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.

TDA snippet

Many people have been asking for TDA snippets. There will be some, mixed up with Magisterium snippets. Just remember that drafts always change and I can’t promise the snippets will make it into the book! Though they often do.

Yeah,” he said, eyelashes lowering as his gaze traced the movement of her fingers. “It hurt me being away from you. It feels like there’s a hook dug in under my ribs, and there’s something pulling at the other end. Like I’m tethered to you, no matter the distance.”

Julian and Emma

You sent me a smiley face!!! I feel so special!!! so i was just wondering, Julian and Emma are gonna be in CoHF but we don’t really know them that well. so are we gonna get to know them in CoHF? cause i’m already shipping them but i don’t really KNOW them. you know? Stay awesome Cassandra!!! -fangirlfromshanghai — spiffy2020

I am a fan of the smiley face. It contains multitudes.

I do think you will get to know Julian and Emma in City of Heavenly Fire. There is a lot about them. The first notes my editor sent me back on the draft of CoHF were about Emma and Jules.

The hope was to introduce you to the whole family, including Tiberius and Livvy, and Drusilla and even Tavvy (though he is about 2.) It is worth remembering Jules and Emma are only twelve! They have a partnership, extremely focused around the littler kids, but not a great romance …though the seeds of something else are there.

Julian’s skin was cold, as if he’d been leaning out the window into the night air. She turned his hand and drew with her finger on his bare forearm. It was something they’d done since they were small children and didn’t want to get caught talking during lessons. Over the years they’d gotten so good at it that they could map out detailed messages on each other’s hands, arms, even their shoulders through their T-shirts.

D-I-D Y-O-U E-A-T? she spelled out.

Julian shook his head, still staring at Livvy and Ty. His curls were sticking up in tufts as if he’d been raking his hands through his hair. She felt his fingers, light on her upper arm. N-O-T H-U-N-G-R-Y. 

aegisdea:

Siiince I haven’t drawn a portrait of Emma aaand I also felt like I doing  laces. 
Emma Carstairs (c) The Dark Artfices, cassandraclare

I love Aegisdea’s drawings of the characters so much!

aegisdea:

Siiince I haven’t drawn a portrait of Emma aaand I also felt like I doing  laces. 

Emma Carstairs (c) The Dark Artfices, cassandraclare

I love Aegisdea’s drawings of the characters so much!

v-day snippet of CoHF

“Julian,” said Jia, in the same gentle voice, “would you do something for us? Would you take up the Mortal Sword?”

Clary sat up straight. She had held the Mortal Sword: she had felt the weight of it. The cold, like hooks in your skin, dragging the truth out of you. You couldn’t lie holding the Mortal Sword, but the truth, even a truth you wanted to tell, was agony.

“They can’t,” she whispered. “He’s just a kid —“

“He’s the oldest of the kids who escaped the Institute,” Jace said under his breath. “They don’t have a choice.”

Julian nodded, his thin shoulders straight. “I’ll take it.”

Robert Lightwood passed behind the podium then and went to the table. He took up the sword and returned to stand in front of Julian. The contrast between them was almost funny: the big, barrel-chested man and the lanky, wild-haired boy. 

Julian reached a hand up and took the sword. As his hand closed around the hilt, he shuddered, a ripple of pain that was quickly forced down. Emma, behind him, started forward, and Clary caught a glimpse of the look on her face — pure fury — before Helen caught at her and pulled her back.

Emma and Cristina from the girls’ Shadowhunter calendar. Best friends. I think of Cristina as way too shy to show her bra at all, but this is a pinup calendar! Beautifully illustrated by Cassandra Jean.

My birthday present from Cassandra JP — a scene from City of Heavenly Fire! Clary with little 12-year-old Emma.

My birthday present from Cassandra JP — a scene from City of Heavenly Fire! Clary with little 12-year-old Emma.

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 Two of Rings shows two generations of Carstairs: Emma and her father, who plays the family violin. (You can see the name of the second owner etched on the case.) Emma’s father actually does play it; not every generation of Carstairs is musical. Emma is not particularly. It’s a bit of a bittersweet picture since we know small Emma will lose her father in some short number of years.

This card was made to replace an earlier card: 
This card was meant to be a fantasy scene, the idea of Jem teaching Emma the violin being very touching, but it was intended to take place is a sort of fantasy liminal world where all the characters existed at once. I decided it would be too confusing if people took it as a literal illustration of something that would actually happen, so we decided to go with the first image!

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 Two of Rings shows two generations of Carstairs: Emma and her father, who plays the family violin. (You can see the name of the second owner etched on the case.) Emma’s father actually does play it; not every generation of Carstairs is musical. Emma is not particularly. It’s a bit of a bittersweet picture since we know small Emma will lose her father in some short number of years.

This card was made to replace an earlier card: 

This card was meant to be a fantasy scene, the idea of Jem teaching Emma the violin being very touching, but it was intended to take place is a sort of fantasy liminal world where all the characters existed at once. I decided it would be too confusing if people took it as a literal illustration of something that would actually happen, so we decided to go with the first image!

Cassandra Jean has finished the complete Shadowhunter Tarot, so for the next … seventy-something 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 5.

I’m gone almost all today and I didn’t post cards yesterday, so today — have three! The first two are the Emperor and Empress cards, reimagined as the Artist and the Warrior. The Emperor is the fourth card and represents four corners, four seasons, four supports — stability and family, which are Jules’ priorities. The Empress is the Emperor’s counterpart, but a more dangerous card in some ways. She can represent the giving of life, but also the taking of it. And according to my readings the Queen often hooks up with Knights … ouch!

Emma is holding Cortana, and if you look closely you can see the inscription on the blade: I am of the steel and temper of Joyeuse and Durendal.

The third card is a card that we’re not using. It was the Queen of Runes, but we decided to keep all the suits to one family or another, and switched out Emma for a rather unexpected Blackthorn since the others are Blackthorns. I do love Emma having the Strength rune though and it’s a very lovely card, thank you Cassandra Jean!

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.