The majority of you is probably too busy reading Queen of Air and Darkness (or maybe still waiting for your copy to arrive), but I do have two very interesting interviews with Cassandra Clare to share with you today. In the first article, which is from Entertainment Weekly, Cassie talked about how she changed her original story arc to the one about the Cohort and its followers:
“These elements are purposeful responses to things happening all over the world,” says Clare. “There has been a rise of populist nationalism and waves of xenophobia.… I wanted to tackle the idea of how people respond when they’re faced with change in their world. Some people respond nobly, and some people respond with fear and withdrawal.”
The heart of the story remains the same: young adults navigating love, power, and the transition to adulthood. Inspired by the Parkland teens, Clare says, “Ultimately, [this] is a story of how, if you are one person and you are not in power, can you make a difference? The idea was to show that individual people can make differences, large and small.”
With the TV debacle and another series in her rearview mirror, Clare is slaying publishing and media demons as she moves forward with this more explicitly political outlook. Next are more series in the Shadowhunter world and her first adult novel, Sword Catcher, set for 2021 (and already sold as a TV project, with Clare attached as executive producer). For years, Clare has written about characters discovering the power of their voice — and now she’s embracing hers.
I’m particularly happy to read that Cassie’s upcoming Sword Catcher series is going to be adapted with Cassie as an executive producer! How exciting! 😀
The second interview/article is from Teen Vogue and it also focuses on the political situation in The Dark Artifices. There are spoilers for Queen of Air and Darkness (and Lord of Shadows) so read at your own risk! I’ve only included some non-spoilery parts:
While Clare always has included villains who are “misguided” and “do evil for various reasons” in her books before, this was the first time the villain of the story was actually one of the “good guys” — or at least the character, Horace Dearborn, thinks so. “I wanted it to be specifically about taking power by spreading misinformation, by trying to project the image of strength by stroking fear,” she says. “That’s the current of politics we’re looking at globally right now. That developed as the books did.”
Armed with the knowledge that fantasy YA is read by a predominantly young audience, Clare wanted to make Queen of Air and Darkness more overtly allegorical than ever before. “Fantasy works for me when it mirrors real-life and it has something to tell us,” she says. “The best fantasy is still completely based in people and how people behave. Even though the Shadowhunters fight demons and are surrounded by vampires and werewolves, the idea that there are still power-hungry people who are willing to exploit other people’s fears still holds.”
So while Clare hopes that Queen of Air and Darkness continues to be the escapist fantasy that fans of her books have come to expect, she also wants readers to learn an important lesson from this book specifically.
“Ideally I would love for people to look at a book like this and say, ‘Whoever I am, even if I’m young, even if I feel like I can’t make a difference, I can make a difference,'” Clare says. “Every individual can make a difference. This book is almost like an activist playbook.”
By fleshing out Julian’s storyline of creating the resistance group Livia’s Watch in honor of his recently killed sister, Clare wants young readers to be inspired into activism and work to change the world for the better in any way they can. Heavy stuff, but an important lesson to learn no matter the state of the world.
I love this article. Cassie addressed many relevant topics and it really is important to speak up, your voice does matter!
Read the whole article here if you have finished Queen of Air and Darkness or if you don’t mind spoilers.
What do you think of the interviews? Sound off in the comments below but please do not post any spoilers.