From School Library Journal
Fighting is Emma Carstairs’ life. She is training to be a Shadowhunter—a demon killer—and is determined to discover the truth behind her parents’ grisly murder five years ago. At her side is lifelong best friend Julian, who is also her parabatai, a bonded-for-life platonic warrior partner. As a new rash of murders occur throughout L.A. and faces from her past return, Emma gets closer to discovering the truth about her parents, even as she and Julian begin to navigate their changing feelings for each other. But the law that prohibits parabatai from falling in love is rooted in reason, and the consequences are more dire than they know. At more than 700 pages, this is sometimes overblown, and Clare relies overmuch on characters from other series in her Shadowhunter world (although this likely won’t dissuade her die-hard fans). Still, there is much to enjoy, including a subplot involving the Wild Hunt that is fresh and often wonderfully told. With an intense cliff-hanger ending, demand for the sequel is likely to be just as high.
HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: With a Shadowhunters TV series now on air, Clare has never been more popular. This new series delivers plenty of the violence, otherworldy intrigue, and star-crossed romances readers have come to expect.
— Maggie Reagan (Booklist March 1, 2016)
Clarereturns to her Shadowhunters world with this enjoyable if drawn-out tale. Setin contemporary Los Angeles, it centers on Emma Carstairs, a Shadowhunteradopted by members of the Blackthorn family who, like her, were orphaned in theDark War five years earlier. Emma has become parabatai or sworn companion toJulian, the oldest Blackthorn boy living at the local Institute, whereShadowhunters live and train. When humans and faeries start turning up dead,covered in mysterious runes like those found on the bodies of Emma's parents,she and Julian investigate, accompanied by Julian's disoriented older brotherMark, recently returned after having been stolen by the faeries years before.Having been gradually revealed in nine previous novels, the Shadowhunteruniverse is complex, jargon-rich, and a bit unwieldy, but Clare'swell-developed protagonists (each a fragile combination of heroic warrior andteenage neurotic), pell-mell action sequences, complicated family dynamics, andfascinating magic system continue to engage. This first volume in the DarkArtifices trilogy should easily please Clare's existing fans, but newcomerswill want to begin with the Mortal Instruments. Ages 14–up. (Publishers Weekly February 15, 2016)
"Positively a quiver with secret ardor and murderous zeal." (Kirkus)
"Fresh and...wonderfully told." (Booklist )
"Clare's well-developed protagonists..., pell-mell action sequences, complicated family dynamics, and fascinating magic system continue to engage." (Publishers Weekly )
Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorn have grown up together, struggling with the deaths of their respective parents and the responsibilities of caring for Julian’s younger siblings after the Dark War. Five years after they convince the Clave to allow Emma to stay with the Blackthorns in Los Angeles, Emma and Julian realize that they are drawn to each other in a way prohibited by the rules of their parabatai bond. Julian’s older brother Mark returns, conditionally, from the Wild Hunt to help the duo investigate recent murders that Emma believes may be connected to those of her parents. The Clave insists that her parents’ death swere related to the war, so true to Shadowhunter form, the teens take matters into their own hands, enlisting the help of the warlock Malcolm Fade and their tutor, Diana Wrayburn, as they pursue a dangerous truth that will unlock secrets of betrayal, obsession, and revenge. Complications abound, with multiple cliff-hangers that hint at the hard-hitting drama to come as the series continues. Clare delivers spectacular Shadowhunter fare with her trademark street tough yet emotionally fragile adolescent characters taking on adult roles and includes plenty of violent action and passionate romance to satisfy fans of “The Infernal Devices” and “The Mortal Instruments” series, who will be thrilled to see some of their favorite characters from the previous books make appearances. VERDICT A must-have for libraries with devoted Shadowhunter fans, who will undoubtedly be waiting for this emotionally intense beginning to her new series. (School Library Journal April 1, 2016)