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.
Hey Cassie! I love your books and I love the fact you are very aware of racial diversity. My question is are we going to see African American shadow hunters in the main cast for future books? Also can you tell us more about Los Rosales. — axenicxspirit
Thank you. That is extremely kind of you to say. I was reading over Malindo Lo’s breakdown of Diversity in YA bestsellers and even though I was happy to see so many Shadowhunter books on the list it made me more aware of the ways in which, when I first started writing, I wasn’t aware of the lack of diversity in YA fiction, and my own shortcomings in rectifying the problem in past years. I am trying to do better and will continue to try.
There is an African-American Shadowhunter in City of Heavenly Fire (Maia of course is African-American, but not a Shadowhunter, though she has her own big plot line in CoHF) — her part is small, but I introduced her because she carries over to Dark Artifices where her plotline will be much bigger: she is part of the core group who lives at the Institute.
You’ll meet Cristina Mendoza Rosales’ father in City of Heavenly Fire as well, the head of the Mexico City Institute. Cristina in TDA is at the Institute because she’s just turned 18 and she’s doing what Shadowhunters do — traveling to other Institutes, like Gideon in TiD, to compare the way different Institutes do things. I don’t want to talk too much about her yet because characters change as you write them — I deleted an entire Blackthorn family member (Ariadne) (yes I’ve ALREADY KILLED A BLACKTHORN AND THE BOOKS HAVEN’T EVEN STARTED) because she wasn’t working with the plot structure. So Cristina as she is now is principled and thoughtful, she has a close, sometimes resentful relationship with her mother and father who have her whole life mapped out for her but she has a different vision, and she is two things I am not: calm and put-together. No, seriously, I haven’t seen my hairbrush in three days. *worries* Aspects of her could change, but I’ve pulled her very much to the forefront and given her more story and romance. I do speak Spanish but I’m trying to get myself to the point where my Spanish is as good as my French, for Cristina and the other Hispanic characters in TDA.
A few people have asked, having seen the cover of Iron Trial, what race Tamara, the heroine, is. She is Middle Eastern: specifically she is of Iranian descent, born in America. As a lot of you know I was born in Iran and Farsi was my first language and I’ve wanted to write an Iranian character forever. Cordelia in TLH has an Iranian mother and Cordelia speaks Farsi/Parsi so I’m excited to revisit the language.
"Hi I was wondering if you were really born in Tehran, Iran. I’d like to wish you a happy, healthy, and prosperous Noruz! — 1stdayofsummer"
Thanks! I really was. I was born to American parents in the Bimaristan Elizabeth (Elizabeth Hospital) on the Boulevard Elizabeth in Teheran. We lived in the neighborhood of Yousefebad at the time (we were behind the Cinema Goldis, the English language cinema. It is probably long gone by now.) My first word: شیر .
So Cassandra Jean has finished the complete Shadowhunter Tarot, so for the next … seventy-something days I’ll be posting a card a day (okay, maybe not every day — I tend to get distracted!) in order, from the first card to the last. Some will be under spoiler cuts; some you’ll have seen before — I’ll explain why each character has the card they have.
We’ve moved on from the Major Arcana to the minor Arcana — the first suit is the suit of Rings, which takes the place of the suit of Pentacles. The Three of Rings shows Cristina and Jaime Rosales from The Dark Artifices. Cassandra Jean has included Cristina’s pendant and Jaime’s crossbow, and the rose-pattern ring of the Rosales family.
Jamie and Cristina are not brother and sister. Interestingly, the Four of Pentacles is a card that can be about fear of love: losing it, or getting it.
Cassandra Jean has finished the complete Shadowhunter Tarot, so for the next … eighty-four? days I’ll be posting a card a day in order, from the first card to the last. Some will be under spoiler cuts; some you’ll have seen before — I’ll explain why each character has the card they have. Today is day 3.
This card corresponds to the High Priestess card. It’s a traditionally religious card. Cristina Mendoza Rosales is a Mexican Shadowhunter; she’s one of the main characters of the Dark Artifices. When I talked to readers in Mexico they asked for a Mexican Shadowhunter girl. I get asked for characters from specific geographical places a lot, but when I thought about setting a book in LA, where there’s such a huge Hispanic presence, it felt wrong not to include Cristina.
I’ve been asking lots of questions of my Mexican readers since starting to write about Cristina about what they’d like to see in a Mexican Shadowhunter girl, and a lot of the response I got was “strong in her faith.” So Cristina takes the High Priestess card here to show she is strong in her Shadowhunter faith. Cristina’s wise; she’s a little shy; she’s funny; she loves her family but she doesn’t always want to do what they say. She believes in angels. :) I hope you’ll like her.
More of Cassandra Jean’s Shadowhunter Tarot! Cristina, looking fierce with her butterfly knife, taking the card of the High Priestess.
A couple of people have asked me if there’s any plans to sell the Shadowhunter Tarot but it hadn’t crossed my mind, really! They’re meant to be fun — maybe Cassandra and I can figure out a way to make them downloadable/printable.