True love is shrouded in secrets and lies in the enchanting second book in the #1 New York Times bestselling Infernal Devices Trilogy, prequel to the internationally bestselling Mortal Instruments series.
In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has found safety with the Shadowhunters.
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
- Date: Dec 2011
From the book
THE COUNCIL CHAMBER
Above, the fair hall-ceiling stately set
Many an arch high up did lift,
And angels rising and descending met
With interchange of gift.
--Alfred, Lord Tennyson, “The Palace of Art”
“Oh, yes. It really does look just as I imagined,” Tessa said, and turned to smile at the boy who stood beside her. He had just helped her over a puddle, and his hand still rested politely on her arm, just above the crook of her elbow.
James Carstairs smiled back at her, elegant in his dark suit, his silver-fair hair whipped by the wind. His other hand rested on a jade-topped cane, and if any of the great crowd of people milling around them thought that it was odd that someone so young should need a walking stick, or found anything unusual about his coloring or the cast of his features, they didn’t pause to stare.
“I shall count that as a blessing,” said Jem. “I was beginning to worry, you know, that everything you encountered in London was going to be a disappointment.”
A disappointment. Tessa’s brother, Nate, had once promised her everything in London--a new beginning, a wonderful place to live, a city of soaring buildings and gorgeous parks. What Tessa had found instead was horror and betrayal, and danger beyond anything she could have imagined. And yet . . .
“Not everything has been.” She smiled up at Jem.
“I am glad to hear it.” His tone was serious, not teasing. She looked away from him up at the grand edifice that rose before them. Westminster Abbey, with its great Gothic spires nearly touching the sky. The sun had done its best to struggle out from behind the haze-tipped clouds, and the abbey was bathed in weak sunlight.
“This is really where it is?” she asked as Jem drew her forward, toward the abbey entrance. “It seems so . . .”
“I had meant to say crowded.” The Abbey was open to tourists today, and groups of them swarmed busily in and out the enormous doors, most clutching Baedeker guidebooks in their hands. A group of American tourists--middle-aged women in unfashionable clothes, murmuring in accents that made Tessa briefly homesick--passed them as they went up the stairs, hurrying after a lecturer who was offering a guided tour of the Abbey. Jem and Tessa melted in effortlessly behind them.
The inside of the abbey smelled of cold stone and metal. Tessa looked up and around, marveling at the size of the place. It made the Institute look like a village church.
“Notice the triple division of the nave,” a guide droned, going on to explain that smaller chapels lined the eastern and western aisles of the Abbey. There was a hush over the place even though no services were going on. As Tessa let Jem lead her toward the eastern side of the church, she realized she was stepping over stones carved with dates and names. She had known that famous kings, queens, soldiers, and poets were buried in Westminster Abbey, but she hadn’t quite expected she’d be standing on top of them.
She and Jem slowed finally at the southeastern corner of the church. Watery daylight poured through the rose window overhead. “I know we are in a hurry to get to the Council meeting,” said Jem, “but I wanted you to see this.” He gestured around them. “Poets’ Corner.”
Tessa had read of the place, of course, where the great writers of England were buried. There was the gray stone tomb of Chaucer, with its canopy, and...