This teaser is from part two of the last chapter, which I had to cut in two because it was just too long. The following excerpt is thus from the end of chapter 12, a chapter in which Chalice goes to find her uncle and free him from the prison that binds him. In the process, she has to do something very unpleasant. This unpleasantness is not mentioned in the following excerpt, but found rather within the chapter itself, which will be revealed only at publication of the final book.
“Can they be trusted?”
“They can all be trusted. They are my men. They have always been loyal to me.”
“Good,” she said and nodded to Marcus whose glowing emerald ceased its brilliance, releasing the two guards by the door. Chalice watched them for a moment to make sure they didn’t move before she continued. “Next question. Do you have a war room where we can talk over maps and charts?”
Davinthore blinked, not believing what she had just asked. “Yes, I do, but … don’t you want to stay a while and rest. We can talk over tea and supper.” He reached out to touch her face affectionately. “My niece, you look so much like Bron and yet, I don’t even know you. In fact, I don’t even know my own son.”
“Your father. That is what I call him. Bronaan is his name, but most call him Duquaine.”
“Or Duque,” Marcus interjected jauntily.
“Yes, or Duque,” he agreed, smiling broadly at Marcus. The two exchanged a meaningful glance that only two old friends could. Then, Davinthore turned back to Chalice. “What say you? Will you not stay for tea and supper?”
He is such a sweet man, Chalice thought. She was sorely tempted to take him up on his offer. She thought about Valderion – how determined he had been to see his father and how fiercely he had defended his honor. She wanted nothing more than to let them pass the evening together and give them some father-and-son time. After all these years, there was no one else who deserved it more. But unfortunately, terribly, she knew she couldn’t and she hated herself again for what she had to do. She shook her head sadly and said: “I’m sorry, but there is no time. If you want to help, we need to talk now. You want to help us, right?”
“Yes, of course. Anything you need.”
“Okay. Let’s go, then. Take me to your war room.” She took his hand and helped him to his feet. He moved toward a side door a few paces to the right of the hearth and she followed. Sensing Valderion close behind her, she turned and put her hand up. “You stay here.”
“What? Why?” he protested. “Why can’t I come?”
“No one can come. Not even Jeremiah. I need to talk to your father alone.” It was true. No one was allowed in this time. She had plans for her uncle and his ships and she needed to relay them as quickly as possible with no one to interfere. If the others were present, she knew they would and she didn’t have time for that. At this point in their journey, she knew what needed to be done. She had to act swiftly and place all the pieces on the board before Dar’Maalda beat her to the endgame. And she wasn’t even sure where he was in the last stages of his plans, which made it even more difficult. She was guessing and the wrong guess would mean the difference between victory and death for the Resistance and her people. It was a risk, but she had to take it.
“Chalice, he’s my father,” Valderion continued to protest. “I have a right to be there.”
“No, you don’t,” she said sternly. “You’re not even supposed to be here. Remember? But you disobeyed my order and came regardless. So you will stay here with the others while we talk.” When he opened his mouth to protest, she cut him off. “I’m not going to argue with you about it.”
Chalice looked up at Jeremiah who had placed his hand on Valderion’s shoulder. “You better listen to her, Valderion. I know when Chalice means what she says and she is very serious right now.”
Valderion paused and stood in silence as he watched Chalice disappear behind the door with his father. After all this time, after all the years of waiting and worrying, he was finally reunited with his father and yet was only given just moments to be with him before Chalice whisked him away. It wasn’t fair and he wasn’t sure if he would ever forgive her for it.
For the past few weeks, work on The Return has been slow. This is for several reasons. First, I’ve been very busy at my day job and second, I have to admit, I did get stuck on this chapter. It was one of those chapters that I wasn’t particularly looking forward to writing. Not sure why. Just wasn’t too interested in it, but after a few ideas came to me, the chapter really began to take form and became much more interesting. I guess I just needed to recharge my batteries, so I’m glad I took the extra time. After all, if a chapter is boring for me, then it’s probably going to be boring for my readers and I don’t want that. In fact, the chapter became so long, I had to cut it into two.
In this teaser, I took an excerpt from part one, which became chapter 11, called The Keymaster:
“Maddox,” she said, suddenly realizing what the alien presence was that she had felt. She pointed to the desk and their heads swiveled round to see. “That bird. I’ve seen one just like it on …”
“Maalda,” he interrupted. “Am I right?”
“Yeah. What is it?”
“It’s a macaw, my dear. Oisha was given to me by your uncle when I retired. He keeps the keys safe.”
“He?” Jeremiah cut in, arching a wry eyebrow. “You mean, the bird has the keys?”
“Oh yes, they’re attached to his talons. I did that to ensure that no one could take the keys by force.” He quirked the side of his mouth into an annoyed frown. “Only problem is he’s a tricky, little blighter. It’s almost impossible to catch him.”
“But you can catch him, right?” Valderion asked.
“Sometimes, you know, when he feels like cooperating.” He rose from his chair and approached the bird. “Oisha, we need the keys.”
“Aaawk!” the bird screeched and flew suddenly into the air toward the top bookshelf above the window.
“Oisha,” Maddox barked. “Get down here, you little devil! We need the keys.”
“Aaawk! Oisha, get down here. Get down here. Aaawk!”
“Here, Maddox, let me,” Marcus said as the stone on his ring shone a bright emerald. As the air around the bird began to solidify, Oisha darted swiftly to the other side of the room. Marcus tried again and again the bird evaded him. Then, Allad and Valderion joined in, but the darkness blinded them and the bird’s speed foiled their efforts. He seemed to sense when and where they would use their power, rendering their stones useless. After a minute or two, it was obvious that trapping him with air wasn’t going to work.
“Fantastic,” Marcus mumbled to Allad. “This is going to be fun.”
He rose from the settee and began to make his way up the ladder toward the top shelf where Oisha was perched, but as soon as he was halfway, the bird shot away into a dark corner. Marcus pointed to the far wall and Valderion didn’t miss a beat. He was on the ladder climbing as quickly as Allad had taken the wall near the desk and soon all three men were rolling themselves on the ladders, snatching desperately at the macaw as he flew by. Jeremiah remained on the ground with Maddox, directing the bird upward toward the men with the aid of a feather duster he had found near the desk. The scene was an insane flurry of feathers, dust, shouting men and the mocking caw of Oisha, who knew exactly what he was doing.
Chalice stood in the far corner of the room and fought a mad desire to laugh. Here were the Ielierian’s finest warriors, trained and skilled in the art of warfare, being outsmarted by a bird. She watched in amusement as the macaw flew beautifully through the air, deftly evading the men at every attempt.
Flying away from Jeremiah, Oisha came dangerously close to Marcus’ ladder. Standing on a low rung with a murderous look on his face, Marcus launched himself into the air directly at the bird. Realizing his mistake, the bird banked upward to avoid him. At that precise moment, the door to the study opened and Agatha unwittingly walked in with a large tray of tea and scones. Marcus, with arms and legs flailing, came crashing down on Agatha’s tray, knocking it from her hands and shattering the delicate china into hundreds of small shards of porcelain all over the study floor.
Maddox rushed to his wife’s side. “Agatha! Dear, are you alright?”
“I’m fine,” she said. “I’m quite unhurt. What in the heavens is going on in here, Maddie?!”
“Well, we just …” he stopped and motioned toward the others who were still in a mad chase for Oisha.
“Curse you, you wretched bird!” Marcus spat, still snatching at the air when the bird came close.
Valderion paused and turned toward Maddox. “How did you do it when Lord Graeystone was here?”
“Ah, well, Benjamin made this sound, you know, and Oisha appeared to like it because he flew right to him.”
“What kind of sound?” Jeremiah asked. “Can you make it?”
“Not sure, really. It was sort of like this …” Maddox let out a piercing scree that made the hairs on the back of Chalice’ neck stand straight. They all covered their ears in pain as the bird changed direction and flew directly toward the open window.
“No … no …” Marcus shouted, rushing to stop him, but in his haste, tripped over a stool and missed Oisha’s talons by inches.
“What happened?” Jeremiah asked as soon as he had uncovered his ears and opened his eyes.
“He flew out the window,” Valderion answered.
“Well, I’m afraid this is bad,” Maddox said. “When he goes out like this, it might be anywhere from an hour to a couple days before he returns. He does eventually get hungry.”
“We don’t have a couple days!” Marcus boomed, running his fingers through his hair in frustration.
“Enough,” Chalice said calmly, stepping out of the dark corner where she had been in silent observation. She walked to the window, held out her arm, and called out in mind-speak: Oisha, it’s time to come back. She’d known very well the bird was having them all on, enjoying his ability to elude them, but now it was time to stop playing around. It was getting late and they were all tired. She relayed the message to the air-born creature in a split-second thought and within a few moments, he was through the window and perched keenly atop her left forearm.
“Can I have them?” she asked and the bird stuck out its leg. Chalice pinched the clip that held the keyring and the keys dropped neatly into her palm. “Thank you,” she said and let the bird fly swiftly back to its perch atop the bookshelf. The others just gaped at her in exasperation.
“Why didn’t you do that in the first place, Maefeline?!” Marcus spluttered furiously.
“What? And miss all the fun?” She winked and tossed the keys to Valderion who caught them deftly in mid-air.
Coming November 22, 2013! Can. Not. Wait!
I saw this on The Passive Voice. I love it when PG posts stuff like this!
Out of all of the Shadowhunter series, I have to say that this trilogy is by far the best. I didn’t think it was possible for Cassandra Clare’s writing to get better, but it did. I’ve said before that I wish I could write like her and I still do. Her command of the English language is superb. I love her prose. They flow so smoothly and poetically, evoking just the right feelings at just the right time. Joy, sorrow, regret, happiness, laughter, fear. They’re all there.
I think what really makes these books so good are the characters. Cassie’s characters, to me, are so much more real than any other book characters I’ve read. She shows us who they really are and it’s almost like they become our friends as we read, so that when the story is finished and the book is shut, we feel their acute absence. I think this is really the loss I felt when I closed the book. The loss of Tessa and Will and Jem and all of the people that they loved and shared experiences with in the story. It’s very strange and rare a book that can do that.
******* Warning: spoilers *******
A few comments about the characters:
Cecily is one of those characters, like her brother, that we learn to love as we get to know her. The dynamic between her and Will plays out well in the story
Tessa has been criticized by many for being a selfish and uncaring, jumping from one man that she loves to the other without thinking about them or their feelings. I think this couldn’t be farther from the truth. She is constantly showing her love for them, to the extreme point of wanting to give herself to Mortmain to save Jem and free both boys from the cage in which she has placed both their hearts.
Will really grows up in this book at the expense of losing part his personality. He goes from being darkly tragic and utterly sarcastic, to a love-sick puppy who doesn’t know who he is or how to be. Still can’t help but love him. My favorite line of his in the book is what he says to Tessa in Mortmain’s cave: “I love you catastrophically.” I think that one line sums up his whole situation quite nicely in the Jem-Tessa-Will love triangle.
Jem shows us his true (and eternal) love for Tessa at the very end. This was part of the story that was so touching. We see how far he is willing to go and long he is willing to wait for her.
Henry’s inventions play a major role in defeating Mortmain and also explain quite a bit about how the portals work in the Mortal Instruments.
Charlotte again proves how strong and dedicated she is to the Institute and the people who depend on her, even being in such a delicate condition.
Sophie’s love for Charlotte and for Gideon really shape her in this book, I think. She is another character that I admire for her integrity and sense of propriety.
Gideon shows us just how clever and funny he is in his letters to Consul Wayland. He also shows us his tender and humble side when he reveals his feelings to everyone about Sophie.
Gabriel changes a lot in this book and not just in his view of Will. I admired his character for doing what he had to do with his father and managing to move onward and redeem his family’s name, while at the same time reuniting with his brother and making amends with the people he betrayed.
Mortmain’s demise was very, very cleverly done. One of the best moments in the story.
Ethereal makes an appearance in this one via Tessa. I’m thinking that he must not be a very strong angel because he keeps getting trapped by humans.
Jessamin, I think, is the character in the story that changes the most. We go from despising her on book one, to feeling profoundly sorry for her in the end.
Consul Wayland puzzles me in this one. Throughout the book, I kept thinking that he was working for Mortmain, but instead he turns out just to be incompetent. He reminded me a bit of Fudge in Harry Potter.
Woolsey Scott took a turn for the worse. I really liked him in book two, but in this one, he acts like a perfect jerk.
Magnus continues to be my favorite character and earns even more of my respect in this book. My favorite line of his: “Well, this is unexpected.”
In this book, we find out:
Who Tessa’s parents are.
What Tessa really is.
Why Starkweather recognized Tessa.
Where Mortmain is hiding.
What happens to someone who has Demon Pox.
How Church gets to New York.
What Tessa’s clockwork angel really is.
And last but not least: the outcome of the Jem-Tessa-Will love triangle.
The scene where Sophie walks in on Gabriel and Gideon composing the letter to Consul Wayland. Their whole plot to thwart Wayland was hysterical.
The incident with Sophie, Gideon and the scones. Too cute.
The scene where Magnus wakes up Tessa and Will in the cave. Hilariously embarrassing.
The only criticism I have with the book is that I wish there’d been more comedy relief like these scenes.
Some deep thoughts:
There seems to be some debate about the epilogue. There are those that condemn it and there are those that praise it. What do I say? I say it is what it is. This is Cassie’s story and the epilogue is meant to be a part of it. I will neither praise nor condemn it. I will say this, though. If it hadn’t been for the epilogue, I would not have felt as though I’d lost a best friend after I shut the book. The epilogue completes the story and ties it up into a nice, little package. Not only that, the epilogue is really the part of the story that makes the reader think deeply about time and mortality and how the love we share with others transcends both of them. I hear so many people talk about the cruelty of mortality, but what Cassie’s epilogue really does is show us the cruelty of immortality. The pain that Tessa feels when she loses one of the men she loves. The pain she feels when she has to leave her children and other descendants behind just to keep her sanity. You really feel this during the time she stays with Magnus. When she cries out for Will in the night and Magnus holds her and tells her that it gets easier after the first lost love. This is one really big reason I love Magnus as a character. He knows the pain associated with losing loved ones and yet he still does it. He still loves. And he still helps the people he loves instead of becoming aloof and uncaring like Woolsey.
Predictions from my review of book 2, Clockwork Prince:
Prediction #1: I don’t think Jem will be able to marry Tessa. I believe the Magister will find out about their engagement and find a way to abduct her before the marriage happens. Charlotte said in the first book that the Magister wants to marry her because of the magical binding in marriage to someone like her – that it would give him her power or something like that. So, I hate to say it, but I think Tessa will be kidnapped.
Yep, got this one right! I knew Tessa was going to get kidnapped. It kind of had to happen. It was one of those events that was engineered into the story without which we would not have seen the end to Mortmain.
Prediction #2: As much as I hate to say this, as much as it breaks my heart to say it, I think there is a foreshadowing in the first and second books of the Infernal Devices – a foreshadowing that predicts Jem’s death. This is part of the reason why I think we will lose a character in the third book. In the first book, Tessa dreams of Jem in a bed of fire. Then again this is mentioned in the scene where she and Jem are having an intimate moment on his bed, she thinks about her dream and we are made to think that that dream was a foreshadowing to their moment on the bed but I don’t think it is. I think it is a foreshadowing of something that will happen later. Another foreshadowing I saw was when Tessa, Jem, and Will are getting back on the train from York, it says: “Later, she would remember the way he looked, hanging onto the door, hatless, calling to both of them, and recall staring out the window of the train as it pulled away …” When I read that, I thought: “Why would she be ‘remembering’ him later? What is going to happen to Jem?”
On this one, I couldn’t have been more wrong. Wow! All I can say is that we learn a great deal about Brother Zachariah in this book. Facepalm. I should have known after having read City of Fallen Angels and the City of Lost Souls. I should have known who Brother Zachariah was.
Prediction #3: I also think that Tessa is related to the Starkweathers. I think this is the reason Alouiscious recognizes her and is shocked. I’m thinking maybe he knew her mother or her mother’s mother. Why do I think this? Because there is something odd about what happened with Alouiscious’ granddaughter. Gabriel Lightwood said that Starkweather’s granddaughter was never very healthy and then when they went to put marks on her, she went mad, became foresaken and died. As if she weren’t a shadowhunter. As if she were human and was switched as a baby like the fairy lady said to Tessa – that the fairies switch babies to keep their bloodline strong. They switch a sickly fairy baby for a healthy human one. I’m thinking Tessa’s mother was switched out from the Starkweather family (leaving a sickly human baby in her place – Aunt Harriet’s real sister) which would explain Nate’s claim that Tessa’s mother was a shadowhunter. This makes sense because both Aunt Harriet and Nate are blond haired and blue eyed just like the picture of Starkweather’s ‘switched’ granddaughter. Also, just as Alouiscious’ granddaughter was never very healthy, neither was Aunt Harriet. Tessa says in CA that Aunt Harriet was kind of a sickly woman, never very strong. So, actually, Nate and Harriet are related to the girl in Starkweather’s painting and Tessa’s mother was really Alouiscious’ true granddaughter which would make Tessa his great granddaughter. I’m assuming he recognized her because she must look not just like her mother, but also like her mother’s mother, who Alouiscious would have known.
Yup, yup, and yup! I was right on with this one. I remember sending Cassie a message about this, telling her my theory on Tessa and Starkweather. She responded by saying: “I always like a theory.” But I suppose she didn’t want to give it away. =o)
I was right, Cassie! =o) And I have to say thank you again for writing such a wonderful, beautiful, bittersweet story. Keep writing, please!
This is awesome! I love this woman!
If you thought Borders was bad at selling books, you’ve got to watch this! My sister just introduced me to this show and I have to admit it’s hysterically funny. It’s a sitcom that aired back in 2000 to 2004, starring Irish comedian Dylan Moran who plays Bernard Black. Black is a bookshop owner in London and couldn’t be less suited for the job as he ends up driving away more customers than actually selling books.
On Wikipedia, it says:
Bernard Black is the proprietor of his small bookshop, Black Books. The series revolves around the lives of Bernard, Manny, and Fran. A central theme is Bernard’s odd position as a belligerent and openly hostile shopkeeper who has a loathing of the outside world and all the people who inhabit it, except his oldest friend, Fran, who initially ran a trendy bric-a-brac shop, Nifty Gifty, next-door to the shop.
The show almost reminds me of Seinfeld because it’s really about nothing but at the same time, it’s hilarious. Here are a few videos to give you an idea:
Bernard Black Hates People
Dylan Moran Black Books
Customer Service Irish Style
The Best of Black Books