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Presented by State Library Victoria

Why I love Cassandra Clare's novels

I know that the mortal instruments is one of the more famous YA fantasy series out there but I feel like everyone likes these novels for different reasons.

SO, I am compiling a list of my personal reasons on these books are my favourites ๐Ÿ™‚

(AND SPOILERS FOR ALL THE BOOKS- ONLY READ IF YOU HAVE READ ALL BOOKS)

1. Characters and their depth

I think this is my most favourite thing about her books. I love reading Cassandra Clare’s writing as she develops more in-depth characters over time. You start with the sassy good-looking but tragic-back-story hero, Jace, that you see in every high fantasy book. (Like Rhys in ACOTAR, Finn in Switched by Amanda Hocking) You also have the stubborn but willing-to-fight-for-every-thing-until-it’s-right main character, where they have been thrown into the story or born into it, which is Clary. (Feyre in ACOTAR, Kady in Illuminae, Annabeth in Percy Jackson, Mare from Red Queen, Cyra from Carve the mark, Kestrel from The Winner Curse) Now, I am not saying these character have no depth, because there is much more to these characters that what I’ve just stated, but I feel like I’ve seen this general trope everywhere.

Now you fast forward in The Infernal Devices where you still have a tragic good looking YA hero, Will, but you also have quiet, kind and patient Jem. You get more complex characters like Gabriel and Gideon, who though are raised in the same environment, turn out to have very different personalities. I feel like they also have a lot of character growth through out the series, especially from Gabriel.

However, I think that The Dark Artifices has the most intricate characters that I’ve ever read. Take Julian. At first, you think he is a kind sweet boy who loves his family. But then you get hints in Lady Midnight and very strongly in Lord of Shadows that there is a lot more to his character. You find that he is a bit ruthless and is often described as willing “to burn down the world than to watch his family suffer.” At first, I was really attached to the soft spoken and loving Julian and I was a bit disappointed that he shredded off that skin as he got older and was forced to care for his family in result of numerous tragic events. But then I realised that Julian has become a very complex character and the more depth that Cassandra Clare has added, the more he seems to jump off the page.

Another character that is very diverse and written well in depth is Mark Blackthorn and Kieren of the Wild Hunt. When Mark comes home early on in Lady Midnight, he seems wild and feral. However, as the story progresses, he becomes one of the family and someone who is willing to fight to protect them. Though I feel like he still has some feral aura hanging around him because the wild hunt was a big part of his life, he is also shown to be quite soft and loving around his smaller siblings. I found it really heart warming when he lets the children play in the kitchen, and he holds Tavvy’s hand and lets him fall asleep on his lap. Kieren, I feel, is also very complex because he has his own wants and desires. He was bullied in the Wild Hunt because of his royalty but finds refugee with Mark. I feel like he had massive character growth in Lord of Shadows and really warmed up to the Blackthorn family.

2. Diversity

The amount of diversity in this series is absolutely amazing. I have never read anything that represents a whole wide range of people. Most obvious is the gay relationships. Almost everyone just absolutely adores Malec and they feature heavily in this series. They are even getting their own trilogy The Eldest Curses soon! You also have a lesbian relationship between Helen Blackthorn and Aline Penhallow. I really feel like f/f relationships are heavily lacking in YA books. I was very thankful when Leah on the Off Beat came out because I’ve hardly seen f/f relationships represented. I don’t know whether it’s because the majority of YA fans are girls and they find it hard to relate or because it’s just worked out like that but I feel like we are really fortunate that we have this representation in this series.

Another representation that is hard to come by is autism in YA books. My favourite character in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD is TY BLACKTHORN. I just want to hug him all the time. He’s a literally a cinnamon roll! I think Cassandra Clare does a really good job at accurately describing autism. Though I am not a professional, I know that autism can make people perceive the world around them differently, like sounds are louder and sometimes you don’t fully concept some language like Ty not getting some sayings and Julian has to paint them. However, Ty does not let his autism get in the way and he’s really smart and caring and a major Sherlock fan. What’s not to like about him!

Lastly, Cassandra Clare has written in a transgender character, Diana. I love it how we get to know Diana as a strong mentor to the blackthorn family before it is revealed that she’s trans. People then get to know the real her before they might judge her. I think it’s also awesome that it’s heavily foreshadowed that she will have a healthy relationship with Gwen of the Wildhunt, someone who respects her and her past.

3. Plot

I think that the plot is great in these books, and it just gets better the more Cassandra Clare writes. Though not a scratch on Queen JK Rowling, Cassandra Clare adds small details that later play a part in the novel. I just love it when authors do that! This is like at the start of Lady Midnight, Kit describes a couple walking past. He describes their appearance and though you don’t know it then, it’s Tessa and Jem, looking for the lost Herondale.

I feel like the books always have a strong plot and you always know what the main goal is to achieve.

4. Villains

I think that the Villains in all the Shadowhunter books are written very strongly and you always really clearly know their motives. I also love it when they have a reason to their goal, not that they are just filled with hate. It makes the villains seem more human when you can see in their point of view, and to them, they are doing the right thing. Because damn, I could see Malcom’s side to their story when he just wanted his soul mate back, even when he had to resort to desperate measures, like raising the dead and human sacrifices. I could also see Mortmain’s view of wanting to raise a army of clockwork creatures because of his father’s inventions and kill the murders who killed his loving mother and father. Even Valentine wanted to cleanse the earth from downworlders after what they did to his father.

5. The Fantasy world

I really love the shadow world because it all ties very nicely together. You have angels, demons and humans. If you mix these together, you get the result of Shadowhunters, vampires, warlocks, faeries and werewolves. The laws of the shadow world are very easy to understand and they work together.

6. The fandom

I feel like the shadowhunter fandom is pretty good. Sure, there are people who might hate certain aspects, but the majority is very nice and supporting of Cassandra Clare. We also have a movie, and a tv show. (no matter how good or bad these are, I think we all agree we are lucky to have them) I love it how this world is also continuing to expand. We always have new books to come out, Cassandra Clare always finds fan art to share and there is generally always something happening. We still have 10 books still to come out, it’s sure to keep us all busy for a while ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

Ok. I think I’ve addressed the main reasons why I love these books. However, I do want to say there is just one thing that I think that needs to be improved. I know Cassandra Clare has put a lot of diversity and has worked hard to represent a lot of different things, but in annoys me a bit how everyone has to be in a relationship. Everyone eventually ends in one. I really wish someone didn’t have to be in a relationship all the time. Yes, I love shipping characters and I want all of them to be happy, but some characters could be happy without being in a relationship.

Anyway, I hope I’ve covered everything. Let me know what you think in the comments. Whether you agree or disagree. Whether you love these novels like I do or whether you have some issues with them. I would be happy to hear your thoughts ๐Ÿ™‚

 

8 comments

ladybird

I agree about the relationships thing. It would be especially good if she could break up one of those relationships and then show them being happy without each other so that itโ€™s clear itโ€™s not about coming to terms with being undesirable or something, but just truly being happy without a relationship

27th May, 18
bookwithbane

ALL THESE REASONS ARGHHHH. I love the fan art added in!

29th May, 18
bookdragon

Thanks :)

1st Jun, 18
nightsky

This totally sums up everything great about the books! Agree about the relationships tho - but otherwise it's definitely a top series!

1st Jun, 18
eriinfisher

An author that can write backstory about villains is an author worth reading. Completely agree with the diversity aspect as well. Normalizing LGBTQ relationships in novels is helping shape the world to a better future. I love how she doesn't make a big deal of it either, Malec moments are written just like every other romance moment is written. Love this post by the way!

4th Jun, 18
charlie

Amazing post!!!

2w ago
imosshelf

This summarises everything great about the books! I agree with everything

2w ago
dolphinkick

I LOVE THESE BOOKS! THEY ARE THE BEST! ok I need a minute to calm down too stop fan girling (Rick Riordian and Casandra Clare have the most diverse books)

1w ago