"to love is to destroy, and to be loved is to be the destroyed. that's what they say about us." ethereals are much like people -except they are so, so different. and deep down, thomas lightwood has always wondered what it would be like to meet one. he's heard the stories. about their indescribable beauty, about the power they hold over anyone who makes eye contact with them. alastair carstairs did not choose to be this way. he did not choose to be an ethereal. for to be one, you cannot love. an ethereal's love is full. they give their whole hearts and nothing less. for if they receive anything less in return, well, alastair's heard the tales. he'd rather choose to be cold to the world than to risk life. a chance meeting between the two leads to a whole new world being discovered. thomas feels himself almost wrapped around alastair's finger-and alastair feels as if to stop contact with thomas would be a crime only worthy of the most horrific punishment. what attracts the two? why is alastair so hard to reach? and why does he insist that to love is to destroy?