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Shadow Kin (The Half-Light City

Shadow Kin (The Half-Light City, #1) by M.J. Scott

Half-Light City series, aka Shadow Kin series — by M.J. Scott.

Genres and Sub-GenresEdit

Fantasy / Urban Fantasy / Soul-Mate Romance / Historical UF

  • Per Author: "The closest term for it is gaslight fantasy. Dark romantic gaslight fantasy."

Series Description or Overview Edit

✥ Imagine a city divided. On one side, the Night World, ruled by the Blood Lords and the Beast Kind. On the other, the elusive Fae and the humans, protected by their steadfast mages. A city held together by nothing more than a treaty-and even then, just barely…~ Half Light City Series | M. J. Scott

✥ The author describes the first book of series as "this weird book with mages, assassins, vampires, Fae, secrets and oh yeah, kind of quasi Victorian level culture.” On her FAQ page she says that the book is definitely not steampunk. "The world of Shadow Kin and Blood Kin has a Victorian-ish level of tech because iron and silver are controlled and rationed and that has impacted technology. But there aren’t goggles and gadgets and some of those other cool things that steampunk has. The closest term for it is gaslight fantasy. Dark romantic gaslight fantasy." ~ Fang-tastic Fiction: M. J. Scott's HALF-LIGHT CITY

Lead's Species Edit

  • Wraith

Primary Supe Edit

  • Mages and Vampires

What Sets it ApartEdit

Narrative Type and Narrators Edit

  • Alternating first person POV’s between Lily and Simon—the symbols at the beginning of a chapter indicates whose POV it is.

Books in Series Edit

Half-Light City series:

  1. Shadow Kin (2011) — two chapters
  2. Blood Kin (2012) ~ two chapters
  3. Iron Kin (2013) ~ two chapters
  4. Fire Kin (May 6, 2014) ~ Excerpt ~ Final

Shorts, Novellas, Anthologies and Guides Edit

none yet

Themes Edit

World Building Edit

Setting Edit

Half-Light City:

Places:Edit

  • Summerdale: land of the Fae
  • Drunken Crow: sort of tavern that didn't worry about cleanliness; where Simon met Guy to tell him about the attempt on his life.
  • Sorrow’s Hill: Lucius’ mansion

8 Saint Pierre: merchant borough, full of shops and warehouses and the largest market in the human boroughs, famous for the number of taverns there;

  • Voodoo Territories: where Guy spent two years training
  • St. Giles Hospital: hospital where Simon works;
  • Seven Harbors: poor section
  • Merciful James: Hospital
  • The Swallow: pub; a level or two above the standard drinking hell; decorated in peacock colors;
  • The Dove: one of Brightown’s swankier brothels; decorated in red, black & gold;
  • Mickleskin: section of city
  • The Gilt: biggest theatre hall in Brightown. Both a hub for gossip and a fairly insatiable consumer of costumes
  • Brother House: Templar headquarters;
  • Silk Provinces:

Supernatural Elements Edit

✥ Vampires, mages, wraith, shifters, fae, Knights Templar, sunmages (healers), beasts, Geas, magical, unremovable pendant,

Beast Kind Packs:

  • Favreau: gray eyes;
  • Krueger: black eyes;
  • Broussard:

Glossary: Edit

  • Sunmages: humans who pull their power from sunlight—the antithesis of the Blood.
  • Blood: Vampires (aka the Blood), who have white skin and hair and live in the Night World
  • Fae: who live in the Veiled World (aka Summerdale)
  • Shape shifters: (aka Beast Kind) who live in packs
  • Knights Templar: divine warrior; serve as a peace-keeping corps that protects humans and Fae from lawbreakers, primarily the Blood and the Beasts.
  • Night World: Blood, the Trusted, blood-locked, Nightseekers, Beast Kind
  • Veiled World: world of the Fae;
  • Nightseekers: humans who choose to serve the Blood in the hope that they will someday be changed over
  • Havens: neutral safe-places where any injured human or supernatural can come for healing.
  • Healers: mostly sunmages, humans who pull their power from sunlight—the antithesis of the Blood.
  • Blood-locked humans: drink too much vampire blood and become mindlessly addicted to it, at which time they are usually killed, either by their families or by the vamps (after they drain the afflicted victims), because the condition is thought to be irreversible. Simon is attempting to find a cure which would mean trouble if the Blood found out about it.
  • Lord of the Blood: the single powerful vampire that rules all of the Blood—whose word is law.
  • Blood Lords: There are also a number of less powerful Blood Lords, each with his or her own minions.
  • Beasts: Shape shifters—the Blood hire Beasts as their daytime soldiers
  • Trusted: human staff, drawn from the Nightseekers—take care of their blood needs as well as the maintenance of their compounds
  • Treaty: transgressions by any of the races were punished with cuts to their privileges—renegotiated every five years
  • Wraith: can turn into a shadow (while in the dark) and slip through walls or other objects. No other wraiths beside Lily exist (that anyone knows of).
  • The Owl: (b-2) a spy for hire who uses magical charms to enhance her meagre Fae talents; how Lily is known to the Night World;
  • Geas: (b-2) a magically induced compulsion to obey the purpose of the geas as intended by the spell caster. Cormen put on Holly: must come when he calls, obey every command;
  • Blood Assembly: (b-2) meeting of the Blood
  • Hackneys: horse-driven taxis
  • Hybrid Form: Beasts when partly transformed—muscle, fangs and clawed hands, able to swing a sword;
  • Beast form: full Beast form—can take out a horse with one swipe of their claws

Groups & Organizations:Edit

  • St. Giles Hospital: headed by Bryony, a fae healer
  • Guild of Mechanisers: produced the autocabs in limited quantities, and the drivers shared them to afford the guild’s license fees.
  • Guild of Metalmages: Saskia was there, safe;

World Edit

In Half-Light City, humans live alongside several different types of supernaturals: Vampires (aka the Blood), Fae, and Shape shifters (aka Beast Kind). The all-human, all-male Knights Templar serve as a peace-keeping corps that protects humans and Fae from lawbreakers, primarily the Blood and the Beasts.

Some humans become Nightseekers, choosing to serve the Blood in the hope that they will someday be changed over. They are the source of much of the blood consumed by the Blood, because in this world vamps can legally drink from those who willingly consent. Sometimes, vampires share their blood with humans, but humans who drink too much vampire blood become mindlessly blood-locked (i.e., totally addicted), at which time they are usually killed , either by their families or by the va5mps, because the condition is thought to be irreversible.

The Blood live in a below-ground, sunless compound where they are free to imbibe in human blood as they wish, day and night. All of the Blood are ruled by a single powerful vampire—the Lord of the Blood—whose word is law. There are also a number of less powerful Blood Lords, each with his or her own minions. The Blood hire Beasts as their daytime soldiers. They also have a human staff, drawn from the Nightseekers and called the Trusted, who take care of their blood needs as well as the maintenance of their compounds.

The citizens of Half-Light City live under a treaty that that is explained here by one of the supernaturals: “All four races to live in something like harmony. Proven transgressions by any of the races were punished with cuts to their privileges. The humans could lose their precious iron and silver rations—key to so much of their industry and their protections against the rest of us. Similarly, Fae or Blood or Beast offenses might result in the humans winning concessions or territories being reduced.” (p. 76) The treaties are renegotiated every five years. Certain places in the city have been set aside as Havens, neutral safe-places where any injured human or supernatural can come for healing. The Healers in this world are mostly sunmages, humans who pull their power from sunlight—the antithesis of the Blood. The humans, of course, are at the biggest disadvantage among the four races because they are magically less talented than the Fae and so much weaker than the Blood and the Beasts. The humans rely on the treaties for their safety. ~ Fang-tastic Fiction: M. J. Scott's HALF-LIGHT CITY

Protagonists Edit

List of Heroes and Heroines per book:

  1. Shadow Kin — Lily (wraith) and Simon DuCaine (sunmage)
  2. Blood Kin — Guy DuCaine (Templar) and Holly Evendale (half Fae and half human spy)
  3. Iron Kin — Saskia DuCaine (mage apprentice) and Fen (halfbreed Seer-Beast Kind)
  4. Fire Kin — Bryony (healer) and Captain Asher Pellar (mercenary soldier)

Book One—Shadow Kin

  • The heroine of book 1 is Lily (aka Shadow), a wraith who can use the shadowy dark to become incorporeal (i.e., invisible and intangible). Lily is half-Fae and half-something else. She was sold to the Blood by her Fae mother and has never known the identity or race of her father. Lily is an outcast, shunned by the Fae (they call her an abomination) and feared by the Blood. She has been owned by Lucius, the Lord of the Blood, since she was a child and has been his pet assassin since she was fifteen, when he first brought her under his complete control by forcing her to drink his blood—over and over again. Being a wraith, she can't become blood-locked, but she is definitely addicted.
  • Simon DuCaine (sunmage): He's a gentle Healer who is trying to forget the tragedy of his warrior past. Lucius sent Lily to kill him, but Lucius fails to tell her that Simon is a powerful sunmage. Lily sneaks up on Simon as he sleeps, but just as she prepares to stab him, he turns on his sun powers, forcing her into her solid shape and neutralizing her powers. Then, he holds her captive until dawn. They feel a strong attraction to one another. ~ Fantastic-Fiction

Book Two—Blood Kin

  • Guy DuCaine: brother of the hero of book 1. Guy is a Templar—a by-the-book soldier of God who works with his brother Templars to keep the city safe from lawbreakers, mostly blood-thirsty vampires and ferocious Beasts. Guy was introduced as a stern, but relatively caring, straight-arrow warrior who was surprisingly open-minded about his brother's relationship with the wraith, Lily.
  • Holly Evendale: half Fae and half human, and she makes her living in two ways. To the general public, she is a modiste—a dress maker, but this is just a cover for her real money-making career. To the Night World, Holly is the Owl—a spy for hire who uses magical charms to enhance her meagre Fae talents. Holly is under the control of a vicious and powerful man—her Fae father, Cormen. He put a magical, unremovable pendant around her neck that forces Holly to respond when he calls for her, and early on in this book he adds a geas—a binding—that requires Holly to spy on Simon DuCaine. Guy and Holly meet while she is on a spay mission and she tumbles off a rooftop into his arms. ~ Fantastic-Fiction

Book Three—Iron Kin

  • Saskia DuCaine: 23-year-old metal mage apprentice. Saskia's true love is Fen. Saskia is portrayed as a relatively naive and innocent girl who lets her lustful emotions lead her. Then, towards the end, she becomes forceful.
  • Fen: a halfbreed seer with a Fae father and a Beast Kind grandmother. Holly's friend. Fen's visions cause him tremendous pain, and he wears an iron chain around his wrist to keep them under control. Early in the story, Fen accidentally touches Saskia and is shocked to discover that her brief touch stops his pain. The two become more and more attracted to one another even though they come from different economic levels and different species. ~ Fantastic-Fiction

Book Four—Fire Kin

  • Bryony: the lovely and powerful Fae healer who heads up St. Giles Hospital. Bryony is part of a noble Fae family, but she left Summerdale long ago, sickened by the fallout from Fae politics and feuds. One of those feuds resulted in the forced exile of Bryony's true love, Asharic sa'Uriel'pellar (aka Captain Asher Pellar, aka Ash) after Ash let himself be drawn into an illegal duel that resulted in the death of his opponent. Ash has been gone for thirty years, but Bryony still misses him.
  • Captain Asher Pellar: Asharic sa'Uriel'pellar (aka Captain Asher Pellar, aka Ash) Forced into exile after he was drawn into an illegal duel that resulted in the death of his opponent. Ash has been gone for thirty years, but Bryony still misses him. He tried to talk her into going with him when he was exiled, but she was so angry at what he had done that she refused his pleas, and they have not seen each other since. Ash became a mercenary soldier who now commands thousands of mostly human soldiers. The Templars hire Ash and his army to help patrol the border and keep the vamps and shifters away from the human population. ~ Fantastic-Fiction

Sidekick Edit

Name: — What: — Sidekick-to: — About: — Book First Seen In:

Characters Chart Edit

Characters What About
Lily, aka Shadow #1 wraith, half-Fae-half-something else Heroine of bk-1; can use the shadowy dark to become incorporeal; outcast; assassin for Lucius, addicted to his blood; can't be turned;
Simon DuCaine #1 sunmage Hero of bk-1; Lucius sent Lily to kill him;
Lucius #1 Lord of the Blood owned Lily since she was a child & his pet assassin;
Ricco #1 Blood ambitious, vicious but not smart enough to ever climb high in Lucius' court. He hates Lily and finds pleasure in tormenting her.
Ignatius Grey #1 A Blood Lord wants to be one of the inner circle in Lucius' court; vicious and smart which means that someday he might get there if he can survive the politics. Gets entangled in the fight for power after Lucius disappeared;
Pierre Rousselline #1 alpha Beast alpha of one of the Beast Kind packs; had been healed by Simon;
Higgins #1 autocab driver helps Simon by taking Lily home (to Lucius' manor) and driving him around while keeping any tail off of them;
Guy DuCaine #2 Knight Templar; Hero of bk2; Simon's older brother; patrols the streets; met Holly when he caught her after she fell off roof on a spy job; horse: Gray;
Holly Evendale, 'The Owl' #2 half Fae and half human Heroine of bk-2; a spy for hire who uses magical charms to enhance her meagre Fae talents;
Cormen #2 Fae; Holly's father vicious and powerful; puts geas on Holly to spy on Guy DuCaine;
Christophe Favreau #2 Beast current Alpha; enemy: Ignatius Grey; his pack have grey eyes;
Hannah DuCaine #2 Guy's youngest sister still too young to marry; Sibs; Guy, Simon, Saskia, Hannah
Holly's mother #2 Holly's mother Cormen, Holly's father, kidnaps her; Cormen he long ago ruined and discarded her;
Henri Favreau #2 Beast; senior guerrier in the Favreau pack; known for his patience;
Madame Figg #2 proprietor runs both the Dove and the Swallow
Junker #2 bouncer at the Swallow; Holly tipped him to see Fen got home safely;
Gavin #2 Knight Templar; squad leader;
Father Cho #2 Templar general Abbott-General; had been dropping some broad hints about promoting Guy upwards again
Edwina DuCaine #2 DuCaine sister deceased member of the DuCaine family—her death almost broke the family;
Ignatius Grey #2 new leader of the Blood, vampire plots to take control of the city
Fen #2, 3 halfbreed seer Fae father, Beast Kind grandmother; visions cause him tremendous pain, wears an iron chain around his wrist to control then; friend: Holly;
Saskia DuCaine #3 metal mage apprentice; sister Heroine of bk-3; true love is Fen;
Bryony healer Heroine of bk-4;
Captain Asher Pellar mercenary soldier Hero of bk-4;

To expand the table, right-press on a row of the table or (Control-press on a Mac)—choose add row.

M.J. Scott

M.J. Scott

Author Edit

M.J. Scott

Bio: M.J Scott is an unrepentant bookworm. Luckily she grew up in a family that fed her a properly varied diet of books and these days is surrounded by people who are understanding of her story addiction. When not wrestling one of her own stories to the ground, she can generally be found reading someone else’s. Her other distractions include yarn, cat butlering, dark chocolate and fabric. She lives in Melbourne, Australia. ~ Goodreads

✥ I was born in Melbourne, Australia but grew up in various green and grassy parts of Victoria. I moved back to Melbourne for uni and have stuck here ever since, apart from a brief sojourn in London. My life, apart from the day job, revolves around books, writing, the odd sewing, knitting, spinning or quilting binge and taking orders from my feline overlords. My two great reading loves have always been fantasy and romance. I grew up reading Tolkien alongside L.M. Montgomery and Susan Cooper, Diana Wynne Jones and David Eddings mixed with Heyer, Austen and all the Harlequin and Loveswept books I could find. So I guess it’s inevitable that I wound up writing books that incorporate both genres. I’m currently writing the Half-Light City series, a dark fantasy quadrology for Roc and The Wild Side, an urban fantasy trilogy (Book 1, The Wolf Within out now) More about that on my books page. You can read my “call” story here. Or other FAQs about me, my books, writing and life here. I also write contemporary romance for St. Martin’s Press as Melanie Scott. ~ About | M. J. Scott

Contributors Edit

Cover ArtistsEdit

Other Contributors Edit

  • Audio Book Narrator: — Source:
  • Editor: — Source: Jessica Wade

Publishing InformationEdit

  • Publisher: Roc
  • Bk-1–Shadow Kin: Paperback, 336 pages, Pub: April 2, 2013—ISBN: 0451464044
  • Bk-2–Blood Kin: Paperback, 324 pages, Pub: June 5th 2012—ISBN: 0451464583
  • Bk-3–Iron Kin: Paperback, 336 pages, Pub: April 2nd 2013—ISBN: 0451465059
  • Bk-4–Fire Kin: Paperback, 320 pages, Pub: May 6th 2014—ISBN: 0451465385

Cover Blurbs Edit

BOOK ONE—SHADOW KIN (2011): Welcome to the Half-Light City. Imagine a city divided. On one side, the Night World, ruled by the Blood Lords and the Beast Kind. On the other, the elusive Fae and the humans, protected by their steadfast mages. A city held together by nothing more than a treaty-and even then, just barely... I was born of a Fae mother, but I had no place amongst her kind. They called me "soulless." An abomination. Perhaps they're right...I'm a wraith, a shadow who slips between worlds. I was given into the service of a Blood Lord who raised me to be his most feared assassin. Still, I'm nothing more than a slave to my master, and to the need that only he can fulfill... Then he orders me to kill Simon DuCaine, a powerful sunmage. In the blaze of his magic, my own disappears. Instead of seeking revenge, Simon shows me mercy. He wants to free me. But that's one thing my master and his kind will never allow. And even if I thought I could trust Simon, stepping from the shadow into the light isn't as simple as it sounds… ~ Goodreads | Shadow Kin (The Half-Light City, #1) by M.J. Scott and Shadow Kin by M.J. Scott ~ Excerpt

BOOK TWO—BLOOD KIN (2012): Imagine a city divided. A city where human and Fae magic rests uneasily next to the vampire Blood and the shapeshifting Beasts. A city where a fragile peace is brokered by a treaty that set the laws for all four races… a treaty that is faltering day by day.

I didn’t plan on becoming a thief and a spy. But options are limited for the half-breed daughter of a Fae lord. My father abandoned me but at least I inherited some of his magic, and my skills with charms and glamours mean that few are as good at uncovering secrets others wish to hide. Right now the city has many secrets. And those who seek them pay so well… I never expected to stumble across a Templar Knight in my part of the city. Guy DuCaine is sworn to duty and honor and loyalty — all the things I’m not. I may have aroused more than his suspicion but he belongs to the Order and the human world. So when treachery and violence spill threaten both our kind, learning to trust each other might be the only thing that saves us. But even if a spy and a holy knight can work together, finding the key to peace is never going to be easy… ~ All Things Urban Fantasy and Blood Kin by M.J. Scott ~ Excerpt

BOOK THREE—IRON KIN (2013): I was raised to do the right thing. But to my family that means staying safe behind the walls of human society. To be a respectable metalmage and never put myself at risk. But the treaty is faltering. And if it fails, nothing is safe. To help save the city and everyone I care about, I will use whatever means I can to ensure the negotiations to renew the treaty are successful—even if that means forging an alliance with a man who is the very opposite of the right thing. Fen is trouble. Wild. He would rather bind himself in iron and drink himself into oblivion than learn to master the visions that come to him. Those visions might just hold the key to peace, and it seems that my power might hold the key to his control—if I can keep it around him. ~ Iron Kin | All Things Urban Fantasy and Iron Kin by M.J. Scott ~ Excerpt

BOOK FOUR—FIRE KINImagine a city divided…a city readying itself for a war. The vampire Blood and the shape-shifting Beast Kind seek to seize control now that the treaty is broken. Only the humans stand in their way…but they stand without their Fae allies…and they desperately need help.... I chose to stay with the humans when the Fae withdrew from the City. I am a healer, and they need me. I know the odds are against them. I know they need reinforcements. But I never expected them to turn and seek aid from the depths of my past. Asharic is a powerful Fae, exiled by the Veiled Queen thirty years ago. Leaving me behind. But now the queen is dead and the throne is vacant, and Ash is returning to the City—my City—with his mercenary army. It would be false to deny that there is still a spark between us, but I will not be taken in again. And I’m not the only one disturbed by his return. A Blood lord is poised to conquer the Half-Light City, and other enemies new and old are gathering to eliminate the threat Ash poses. To save the City, we will have to join forces. And pray we’re not the ones who burn… ~ Fire Kin by M.J. Scott and Fire Kin by M.J. Scott ~ Excerpt

First Sentences Edit

  1. Shadow Kin (2011) — The wards sparked in front of me, faint violet against the dark wooden door with its heavy brass locks, proclaiming the house's protection.
  2. Blood Kin (2012) — The clock in my head ticked the seconds too fast.
  3. Iron Kin (2013) — My head hurt like a bastard.
  4. Fire Kin (2014) — Fire is deceptive. from a distance, it hides its hear and fury and sows its dancing light instead.

Quotes Edit

Permanent mercy has to be earned. A warning to choose the right side. Only in my world the sides weren’t right and wrong. They were my side and everybody else’s. — I’d be choosing me. ~ 

Trivia Edit

Awards Edit

Read Alikes (similar elements) Edit

See Category links at bottom of page

Notes Edit

The author describes the first book of series as "this weird book with mages, assassins, vampires, Fae, secrets and oh yeah, kind of quasi Victorian level culture.” On her FAQ page she says that the book is definitely not steampunk. "The world of Shadow Kin and Blood Kin has a Victorian-ish level of tech because iron and silver are controlled and rationed and that has impacted technology. But there aren’t goggles and gadgets and some of those other cool things that steampunk has. The closest term for it is gaslight fantasy. Dark romantic gaslight fantasy." ~ Fang-tastic Fiction: M. J. Scott's HALF-LIGHT CITY

See Also Edit

Category links at bottom of page

External References Edit

Books:

Excerpts and Freebies:

Summaries:

World, Characters, etc:

Reviews:

Interviews:

Articles:

Author:

Community, Fan Sites:

Gallery of Book Covers Edit

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