others’, but she could feel the mood of the crowd: stark horror. No one would want to hear a defense of them now.

“My God, what’s he going to do?” she whispered, half to herself. “What’s Horace going to do to Diego and the others?”

#60

Adaon leaned his big hands on the back of a chair. “Why did you come here?” he said. “Why did you bring me this news?” He shook his head. “It is possible my father will spare him. He is well liked by the people.”

“You know your father will kill him for just that reason,” said Cristina. Her voice shook. “Before the Hunt no one in Kieran’s life ever loved or cared for him at all, save you. Are you really going to abandon him now?”

#61

“The Blackthorns and that Emma wouldn’t dare say anything against us anyway,” said Zara. “We still hold their secret in the palms of our hands.” She touched Cortana’s hilt. “Besides, nothing of theirs will be theirs for much longer, not even the Institute.”

Zara was also a true believer, Manuel thought with some distaste. She was a stick and a bore and he had never believed Diego Rocio Rosales actually saw anything in her; on balance, he seemed to have turned out to be right. He suspected Diego had been punished as much for rejecting Zara as for helping some idiot faerie.

#62

Emma,” Julian whispered. “Your Marks …”

She shook her head, tears bitter in the back of her throat. It’s done.

#63

Emma raised her sword. “Then strike me down now.”

Zara took a step backward. “I said you had twenty-four hours.”

Rage sizzled through Emma’s nerves. “And I said strike me down now.” She whipped the sword toward Zara; it caught the edge of Zara’s cloak and sliced through it. “You came here. You challenged me. So fight me!

#64

Shade glared. “I was asleep. It’s three in the morning.”

The sleeping bag wiggled. A moment later Church crawled out, making chirping noises. He curled up on top of the bag, blinking his large yellow eyes.

“That isn’t very loyal,” Ty said, looking at Church sternly.

Shade yawned. “We’ve known each other a long time, that cat and I. We had some things to catch up on.”

#65

Julian’s expression was nakedly vulnerable. “Unless you don’t feel that way about me anymore,” he said. “If you’d stopped loving me, I wouldn’t blame you.”

“I guess that would solve our problem,” Emma said, without thinking.

Julian flinched.

#66

“Perhaps you are not confused,” she said in a whisper. “But I am. You confuse me very much.”

“Cristina,” Kieran whispered. He touched her face lightly; she leaned into the warmth of his hand, and his fingers slipped across her cheek to her mouth. He outlined the shape of her lips with his fingertips, his eyes half-closed.

#67

Kit rolled onto his back on the grass. He was gasping for breath. Dying, he thought. I’m dying. And I cannot be who they said I am. It’s impossible.

“Kit!” Emma was crouching over him, pulling the collar of his shirt aside to place an iratze there. “Kit, by the Angel, what did you do?”

“I don’t—know.” He felt like there was no breath in his body. His fingers scrabbled weakly against the dirt. Help me, Emma. Help me. Tell Ty—

“It’s all right.” There was someone else bending over him, someone with a familiar face and calming voice. “Christopher. Christopher, breathe.”

 

Snippets from Cassandra Clare’s Facebook Page

#1

Blood always matters, to the wrong sort of people.

#2

Grief does not make us weak, it makes us human.

#3

As long as you exist and I exist, I will love you.

#4

There are times, I think, where we’re each called. Where we can choose to rise up or not to rise up.

#5

Sometimes the bravest thing we can do is confront our own failings.

#6

There is nothing simple about vengeance, and nothing pure.

#7

Be careful what masks you wear, lest you lose your true face forever.

 

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