‘The Dark Artifices’ Has More Potential Than ‘The Mortal Instruments’


Cassandra Clare has hit us with another heart-wrenching Shadowhunters tale, The Dark Artifices. What a surprise.

The Mortal Instruments book series, commonly known as TMI, was a huge success among young adult readers all over America. Now that a companion trilogy, The Dark Artifices (also known as TDA) is in the process of being written, it seems close to impossible that this new series could live up to the hype. However, the odds could be in TDA’s favor. From sales to story lines, here are 5 reasons as to why The Dark Artifices could be Cassandra Clare’s greatest accomplishment.

1. We already know the world

A good portion of City of Bones, the first book in The Mortal Instruments series was spent watching Clary sort her way through the Shadowhunter world. As the audience, we also felt the difficulty of being introduced to a whole new concept of the world we live in. Now, we’re dealing with characters that were born and raised to be Shadowhunters, and we’ve already gained experience from reading the first series. This way, we can get right to the heart of the plot and skip the world building.

The Shadowhunters television show aired in January 2016 on Freeform

2. Complex characters

While characters from The Mortal Instruments are fun, lovable, and practically addicting, and it may be true that they are what carried the series along. No matter how many twists and turns that Clare delivers in the plot, readers stuck with it because they wanted to see Clary, Jace, Simon, Izzy and Alec deal with their individual conflicts. However, it’s easy to see that these characters each have a stereotypical basis. Clary, the determined and defiant female protagonist. Jace, the handsome, sarcastic, heavy heart that carries a sword. Simon, the funny friend-zoned nerd. These tropes exist in countless other books, which isn’t necessarily a flaw of the writer. These characters just happen to sell. However, this adds to the potential of The Dark Artifices.

This might be the most important and exciting aspect of TDA. Because of this overdose of typical qualities in the original series, Clare has opened herself up to a world of possibilities with the new characters. In a way, now she’s forced to create a more complex cast of characters with deeper emotions, histories, thoughts, and attributes. Take Tiberius and Livia, the Blackthorn twins. Ty is seen as different or weird, though unknown to most, he is autistic. Livia is equally strange, though at first glance she seems fairly ordinary. They would do anything for each other, but Ty wants to leave and make something of himself. Livvy wants him to be happy, but preferably, happy with her. These situational dramas and creative story lines can make for something more original and more entertaining than anything Clare has written before.

3. Recurring characters (Emma and Julian)

We have to give this one to Cassandra Clare for setting up the series so nicely. In City of Heavenly Fire, the final installment of TMI, Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorn were introduced as 12-year-old residents of the Los Angeles Institute. Their story consistently intertwined with that of Clary and Jace, which made all the fans of TMI pay immediate attention. No wonder Barnes and Noble was packed on the release date of Lady Midnight.

4. Cassie Clare

The Mortal Instruments is without a doubt one of the most popular young adult book series out there. Ergo, I believe it’s safe to say that, in a way, she basically has us wrapped around her finger. Plus with the TV show released early this year, the books have been gaining more and more popularity. This benefits her, but also the fans. She keeps writing and selling more books (TDA), and readers continue to enjoy them.

Cassandra Clare, author of The Shadowhunter Chronicles

5. There are only three books

As fans know, the books of TMI were stressful for both the characters and the readers. With six books, the storyline had to stay interesting. Many changes were made while Clare was writing, which damaged the plot with all the illogical twists, turns, and repeated tropes. With The Dark Artifices, a trilogy, there is already a beginning, middle, and end set in stone. The interesting and suspenseful twists have more reason than those of a six-book series, which will help the conceptual logic of TDA’s plot.

Every story has flaws. The Mortal Instruments certainly wasn’t perfect, nor will The Dark Artifices be perfect. But fans are almost certain to love the next installment of the Shadowhunter Chronicles.

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