‘Shadowhunters and Downworlders: A Mortal Instruments Reader’ was released yesterday (January 29, 2013) by Smart Pop Books. This book is a collection of essays by YA authors and edited by Mortal Instruments author Cassandra Clare. The various topics cover themes from Clare’s books and breaks them down analyzing their importance to the series and its fans.
YA and comics author Sara Ryan wrote “The Importance of Being Malec.” Alec and Magnus have grown to become very important Mortal Instruments characters both in Clare’s world and real life. Alec is a gay shadowhunter and Magnus is his bisexual partner and the high warlock of NYC. Fans have merged their names to get Malec and you can barely have a serious Mortal Instruments discussion without the word coming up.
Ryan does a brilliant job of discussing the importance of Malec and what it means to have homosexual characters in YA, a topic that she is very qualified to discuss. Her own books Empress of the World and The Rules for Hearts include such characters. Ryan was happy to contribute and instantly knew this would be the topic she would tackle.
“The day my contributors' copies of Shadowhunters and Downworlders arrived, I didn't get home until late. Honestly, I was just going to look over my own essay to make sure the changes from the last round of edits made it in. Instead I ended up reading the whole anthology! I think fans will really enjoy the wide range of topics. When I was invited to participate, I knew right away that I wanted to write about Magnus and Alec and the other queer characters in TMI. I talk about this in depth in the essay, but in brief: there still aren't a lot of YA books out there with prominent queer characters. It's a big deal that Magnus and Alec are such important members of the TMI cast! My own books, Empress of the World and The Rules for Hearts, include same-sex relationships, and I often hear from readers how important it is for them to be able to see those relationships in books,” says Ryan.
In addition to covering this topic, Ryan doesn’t miss the opportunity to discuss some of Magnus’ fashion choices and how geography has inspired them. “The Importance of Being Malec” is one of many great topics discussed in ‘Shadowhunters and Downworlders: A Mortal Instruments Reader.” To learn more about Sara Ryan visit her website.
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