New York Times best-selling author Cassandra Clare is introducing another installment in her popular young adult urban fantasy world with “Lady Midnight,” the first book in a new series called The Dark Artifices.
Released this month, the novel tells the story of a family introduced in the last book of Clare’s initial The Mortal Instruments series. The orphaned Blackthorns and their friend, Emma Carstairs, are Shadowhunters — half-human, half-angel beings who are granted power to preside over the demons and other creatures from the underworld that reside on earth. Not yet adults, they are training and preparing to become full-fledged Shadowhunters in the future.
Emma is seeking to solve of the mystery of her parents’ death five years earlier so she can exact her vengeance on their murderer. When she starts hearing of dead bodies that appear to have been mutilated and killed in the same way her parents were, she can’t stop herself from trying to find out who is behind it.
Meanwhile, the head of the Blackthorn household, Julian, who is only 17, is Emma’s parabatai, which means they have taken a magical vow to never part from each other. This vow makes their magic stronger and makes it so they can feel each other’s pain, but they are also forbidden from ever falling in love, which proves to be a difficult stipulation for them to honor.
As "Lady Midnight" follows six books in the Mortal Instruments series, it would be difficult for a reader to pick it up and understand all the intricacies of what is going on. Many characters mentioned would be meaningless to a new reader, and many details of the Shadowhunter world would be confusing. But the main gist of the story does stand on its own, and it’s hard for a demon murder mystery and the classic trope of star-crossed lovers not to grip a reader until the end.
There is a subplot in the novel involving a homosexual relationship, told from the perspective of a member of that relationship and including several descriptive kissing scenes. There are several references to sex, but no explicit, descriptive sex scenes are included. The novel contains a number of violent scenes with lots of blood, including some gruesome dismemberment. There are very few instances of crude language.
If you go ...
What: Cassandra Clare book signing
When: Wednesday, March 9, 7 p.m.
Where: Bennion Junior High, 6055 S. 2700 West
Note: Places in the signing line are reserved for those who purchase a copy of the featured book from The King's English.
Michelle Garrett is a journalism graduate from BYU and currently works as a business magazine writer for a network marketing company in Utah. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org