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!


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. :)

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 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.

As for TWP it’s too early to say. :)

Mark Blackthorn, COHF spoilers

(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!

For xpsychic


Shh. I may or may not have been distracted.
Jonathan/Sebastian Morgenstern (c) cassandraclare


Shh. I may or may not have been distracted.

Jonathan/Sebastian Morgenstern (c) cassandraclare


Call it Raphael, it’s an angel name.

De-stress doodle of Raphael because of reasons. The quote is from CoHF but the picture was mainly inspired by Saving Raphael Santiago which broke my heart into a million tiny pieces.


Call it Raphael, it’s an angel name.

De-stress doodle of Raphael because of reasons. The quote is from CoHF but the picture was mainly inspired by Saving Raphael Santiago which broke my heart into a million tiny pieces.