Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy

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Another amazing series, from the amazing Cassandra Clare. Does this woman ever stop? I hope not! At the end of The Mortal Instruments series, we knew that Simon was going to become a Shadowhunter.

Thankfully reversing the forgetting spell placed on him by Magnus’ demon father. Little did we know that this would lead to ten amazing short stories about Simon’s training the Shadowhunter Academy.

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There has been one book, released each month, over the last year, teaching us something knew about the world of Shadowhunters. The books in order are:

• Welcome to the Shadowhunter Academy
• The Lost Herondale
• Nothing but Shadows
• The Whitechapel Fiend
• The Evil We Love
• Pale Kings and Princes
• Bitter of Tongue
• The Fiery Trial
• Born to Endless Night
• Angels Twice Descending

They are very quick reads, I read each in less than two hours, but it is still fantastic. Simon is determined to gain back his past, but as time goes on at the Academy, he is worried that he will not be this person he keeps hearing about. The amazing Simon Lewis, Daylighter, friend of the Nephilim, one who helped end both the Mortal War and the battle with the Endarkened. What if he can’t be what everyone expects him to be.

The stories all feature characters from the original series, some for just one book, like Alec Lightwood, or those who are in every story, like Catarina Loss. Some of the stories are those being told to Simon, like in The Lost Herondale, where Catarina tells him how cruel the Clave can be, but with the lesson that something good can come out of a tragedy. Have you ever wondered what kind of historic events the Shadowhunters may have played into? The Whitechapel Fiend explains their role in the story of Jack the Ripper. I really enjoyed that one! Some of the stories teach lessons about how history can help us prevent tragedies in the future, like The Evil We Love, where Alec and Isabelle’s father tells the story of the Circle and how Valentine rose to power. This book forces Simon to choose between what is right and what is easy and it had a great lesson at the end. The Fiery Trial is about the parabatai ceremony, where again we get to learn of characters from previous books. Emma and Julian, from City of Heavenly Fire are going to be parabatai, and they may not be the only ones choosing their fighting partners.

There are so many great stories to be told from this world, and I can only be thankful that Ms. Clare chose to share them with us. Now we only have to wait until March 2016 for the next part of the journey……

For more about Shadowhunters, check out
The Mortal Instruments
The Infernal Devices
• The Magnus Bane Chronicles

DIY Stele

So for those of you who were unaware, they are turning Cassandra Clare’s brilliant six book series, The Mortal Instruments, into an ABC series, Shadowhunters, set to premier in 2016. I am beyond elated!! The movie may have veered sharply away from the books, but I still enjoyed it. I’m definitely looking forward to the show!
In honor of this upcoming event, I have decided to show everyone how to make a stele. For the mundanes among us, a stele is the tool, similar to a wand, that allows shadowhunters to draw angelic runes on their skin, giving them different abilities, be it healing, strength or agility.
The original pin, currently on my crafty board, is just a picture with no original site, so unfortunately I can’t link back to the original designer.

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You start with some clay. These little packs were only $.98 at Walmart and i actually only used one of the grey and 1/4 of the black.

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Roll out your stele, keeping in mind it is about the length of a pencil. You want it sturdy enough to grip, so don’t make it as thin as a pencil. Roll out part of your black in a thin, long piece.

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Wrap the black around the grey and roll them together. Once they are blended together, use a book or another hard surface to flatten the edges a bit. Steles aren’t round, but squared off with a twist.

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After you have the squared off part taken care of, draw some runes on it. These can easily be pulled up on the internet or Pinterest for inspiration. I never claimed to be Clary Fray, creator of runes, but I was pretty impressed with how these came out.
I used a technique that my husband taught me when I made my salt dough family around Christmas time. Take a toothpick, but instead of dragging it through the clay, which leaves excess clay sticking up, poke a series of dots that connect into a line.

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Once you are satisfied with your runes, I did all four sides, line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. I twisted my stele at this point, gently so as not to tear it. Bake at 275° for at least 30 minutes. These were the directions from original picture, but adding time on, mine ended up being in the oven, my own personal Iron Sisters Forge (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, read the series), for almoat an hour.
It will still be a little soft when you pull it out, but you don’t want it to scorch, so let it sit on a counter or shelf till it firms up the rest of the way.

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And now I am ready to battle demons alongsidethe Nephilim. All I need now is a witchlight…….

The Mortal Instruments

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As previously stated in Fandom – itus, I’ve finally finished reading The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare. I’ve read some nerve racking books and series over the years, but these books brought me to higher highs and lower lows than ever previously experienced! Over the six books, there were moments when I told myself to put down the book, it’s not worth it, but once you start it, you have to see it through to the end!
The series begins with Clary (Clarissa) Fray. She’s just an ordinary human, or Mundane, going through life with her mom, no dad in the picture, but a wonderful father figure who’s been in her life since childhood. She has the prerequisite best friend who secretly loves her and she is just a little oblivious.
Things suddenly go haywire in her life when she sees these strange teens kill what later turns out to be a demon. After witnessing this, nothing will ever be the same for her. She learns that she is not a Mundane, she is actually a Shadowhunter, or Nephilim. Now what are Nephilim you might ask? They are a angelic race of humans that were charged with defending Mundanes, us, from demons.
The story of the Nephilim is amazing, and it doesn’t ruin the surprise of the book. Jonathan Shadowhunter, the first Nephilim, encountered the angel Raziel. Raziel put some of his angelic blood into what became the Mortal Cup and when Jonathan drank from it, he became Nephilim. Faster and stronger than a normal human and able to take runes upon his skin. The runes are angelic symbols that grant the Nephilim extra powers or gifts, temporarily or permanently, to aid in their demonic battle.

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I do have to say that the runes are beautiful and it’s fascinating as you read the series to see how they use the runes in their battles!
I’m trying to work out in my head how much to share and how much is too much….. I do have to tell you that only 2 books have endings that won’t leave you nail biting until the next.
Back to the series!
Jace, one of the strange teens Clary saw in the club, turns out to be a intrinsic part of Clary’s life, teaching her about being Nephilim, while learning more about his own complicated past.

**********SPOILER ALERT**********
The first book leads you to believe this will be a beautiful love story, with the addition of demons trying to ruin the romance. Then oh wait, you can’t love each other, you’re brother and sister!
Never in my life did I feel that I would ship for incest! It sounds gross, but if you read these books you will ship incest too, I guarantee it.
Second book follows with heartache because they still love each other, but keep hurting each other trying to prove they don’t. Remember the love sick human friend I mentioned earlier? His humanity becomes a thing of the past, bringing him even more into the world of shadows.
Third book is where you feel things might be ok again. Love becomes acceptable again, even though we suffer loss. Everyone can be with who they love and nothing hurts. City of Glass is a very good book!
**********SPOILER END**********

Book four and five take all the good feels from book three and twist them all up. I didn’t know what to expect from City of Heavenly Fire. While reading the book, I was torn between wanting to devour it and know how it ends and wanting to put it off as long as possible.
With the book twisting and turning at the turn of a page, it will possibly hurt you to continue reading. However, have faith, you will be rewarded!
The Mortal Instruments
City of Bones
City of Ashes
City of Glass
City of Fallen Angels
City of Lost Souls
City of Heavenly Fire
Also of interest when reading these books, as there is some character overlap, may be
The Infernal Devices.
Clockwork Angel
Clockwork Prince
Clockwork Princess
I do apologize for this blog if it seems a little disjointed, but I don’t want to ruin the series by giving too much away. It will be an amazing read, just trust me!

The Infernal Devices

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I was second guessing myself as to whether I wanted to review this trilogy now, or after reviewing The Mortal Instruments…… These books are a prequel to The Mortal Instruments (TMI) series, but I read them after devouring most of TMI. As of starting this blog, I clearly decided to introduce you to The Infernal Devices (TID) first!
This trilogy is set in Victorian England and opens by introducing you to Tessa Gray, our heroine, who is so much more than she appears. She has journeyed from New York City to London to reunite with her brother, her only family as they are orphaned. Things go immediately awry, when she is tricked into captivity by evil ‘women’, who show her that she is not entirely human. Or human at all……
Tessa has an amazing ability. She has the ability to take on the form of any sentient being, and while in that form, understand the thoughts of that being. It’s a power that people will kill to control.
She is rescued by the young Shadowhunter, Will Herondale. For those of you who don’t know, Shadowhunters are warriors who protect the human race from demons and the ‘shadow world’.
I could go on about these books for days, and my husband will tell you I have! I don’t want to give away too much, really just give you enough to encourage you to read them!
We are introduced to a wide range of characters, with different personalities and problems. Everything from terrible illness to being pushed into a life you never wanted, love triangles and marital miscommunication. Our characters range from Jem Carstairs, the young Shadowhunter who was poisoned by a demon at the age of six, to Charlotte Fairchild, a woman in a position of power, struggling to show how capable she really is.
With all of these characters we have some of the most beautiful expressions of love and caring that I have ever read. And I mean ever! I read…… A lot! And these struck a chord deep within me!

Life is a book, and there are a thousand pages I have not yet read. I would read them together with you,

As an avid reader, this line rang true. These are thoughts that run through my head, but living in the world we do, you just can’t walk around saying them. Even married to the love of my life, he would laugh at me a little.

Our hearts, they need a mirror, Tessa. We see our better selves in the eyes of those who love us.

Another beautiful and oh – so – romantic sentiment.

When you walk in the world, I will be the light by your side, the ground steady under your feet, the force that drives the sword in your hand. We are bound, beyond the oath.

This could be a romantic thing, sword talk aside, but this is actually a final moment between friends. Can we say wow! It’s not just the romantic moments that get me. These friends, bound by fate and circumstance,  have a relationship that shows how important non-romantic relationships are for us. They are shaped by each other and do everything they can to help each other.
I know I say this about all the books I review, but you must read these books! Obviously I liked them if I’m talking about them, but they are amazing! They are tagged as young adult books, but they are well written with fantastic characters, so what does age really matter? If the story can pull you in, well, that’s the whole point isn’t it?