Isabelle swung her whip at me, and I deflected it with my knife. The whip snapped back and curled around a post. Before she could unwind it, I ducked under the shimmering rope and brought my knife to her throat. She tensed, and I froze like that until I heard Hodge's applause.

"Very good, Clary," he laughed. I relaxed and slipped the knife back into my sheath. "I don't think I've ever seen someone with that sort of speed and agility with a knife." Izzy grumbled and started to wrap her whip around her wrist again.

"Now it's my turn," challenged Alec, coming up from behind our tutor. He had a wicked glint in his eyes, like he wanted to get revenge on me for beating his sister.

"Alec," warned Hodge lightly. Alec wasn't as quick on his feet as I was.

"No," I smiled. "Bring it." Alec narrowed his eyes and pulled a sword down from the wall. I grabbed one, too, and we began to practice dueling.

I don't live at the Institute, but I train there with Alec and Isabelle. I live in an apartment with my mom and my stepdad, Luke. I've lived in New York all my life, but Mom and Luke are from the Shadowhunter home country, Idris. Mom says she couldn't bear to stay there after my dad and my brother died in a fire, and Luke had come with her for support.

Alec swung his sword towards my head, and I had to duck to avoid it as it whistled through the air. I sliced upward, knocking the sword out of his hands. It clattered to the floor a few feet away. I brought the sword point to the center of his chest. "I win."


I twirled the seraph blade in my hand, following the silvery-blue streak it became with my eyes. Father lunged at me, and I swung the blade up to keep his at bay. He flicked his wrist, sending my own blade plummeting out of my hands. I ducked, rolled to avoid his blade, and stretched out my arm to snatch my fallen sword. In seconds, I was pinning him to the ground with it. After a moment, he waved me away, and I stood up and extended a hand to help my father up. He took it gratefully, and then he began to put away the fighting supplies.

"Dad?" I asked tentatively. He looked at me, mildly surprised at the softness of my tone. "Dad, who was my mom?"

I'm a Shadowhunter- an elite guild of demon killers- and I've lived with my father in Idris my entire life. Apparently, he had to live in exile because of the Uprising, which others wrongly believed was a bad thing. Father was simply weeding- trying to remove the bad Shadowhunters. He'd always told me that my mother had deserted me when I was a baby, but I really wanted to meet her. I felt like something was missing from my life, and it was- I had no mother.

"Your mother was a hateful person," said Dad briskly. "She abandoned you and she abandoned me."

"What was her name?" I begged. He didn't seriously expect me to live my entire life and know nothing about my mother?

"Jocelyn," he answered quietly. "Jocelyn Fairchild."