In the previous The Last Hours snippet that Cassandra Clare shared, Alastair Carstairs had lost his sister and although Cordelia is back in today’s snippet, fate once again isn’t very kind to Alastair. But read for yourselves:
“Disgraceful,” said Mrs Bridgestock. “I know your face. You are that Persian boy. Are you not ashamed to be running around corrupting nice young people? I suppose you are only following your father’s example, but considering what happened to him, you should really know better.”
Cordelia wished to rush to her brother’s defense, but she did not dare move.
Alastair bared his teeth at Mrs Bridgestock. “I should, shouldn’t I?”
Wow, how rude is the Inquisitor Bridgestock’s wife? And what is up with Alastair and Cordelia’s father Elias?
There’s also a new Q&A, which is about The Last Hours and some characters from Ghosts of the Shadow Market, but be warned, it’s a long one! Also: SPOILERS for Cast Long Shadows!
Are the S4 (Matthew, James, Christopher, and Thomas) a mischievous lot?
C: Absolutely! It is nothing but shenanigans from morning until night. They don’t obey the rules when it comes to demon hunting, though they’re very successful. Everyone lives in fear of Christopher blowing someone up. Matthew is wildly partying with Downworlders at every opportunity. James is aloof and deeply sarcastic. And they form a somewhat unstoppable team. When those four come into a party, everyone is like “Lock up the china! Lock up the parrot, you KNOW what happened last time!”
Will we ever find out what fallen angel fathered Tessa?
C: Oh yes. We’ll get hints in Ghosts of the Shadow Market, and we will be exploring Tessa–and James’ and Lucie’s–heritage extensively in The Last Hours. In Every Exquisite Thing we get a major revelation!
I wanted to ask you about Cordelia and Alastair. Once you said that they don’t really get along and they have just a few things in common (I remember that one of this was the passion for architecture); but I was curious to know something more about their brother-sister relationship. Does Alastair care about his little sister? Is he a protective brother?
C: Alastair and Cordelia share a love for Persian culture and stories and songs, via their mother Sona, though Alastair is now trying to push away from that because of how he was treated at Shadowhunter Academy due to his heritage, and the way he’s now regarded in London. Alastair tells Cordelia not to speak to him in public in their mother’s language. They have always been very different people, growing up in a very difficult household and reacting to it in very different ways. Their already-strained relationship got far worse when Alastair went to Shadowhunter Academy, and after the Academy Alastair’s just spent his travel year in Paris: there was physical and still is emotional distance between them, and there hasn’t been time to bridge it, even if Alastair wanted to, which Cordelia doesn’t know that he does. Cordelia tries to think the best of him, but at the same time many sisters often feel completely done with brothers far less trying than Alastair. (x)
I was wondering if it’s possible to know how many people does Grace Blackthorn love or care about, at the beginning of TLH! Or is she really heartless and uncapable to love?
C: Grace cares about two people at the beginning of TLH. (x)
what kind of dog is Oscar Wilde? Will he and church ever meet?
C: Oscar Wilde is a golden retriever: Sarah was getting one for her mom for Christmas and sent me many pictures in order to hypnotize me.
Church and Mr Oscar Wilde have met. Church was taken away by Magnus, but in fact he returned, as cats sometimes will, to the London Institute. (The last place where he saw Jem!) During TLH, he lives in the London Institute, where he terrorizes the inhabitants, invades James’s room so he may gaze upon Jem’s violin, and occasionally sees Brother Zachariah and feels great about life. When Brother Zachariah leaves again, Church breaks ornaments while Will is like ‘I know how that cat feels’ and then Church bites him and Will loses sympathy.
When Church enters the room, Oscar cries and slinks under Matthew’s chair. Christopher keeps forgetting that it’s not safe to pet Church, and draws back a wounded hand with great surprise every time.
When Magnus returns, Church gives Magnus the beady eye. ‘I’m watching you, kidnapper’ his beady eye says. Magnus wants a cat, but Church is not his cat of destiny. (x)
Let me ask you, there is Matthew’s quote where he says “I think too much and I drink too much, that is my problem”, will he be drinking to deal with his guilt? Will this really be an issue in THL??
C: This will be a huge issue in TLH, yes, and a huge issue for Matthew’s character. Matthew is the type of person, as we see in CLS, who blames himself rather than blaming anyone else, and in this case he knows he’s grievously to blame, and bears a huge load of guilt he feels he can’t share. He will be turning to revelry in the Downworld, and drinking and various other pursuits, to forget. “Drowning his sorrows” is a phrase for a reason… (x)
will we be seeing more of their [James, Matthew, Christopher and Thomas] time in the Academy in TLH?
C: There’s a few flashbacks, yes! But mostly the story deals with them in the present time of 1903. (x)
About THL, will we see any Magnus and Anna moments. For some reason I think they would be great friends. And I would dui if there is like a scene about magnus complimenting her fashion sense or something
C: They’re not dissimilar people! Remember that in Midnight Heir we learned Magnus hadn’t come to London between 1878 and 1903, so Magnus can’t be in Every Exquisite Thing. He’ll show up in TLH, after the events of Midnight Heir. (x)
So when did Midnight Heir take place? In regards to TLH at least the first book have they ever met Magnus?
C: Midnight Heir takes place part of the way through the first TLH book, Chain of Gold, in which you can see James is having a tough time already! None of the main characters of The Last Hours have ever met Magnus before their story begins. Magnus has been wandering the world and nursing his broken heart over Camille, and he presumes that he is a long forgotten footnote in Will and the other Shadowhunters’ past. He has been consulted and forgotten by many Shadowhunters (and others) in the past, once his usefulness was over. But as we see in the Midnight Heir, Will and Tessa were writing Magnus letters which never got to Magnus (because the Shadowhunters entrusted with messages didn’t much care to contact a warlock). Even when James is atrociously drunk, he remembers Magnus is his father’s friend–he and Lucie heard that from Will. Matthew and Christopher, Henry’s adoring son and pupil, have heard about Magnus helping with Henry’s experiments–Henry totally gives Magnus credit where credit is due, and Matthew thinks of Magnus as someone who appreciated his father as few do–a potential kindred spirit who knows that there are important things in life which the Shadowhunters do not value as Matthew thinks they should! The TLH characters, who all have grown up with stories and love stories, have been raised to think of Magnus as a bright important character in their bedtime tales of great adventure.
So in a way, they’re like readers of the Shadowhunter Chronicles, if they got to meet Magnus in the flesh. I hope some of you would be pretty excited to do that. 😉
Matthew in particular is horrified by the thought that James has made a terrible first impression on the great Magnus Bane. Matthew is very fond of his parabatai, but he might be tempted to chase him about in circles for a while. The other TLH characters do get a chance to meet Magnus too… but that comes later.
you mentioned once that the generation from TLH doesn’t fight many demons and is constantly partying, what does the older generation thinks of that?
C: We actually see Tessa and Will, in their bedroom, discussing this issue! I think it’s pretty common for parents to hope that their kids will have an easier and better life than they did. How much more Tessa and Will, who went through unbelievable tragedy and hardship very young. They want their kids to be able to party with blithe hearts, and to be less guarded than they are because they are less hurt. The era their kids are growing up in contributes to that–the mundanes around them talk of art and beauty, and Edward, the king of England at the time, is known as the Peacemaker. Of course the mundanes are hurtling toward World War I, and the Shadowhunters will be in trouble even sooner than that. The shadow of death is upon them. But for now, they are in the sunshine.
This brighter future is all the TID characters ever wanted. That’s why they fought, and it’s why their kids have been so carefully protected, and are able to be so blithe and happy. But at the same time their parents do worry that if disaster comes, their kids are unprepared for it. Their parents know from personal experience that tragedy can strike anyone, and they can see that’s not a lesson their kids truly know yet–you don’t believe in tragedy, until tragedy finds you. In Cast Long Shadows–out so soon now!–Jem realizes that Charlotte’s son Matthew hasn’t gone through the trials and tribulations he and Will had at Matthew’s age, and thus Matthew is very trusting of the world, in a way that could be terribly dangerous. (x)
Excuse me? “The shadow of death is upon them. But for now, they are in the sunshine.” What the heck is that supposed to mean? I’m worried.
A lot of the people i know are just angry at Alastair, but i want to believe in him, like, i think he’s just a kid with bunch of problems, and he’s just acting like that because he’s just trying to cover up the things that make him sad or angry. Was Alastair always like that? Like, did he make fun of Cordelia, or even now, he cares about her?
C: Alastair definitely has a bunch of problems–as many of my characters do, but it’s the choices they make, and how they act on their sadness or anger, that defines who they are.
Alastair and Cordelia had a difficult upbringing, and are very different people who express themselves in wildly different ways, which will cause clashes between siblings in the best of situations, and their situation certainly isn’t the best. Growing up, their relationship had ups and downs, but it certainly disimproved when Alastair came back changed by his experiences in the Academy. Nevertheless, I’ve mentioned before that Alastair, a prickly individual, likes only four people in the world. Those four people are his mother, Cordelia, Charles–and one more. He detests everyone else. Both Alastair and their mother Sona are pushing Cordelia to make a good marriage, and even if they’re activated by concern for her in dark times, that’s a huge concern for a girl in that era, whose whole future could be shaped or shadowed by marriage.
I have a question about Cecily and Gabriel: why they children Alexander was born many years after Christopher? There was no contraception in 1903 we can think they would have a child earlier.
C: There actually was contraception in 1903. The first rubber condom was produced in 1855. There are cave paintings of men using makeshift condoms. In ancient Greece, they used goat bladders. Later there were condoms made of sheep innards, which could be tied on with ribbons of various colors — very festive! Throughout history, like everybody else–before Clary Fairchild, our hero for this and many other reasons, came along with the contraception rune–Shadowhunters did various things to try to stave off having kids at inopportune times. Sometimes they worked great, sometimes they worked not at all. Shadowhunter women have to be even more careful than other women, because many Shadowhunter women (definitely Sophie and Cecily, who were both very keen to be Shadowhunters!) are fighters, and fighting demons while pregnant is risky, and in the later stages of pregnancy extremely difficult. At the same time, Shadowhunters often die young, so they have kids early with hope that even if they die, the next generation will carry on their legacy and their fight. (Valentine’s Circle all had their kids at a very young age–not that the Circle are role models, but that’s the way it often goes down in Shadowhunter society–they have the kids, and then continue the fight. As we see in Born to Endless Night, Alec wanted to have a kid young, and only worried that he wouldn’t be able to because of the Clave’s prejudice regarding his sexuality.)
The time in between TID and TLH is a time of relative calm and happiness, which is a first for me: each of the other series were preceded by tumultuous events and fragmented families! In TLH, we see more of how the Shadowhunters as they traditionally work as a society, when not shattered by the events of the Circle, or the aftermath of Sebastian’s Dark War. Shadowhunters have kids young, and hope: but also, nobody can keep fighting forever. When a Shadowhunter woman is ready to give up or at least scale back fighting, or when her partner feels ready to give up or scale back on fighting, they often try for a last child, who they can bring up with both parents very around and very involved. And often with Shadowhunters, that child comes. It’s seen as a happy, lucky thing for Shadowhunters, a blessing from the Angel–a sign you both lived! For instance, you may have noted Jem’s parents had Jem young, and then never any other kids. But if they had survived, I think they definitely would have tried for another kid. It’s just that they didn’t live. That’s a common tragedy for Shadowhunters, and the later-in-life kid is thus a rare and beautiful thing, a sign of an enduring happy ending. Cecily and Gabriel, with Anna and Christopher almost grown and rather splendid, and with London and Idris both in a time of almost unprecedented peace and prosperity, decided to scale back on fighting, and try for a last child. Thus, Alexander! Alexander is much adored and cosseted by both his parents, though with the instinct kids have for trouble, baby Alexander is often to be found toddling after his big brother Christopher and risking having test tubes of bubbling liquid upset on his tiny head.
This answer may lead to more questions–are any other ladies we know likely to have a child? It’s entirely possible. 😉 Remember, we can’t trust the family tree… (x)
Consider me intrigued! 😉 I really cannot wait for a final version of that blasted family tree.
I have a question about James and Cordelia, along with Grace and Christopher. I know James and Cordelia eventually get married, but does he actually fall in love with her? I know she loves him very much, but I would hate for it to be a one-sided marriage. And what about Grace and Christopher? Does Grace actually love him? Or is it a convenient marriage?
C: I definitely cannot tell you who ends up with who, or falls in love with who, at the end of the series, because it is my policy not to give big evil spoilers. 😉 I can talk about where the TLH characters are when we begin the book, and won’t go much beyond that. You all know the family tree is very deliberately misleading. Some things on it are right, but you don’t know which ones: indeed, we already know Lucie’s birth date is wrong. Many other dates and facts are incorrect, though not all. I’m not even guaranteeing that the recorded marriages are correct: it’s entirely possible that there was some confusion and Grace actually married Thomas. It’s meant to tease at various possibilities! At the beginning of the series, James is romantically interested in Grace, Cordelia has a huge crush on James, and Christopher and Grace have not met. Cordelia and Grace both come to London and shake everything up–everyone gets to know each other better, and many new feelings develop! Even a marriage may not be permanent. In Cast Long Shadows, we see Matthew seriously worry about Charlotte leaving Henry. Shadowhunters have an easier time breaking up marriages than mundanes even in the Edwardian era, because their first calling always has to be devotion to demon-hunting. For instance if a Shadowhunter man was stripped of his runes, his wife divorcing him to be with and have kids with a good Shadowhunter warrior would be considered a very praiseworthy action on her part.
Marriages of convenience happen (Shadowhunters don’t do “arranged” marriage, but people can marry for all sorts of reasons that aren’t love). Real marriages happen. Christopher is an oblivious soul, and so all the talk of a beautiful, life-ruining minx with whom James is smitten flies right over his head. He constantly addresses Grace as Gertrude and Gloria, and Grace is deeply vexed, but all that only applies to the beginning of the book, which is all I can tell you about! Likewise James is very impressed by Cordelia in a variety of ways, and Cordelia meets several other fine prospects…
So my answer is… who knows, friends, who knows. 😉 You’ll have to read the books to find out! When you read Cast Long Shadows, you’ll have some new ideas about where various characters are romantically–and of course when Chain of Gold comes out, the whole game changes. (x)
That’s it for today! What do you think of the snippet and how do you like Alastair? Sound off in the comments below!
The first book in Cassie’s The Last Hours trilogy is tentatively scheduled for 2019.