Lady Midnight is the first novel in the Dark Artifices series, which follows Emma Carstairs and her parabatai Julian Blackthorn of the LA Institute. We were introduced to the Blackthorns, and Emma in the City of Heavenly Fire. As children, they watched their parents fall to Sebastian’s evil machinations, leaving Julian, at twelve years old, to raise his four younger siblings. Even though Julian and Emma are only 17 in this book, it feels much more adult because they were forced to be parents to his brothers and sisters. The inner torment Julian feels about being their parent, instead of being able to go through normal childhood or teenage trials rears its head when his older brother Mark gets dropped into their family after being sent to the Wild Hunt. His hope that someone else can bear that burden is dashed when he realizes Mark cannot take that responsibility. My heart broke for him as his dream for a normal life was also broken.
Emma draws the residents of the LA Institute into helping her solve some local Fae murders. This also was the reason Mark was allowed back with his family, as the Fae left him there to help them solve this mystery, at the end of which he’ll be allowed to choose to return to the hunt or stay with his family. The mystery was very well plotted, but it was the inner workings of all of these relationships that kept me fascinated. Emma and Julian, as parabatai were forbidden to fall in love, yet both start to have these feelings. Mark, seems to be more fae than human, and is working through his attraction to Cristina (an exchange student living at the LA Institute), while also having a loved one still with the Hunt. Cristina has her own mixed emotions, as she has secrets that she left behind in Mexico. All of these emotions are intertwined with the mystery they are working to solve, so much that the mystery, when solved, doesn’t give the reader the satisfaction of a conclusion because we are left hanging with the more interesting emotional turmoil that remains.
I can’t wait for the next book in this series. Will they or won’t they is the biggest question that remains. I won’t give away who I am talking about, you’ll have to read it for yourself!
Copyright 2016 Deborah Kehoe A Chick Who Reads All Rights Reserved