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08 April 2009 @ 03:55 pm
CoG answer post  
First off, I wanted to say thanks to everyone who came by to leave a comment about City of Glass, or ask a question, or who came to a signing, or who just read a copy of the book! Thanks to you guys, CoG is #4 on the New York Times series bestseller list (which is a tough list to get onto, since it counts the sales of every book in a series, and TMI only has three books in it, unlike some of the others which have five, six or seven), #3 on the Wall Street Journal Fiction Bestseller List, #2 on the Publisher's Weekly Children's bestseller list, and #12 on the USA Today bestseller list, which counts every book for sale in the entire country. So that's all awesome, and thank you all so much!

Now, on to the rest of the post. This is the big answer post I was talking about earlier, which answers the most-asked questions people had about Glass, as well as larger questions like "Is there going to be a fourth Mortal Instruments book?" It is of course very spoilery, so please avoid if you haven't read Glass.





1) Is there going to be a fourth Mortal Instruments book?

It appears so. The fourth Mortal Instruments book is called City of Fallen Angels. More info here:

http://www.cassandraclare.com/cms/faqs#fallen

2) What is City of Fallen Angels about? When will it be released?

City of Fallen Angels takes place after the events of City of Glass. It splits its focus between Jace and Clary and Clary’s best friend, Simon, and how he adjusts to life as a vampire, but it’s still an ensemble-cast story, and all the characters from the Mortal Instruments series appear in it: Jace, Isabelle, Alec, Magnus, Luke, Jocelyn, Maia, and many more. (It even helps to have read The Clockwork Angel before you read CoFA, because some of the characters from the ID series do show up in it. However, it isn’t required.) In City of Fallen Angels, someone’s killing the Shadowhunters who used to be in Valentine’s Circle and leaving their bodies around New York City in a manner designed to provoke hostility between Downworlders and Shadowhunters. Internecine warfare among vampires is ripping the Downworld community apart, and only Simon — the Daylighter who everyone wants on their side — can decide the outcome; too bad he wants nothing to do with Downworld politics. Meanwhile Jace and Clary investigate a mystery that has deeply personal consequences for them — consequences that may strengthen their relationship, or rip it apart forever. Love, blood, betrayal and revenge: the stakes are higher than ever in City of Fallen Angels.

City of Fallen Angels is set to be released in March, 2011.


3) Will Jace and Clary be in City of Fallen Angels?

Yes.

4) Does the publication of the fourth TMI book mean that The Infernal Devices will be pushed back?

No. I wouldn't do that. The publishing schedule for ID hasn't changed. Here is the schedule for all four books:

September 7, 2010: The Clockwork Angel

March 11, 2011: City of Fallen Angels

September 2011: The Clockwork Princess

September 2012: The Clockwork Prince

5) Why can Simon go in the sunlight?

Because he drank Jace's blood. If you've read City of Glass, you know the manner in which Jace's blood is unusual. This is why Simon cannot go in the sunlight until he drinks Jace's blood in Ashes. After the scene in which he drinks Jace's blood, he can.


6)) Who does Simon choose, Maia or Isabelle? And what are the eventual effects of the Mark of Cain?

I feel these questions are best explored in the Simon book to come. I guess I'll just say that though the Mark does render him well-protected from harm, it carries with it its fair share of troubles. After all, it was originally a curse.

7) Why does Clary not say "I love you" to Jace? He says "I love you" to her — it should be balanced!

Because I don't really think saying "I love you" is the only way to express or show love. I don't much like having characters say "I love you" to each other as the grand apotheosis of their feelings. My critique partners don't much like it either — if it's in the text, they'll circle it and write, "Can't you say or show this another way?" on the page. Jace says it to Clary in the bedroom scene, but mainly as a badge of how suicidally despairing he is over his feelings: it's not a happy "I love you", and you'll notice that in the epilogue, where he affirms his feelings in a positive way, he never does say "I love you" — but it's implicit in everything he's saying. I also thought it was important for Jace to state his feelings here because in the course of the books, we're generally less aware of exactly how he's feeling but we do know exactly how Clary's feeling about Jace, and we always have. And lastly, as almost every one of the characters has observed, Jace is the one who comes up with clever or meaningful speeches and always knows what to say. Clary is the one who knows what to do. Her declaration of love for Jace was twofold: one, in honoring both their feelings by pushing on after his death by the lake to defeat Valentine despite wishing she could die; and two, in asking the Angel for Jace's life, above all other things she could ever possibly have in the world. When Jace asks her why she did that, she just tells him it's because he's all she wants in the world. That is saying "I love you", and considering that she's the one making the vast, grand gesture of devotion here, I feel his later speech is what balances things out.


8) At the end part when Clary is captive, what exactly does she do to override Valentine's hold over Raziel? What does the rune she made mean?

9) Clary writes her name over Valentine's, thus making herself the one who binds the Angel, not him. That's why she's thinking about names so specifically right before she does it. It's a very small change ("such a small rune, she thought, such a small change") because I wanted her victory to be about her being smart and resourceful, not about any special powers she might have.

10) At the end, they can't find Sebastian/Jonathan's body. Is he dead?

He might be. He might not be. Maybe his body disappeared the way demon's bodies disappear when they die. He was quite a bit demony, after all.

11) Why did Sebastian/Jonathan kiss Clary when he knew she was his sister? Wouldn't he find that gross?

Seriously? Here's a guy who whacks small children, commits mass murder, and clearly enjoys torturing and killing the helpless, and you think he'd draw the line at kissing his sister??? I've seen people say "I just didn't realize he'd go that far to get what he wanted." Yeah, but smashing in a nine-year-old's head with a hammer on the off-chance said nine-year-old might have some dirt on you is totally normal behavior? I would also point out that it's canonical in the text that demons are sexually screwed up and vicious: one of them tries to rape Aline; warlocks are the offspring of the rape of humans by demons, etc. Why on God's green earth is Sebastian supposed to then be screwed up in every possibly way except sexually? I imagine he frankly enjoyed kissing Clary a lot more because she was his sister; I doubt he would have gotten as much of a kick out of it if she wasn't. If that is gross, well, yes, Sebastian is supposed to be gross. I have to say I'm kind of baffled by a worldview that handwaves off child murder but is creeped out by some character kissing his sister: I guess that if that's what it took to make readers realize Sebastian is not redeemable, I'm sure glad it's in there. Yikes.

12) But I found it troubling and gross!

I know. It is troubling and gross, not romantic. Sometimes stuff in books is troubling and gross.

13) But does that mean he has any kind of feelings for Clary? He seemed genuinely upset that she was so repelled by him.

All right, all right, that's a totally reasonable question. :) I will agree it's hard in some scenes to tell when Jonathan/Sebastian is actually feeling something and when he's playacting. He does appear genuinely hurt that she rejects him so totally in the kissing scene, or at least to be actually upset about it.

A lot of that is just vanity, of course. Sebastian is vain, and thinks everyone else is stupid and easily charmed by him. He assumes that he can get Clary to do whatever he wants by seducing her: that if he kisses her, she'll just hand over the Book and whatever other information she turns up along the way without even having to be asked. When she is instead repulsed by his advances, his vanity is miffed.

Beyond that, though, if one is looking for human emotions in Sebastian, they're mainly extant in his dealings with his father, his sister, and his sort-of-brother, Jace. He's genuinely jealous of Jace, his father's "little angel boy", and genuinely upset by the idea that Valentine has ever had fatherly feelings for anyone but him. He knows Valentine doesn't like Clary, so he isn't jealous of her — but she's his blood sister, and as he says to his father, some part of him was hoping she would "be like me." As Valentine replies, she is not like Jonathan because no one else in the world is like him. So if Sebastian/Jonathan is sympathetic anywhere, it's in his own knowledge of how alone he is in the world, and in the fact that the only ways he knows to reach out to someone else (his sister) are all twisted up and wrong.

14) Why does Clary have a scar like Jace's? Does that mean they really are related?

No. It doesn't.

I went back and forth about whether to answer this, because it is, actually, answered in the book, and I feel like — even though it's something you might miss while reading very fast — you guys are smart enough to figure it out from the presented evidence as explained to Jace by Amatis in the epilogue. So I'll go over the evidence again:

1) Jace's scar is not a scar. It's a birthmark.
2) The mark indicates that the marked person has had contact with an angel, or that they are the descendant of someone who has had contact with an angel.
3) The mark, therefore, is hereditary.
4) Valentine has had contact with an angel. We have seen this in the angel's memories.
5) Clary is therefore the descendant of someone who has had contact with an angel. Just like Jace.
6) I know you can figure the rest out by yourself!

15) Who is the girl in the white dress Magnus is talking to at the end of Glass?

That is Tessa, from the Devices series. As to why she looks familiar to Clary, and why she was talking to Magnus, you will have to wait for the Devices to find out.

16) What does the Seelie Queen mean by telling Clary there might be things about her mother's account of her past that aren't true? Does this have to do with Clary being the "wrong person" for Jace to fall in love with?

Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe Dorothea's whole predicition was bullshit. Jace never thought she had much genuine skill anyway. Maybe he was right. The whole point of the scene with the Seelie Queen and her fearmongering questions is the choice that Clary makes, not what the answers to the Seelie Queen's questions are. Clary could find out what the Seelie Queen is talking about, and by doing so, indebt herself to someone very dangerous, and it's likely that whatever answers she got would make her more uneasy, not less. Or she can choose to walk away and live with the uncertainly all human beings have to live with — not knowing if what we know is the whole truth, not knowing if the relationship we're in is going to work out, not knowing — the future. So no, there is no secret buried in the books or closer reading of them that's going to give you the answers to the questions brought up by the Queen. You are not supposed to know them. I am sorry if that annoys. :D

17)What's up with Clary thinking Magnus looked shifty? Was he up to something after the gave him the Book of the White?

That's just me screwing up, for which I apologize. There was a subplot in earlier drafts about Magnus and the leader of the New York vampire clan (who, btw, he's dating in Infernal Devices), but I cut it out for space reasons. Somehow that line about Clary thinking he looked shifty made it through proofing, even though I cut it out, and while I was able to correct it for later editions (and it won't appear in the UK edition either), I apologize for it still being there in the US first ed. There are a few typos as well, which are also being corrected in later versions. I've never had a book be rushed through production so fast, so I guess I now see why they normally take longer!

18) When Simon tells Clary that he didn't sleep with Isabelle does that mean that he and Isabelle didn't do anything physical? Is he lying to Clary?

Neither. There is plenty of "stuff", so to speak, that he and Isabelle could have done that isn't having sex. That doesn't mean they did nothing at all, nor does it mean he's lying to Clary. He is answering the question she asked.

19) Did Clary and Jace have sex in the epilogue? What happens on the stairs after Jace says "Things like this?"

Whatever Clary and Jace do after the kissing scene in the epilogue, it's up to you to decide what you think it was. If you really think that they had sex on some stairs, with no protection, possibly in full view of an entire party full of people, and it was such a nonevent that Clary wasn't even thinking about it later when they rejoined the group . . . well, I doubt I can talk you out of it. But beyond that, the details are up to your imagination.

20) "But I was really hoping there would be at least an explicit make-out scene! I waited all this time to see if they'd hook up! I WANT TO SEE IT!

*giggles* Yeah, well. I think you may have been expecting something (explicit sex scenes) from this series that I really don't think I ever implied was going to be in it. Not just because it's a teen series, but because it's not remotely in keeping with the rest of the plot, or the way the books are written. To me the tension in Jace and Clary's relationship was generated by the fact that just expressing their feelings was forbidden: that they could never say they loved each other without risking being shunned by society — that they could never even imagine a future together. That those walls come crumbling down in the end, that they're able to kiss and tell each other they love each other without all that, that is what's significant and tension-breaking. Not watching them bang. So to speak.

21) What did Jace and Sebastian say to each other in Romanian on p. 69?

"Jace smiled. “De ce crezi ca va ascultam conversatia?”
Sebastian met his glance with a look of pleasant interest. “M-ai urmarit de când ai ajuns aici,”he replied. “Nu-mi dau seama daca nu ma placi ori daca esti atât de banuitor cu toata lumea.”

Jace smiled. "[Why do you think I was listening to your conversation?]."
Sebastian met his glance with a look of pleasant interest. "[You've been watching me since you got here]," he replied. "[I can't tell if you don't like me or you're just this suspicious of everyone]."

22) Why did Jocelyn cry over the box with the lock of Jonathan's hair (as mentioned by Clary in CoB) when Jonathan was an evil monster that she hated?

I understand that it's pretty clear that Jocelyn does not love Jonathan-as-he-is; that she tried to love him, but she couldn't feel anything for him but horror. But of course she would mourn the loss of the son she wanted to have, planned to have, hoped to have. That child is dead. What Valentine did to Jonathan was probably the worst thing that ever happened to her in her life. I apologize if that is not made clear.

23) Why did Max have to die? Why did Sebastian have to kill him?

Sebastian killed Max because there is a war in City of Glass, and war = death. There have to be consequences for the characters, even characters you like, of facing danger, or the danger never seems real. That the person who died was a child who was not involved in the battle is because it needed to be clear that war destroys those who are innocent and not involved, as much as it destroys those who fight. And it needed to be absolutely clear that Sebastian is beyond evil — and being willing to kill a child shows that.

24) Why did the Angel kill Valentine? Why not Jace or Clary or someone else?

Because Valentine wasn't afraid to die; death was never the revenge on him that was in any way significant. Valentine's a zealot; if Jace or Clary had killed him, it would just have been one of his kids who'd been corrupted by the Clave killing him and he would have died a martyr in his own mind. The only real revenge on Valentine that mattered was shattering his worldview: by having the Angel he'd staked his whole existence on, the Angel he believed he was serving, repudiate him, he was completely destroyed. Actually killing him off was just the coup de grace, and it wouldn't have signified anything if Clary or Jace had come up and whacked him in the back of the head at that juncture. It would have said nothing important about any of their characters.

25) Why does Simon tell the vampires that the reason he can walk in sunlight is because of something that Valentine did to him? I thought it was because he drank Jace's blood?

It is because he drank Jace's blood and Jace's blood is unusual, with a higher concentration of angel blood than a normal Shadowhunter's. He tells the vampires it was something Valentine did because he is lying. He is lying because he does not want hundreds of vampires lining up to bite Jace and Clary, hoping to repeat the experiment. Sometimes things characters say in books are not true, especially in dangerous situations that they have to cleverly weasel out of, or when they need to protect someone.

----

* A lot of people have asked me if Clary and Jace get married down the road, have babies, or whatever. I can confidently say that I do not know the answer to that question and I never will, neither will I ever write about it. Even if I write about Clary and Jace in future, they will still be teenagers (and they are not going to get married as teenagers, or have babies as teenagers. I just don't see their lives going that way.). I am not interested in their lives as adults, or in writing about their lives as adults. [Not that I am categorically uninterested in all adult characters, but I am not interested in the adult lives of these characters. Never will be.]
 
 
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milestomidnightmilestomidnight on July 23rd, 2009 02:41 am (UTC)
My goodness! lol ...Sorry? Do you usually respond so bluntly to compliments?
Anyway.. great books. So sad that I finished them that I'm reading the last one again before I have to return it to a friend.
Can't wait for the others.
Cassie Clarecassandraclare on July 23rd, 2009 10:05 pm (UTC)
Oh, I didn't mean to be blunt. I tend to reply at great speed because I've got a lot of email and messages to get through and not a lot of time so my responses are necessarily short. I do think it's weird that I get asked the question so often — I think because there's absolutely no way I can guarantee that you will like the romance in Devices the same way you like the romance in Instruments. These things are completely subjective. You may like it more, you may like it less. I can't guess. So I feel very peculiar answering the question at all, but the answer I gave in the FAQ section is the best I can do. (And, I should add, I am sorry if I sounded annoyed, because I wasn't.)

Edited at 2009-07-24 10:48 pm (UTC)