Beautiful Darkness Summary

Kami Garcia

Beautiful Darkness

  • Plot overview and analysis written by an experienced literary critic.
  • Full study guide for this title currently under development.
  • To be notified when we launch a full study guide, please contact us.

Beautiful Darkness Summary

SuperSummary, a modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, offers high-quality study guides that feature detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, quotes, and essay topics. This one-page guide includes a plot summary and brief analysis of Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia.

Beautiful Darkness is the sequel to Beautiful Creatures and the second book in the Caster Series. Published in 2011, it continues the story of Lena Duchannes, a magically-gifted girl living in Gatlin, South Carolina, and Ethan Wate, a non-caster somehow connected telepathically to Lena and her family. In Beautiful Creatures, Lena avoids choosing the light or the dark path as a caster on her 16th birthday and uses her powerful magic to bring Ethan back from the dead, but at the cost of losing her beloved uncle Macon.

The book opens at Macon’s funeral. Lena and Ethan communicate mentally; Lena wishes to skip the funeral. Ethan wonders why Macon, who was not treated well by the people of Gatlin, has chosen to be buried in the town cemetery. Macon was an incubus who chose to live off of dreams instead of blood; several other incubuses attend the funeral, but must flee when the sun rises. A caster boy gives Lena a silver sparrow, which she holds onto. After the funeral, Lena falls into a terrible depression, refusing to leave the house. Ethan has been hearing music, the song ‛Seventeen Moons,’ and attempts to discuss this with Lena (who used the Book of Moons to bring him back from death), but she refuses to discuss it, and is obviously still concerned that although she avoided her Claiming on her 16th birthday she will still someday have to choose between light and dark, good and evil.

Ethan attempts to bolster her spirits through their special connection but she remains inconsolable until her grandmother insists that she return to high school. Initially, Lena seems to improve and things are closer to normal. On the last day of school, Lena and Ethan go to the lake, and Lena is relaxed and having fun, and they are flirtatious with each other. They begin to kiss, and Lena hurts Ethan when she sets fire to the grass around them. Lena runs away and Ethan is stunned when she hops onto a motorcycle driven by a boy he’s never seen before.

Lena begins to behave strangely. She spends time with a new girl in town, Liv, and the new boy, John Breed, as well as her dark caster cousin Ridley. Ridley is a succubus, and Ethan becomes worried that she is using her powers to control Lena and influence her. Ethan recruits his best friend, Wesley “Link” Lincoln, to help him follow Lena and the others to a nearby caster bar in order to find out the truth, but he discovers that Lena is acting on her own. Ethan has been reading Macon’s journal, and having visions of the Great Burning in Gatlin’s past. He sees a vision of Macon giving his mother Lila an Arclight, a magical object used to trap incubuses and succubuses. While visiting his mother’s grave, Ethan is given the Arclight by Marian, his mother’s best friend and the caster librarian. Ethan goes to Lena’s room and finds out that Lena has been keeping a journal as well where she tries to reconstruct the events of the night Macon died.

Ethan discovers that Lena plans to go to a magical place called the Great Barrier, which many casters believe to be a myth, and that John Breed is helping her locate it. Ethan takes Link and a Keeper named Liv and pursues Lena, convinced she is walking into serious trouble in her quest. At first, they are lost and wander aimlessly, but they meet Ethan’s Aunt Prue, who gives them maps of the caster tunnels they are attempting to navigate, and they begin to make better progress. In the tunnels they discover Ridley, who insists she is trying to help Lena and that Lena is in trouble; Ridley reveals that by helping Ethan, she has been robbed of her powers by Lena’s mother.

Ethan realizes that Macon wasn’t killed when Lena refused her Claiming, but was placed inside the Arclight. He and Liv manage to cast and free Macon, who reveals that he is no longer an incubus, he is transforming into something different as a result of his experience. Unfortunately, that means he is too weak to accomplish much.

At the Great Barrier, they find Lena’s Mother, Sarafine, and the dark casters with an unconscious Lena. Sarafine is hoping to harness the power of the Claiming Moon that Lena’s unclaimed nature causes, and the dark casters hope to force Lena to choose the dark, because if she chooses the light, the dark casters of her family will die. While Macon uses the last of his strength to protect them from the dark casters, Ethan tries to convince Lena to choose herself. Lena is afraid, but Ridley urges her to choose light even though that would mean Ridley herself would die.

John Breed is revealed to be a hybrid magical creature, part of the plot to turn Lena, and disappears. Abraham, Macon’s grandfather and the source of darkness, appears and tells Lena that she has broken the natural order of things and there will be consequences. He takes the dark casters and they vanish. Link reveals he was bitten by John Breed during the fight at the Great Barrier and is transforming into an incubus. Ridley now must attend school like a normal person because she has been stripped of her powers, and they bury the arclight in Macon’s empty grave—but a man in a white suit watches them do so and then claims the arclight when they leave.