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New ‘The Last Hours’ snippet and a Q&A

Since Cassandra Clare took to her tumblr today to share a new The Last Hours snippet, we thought we’d catch you up on everything that she has recently shared about James and Lucie Herondale, Matthew Fairchild, Cordelia Carstairs and more.

But first the snippet:

Barbara patted Thomas, as if his brawny arm was a small boy’s head. “I was merely anxious about you, Tommy. Surely you are not vexed.”

Thomas’s brows were drawn sharply together, making his amiable countenance dark for the briefest interval. Then he sighed, drew his sister toward him in the circle of his arm, and stooped to press a kiss upon her brow.

“No, Babs,” he said. “Of course I am not vexed. Can you spare your brother a dance, though I know Oliver will be loath to part with you? I will take care not to be clumsy.”

In additon to this sweet snippet, we also have A LOT of amazing The Last Hours information for you (from newest to oldest).

I absolutely LOVE Shadowhunters, and especially James and Matthew. I know you said one question per ask, but these two kind of go together, and it’s about Matthew Fairchild. I’ve been curious, how old is Matthew in his Chapter in GOTSM? And how much will it impact his fate in TLH?

C: I’m happy you like James and Matthew! Matthew is fifteen in his chapter in GOTSM, and the incidents and his choices in his story influence his behavior and his character, and impact his fate enormously, casting a long shadow on his life to come.

As all great sins must. (x)

May I ask you something about Alastair Carstairs and Charles Fairchild’s relationship? 

C: Alastair and Charles are friendly! Everybody needs a friend. 😉 Charles, who is such a political wheeler dealer, was interim Head of the Paris Institute a year ago, and he and Alastair got acquainted when Alastair came to Paris on his travel year. (Paris is important to both of the Carstairs kids, as it’s where they spent the happiest time of their childhood.) Charles taught Alastair a lot about politics, and Alastair—who is a little lost, and has family issues—took his lessons to heart. Both the Carstairs are eager to come to London, and for Cordelia that’s because she wants to be with the Herondales. For Alastair, part of the reason he’s happy to come to London is his pal Charles.

hi!! can we have a little something about barbara and eugenia?

C: Barbara and Eugenia are very much big sisters! The family was always a little worried about Thomas, who was small and delicate for their whole childhood, so the sisters have always kept a beady eye on their brother. Eugenia’s the fiercer one, fond of telling off all the boys for their pesty ways, while Barbara is gentler and a little inclined to retiring to her fainting couch and declaring she has the vapors. Barbara also has an Understanding with a Young Gentleman. (x)

Will James and Lucie know about Jem, that he is brother Zachariah, and the relationship he has with their parents?

C: Lucie and James know all about Jem, who they call Uncle Jem amongst themselves and not Brother Zachariah. As a child Lucie used to cry bitterly when Uncle Jem had to go away, which of course he always had to do. The fate of Jem, and his necessary separation from the Herondale family—all of whom love him, and who he loves deeply—are one tragedy the Herondale kids have grown up with. Yet Jem is always looking out for the Herondale kids and Cordelia, and his love is a comfort and a strength to them, especially in the dark times ahead.

Are there still plans to do ten short stories leading up to TLH?

C: The idea was always the the short stories would be brief vignettes of the past lives of the TLH main characters, which would also be included in the book. I thought it would be fun to release them earlier, so that readers could have a taste of TLH and get to know James, Lucie, Cordelia and Grace better, and I’m still planning on doing that, yes! But I’m also happy things have been worked out so my friends and I get to do Ghosts of the Shadow Market, as now there are two looooong short stories set in the period leading up to TLH, in which we get more of Matthew, Anna and all the gang. Much to enjoy, I hope!

I have a question about James and Matthew. Both have very different personalities and even being parabatai, will there be some kind of disagreement between them during TLH? I love you and your work (especially the work called Matthew Fairchild, man of my life).

C: Matthew would be delighted. 😉 James and Matthew have always made being very different parabatai work for them—James keeps Matthew right, as Matthew says in Nothing But Shadows. Whenever Matthew is tempted to abandon Shadowhunter duty and go have fun, he thinks WWJHD  (What Would James Herondale Do). James cares a lot about being a Shadowhunter, about their tradition of protecting humanity—which makes him awfully conscious of how he, with his demonic and not Nephilim qualities, might endanger those he loves. Matthew, a more blithe soul, is able to comfort and cheer James—in James’s darkest times, he makes a beeline for Matthew, who is a light to him. I always think it’s fun to see how a mixture of similarities and differences make friends complement each other, as with Will and Jem before them (part of the reason that James and Lucie both desperately want parabatai is that they have the example of their father). So Matthew and James both have strong senses of humor, but James is more wry, and Matthew is more absurd, and they both make the other laugh. They both love reading, but Matthew likes modern literature, which James has come to appreciate since it helps him understand how Matthew sees the world, and James loves older stories of adventure and chivalry, which Matthew comes to admire more as he can see James being a hero in the same style.

That said, James and Matthew will have a very significant conflict in TLH.  You’ll see what it is!

are we going to have any musician in TLH? We had Jem in TID, Jace in TMI and we don’t have anyone in TDA. So, will we have any musicians or it will be like in TDA?

C: We are going to have some musicians, yes! The Last Hours is very much about art, and how people interact with it. (All my books are to a certain degree, which is why Julian and Clary are artists.)

Alastair Carstairs used to sing ghazals, but he’s become less and less comfortable with how people perceive him due to his Persian heritage, so he doesn’t anymore.

Jesse Blackthorn used to play the piano when he was alive. Sometimes, certain people can still hear a faint tune being played in dusty Blackthorn House…

Thomas Lightwood makes up songs in his head, but he’s too shy to tell anybody about them. Except for the one person who he does tell.

can you tell us more about Grace Blackthorn? she seems like a very interesting character to me and i would really like to know what she was like before she became cold to everyone, i’m sure there’s a reason for that. will she become friends with the gang throughout the books?

C: Well, here I have an opportunity to talk about how writing works. I’m really happy you guys care about the TLH characters and want to know more about them, and I love answering your questions about them! But I can only really talk about how the characters are at the start of the Last Hours, because who they may become is part of the journey of the books, which we have to go on with them. We can infer things like what kind of mother Tatiana might have been to make Grace turn out to be distant and dedicated to keeping her emotions hidden, but as Grace is a designedly mysterious character, reading the books is going on a journey of discovery about her for both the reader and my characters. The gang all have very different relationships with Grace (James loves her: Matthew thinks she is bad news: Christopher finds it difficult to remember her name) and those relationships are going to develop and change enormously as the books progress, so I can’t answer for the whole gang or tell you what happens with them. That said, I think Grace is a very interesting character too. 😉

can you tell us something about Anna? I’m in love with her. Will we see a lot of her in TLH?

C: We will — Anna’s quite a significant character. I love her too, she’s so much fun to write, and I hope you’ll enjoy getting to know her better in Every Exquisite Thing. (The title btw comes from Oscar Wilde: “Behind every exquisite thing that existed, there was something tragic.”) Not that Anna’s tragic, I’d say she very much is a joyous person! But she was hurt in the past. (x)

Will Thomas Lightwood get a love interest?

C: Oh, yes. 😉 (x)

I was wondering if Cordelia has any hobbies. I mean: we know that James and Lucie like to write (poetry/books). But… I’m curious about Cordelia.
She surely does something in her free time (does she have free time? I hope so!), and, you know… I guess that I’d like to know which kind of hobbies she has, ‘cause they usually tell me a lot about a person. 

C: Cordelia loves reading, specifically Persian literature and mythology. And of course she’s friends with a lot of passionate readers! Besides training with Cortana, I’d say her most unusual hobby is that she’s fascinated with plants, perfumes and fragrances. A bit of that is about her mother, who loves perfume, and some is about an interest in aspects of her heritage: “Iranians are regarded as the first manufacturers of perfume…The equipment and installations for obtaining rosewater and perfumes were abundant in many towns and villages, and their sweet smelling products were exported to remote corners of the world.” Cordelia is fascinated not just with creating delicious smells that she can wear and give as gifts, but also with the meaning of plants and with their uses in healing.

I also wondered about Cordelia’s friends. Like… I guess that I just hope that she’ll get along with Matthew, Christopher and Thomas. She’s Lucie’s best friend but I just hope that she’ll be friends with the other guys, too, ‘cause I love all of them and I hope that they’ll all like each other.

Friends are an issue for Cordelia. She grew up very lonely, always traveling, rarely anywhere long enough to make a serious friend. She would practice swordfighting in the mirror, and pretend her mirror reflection was a friend who traveled with her. Once she gets to London, she suddenly has the experience of being thrust into an existing friends group. There may be some who resent her initially — especially her taking up Lucie’s time and attention, as well as James’ — but Cordelia is a stubborn, brave, smart girl, and she is more than a match for a pack of boys. The boys (James, Matthew, Thomas, and Christopher) are essentially good-hearted as well. For me, the interest lies in how they all become friends, and how their friendships differ. (x)

Can you tell us something about James/Cordelia? I mean, I’m really curious about them and how their relationship is going to be I just need something from them, please

C: Hello! James is the one who gave Cordelia the nickname ‘Daisy’ which Lucie and James (and later, selected others) call her. Cordelia has lived a somewhat isolated life with her family up until the beginning of the Last Hours (for reasons which will be discovered in CoG2), when she finally gets to come to London. Will always tried to keep in contact with the Carstairs family, so the Herondales were always very important to her as the kids who would come and visit, and be her playmates: James and Lucie were the two people she was always longing to see. There were two particular incidents in her childhood that caused her to develop feelings for James: one in which he gave her her nickname, and once… well, you’ll see. 😉 (James is a modest soul, so it would not occur to him that he might be the object of a young lady’s passion! He has no idea whatsoever that Cordelia has feelings for him.) James and Cordelia have not seen each other in several years, until the beginning of the Last Hours, and so they are both very familiar with each other and re-discovering each other with new eyes.

is there anything you can tell us about Charles Fairchild?

C: Charles is very serious, and very dedicated to politics. In a lot of ways he’s the opposite of his brother Matthew, who refuses to take life seriously and who is always rebelling against the Nephilim way of life. Charles is really trying to uphold the Clave. He thinks of himself as like his mother the Consul, but he wants to go harder–he doesn’t really understand his father or his brother. Matthew used to call him “Charlie” and look up to him when they were younger, but they have become far more distant since then. Charles is also willing to go up against Will Herondale, head of the London Institute and famous hothead, so we know Charles is stubborn. 😉 Charles really believes this generation of Shadowhunters, who have been protected and loved by their parents and let run wild and have fun, isn’t ready for war. He may be right, but he is probably not going about fixing the situation in the right way. (x)

Since it’s going to be a while until the release of TLH, can you give us some new information about James?

C: Ah, James Herondale. What can I say about James Herondale? His hair is full of secrets! He’s very much the leader of his group of friends, and he comes up with daredevil schemes that they then play out together as a team. Matthew does so with verve and flair. Christopher wanders off book. Thomas despairs at them all. Yet they all rely very much on James, on his leadership and the fact he has the coolest head in a crisis (he’s the one who’s a big brother, whereas the others all have older brothers or sisters: Matthew has Charles, Christopher has Anna, and Thomas has both Barbara and Eugenia, who can be somewhat overwhelming). James also relies on them for acceptance and emotional support when others reject him for his demon heritage and his inhuman eyes, and being friends with them has given him a lot of confidence he didn’t have before–confidence he can use to protect those he loves. The boys provide strength for each other in the dark times a-coming for them all.

I am really looking forward to tlh and I wanted to know more about Lucie’s love interests. Does she have a crush on someone or is she just obsessed with her parabatai only?

C: I wouldn’t say Lucie is obsessed with her parabatai–she has written a very long book called The Beautiful Cordelia, but the heroine of her book isn’t Cordelia, though she is named for her. In first drafts of City of Bones, Clary was named for my friend Val (the artist who created Shadowhunter runes) and had the name stuck, I wouldn’t have been thinking of my friend having sexy times with demon hunters–it’s just an affectionate reference. Still, Lucie and Cordelia definitely do love each other a lot–the Last Hours, as I’ve said, is a lot about stories people tell each other, and the stories they tell themselves: Cordelia is the person who Lucie lets read her stories, and at the beginning of the book the two of them have been pen-pals for years, waiting and hoping for the time when they could be together and become parabatai. Now their hopes are reality, and they both have to interact with each other in a new way–discovering new secrets about each other–and they have to face threats both to their lives, and from the people who do not want them to become parabatai at all.

It’s been really great to write a prominent pair of ladies in this way, and I hope you guys will love them as much as Jace and Alec, Will and Jem, Clary and Simon, and Emma and Julian.

But to focus on Lucie and love interests! I do not want to give any big spoilers, because I want you guys to be surprised and to make discoveries along with the characters. Lucie does not have a crush on anybody at the start of the book, though somebody sure does have a crush on her. (You’ll see who. ;)) And Lucie does develop a strong romantic interest during the course of the first book. (Again, you’ll see who. ;)) Said romantic interest brings great complication to her life, and in some ways puts her at odds with her much beloved family.

I’ve been wondering something about Lucie and James Herondale. Why are them mortal if they are like her mother? Will we know something about this on TLH?

C: Tessa’s kids are not carbon copies of Tessa, though — they do not have her power to shapeshift, for instance. They may have inherited some of the magical equivalent of “genes” that allows them to have some interesting powers, but there would be no reason for them to be immortal any more than they must have her brown hair and gray eyes (which neither of them do!) (x)

I’m really intrigued about magnus dating someone. Is this someone we know and have heard of or some random new character?

C: Someone we know and have heard of, friend. 😉 (x)

Can you tell me anything about Thomas Lightwood? It really can be anything…

C: When the Last Hours begins, Thomas has recently returned from Spain, where his dad Gideon sent him because he feels Spain improves people. 😉 In Spain Thomas gets a tattoo all his friends tease him about. You’ll all see what it is. Also, he and Lucie often sparred together, since for years they were by far the smallest kids (though no longer…). Each knows and admires how the other fights.

I was wondering if there’s a chance that you can tell us more about Matthew and his dog?

C: James found a puppy in the streets and gave it to Matthew for his birthday because it was the best present James could think of. Matthew’s dog is named for his favorite writer, and he loves Matthew so much that he is almost absurdly obedient.

I was talking to a friend and we were wondering if Woolsey will appear in TLH, like Camille? We think it would be really fun to see him interact with Matthew since they are both aesthetes. Even if he isn’t, do you think they would get along if they ever met in spite of Woolsey not caring much for nephilim?

C: Woolsey does appear in TLH, though his appearance is actually a little bittersweet, because it has to do with Magnus, and Magnus hasn’t aged at all while Woolsey has aged twenty-odd years. It’s a hard thing for Woolsey to deal with, especially as Magnus is dating someone else in TLH … Well, maybe Matthew can cheer a werewolf up with a chat about aesthetics! (x)

I believe earlier you said something about how Cordelia’s mother Sona’s character is impacted by Quranic stories? Is there anything more you can tell us about her? As a Muslim girl it’s nice to see some partial representation, so thank you for writing Sona Carstairs in this way.

C: I’m so glad you’re looking forward to Sona Carstairs! Sona and Cordelia have a complicated relationship, and are in a complicated situation, but one thing about the Last Hours is the idea of children who have been raised in the tradition of stories, and how that affects their life and loves. Sona has shared her love for Persian literature with Cordelia and Alastair, and that influences a lot of the things they quote and the way they think.

Sona also has a big secret her daughter doesn’t know… (x)

I was wondering something about James turning into a shadow. Does he become 100% invisible, or does he become a gray cutout cloud? Because I thought he was conpletely invisible in the Midnight Heir, but then in Nothing but Shadows he said he could see the rain falling through his hand and also said that he turned into a “ghastly shadow.” Just wanted to clarify! Also, can you say something cool about my boi Matthew?

C: James turns into a shadow, like the shadows of people, but without a person attached. It’s sometimes very hard to see a shadow–impossible if it’s dark as it is in Midnight Heir, and especially if you’re not expecting to see someone turn into a shadow (as who would be). Some people are better at identifying James as a shadow, and as you grow used to it, it gets easier–Matthew and Lucie are both very good at seeing James in his different form. James himself does not experience himself as invisible but in an altered state, almost on a different plane (hence the raindrops falling through his hand) which he finds very distressing.

I’m so pleased you are looking forward to More Matthew May! (Cast Long Shadows.) Matthew kisses a character we know from another series… but I won’t say which one. 😉 (x)

Did anyone make it until the end of this article? 😀 We love that Cassie is in such a chatty mood right now and really appreciate her openness.

Who is your favourite The Last Hours character right now and why? Sound off in the comments below!

About Cathrin (529 Articles)
Writer for TMI Source and 'The Shadowhunter Chronicles' lover extraordinaire. Fangirls over books, history, German football, movies and fictional characters.

1 Comment on New ‘The Last Hours’ snippet and a Q&A

  1. I think Lucie is probably my favorite. I picture her being sort of Jane Austen-esque. Witty and smart. Observant and mischievous. Tbh, I’m really excited to get to know all of the characters. TLH will be worth the wait!

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