Whee! Magisterium got a starred review in Publisher’s Weekly. In celebration I thought I’d put up Cassandra Jean’s art of Call’s friends, Aaron Stewart and Tamara Rajavi.

ReviewL Set in a magic-inflected version of the present-day U.S., this first title in the Magisterium series combines the talents of Black (Doll Bones) and Clare (the Mortal Instruments series) in a thrilling coming-of-age story that embraces fantasy tropes while keeping readers guessing. Twelve-year-old Callum Hunt has been raised to distrust magic. Mages killed his mother, and his father has warned him that the Magisterium, a school where young mages are trained, is a deathtrap. Callum’s attempts to fail the entrance exam go awry, and he is chosen to apprentice under Master Rufus, along with fellow students Aaron and Tamara. As Callum, Tamara, Aaron, and their classmates embark on their first of five years of schooling, Callum realizes how little he knows of his own heritage. The strange, subterranean Magisterium is vividly rendered, and a string of ominous revelations will leave readers eager for future installments. Fans of both authors will enjoy getting to know this well-rounded cast in the first steps of their adventure.

Cool iconic fan art!

parabatai

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.)

People often ask what the parabatai ceremony looks like, so I asked Cassandra Jean to render Emma and Julian’s, complete with the oath and the the three rings of fire — you step from your individual ring into the shared ring, and you draw the rune on each other. Don’t try the fire part at home.

Last of the TMI flower cards by Cassandra Jean — Maia (who’s been posted before) and Bat. Moving on to TID!

Emma

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. :)

The room beyond was as large as the council room in Alicante’s Gard, if not larger. The ceiling rose high above them, though instead of rows of seats a wide bare marble floor stretched toward a dais at the end of the room. Behind the dais were two massive, separate windows.Sunset light poured through each them, though one sunset was the color of gold, and the other was the color of blood

The light outside the windows had dimmed slightly, and she could see the dais more clearly.On it sat two immense well, the only word for them was “thrones.” They were ivory and gold, with steps leading up to them. Each had a curved back embossed with a single key.

Will Cassandra Jean also be doing flower cards fire The Infernal Devices?

Yes, she will!

Almost to the end of the flower card pictures! (If you want to see all of them you can check the flowers tag on my tumblr or the Cassandra Jean page on the amazing Shadowhunter wiki.)

Cards for ladies in power! Jia, the consul, gets circumspection since she’s a careful politician, Camille gets cold-heartedness, Lily ambition, and Imogen Herondale (remember when that was the first time we heard the name Herondale?), the Inquisitor, gets Justine Shall Be Done.

I thought I’d reblog this now we know more about the Blackthorns.

cassandraclare:

More tarot cards from Cassandra Jean’s complete Shadowhunter TarotWe’ve moved on from the Major Arcana to the minor Arcana — we’re finishing up the suit of Runes, which takes the place of the suit of Cups. Clary and Jace stand in for the ace of Runes (angelic power); Mark Blackthorn, chained to his chair, is Surestrike; Emma, Queen of Runes, is Strength; Julian, Knight of Runes, is True North, and Livvy and Ty, the twins, are Philia, or familial love.