Cristina looked after Emma, her hand going to the pendant at her own throat. It was silver, in the shape of a circle with a rose inside it. The rose was wrapped around with thorny briars. Words were written in Latin on the back: she didn’t need to look at them to know them. She’d known them all her life. Blessed be the Angel my strength who teaches my hands to war, and my fingers to fight. The rose for Rosales, the words for Raziel, the Angel who had created the Shadowhunters a thousand years ago. Cristina had always thought Emma fought for her parabatai and for revenge, while she fought for family and faith. But maybe it was all the same thing: maybe it was all love, in the end.
I’m not sure if you have a boyfriend/husband but if you don’t.. Does writing about make characters such as Jace, Will, Jem, Alec, Simon and so on give you high expectations of when looking for guys? Or do you think it gives other people high expectations? Maybe their qualities are what you found in other people? — theres—always—hope
I am married. Four year anniversary coming up. I think we get tin or paper or something. Before that I had boyfriends who I liked in varying degrees. But you know what I also had?
Crushes on boys in books.
Crushing on fictional characters of any gender is totally normal and it also doesn’t meant you want to date a person just like that. It’s totally normal whether you’re in a relationship or not in one.
Fiction gives us a safe space to explore what we’d never want to experience in real life. Being in jail, being a pirate, being a murderer, being an epic hero, being an epic villain. Dating a bazillion types of people and getting to experience the highs and lows of love without actually having to commit yourself to anyone with an evil father, or anyone currently dying of magical drug addition. I mean, how much fun would Will be if you met him in a bar?
You: Well, hello there, tall dark and handsome.
Will: I am cursed. Cursed!
You: I could buy you a drink.
Will: EVERYONE WHO LOVES ME WILL DIE.
You: This seems like potentially a lot of drama.
When we see characters, we’re seeing them in extremis, pushed to the edge of who they are by circumstance. We’re seeing them at the most exciting point of their lives, when they are most tested and most interesting. But there’s a big gap between “I love this character!” and actually wanting to marry them. I have a lognstanding crush on Mr. Darcy but have to admit he was a product of his time and probably I wouldn’t enjoy actually being married to him.
Mr Darcy: What are you doing, darling?
Me: I am writing a book.
Mr. Darcy: There is no need for such things when you have Pemberley to look after!
Me: *smashes a lamp on his head*
Do fictional men (and women) raise your standards? Maybe, but it’s not terrible to have high standards for yourself. I think it’s useful to break down what you like about a character — Will because he likes books? Simon because he’s into anime and nerdy stuff you like? Jace because he’s funny? Jem because he’s a musician? You can find all that stuff in real guys alive on the planet today. My husband is actually a musician who likes books, is funny and also a nerd.
Hi, I know you probably get just short of a million of these a day, and you’re a busy person writing lovely books just for readers, like me to devour in long one night “can’t-put-the-book-down” sessions, but I would be honored if you could take a moment to answer a very simple little question. Can siblings become parabatai? It would be an interesting dynamic, don’t you think? Like, the twins Ty and Livvy, could they be parabatai? I know Jace and Alec are brothers, but not by blood, so the situation is a little different. If this IS possible…there might be a little ceremony occurring soon between my little sister and moi…just saying! :) Thanks for the lovely sleepless nights you’ve given me with your talented amazing writing!! — mnm-forever
Thanks! Absolutely siblings can be parabatai. You don’t see it enormously often, it requires a really really close relationship, but it does happen. Livvy and Ty becoming parabatai or not is one of the issues of TDA. (The twins almost never argue about anything, but one of them wants to, and one of them doesn’t.)
Hi Cassie! (: I really loved all your books, especially TID because it was just so emotional. I recently finished CoHF and I’m really looking forward to TDA and finding out more about the fey and Emma Carstairs. I have a feeling the books will have a very different tone (in a good way!) from your other books in the Shadowhunter Chronicles because your previous heroines, Clary and Tessa knew nothing about the Shadow World while Emma is obviously a fearsome, trained shadowhunter already. Is Emma’s character close to that of Isabelle, queen of bad-assery? Also, will we please find out more about the Faerie Courts? Out of all the downworlders, the fey fascinated me the mist because of their cunning and their magic… Lastly, will we prettyyy pleaseee see more of JEM CARSTAIRS in TDA? I really loved his personality, with his gentleness and his dry humour. He is easily one of my favorite characters ever! — gloriousburritos
Hi! I’m really glad you’re looking forward to TDA and Emma.
I think it’s natural to want to map new characters onto old characters, like “Is Emma like Izzy?” because it gives a point of reference. We know Emma only as a kid at the moment, and while that does give some insight, it’s still hard to imagine her as the protagonist of her series: the most important character, the one who everything revolves around.
It’s definitely true that while both Clary and Tessa had to have the Shadow world explained to them, The Dark Artifices focuses on characters who are already a part of it. Emma knows she’s a Shadowhunter from the beginning; the question of the book is much less “What is my identity?” and more “Since I self-identify as a dedicated Shadowhunter, how do I know when a law is a bad law?”
Before Infernal Devices came out people constantly asked if Jem (I’ll use him as an example because you seem to like him!) was like Jace, or Alec, or Simon. But while he has some things in common with all of them, he isn’t like any of them. He’s just … like Jem.
Emma is just like Emma. We’ve always seen Izzy as someone who revels in her own natural Shadowhunting skills, while Emma trains constantly, and brutally, and agonizes a lot over whether lack of inborn specialness can be made up for with effort. (She wants to be like Jace, but that’s not easy when you don’t have extra angel blood.) She’s dated before, unlike Clary or Tessa, but not with Izzy’s devil-may-care-I-don’t-believe-in-love attitude. And a huge part of what shapes Emma and Julian is that they have the basically sole charge of all these kids: any sibling who’s ever brought up a younger sibling with little to no help will hopefully relate. Jules, and Emma less but as well, are thrust into these parental roles very early: raising these kids, managing them, getting them to eat, singing them to sleep, teaching them to ride bicycles, all the details of child-rearing land on them and that makes one a very different sort of person.
In the end, though, I think you only can get to know a character by reading about them; no amount of telling people what they’re like will work (just as, as a writer, you get to know characters by writing about them.) I’ve been super happy about the positive response to Emma and Jules so far, and I hope people will not be disappointed in their story!
(We do indeed see much more about the faeries in TDA because of the connection to Mark and Helen. As for seeing Jem, etc, I don’t want to make concrete statements about how much he’ll be in it when the series is as yet unfinished.)
Cassandra Jean drew a gorgeous panel comic of Emma and Jules’ parabatai ceremony, meanwhile. I’m trying to decide whether to post it now or later. :)
I understand that TID, and TLH are based off the two books: Tale of two cities, and the Great Expectations. Which make sense because they are both classics. I was just curious (although absolutely certain there not) if TMI, TDA, or TWP are based off anything? Thanks so much! — dumbledorelovessherbetlemons
Sure, retellings of fairytales and classics are super-common so it’s reasonable to ask. Both Infernal Devices and The Last Hours are very loose retellings - you can see echoes of the themes and characters in the books, but they don’t stick strictly to pre-existing plotlines.
The Mortal Instruments was inspired by Paradise Lost, which is alluded to in several chapter titles, in Valentine’s last name (Morgenstern=Morning Star= a common translation of Lucifer, or Satan, who is the central figure of Paradise Lost), with the Mortal Sword, with Jace’s possession, and with the very ending quote of City of Heavenly Fire. There’s a summary of PL here (a lot of times when I say that TMI was loosely based on it people go off to read Paradise Lost and then come back extremely annoyed that it’s a very long poem. It is, in fact, a very long poem!)
The Dark Artifices is very loosely based on Annabel Lee, the poem by Edgar Allan Poe. You can read any of the books without reading the material that inspired them, because the relevant bits are usually discussed by the characters — in TID they talk about Tale of Two Cities, in TMI they talk about Paradise Lost, and in TDA they discuss Annabel Lee.
(Is there a lot of Mark suddenly on my tumblr? There may be.)
"Hi Cassie! I really love your books and definitely can’t wait for TDA n TLH. Talking abt TDA, does Mark Blackthorn have heterochromia or is his different eye colour solely due to the fact that he has faerie blood? — emmaherondale"
In the beginning of City of Heavenly Fire, Emma notices that “Mark had the Blackthorn eyes, the color of verdigris” (verdigris is the pigment obtained from rusting copper and looks like this ) but later we see him in the caves of faerie, and Jace demands to see his eyes:
“What is it?” Isabelle demanded. “His eyes,” Jace said, raising his witchlight and shining it into Mark’s face. Mark scowled again but allowed Jace to examine him.
His eyes were large, long-lashed, like Helen’s; unlike hers, his were mismatched. One was Blackthorn blue, the color of water. The other was gold, hazed through with shadows, a darker version of Jace’s own.
Jace swallowed visibly. “The Wild Hunt,” he said. “You’re one of them now.”
So the heterochromia comes with being in the Wild Hunt. Gwyn, who we see earlier, also has it. Whether if Mark leaves the Wild Hunt his eyes go back to the way they were before or not, is an open question!
I just finished reading the ARC of your newest series with Holly Black. I gotta say I’m sooooo excited for more! Loved it!! — v-e-r-t-e-b-r-a-t-e
Thanks! I put this up here for Holly to read it. Also I thought I’d start intro-ing some of the character designs that Cassandra Jean did. Meet Call, our grumpy protagonist, and his pet, Havoc, a wolf with a secret.
In Clockwork Prince Jem told Tessa that the Parabatai ritual can be broken if one of them wishes to be a mundane. You never explained how a shadowhunter can wish to be a mundane?
Edmund, Will’s father, wanted to be a mundane and became one to marry his wife — Jem tells Tessa about it in Clockwork Angel, and it comes up again in both other books. If you want to read more about the exact process it’s in Vampires, Scones, and Edmund Herondale, in the Bane Chronicles. :) *
*which will be out in print November 11 so if you don’t like ebooks you can just get it at any bookstore
my-chemical-taco said: Hi CC! First,I want to tell you how much I love your books. I started TMI this Fall and I’ve read the whole series now, including CoHF and TID. I love that you have LGBT characters. I’m a lesbian myself,and I relate to Aline a lot. I remember reading about her for the first time and instantly falling in love w/her. I was wondering if we would have more of Aline and Helen in TDA,and if there will be more LGBT characters in TDA? I would love to hear more about them in the future. Thank you! -Kylie
wingsoferos said: Cassie, quick question - could you tell us a little bit about the lgbt+ characters in TDA and who they are, or is it a little too early for that? x
Whenever I get questions like this I feel like running in a little circle, because on the one hand I am super excited to talk about the new characters in TDA, and also I completely understand asking. I think it’s totally reasonable to check for representation of LGBT * characters in a series before you start it. Especially wanting to know if specific characters you love are still around.
At the same time I also worry about talking too much about the details of a book when I’m still way deep in the writing process. There are absolutely prominent GLBT* characters and that isn’t going to change, but I want the process of people being introduced to the characters to feel organic. We’ve seen them as younger kids, or seen them briefly (Mark) and so we don’t know their sexualities yet. Not all the Blackthorns are straight (and I don’t just mean Helen!) and not all the other characters are straight either. But just like with so many het romances in media, sometimes the romantic destination of a character or the pairing they wind up in is surprising, and I worry that just stating who’s gay and who’s bi will wind up in a weird guessing game of pairing them up before we get to know them.
I hope that made sense. Mostly I’m just very grateful when I get these kind of questions because it communicates a trust that representation in my books will be fulfilling/enjoyable/relatable and that means a huge amount to me. I guess it just boils down to — Will there be GLBT* representation in TDA? Yes. Can I go into specifics? Not quite yet, though I can promise that Aline and Helen are alive and well and still together, and we’ll see them again.
swiftjolras said: Hi Cassie! I just finished reading Clockwork Princess and while I loved it, what I really want to know is - why did Jessamine have to die? I get that she was happier as a ghost than she was in life, but why did she have to die to be happy? Why couldn’t she have lived and been happy? It’s just so tragic to me because she was sad and angry her whole life and spent the last couple months a prisoner, and then the moment she got out, she died. What was your reasoning here?
Thanks for the kind words about Princess and the love for Jessamine, an often unnoticed character. I never thought of Jessamine being “happier” as a ghost (she’s not, really, she’s just … a ghost) as having to do with the meaning of her death. Rather, Jessamine, Tessa, Sophie, Charlotte (and to some extent Cecily — in fact, all the female characters in TID) are symbolic of the ways that the Victorian repression of women shaped women’s lives.
Sophie was a servant, who was sexually assaulted by her employer — something that happened constantly in the Victorian era, because women had no defense against a man in a greater position of power and wealth. He would always claim that she had thrown herself at him, and he would always be believed over her. Like Sophie, a lot of those women were tossed out on the street, unable to get another job. Sophie was rescued by Charlotte but many many women in real life were not that lucky.
Tessa had to go to England to join her brother because no other options were available to her. Without a guardian (her aunt) as a young woman, she had to have the protection of a man. She had no other options besides a workhouse where she probably would have died, or prostitution. She didn’t have the education to be a governess or the references to be a servant. Tessa is trapped into the events of the Clockwork series as much by her gender as her circumstances.
Charlotte is born to power, exactly the sort of woman her father wishes had been a boy because she’s a clear leader. Still, she fights tooth and nail for every bit of respect and every ounce of power she has. And until Princess, all her accomplishments are credited to Henry (even though everyone knows that though Henry is brilliant with inventions, he’s an awful leader) an she would have no access to power if she wasn’t married to him. The power she does have still comes through a man until the end.
Jessamine grew up as a mundane. As such, she would have been made to understand that making a good marriage was the purpose of her life. When she lost her family and came to the Institute, she was given one other option: become a Shadowhunter. (Not that there isn’t/wasn’t pressure on female Shadowhunters to marry, as well, and have children/more Shadowhunters. But they did have the option of earning a Clave salary.)
However, Jessamine doesn’t want to be a Shadowhunter. She wants what she was brought up to want, because that is what early conditioning does. And obviously not in every case — many women in the Victorian era chafed against the restraints placed on them by society. And Jessamine, who is in fact headstrong and stubborn and brave, probably would have as well, but she never got the chance to: her ideas of what marriage and family and propriety means are tied up with her dead family, as exemplified by her dollhouse, where she recreates what she imagines a “normal” life to be. For Jessamine, becoming a Shadowhunter means betraying the ideals of her dead parents, something no one in the Institute understands or tries to understand except perhaps Tessa.
Jessamine is trapped. As all Victorian women were in a sense trapped. She’s smart, she’s desperate, she’s willing to run away and live with Tessa if they can just get away from the Shadowhunters, but no one sees how desperate she is until it is too late. Was she in love with Nate? Probably not. He offered her an escape from the life she was trapped in, and she offered him some useful information. She did betray the other Shadowhunters, people who had taken her in and been kind to her, but she was not in her nature either stupid (no one who managed to cleverly get around the spell on her to communicate to Will where Mortmain really was is stupid) or treacherous. She was in a situation where only bad choices were available to her and she made one.
I do often get this sort of question a lot: “Why did so and so have to die? It was tragic.” And I understand it, because reading tragedy is hard and painful for us all. But tragedy in fiction is an illuminator: without death and tragedy, there are no visible consequences for anything. Without Jessamine’s death, there is no visible consequence for the misogyny practiced against her, against Charlotte and Sophie and Tessa.
That Charlotte is named Consul is a massive victory, but she is an exception, not the rule. Sophie, in surviving what her employer did to her and going on to Ascend, is an exception. Tessa, because of her immense magical power, is an exception.
Not everyone can be an exception.
The world was a terrible and dangerous place for women in the 1870’s — by which I don’t mean that women walking down the street might be attacked at any moment. I mean their agency and personhood was under attack. Jessamine’s story is a story about being trapped and having no good options, because that was often if not always the situation for women in that era. It’s often the situation for women now. She’s obviously more sinned against than sinning, but there was literally a war against women at the time. There are five important women in the TID books; four of them survive the war. One doesn’t. The lesson of Jessamine and what the world and the Clave did to her will live on, into the lives of the descendants of the survivors. Into TLH.
being-normal-is-weird-to-me said: Hi cassie I know I’m not the first and definitely not the last to say that your books are amazing and I can honestly say I loved not only the TMI series but also TID as well and was happy when tessa and Jem were in the CoHF. My question to you is because I’m sure it will be a main concern for your next series is, why is it so forbidden for parabatia’s to be in love why are the clave so set for it to be against their law? Thank you for letting me join the shadow world. Mikaela Borg
I can’t say why it’s against the Law yet. We know it is, we know what the punishment is. I can only say that it’s not one of those situations where the Clave is making laws just to be restrictive. They have an actual good reason for this one. And yes, you will find it out!
symbaray617 said: Hi Cassie, I finished COHF in like 1-2 days, and I loved every word of it. I will be expecting TDA to be just as good, if not better. Anyways, as for my question, I’ve noticed in my Codex, that it mentions the Seelie and Unseelie Court, but it doesn’t really explain difference/similarities between the two groups. I assume the Unseelie Court is a badder version of the Seelie Court, and the Codex discusses the types of creatures that are in the courts, but will they be further explained in TDA?
claireknoetze.tumblr.com said: Hi Cassie! I’m sure you’ve heard this 1000 times, but THANK YOU so much for your books! I just finished reading CoHF and I absolutely loved it! It was perfect in every way possible! So this isn’t really an ask about CoHF but I just wanted to ask what the difference between the Seelie Court and the Unseelie Court is? Is that something that will be addressed in future books?
Hi Cassie! So after reading COHF and seeing the major role the seelie court plays in it I was wondering if the unseelie court would play any part of TLH and/or TDA? As in the shadowhunter chronicles so far they havent been mentioned much. Is there any truth to my speculation? Or is having to wait before TDA comes out driving me mad? Thank you in advance. Mizpah xxx P.S I’m that random girl at the book signing at the Prince Charles Cinema that had the matching tops with my Parabatai (Carstairs & Herondale) thank you so much for letting us take a photo you’ve made my life. Like I dont know how I’d exsist without your books. They mean so much to me, anyway I’ve drabbled now, sorry! — uhwhatsmynameagain
treacherous-angels said: Hii Cassie i just want to know if we’ll be hearing more about the faeries in TDA because I feel I don’t know a lot about them even though we hear about them a lot. And in cohf i could feel Magnus hinting to it. Just curious. :)
Hi Cassie, I just had a question, maybe this is something that I missed in the past books, but what is the difference between the Unseelie and Seelie fairies? I didn’t even realize there were different groups until this book where it became slightly more relevant. (I’m a huge fan and cannot wait for the next series to start!) Much love <3 — onehellofasoul
viviennesss said: Hi Cassie, may I ask why we haven’t seen any of the Unseelie Court? I know they’re a mysterious group of faeries and all, but you’ve introduced the Wild Hunt and the Seelie Court so far, and now I’m super curious! Do they have any role at all in the Shadowhunter world?
THE PEOPLE DEMAND ANSWERS. Interestingly, This was in the original version of City of Ashes.
It got cut out, actually, of the final version since my editor didn’t think it was necessary info. I’ve always written assuming the existence of a Seelie Court posits the existence also of an Unseelie Court — as Seelie and Unseelie Courts are part of the established mythology of faeries, not a thing I made up. Most of us who write about faeries have to deal with the Seelie and Unseelie, whether you call them Light and Dark, or Winter and Summer. In fact, one of my favorite things about Holly Black’s Tithe is that Corny just googles “seelie court” when he’s trying to figure out what is going on with all these wacky faeries.
The Seelie court are known to seek help from humans, to warn those who had accidentally offended them, and to return human kindness with favors of their own. Still, a fairy belonging to this court will avenge insults and could be prone to mischief. The most common time of day to see them is twilight. Other names for the Seelie court are ‘The Shining Thron’ or ‘The Golden ones’ and ‘The light Court’. The categorization of fairies based on court is whether or not a fairy is light or dark. Light fairies are known for playing pranks on humans and having a light hearted attitude, forgetting their sorrows quickly and not realizing how they might be affecting the humans they play pranks on. The Unseelie Court consists of the darkly-inclined fairies. Unlike the Seelie Court, no offense is necessary to bring down their assaults. As a group (or “host”), they appear at night and assault travelers, often carrying them through the air, beating them, and forcing them to commit such acts as shooting at cattle. Like the beings of the Seelie Court who are not always benevolent, neither are the fairies of the Unseelie Court always malevolent. Most Unseelies can become fond of a particular human if they are viewed as respectful, and would choose to make them something of a pet…The division into “seely” and “unseely” spirits was roughly equivalent to the division of Elves in Norse mythology, into “light” and “dark” distinctions.
The “carrying humans through the air and beating them” thing may sound more like the Wild Hunt, but the Wild Hunt is another myth entirely.
(You’ll recognize Gwyn in there, if you’ve read CoHF.)
These are myths that infiltrate all our literature. As authors, especially of fantasy, the challenge is to put your own spin on them. The Wild Hunt in the Shadowhunter Chronicles are part of Wild Faerie, which is neither Seelie nor Unseelie, and subject to no laws. They reap the dead and are fairly morally ambiguous. They don’t acknowledge either the Seelie Queen or the Unseelie King as a monarch.
As for the Seelie and Unseelie, for the purposes of the Chronicles, it’s not so much that one court is good and the other bad, it’s that one court involves itself in outside affairs and the other doesn’t. The Unseelie aren’t very interested in Shadowhunters or playing nice with Accords. Their court is a terrifying place. The mention of the Unseelie at the end of CoHF was largely simply to establish their existence, which will be further explored in TDA.
Have you released the ace and five of steles from the tarot card set. I just scrolled through all of cassandrajp’s posts and she was always really good to reblog them all but I didn’t see them.
Here you go! I do think I’ve posted them but maybe I didn’t tag them. Cecily Herondale and Gabriel Lightwood make up the ace of steles, and the five of steles is Clary and Simon, the scene where she marks him with the Mark of Cain.
Hey Cassie, so I realized that you never mention the mermaids in your list of downworlders. Why is that? and are we going to get to learn more about them in TDA? Lastly I loved everything about COHF Thank you for being an amazing author!
They’re faeries. Water faeries. Goblins are faeries, kelpies, nixies, pixies (like Kaelie) — all faeries. We learn more about faeries in TDA, the Seelie and Unseelie Courts, but only the gentry (highborn faeries) look extremely human.
Reblogging cause I’ve got a bunch of these questions and I posted this almost a month ago, so — this time not under a cut. Beware COHF SPOILERS!
Hi Cassie :D I just wanted to say that I LOVED City of Heavenly Fire. It was awesomeness. But I just had some questions. Why didn’t Jem/Zachariah tell Emma that he is related to her (even if distantly)? And will he make an appearance in upcoming books? Will Emma eventually know that she’s related to him? These question just crossed my mind while reading. Thanks :) — thatescapist
CoHF was very cleverly written without spoiling anything from TID, but won’t it be hard writing TDA without spoiling anything from the other two series?
And questions about the TID characters in CoHF, what to expect from TDA, and more below the spoiler cut.
gaugua said: that was one of the most - if not, the most - satisfying endings i have ever read in my life, so thank you so much for that experience. i wanted to ask why you didn’t have any interaction between jace/jem or jace/tessa? it would’ve been nice to see what tessa especially would’ve liked to say to one of her descendents. thank you so much, again! have a lovely day.
I loved COHF with all my heart Cassie, I don’t think I’ve ever cried so much for a book geez!! But here’s my first question: How does Tessa feels about Jace? I mean, shouldn’t she love him because he is her blood? The last of her family alive? And why she never named herself Tessa Herondale-Gray or something like that? Well that’s all, Thank you so much Cassie for creating the best books ever. You changed my whole life. Now I know I’m a shadowhunter
Great book. Couple questions. One is the person who gave warning at the London institute Jessie? Two will we eventually see Tessa and Jace talk? Really enjoyed seeing Tessa and Jem together at the end and mingling with the others. <3
Hi Cassie! I loved COHF. When will we learn more about the warlocks of the Spiral Labyrinth? Last, I just wondered if you regret promising that TMI wouldn’t spoil TID and if that promise made it harder for you to write COHF.
thesedauntless said: I’ve heard that city of heavenly fire spoils the infernal devices is that true? I would hate to be spoiled for the infernal devices, as of right now I’m reading city of lost souls and I was looking forward to cohf but I want to know before I spoil myself. I would rather put cohf off for a while then get spoiled on books I haven’ t read yet.
Well, the last comment there kind of answers all the other questions, but …
First, I would say: No, I don’t think City of Heavenly Fire spoils the Infernal Devices. It spoils that Tessa is still alive, but she was in City of Glass, so that’s not much of a spoiler.
If you have read The Infernal Devices, it may seem very clear what is going on, but if you haven’t, then you don’t know who Brother Zachariah is. He could be Will or Jem — if you’ve never read ID, he could literally be anyone. In fact, as he has dark hair and Jem is introduced as blond, it seems to point to Will.
Will’s name is never used, nor is Jem’s. Clearly both the Herondale and Carstairs families are important to Tessa and Brother Zachariah but we don’t know why, and I don’t really think that’s a spoiler. Tessa never indicates she is related to the Herondales and doesn’t present James’ ring as her son’s.
If you have read books one and two of the Infernal Devices and then gone to read City of Heavenly Fire, it probably is spoilery. But why are you doing that?! Quit it. I cannot control for everything, you know. :D
I did think it was important TMI not spoil TID. Many people have read TMI but not TID. In general, also, if you wander into a bookshop and say you want to start the Shadowhunter series, they’ll hand you City of Bones. It is generally regarded as Book One. I don’t think it’s fair on all the people who have not read TID to spoil it for them in Book Six of TMI when I was careful to hint around at TID in the previous books, but not spoil it. It seems like going back on an implicit promise coded into the books themselves, not just a promise made on the Internet.
Speaking of which: I don’t regret promising that TMI wouldn’t spoil Infernal Devices. I understand asking the question, just as I understand the questions from readers who want to see Jace and Tessa and Jem and Emma have touching reunions in which commonalities of blood are discussed and shared. It makes sense to want to see the generations together. And of course Jace, having no other Herondale relatives that he knows of, well, wouldn’t he want to meet a Herondale (even if she is not one by blood and doesn’t use the name anymore, she does know a lot about his ancestors? Which, as he’s chosen to be a Herondale, he might be interested in?)
I mean, yes, I think it would be interesting for him. But I don’t think it would be heartrending and significant, not at first, and I think heart-rending and significant is what people want to see. Herondales reunited! But I do think Tessa is right, and that Jace is just settling into his identity after having had questions of identity rip him apart for so long. He only just decided he wanted to use the Herondale name. I think she’s correct about giving him time to settle before plonking down to say, “I am your great-great-great-great gramma and I am going to tell you about your ancestors, kid! You know that feeling you have about ducks? I’m going to fill that in for you!”
I mean, I think it would be cute and fun and genuinely touching, to have them really talk. But it would also be something of an arc of its own and much more than you could stuff into an epilogue (this stuff is planned way in advance; the epilogue of Clockwork Princess, as written, literally forbids Tessa from having any real concrete knowledge of Jace and Clary’s involvement in the war up until the epilogue of CoHF, because she doesn’t know about it when Jem comes to find her. TMI (and TID) were just never built so that Tessa would have a huge part in TMI.) I also think into-ing Tessa and Jem as who they are and making a big deal about Tessa’s relationship to Jace puts Jace in a place where he is facing the past, not the future, at the end of the series that is about him, and he should not be doing that. In fact, it weights the entire story toward the past and not the future — when everything is very much weighted toward the future and this tipping point the Shadowhunters have found themselves at.
How does Tessa feels about Jace? I mean, shouldn’t she love him because he is her blood? The last of her family alive? And why she never named herself Tessa Herondale-Gray or something like that?
He isn’t the last of her family alive — she’s got about fifty or sixty other descendants that are as related to her as Jace. He shares the Herondale name, is the only difference. I mean, meta-textually, the conversation that is desired here is “Hello, I am the protagonist of the prequels. I see you are the protagonist of these books! Let’s talk!” Which is why Tessa talks to Clary, not Jace.
But the Shadowhunters are people for whom family and blood and names are important, so of course it makes sense, that readers would want these stories to dovetail. And they will. But you don’t love people because they are blood-related to you. But that is another post. (And Tessa doesn’t go by Herondale-Gray, as she is going by her warlock name (she doesn’t go by Starkweather, either) and doesn’t want to be identified as a Shadowhunter.)
it would’ve been nice to see what tessa especially would’ve liked to say to one of her descendants
And we do! She says it to Clary, to pass on to Jace.
"Do not let other people decide who you are. Decide for yourself.” Tessa looked over at Jace, whose hands were dancing over the piano keys. Light from the tapers caught like stars in his hair and made his skin shine. “That freedom is not a gift; it is a birthright. I hope that you and Jace will use it."
And then of course there is Emma and Jem. Emma, sweet Emma, of course there’s an instinct to want to have her bond with another Carstairs because she’s lost her parents. But Jem recognizes that she does have an adoptive family in the Blackthorns and that she is much better off with them — it is not as if he and Tessa could adopt her and she could still be a Shadowhunter and be with her parabatai, which, Jem being Jem, he would naturally regard as a paramount consideration. And I don’t actually think that being told she has a sixth cousin once removed (which is what Jem is to Emma) would be helpful to her particularly at this moment — she has closer blood relations living, which is mentioned in CoHF. Might it be helpful later? Might it not make sense to put this particular Carstairs revelation into the books that are actually about Emma and the Carstairs, i.e. The Dark Artifices?
I do think so. So there are both the considerations of spoiling the Infernal Devices and also the considerations of narrative in keeping the end of TMI from being a big reunion, making it all about the characters from another series instead of the series we’re saying goodbye to now, and from dumping too much significant Emma plot into a book not about her (or too much Tessa, Will and Jem into a book not about them). Obviously if spoiling TID would have been the absolute best thing for the story, then I would have done it. But I think it would have not just weighted the story wrong, but been an small moment or two whereas later on, in TDA, it can be a really big and interesting thing — both for Tessa and Jace, and for Jem and Emma. IN TDA it has direct plot implications.
CoHF was very cleverly written without spoiling anything from TID, but won’t it be hard writing TDA without spoiling anything from the other two series?
Boy howdy would it and I’ve no intention of doing that. Like I said, most people start with City of Bones and always will. If they start with Dark Artifices, they’ll be able to follow the tale without confusion, but they will be spoiled for what happens in TMI, just as those reading The Last Hours will be spoiled for TID. There’s no way around it. It’s not the worst thing — lots of people come to Tamora Pierce’s Tortall series through Daughter of the Lioness, which necessarily spoils the previous series Song of the Lioness, but doesn’t make either series less enjoyable in the end.
TMI kind of remains the central point around which all the other series revolve, so as long as it doesn’t contain spoilers, I’m OK.
And there is always that question of that missing Herondale….
swfrthepox said: Hi again Cass! Since you said that Jace nor Tessa might not be the last Herondale, is it because Clace will going to have a baby? By the Angel, let them have a baby! :D AND (again), why is “Simon’s Sacrifice” not included in CoHF? I hope you could answer. Thank you!
They might have a baby one day, but that is admittedly not what I meant. :)
"Simon’s Sacrifice" is the chapter now called "Judas Kiss." My editor didn’t like "Simon’s Sacrifice" — she pointed out it gave the game away a bit regarding what was going to happen in the chapter. I acknowledged her rightness and changed the title.
dumbledorelovessherbetlemons said: Jace said that he wasn’t sure how he felt about children. But he’s decided to take the Herondale name anyways (implying that he wants to continue the line of Herondales) and Clary has a general interest in children… Does this mean we can expect Clace babies in tda or twp?? What about Sizzy babies? Thanks so much!
Jace being so young I think making this decision was entirely about his identity and not about continuing the line of Herondales. (And he wanted the manor. :D) And Clary likes Emma — but a lot of people like kids and feel protective of them without wanting them. I’m not saying yes or no, but as someone who loves kids and doesn’t want them myself I do push back against the narrative that everyone has to have children to be happy. But as we do follow Clary, Jace, Simon, etc. through the books, hearing and sometimes seeing what’s happening with them, it is a question that will be answered.
And besides, something’s going to happen that renders Jace’s concerns, if he has any, about continuing the Herondale line, somewhat moot. :P
Hi, Cassie! So, I have a few questions about a new warlock who has suddenly become my favorite character, (well, they're all my favorite characters---but this one in particular): Malcolm Fade! So, two questions: will he play a central / important role in TDA, (since he is the High Warlock of LA)? And, two: since something terrible happened to him at the turn of the 20th century, will he be in TLH, (and will said terrible thing happen to him then)? Thanks!
You are very smart. Malcolm isn’t just a TDA character, he’s a TLH character as well. (In fact TLH gives me a chance to do Warlock Reunion, with Magnus, Ragnor, Caterina, and Malcolm together. Maybe they will form a band!)
teresasmaze said: I have a question that’s been bugging me, and I don’t know if somebody asked you this before or not. But I have to ask anyway sorry. OKAY so did Tessa ever try to change into Will after he died? I feel like it would have been something that occurred to her, and even though she probably didn’t it would have been tempting don’t you think? I think it’s an interesting idea. Love your books, by the way! They’re filling about 75% of my second shelf on my bookshelf right now.
I think it would actually have been incredibly sad for Tessa to do that. It might almost have been like a drug, having that sort of almost-contact with Will and then not having it. Also Tessa was very firm about not “Changing” into people without their permission or some necessity, as she considered it invasive and disrespectful of their privacy — I don’t think she’d do it to Will, even after his passing. (But on the other hand I don’t want to kill anyone’s headcanons, though…so….)
congratu-freakin-lations said: Why doesnt Jem want to be a shadowhunter anymore? Is he at least still involved in the shadowhunter world?
Epilogue of Clockwork Princess:
“But—after today? Where will you go? To Idris?” Tessa asked.
Jem looked, for a moment, honestly bewildered—and despite how old she knew him to be, so young. “I don’t know,” he said. “I’ve never had a lifetime to plan for before.”
“Then … to another Institute?” Don’t go, Tessa wanted to say. Stay. Please.
“I do not think I will go to Idris, or to an Institute anywhere,” he said, after a pause so long that she felt as if her knees might give way under her if he did not speak. “I don’t know how to live in the world as a Shadowhunter without Will. I don’t think I even want to. I am still a parabatai, but my other half is gone. If I were to go to some Institute and ask them to take me in, I would never forget that. I would never feel whole.”
“That depends on you.”
City of Heavenly Fire:
“… Zachariah? He is no longer an active Shadowhunter,” Jia was saying. “He left today before the meeting, saying he had some loose ends to tie up, and then an urgent appointment in London in early January,* something he couldn’t miss.”
So no, he’s not an active Shadowhunter any more, but that’s nothing we didn’t know. :) Whether he decides to take an active interest in Shadowhunter goings-on is his business — he is interested in Emma. He and Tessa have something of their own agenda too.
*Yes, this is the epilogue of CP2. That’s where it fits into the narrative of CoHF - not long after the end of the last chapter before the epilogue.
xo-fairytalespirate-xo said: Hi Cassie. I just finished reading Clockwork Princess and absolutely loved the whole series. The epilogue in CP made me cry, especially when talking about Will’s last day and Jem playing his violin for him. But I was wondering why Magnus didn’t come to say goodbye?? Was it because he was waiting for Tessa to come to him?? I loved reading the development of their friendship. Sherrie
Magnus really hates being there when a mortal he cares about dies. He does talk about being with his first girlfriend while she died and I think he will do it in some circumstances, but I also think he would have considered this an event for family only. He would have come when Will was sick, and then he would have gone back to Paris. I don’t think he would have known for sure Tessa was going to come, but he would have known she might.
I think there might be a story, really, in the last time Magnus saw Will, perhaps sat with him through the watches of the night, the last time they talked.
the-flowers-are-blooming-love said: Hi Cassandra! Like most asks you probably get I wanna say that you are an amazing author and your books really have had an amazing effect on so many people. I have loved reading all your posts about Tessa and Will and Jem, your reasoning to it all makes a lot of sense and is easy to understand. I was just curious to know if Tessa ever felt like she would have to distance herself from one of the boys and just because when you are in that kind of situation it might be painful for Will and Jem.
She did distance herself from Will. Tessa talking about Will:
Months, she thought. Months since they had been alone together for more than a moment. They’d had only accidental encounters in hallways, in the courtyard, awkwardly exchanged pleasantries. She had missed his jokes, the books he had lent her, the flashes of laughter in his gaze.
For months they had avoided each other, had barely spoken.
All that is on purpose — Tessa is avoiding Will to try to make it easier on him and to make it absolutely clear she isn’t dithering between Jem and Will. She’s made her choice. She’s given Will no encouragement. She believes she has to do this in order to free him to love someone else.
Perhaps it did depend on the book, she thought. But in this, the book of her life, the way of dishonor was only unkindness. Even if she had hurt Will in the drawing room, over time as his feelings for her faded, he would someday thank her for keeping him free. She believed that.” — Clockwork Princess.
Clockwork Princess is the best book I ever read mainly because of the of the way you ended it. It was the saddest and happiest ending ever. So I was wondering is COHF going to have the same kind of ending? — weleylaworld
Well, hopefully, by now, you know! :) I wrote a bit about loss and sadness and genres when I wrote about death in CoHF. While the Clockwork series takes place in the same world as TMI, it’s historical, which has somewhat different genre issues. While you can always write a fun, happy historical, sometimes you feel like you need to grapple with the fact that just about everyone you’re writing about, in today’s world, is dead. I think there’s an elegiac feeling about Clockwork Princess, a sense of a sorrow that is about facing mortality and death. By contrast the loss that is in City of Heavenly Fire is more specific to the people involved in the story and their dangerous situation.
I hope that makes sense. These are just my thoughts about why I wrote things the way I did; hopefully they’re interesting but if you have a different reading that’s cool too.
Mark whirled on them. His eyes were blind, unseeing. “You bring the twins in front of me and you kill them over and over. My Ty, he doesn’t understand why I can’t save him. You bring me Dru and when she laughs to see the fairytale castle, all ringed round with hedges, you throw her against the thorns until their pierce her small body. And you bid me wash in Octavian’s blood for the blood of an innocent child is magic under the Hill.”
herondales-and-winchesters said: Hi Cassie! First of all I’d like to say that CoHF was a perfect ending to a perfect series. I have a question about …
COHF SPOILERS BELOW.
the series of short stories about Simon. Will we be finding out what happened after CoHF in those stories? How the lives of all the main characters went on; if Simon ascended, if he and Izzy ended up together, the journeys Magnus and Alec went on, Jace and Clary’s wedding? P.S. your books are flawless and they’ve done so much for me, I can’t wait for TDA, TLH & TWP :-)
You said here that Shadowhunters can’t marry non-Shadowhunters, but I thought I also remembered you saying Magnus and Alec will get married. And wasn’t Andrew Blackthorn married to his faerie wife when he had Mark and Helen?
*sigh* Sometimes my brain doesn’t catch up with my typing fingers. Here’s the page from the Codex about Shadowhunter/Downworlder marriages:
Shadowhunters are permitted to marry other Shadowhunters and, in most cases, Downworlders. (Since the Clave’s primary con- cern is the ability to birth more Shadowhunters, it is somewhat frowned upon to marry a warlock or a vampire, since they will have no children, but it is allowed.) Shadowhunters are not permitted to marry mundanes. They are, however, allowed to petition the Clave and ask that the mundane they wish to marry be allowed to become a Shadowhunter, in a process known as Ascension…..
The Shadowhunter who wishes to marry a mundane applies for Ascension on behalf of his partner. For three months the Clave considers the petition, examining the history of the Shadowhunter who has applied, and his family, in addition to the background and nature of the possible Ascender. Of necessity this is all done without the knowledge of the Ascender; prior to the Clave’s decision in the affirmative, it remains illegal to tell the mundane applicant any details of the ways of the Nephilim. Once the Clave has granted the petition, the Ascender is told about her situation, and she embarks on three months’ study of Shadowhunter Law and culture. At the end of these three months, the Ascender is given to drink from the Mortal Cup and made a Nephilim; provided she survives this process, she is rendered a full Shadowhunter, with all the protections and rights of the Law that any Shadowhunter would have.”
The thing is that the Clave doesn’t allow Shadowhunter marriages between Shadowhunters and Downworlders, because runes are part of those. But they can allow other kinds of marriage: church weddings, handfasting, faerie ceremonies (in the case of Andrew Blackthorn and Helen and Mark’s mother) etc. Tessa’s marriage to Will got fudged a bit because runes put on her skin disappear. Alec wouldn’t be able to rune Magnus because it would hurt/endanger him. Jem and Tessa don’t bother with them at all because Jem no longer wants to be a Shadowhunter.
As always, the magic in these books is ever-evolving towards changes. What is the Law at one time may not always be the Law. We know Magnus and Alec get married and have a child/children despite being a Shadowhunter and a Downworlder.
(We have no idea about any other couples; I’m not promising anything about marriage and babies for anyone but Malec at this time.) I do promise that we will be checking in on major developments in the TMI cast’s lives as the serieses go forward. We will find out if Jace and Clary get married, if Simon and Isabelle make it work, if he Ascends — but I do want there to be some element of uncertainty about it!
littleteen19 said: Hello Cassandra. First I would like to congratulate you for the launch of City of Heavenly Fire. The book is divine and the end was shocking / beautiful. I have a question and doubt. The question is: Is there any chance you will post a picture of Magnus’s father drawn by Cassandra Jean? Because even with the book description, I think it is a bit hard to imagine. And the question is: If we will see Malcolm in the Dark Artifices?”
Malcolm was a bit of an Easter Egg in City of Heavenly Fire (unlike Julian, Emma and Mark who were part of the plot) — I thought it would be fun for people to catch a glimpse of him before TDA. He is the High Warlock of Los Angeles, and so yes, we will definitely see him in Dark Artifices.
I only get to tell Cassandra Jean what to draw if I’m commissioning a piece. It’s up to her. :) If she wants to draw Magnus’ dad, she can. I wouldn’t mind if she drew Malcolm! Poor Malcolm had something awful happen to him a hundred or so years ago and his child-like-ness reflects how he’s been since …