The Blackthorns and co.

hi Cassie! Do you mind telling us a little more about TDA or the characters in it? I just love thinking about all the new people and places and what they look like. I am beyond excited :) thank you! — wanderrerr

Mmm. You guys are bored I think. :) New book in 16 days!

Okay, so. The Dark Artifices are set in Los Angeles. I grew up mainly in Los Angeles, and so I am excited to set my book in my hometown. It also means I get to do a lot of interesting stuff with the beach and water magic.

I also wanted to write The Dark Artifices because I wanted to explore the dynamics of a really big family with a lot of brothers and sisters. This early I don’t want to commit to much, but I can say a little about the characters.

The eldest sister, who we’ve met, is Aline Penhallow’s girlfriend, Helen. After her is her brother Mark. (All illustrations from Cassandra Jean’s Shadowhunter Tarot.)

Mark and Helen have a different mother than the rest of their siblings. They have, as mentioned by Alec in City of Lost Souls, “some faerie blood.” Above, Mark has the Tarot Card of the Chariot, which is for reasons I will not expound on here.

Then comes Julian, who takes care of everyone. Why? Well, you have to wait to find out, but you’ll understand some of it after City of Heavenly Fire. Julian is an artist, and has the Blackthorn coloring like most of his sibs — brown hair and blue-green eyes.

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He paints in oils mostly, some watercolor. He’s a “fine artist” which Clary, who sketches and draws comic-style, wouldn’t be considered. 

Julian sits on the roof of the Institute and paints the ocean. He paints the things he loves, mainly.

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After Julian we have Emma Carstairs. *ears swivel about* No, I can’t say how she’s related to Jem yet. Emma is very proud of being a Shadowhunter. She’s very determined, she’s very good at what she does, she trains a lot. She’s also determined to find out what happened to her parents — something else you’ll hear about in CoHF. Emma owns a very important weapon, and in fact the picture below is purposely missing the sword’s inscription.

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Julian and Emma are parabatai; they’ve known each other forever. They can communicate almost without talking. They sleep in each other’s beds. They fight together. I tend to think with every pair of parabatai there’s one that grounds the other — Jem grounds Will, Alec grounds Jace, and Julian grounds Emma.

Not that Emma doesn’t have girl friends. Her best girl friend is Cristina, who came to the LA institute from Mexico City. I gave her the card of the High Priestess and surrounded her with roses because that’s the meaning of her last name — Rosebush.

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"Hello, Cassie!  Anyway, I don´t think you remember but I asked you some time ago about Cristina, we talked about Mexican families and their faith… so I saw those Tarot cards? And Cristina´s said she was the believer… I was just wondering how´s that? What have you decided about her faith? I´d love to know more about her (being Mexican and all) Lots of love and luck for you, sweetie, we love you! — worldwidenotes

hi cassie, i wanted to say i love you and your books! i have a question about tda though too. i was just wondering if we could know a little bit more about one of the characters, cristina rosales? thanks even if you cant tell us any more! — onehundredvisions “

I do remember actually talking to quite a lot of my fans about Cristina! Cristina Rosales’ name is taken from the first name and the last name of two different girls who attended a signing I did in Mexico City years ago. Almost everyone who came up to me asked if I would write a Mexican Shadowhunter girl so I said I would, if they would help me — I wanted to know what Mexican girls wanted out of a character who shared their heritage. worldwidenotes gave me the explicit note that Cristina should be “strong in her faith” so I decided to explore some of the intricacies of Shadowhunter faith through her. I haven’t written a character who is strong in their faith before, and it’s been interesting. I like Cristina a lot — she is shyer than Emma, but very strong and unwavering in her loyalty and morals. She wears a medallion above that says Blessed be the Angel my strength which teaches my hands to war, and my fingers to fight (which is me, as usual, mauling passages from the Bible.)

Cristina is also very dedicated to her family, who are important too. Very important. :)

After Jules in age come the twins, Livia and Tiberius. My best friend had twins a year ago so she’s been telling me about twins nonstop. Sometimes I stare at her twins creepily in the hope that they will yield Important Twinformation.

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Ty is the slightly older one, and unlike most of his family, has black hair and gray eyes. He has literally no interest in fighting; he loves mystery books and Sherlock Holmes and wants to be a detective. No one has much patience for a fifteen year old Shadowhunter who wants to dust for fingerprints, so he doesn’t really get along with anyone but

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…his sister Livvy. They’re very close; for years they had a made-up twin language only they can understand. Livvy is the “protector” because she protects Ty from everything, since he’s hopeless at fighting and she’s a skilled fencer and swordfighter. She also interprets the world for him when he finds other people’s behavior confusing.

The Blackthorns that require the most caretaking are the youngest: Drusilla and Octavian, or Tavvy. image

Aren’t they cute? Dru is just about old enough to have a crush, and have one she does (and an important one) — Tavvy is too young to have runes or be a Shadowhunter yet, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a role to play.

Aaand that’s the Blackthorns for the moment. There are other characters, and other information about the story but this is what I feel comfortable with sharing at the moment.

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