Get sucked into the world of “Shadowhunters and Downworlders”

Shadowhunters and Downworlders

Edited by Cassandra Clare

                Shadowhunters and Downworlders is a collection of essays reflecting on the relationships between major characters in the “Mortal Instruments” series, the characters and their personal qualities, and even the art of the rune.  Before reading this book I had not read many literary analyses so this proved to be a unique reading experience. It allowed me to see what different writers of young adult fiction were able to gain from the world that Cassandra Clare created in her popular series.

The book begins by examining the location and how it affects Clary’s perception of the world. Locations are very important in the series as pivotal events occur in both the real world and the world of the Shadowhunters. The first essay delves into the author’s reflections on New York City and Brooklyn and then goes into her views on City of Bones, the first book in the series. Clary had a very clear sense of her world which was thrown off balance when her mother went missing and she was thrust into the world of the Shadowhunters. It caused her to have an altered perspective on where she had lived all her life.

A unique essay reflected on Clary as a warrior and how her power to create new runes enabled her to be successful in battle. This showed that you didn’t necessarily have to possess physical strength to be a warrior and that mental strength could perhaps be even more advantageous to a warrior. Clary possessed the mind of an artist and her creativity was her strongest weapon.

Some essays proved to be more interesting than others as not all of the essay topics piqued my interest. I thought that the book overall gave fans of the series new perspectives on the characters and maybe even inspired others to try the books for the first time. It certainly provides for some interesting discussion topics such as the concept of “the Other” and the incest taboo. The book was thought-provoking and broadened my understanding of a series that I have been a fan of since book one.

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