The first in Clare's new Dark Artifices series centering around character first introduced in The City of Heavenly Fire. Orphaned at the age of twelve by Sebastian Morgenstern, Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorn are parabatai, fighting partners, confidants and best friends. Parabatai can be everything to each other--but they can never fall in love. At 17, their feelings for each other are changing and the true question remains whether passion and love can outweigh the law of the Clave.
Both have had to grow up too fast. In the absence of his parents and older siblings, Julian has had to raise his younger siblings as well as secretly run the Institute on behalf of his mentally incapable uncle. Haunted by her parent's gruesome murder and convinced that Sebastian Morgenstern wasn't involved, Emma is determined to discover the truth.
When the bodies of humans and faeries turn up murdered in the same way Emma’s parents , an uneasy alliance is formed. This is Emma’s chance for revenge—and Julian’s chance to get back his brother Mark, who is being held prisoner by the faerie Courts. All Emma, Mark, and Julian have to do is solve the murders within two weeks while keeping their investigation secret and staying alive.
Each clue reveals some surprising secrets and betrayals, especially Julian's hidden feelings, more into the Clave's history of cruelty and why it is forbidden for parabatai to fall in love. These answers are just as eye-opening as they are heartbreaking.
I am hooked on these new characters and their dynamic within the Shadowhunter world. Emma is intelligent and fierce. Julian is dreamy, determined and optimistic. I love their relationship. It is heartfelt but also sexy and passionate; however, the angst and bittersweet status of their declaration will leave readers hoping for resolve but understanding that things will only get much worse before they get better.
Fans of the Shadowhunter world will be glad to see some familiar faces in cameo appearances. Overall, it is a fun, exciting and engaging read, if a bit long. The audiobook narrated by Morena Baccarin was very well done. Great cliffhanger!!
Final rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Follow the author on Twitter: @cassieclare
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