some have asked for a snippet to celebrate #lovewins

I thought a snippet from Helen and Aline’s wedding in the TSFA story Bitter of Tongue might be appropriate!

Simon did not fully understand the traditions of the Shadowhunter people.

There was a lot in the Law about who you could and could not marry: if you married a mundane who did not Ascend, you got your Marks stripped and were out on your ear. You could marry a Downworlder in a mundane or a Downworlder ceremony, and you wouldn’t be out on your ear but everyone would be embarrassed, some people would act like your marriage did not count, and your terribly traditional Nephilim Great-Aunt Nerinda would start referring to you as the shame of the family. Plus with the Cold Peace functioning as it was, any Shadowhunter wanting to marry a faerie was probably out of luck.

But Helen Blackthorn was a Shadowhunter, by their own Law, no matter how many people might despise or distrust her for her faerie blood. And Shadowhunters had not actually built it into their precious Law that Shadowhunters could not marry someone of the same sex. Possibly this was just because it hadn’t occurred to anyone even as an option way back when.

So Helen and Aline actually could be married, in a full Shadowhunter ceremony, in the eyes of both their families and their world. Even if they were exiled again right afterward, they got this much.

In a Shadowhunter wedding, Simon had been told, you dressed in gold and placed the wedding rune over each other’s hearts. There was a tradition a little like giving away the bride, for both parties in a marriage. The bride or groom would each choose the most significant person to them from their family—sometimes a father, but sometimes a mother, or a parabatai or a sibling or chosen friend, or their own child or an elder who symbolized the whole family—and the chosen one, or suggenes, would give the bride or groom to their beloved, and welcome their beloved to their own family.

This was not always possible in Shadowhunter weddings, on account of sometimes your whole family and all your friends had been eaten by snake demons. You never knew with Shadowhunters. But Simon thought it was kind of beautiful that Jia Penhallow, Consul and most important member of the Clave, was standing as suggenes to give her daughter Aline to the tainted, scandalous Blackthorns, and to receive Helen into the bosom of her family.

Aline’d had some nerve suggesting it. Jia’d had some nerve agreeing to it. But Simon supposed that the Clave had already effectively exiled Jia’s daughter: what more could they do to her? And how better to politely spit in their eye than to say: this girl you spat on and sent away is now as good as the Consul’s daughter.

Julian was the one standing to give Helen away. He stood in his gold-inscribed clothes, his sister on his arm, and his sea-in-the-sunlight eyes shone as if he was happy as any kid could be. As though he had not a care in the world, though Simon knew better.

Helen and Aline were both dressed in golden gowns, golden thread glittering like starlight in Aline’s black hair. They were both so happy, their faces outshone their gowns. They stood at the centre of the ceremony, twin suns, and for a moment all the world seemed to spin and turn on them.

Helen and Aline drew the marriage runes over each others’ hearts with steady hands. When Aline drew Helen’s bright head down to her own for a kiss, there was applause all throughout the hall.

“Thank you for letting us come,” whispered Helen after the ceremony was over, embracing her new mother-in-law.

Jia Penhallow folded her daughter-in-law in her arms and said, in a voice considerably louder than a whisper: “I am sorry I must let you be sent away again.”

Simon did not tell Julian Blackthorn about meeting Mark, any more than he had told Mark that Helen was not there to care for the Blackthorn children. It seemed hideous cruelty, to load another burden on shoulders already burdened almost past bearing. It seemed better to lie, as faeries could not.

But when he came up to Helen and Aline to congratulate them, he stepped up and kissed Helen on the cheek, so he could whisper to her: “Your brother Mark sends you his love, and his happiness for your love.”

Helen stared at him, sudden tears in her eyes but her smile even more radiant than before.


Hi Cassie!!  So its been said that at Shadowhunter weddings both participants are given away by someone close to them. I was just wondering who did this for wessa at their wedding? And jessa if this was there at their wedding. Thank you!!!! — my-chemical-kay

Yes, it’s been fun creating the Shadowhunter wedding customs — as we find out in TSFA, Shadowhunters brides aren’t given away by their fathers, but instead both bride and groom are accompanied by a suggenes, someone they are close to in their lives that they select. Could be a parent, could be a parabatai if they’re close — I’m sure Jace and Alec would select each other.

We’ll find out in TLH who Tessa and Will picked, and also there’s a flashback to Jem asking Will all the way back in the time of Clockwork Princess.

Jem and Tessa didn’t have a Shadowhunter wedding, so they didn’t observe that tradition. Magnus performed the wedding as I suspect he got ordained online from the Church of Snappy Dressing or something. 

Hello Cassie! Since The Tales Of The Shadowhunter Academy is supposed to be before Lady Midnight but gets published after, won’t be there spoilers? Because I really want to read The Tales but I can’t stand to read online and I really don’t want to get spoiled… Thanks xx — brianharoldbae

Well, the thing is, it’s true that TFSA comes before Lady Midnight chronologically, but not true that it’s published after — it’s already been published, just as an online book. I totally understand if you don’t want to read it in that format, of course. People have their favorite formats — some readers I knew wouldn’t read the Harry Potter books until they came out in paperback. The thing is, though, that the publishing world, and the reader-world, will still consider those books “already published” — even if you’re waiting for your preferred format — and proceed accordingly.

I am conscious of the fact that a lot of people don’t like e-books, or e-readers, and also that the ability to even e-read a book at all is a privileged one, requiring a fast internet connection and an electronic device you can read on which are rarely cheap. So I would be unlikely to publish a full Shadowhunter book as an e-book. 

The assumption when you’re reading TSFA is that you’re reading it in the order it was published — in between City of Heavenly Fire and Lady Midnight — but one nice thing about the collections of short stories (The Bane Chronicles and Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy) is that they offer little bits and pieces of the Shadowhunter world and its history in bite size chunks that you aren’t required to read in order to understand the main series. And because you aren’t required to read them, nothing that world-changing or earth-shattering can happen in them. 

Characters from TMI will appear in the background of Lady Midnight, so you will see glimpses of where they are in their lives after Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy. If you read Lady Midnight first, TftSA will fill in a little bit about how the characters got where they are, otherwise they’re facts about these characters that will be told to you in a few sentences. Even if you don’t read Lady Midnight, it’s already true that the majority of the spoilers about everything that happens to the characters in TFSA are already all over the web. I’ve seen gifs about them, I’ve blogged about them. Is Simon alive at the end of TSFA? If you know the answer to that then you probably don’t need to worry too much about being spoiled for anything that happens in TSFA because you likely know the rest of it too.

ahubofstagsandroses said: Hey! So, why are Shadowhunters required to pick a parabatai (if they want one) before turning 18? Parabatai are such a big commitment, and teens have so much growing/changing to do. If I’d been able to become parabatai with my best friend at 16, we’d be making each other miserable now, because no matter how close you are, you can never predict how people change. You don’t tell people to pick a spouse before they turn 18 - that would be a terrible idea- so why a parabatai? And that is one of the ways marriage is very different from being a parabatai! And being a a parabatai is also different than being a best friend. The first parabatai, Jonathan Shadowhunter and his parabatai David weren’t under 18 when they became parabatai (you can find the whole story in the Codex.) But then, that didn’t turn out well. More from the Codex:


The reason you pick a parabatai young like that is because it’s essential to the whole business that you train together. It’s part of the process. Your training as parabatai is different, there are tests, etc. you go through. The cutoff age is eighteen because that’s when training ends. 

We’re also dealing with angelic magic here. David the Silent and Jonathan Shadowhunter created the ritual of parabatai with angel magic (and probably some help from Raziel.) The Clave can’t change the wording around, or the ages of the participants, or really anything at all, and expect the ritual to work the way they want. As you can see from the Codex clearly sometimes it doesn’t go well. But the Clave is not going to consider that a reason to change a Law they think of as being endorsed by their God.

People have asked about Clary and Simon, and you’ll find out how their parabatai issue is resolved in TFSA.

reading order

Hi Cassie! So I just had a quick question about Lady Midnight. Will we need to read all of the Tales From Shadowhunter Academy before LM to understand everything, or will they be completely separate? Thanks! — anabethinglorian

You don’t need to have read TSFA to understand Lady Midnight. In fact, you don’t have to have read a single other Shadowhunter book. Just like some people start Shadowhunters with Clockwork Angel and some start with City of Bones, you can also start with Lady Midnight.

It helps to have read the previous books - it helps a lot - but it’s not necessary.

Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy

Hi Cassie, I’m just wondering, would you consider making the Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy an actual book like you did the Bane Chronicles? Like take all 10 short stories and split them up but have them all in one book? Maybe in hardcover, not only ebook? I think that would be awesome! Then we could put it on our shelves and have all of them together! Just wondering if it might ever be an option? :) Thank you! — mortalinstruments-tid

Yes, Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy will be published as a book. It always was going to be. That is the structure of our book deal with Simon and Schuster. There would be no e-books if there was not eventually going to be a printed book. It will likely come out after Lady Midnight, next year. I know that chronologically, in the story, that is somewhat out of order, but that’s how publishing print books works — there’s just a huge amount of time taken up by the actual process of printing and making hard copies, not to mention that the stories aren’t yet finished.

Hi Cassie. I just wanted to ask, if that’s okay, what was your motivation behind the digital book-by-book release of WTSA? Huge fan, just curious on whether it was to make the wait for Lady Midnight seem less painful, or was it a digital-print marketing strategy? Thanks for taking the time! Can’t wait for TDA! Xxx — siriuslypotty

I think we’re all mystified by the idea of a “digital marketing strategy.” :) We wanted to write Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy, but as the stories take place between TMI and TDA, that’s when we wanted to publish them. However, that was impossible to do unless they were released as ebook novellas/short stories. They are all one book, constructed as ten stories that can be read separately but are chronological and build from a beginning to an end point. 

You can’t publish a book unless it’s written. Surprising, I know! There was no time or way to write TSFA in the time we had and have it released in a physical copy before Lady Midnight. Releasing it as ebooks allows us to release the stories in the time/space between TMI and TDA and for it to serve as a bridge and yes, to make the wait less painful (while also allowing people time to catch up.)  With ten separate ebooks, the whole project doesn’t have to be finished before the individual ones are released.

The physical copy, as I said, will be some time late next year most likely. If we had not released ebooks there would only have been that physical copy, late next year.

Hey Cassie! I was curious how long it took for Simon to ascend to be a Shadowhunter in the academy. I thought it took 10 months, since the novellas take place over a 10 month time period, but I wanted to ask just in case. Thank you! — tif-shadowhunters-tim

The novellas don’t take place over ten months. They take place over the two year period that it takes to graduate from the Academy. You’ll notice seasons changing between stories, and the story in which Simon talks about returning for his second year after a three month summer break in NYC. So, for someone like Simon, two years from entrance to exit … however that exit goes!