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Literature / Ghosts of the Shadow Market

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Ghosts of the Shadow Market is a collection of short stories set in The Shadowhunter Chronicles universe. It is written by Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson, Sarah Rees Brennan, Robin Wasserman and Kelly Link. The stories are set at the eponymous Shadow Market, a meeting place for Downworlders where all kinds of magic items are sold.

The stories are told from two or more perspectives. One of these perspectives is always Jem Carstairs/Brother Zachariah from The Infernal Devices. The other perspectives are from people with whom his story is connected through the Shadowmarket. These other perspective characters are: Matthew Fairchild, Anna Lightwood, Sister Emilia, Tessa Gray, Céline Montclair, Isabelle Lightwood, Alec Lightwood, Tiberius Blackthorn, Livia Blackthorn and Janus.

Like The Bane Chronicles and Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy, the first seven stories were first published online. They were collected as an anthology that added two extra stories. It was released on June 4, 2019.

The book includes the short stories:

  1. Son of the Dawn (April 10, 2018): Brother Zachariah helps the Downworlders of New York stop a cargo ship delivering a drug stash and discovers that Jonathan Wayland is boarding the ship, on the way to the New York Institute.
  2. Cast Long Shadows (May 8, 2018): Matthew Fairchild, son of Charlotte Fairchild and Henry Branwell, has doubts regarding his parentage and tries to find the truth, to tragic results.
  3. Every Exquisite Thing (June 12, 2018): Anna Lightwood, the eldest child of Gabriel and Cecily Lightwood, struggles with her unorthodox fashion sense and sexuality in Edwardian London.
  4. Learn About Loss (July 10, 2018): Brother Zachariah and Sister Emilia visit a mysterious Downworlder fair in Tennessee during the Great Depression.
  5. A Deeper Love (August 14, 2018): Tessa Gray and Brother Zachariah navigate the chaos of London during the Blitz.
  6. The Wicked Ones (September 11, 2018): While the Circle is investigating a demon-related crime in Paris, Brother Zachariah stumbles upon the fabled Lost Herondale within the same city.
  7. The Land I Lost (October 9, 2018): Five years after the Dark War, Alec Lightwood goes to Argentina to investigate a crime involving Shadowhunters from the Buenos Aires Institute.
  8. Through Blood, Through Fire (November 13, 2018): Tessa Gray and Jem Carstairs find a definitive trail that enables them to permanently track the Lost Herondale.
  9. The Lost World (June 4, 2019): Livia Blackthorn gets used to her new life as a ghost.
  10. Forever Fallen (June 4, 2019): Janus gathers information about the new world that he entered and begins formulating a plan.

This book provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: The Wicked Ones shows that Céline's parents were very abusive in training her. They let her fight against werewolfs and demons all on her own from a very young age and they punished her by beating her or locking her in the basement if she made mistakes. They also refused to give her Iratzes to heal. This caused her to run away to Paris several times, but she always got send back to her parents again.
  • Bazaar of the Bizarre: The Shadow Market is at one point literally referred to as the "Bazaar of the Bizarre".
  • Complete-the-Quote Title: One of the stories is called Cast Long Shadows. As in "old sins cast long shadows". It alludes to the fact that in the story Matthew Fairchild commits the greatest sin of his life, something that will haunt him for a long time. He gave his mother a truth serum that turned out to be poison, which caused her to have a miscarriage.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: The anthology provides backstory and first impressions of characters from the then-upcoming The Last Hours series (though James was first introduced in The Bane Chronicles).
  • Family of Choice:
    • Max and Rafe quickly regard Alec and Magnus as their parents.
    • After he moved in with Tessa and Jem, Kit manages to adjust to his life in the countryside without problems. Though he doesn't view them as parents, he adores them just as much and happily looks after their baby, Mina.
  • For Want Of A Nail: In Forever Fallen, Janus discovers that this trope applies to the seven years stemming from his having been kept under Sebastian's control on Thule, but not on Earth. His original plan was to Kill and Replace Earth's Jace so as to take up his life and be with Clary. But in spying on Earth's versions of his family and friends he discovers that everyone's lives and relationships (including Jace's) have developed in ways he never expected and has trouble understanding. This forces him to abandon his plan and come up with a new one (with far more catastrophic implications).
  • Green-Eyed Monster: In Forever Fallen, Janus is jealous at Jace for having everything he does not, including a girlfriend, family, friends, fame, and more importantly, happiness, all of which he was robbed off in Thule.
  • Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: Matthew hears a rumor that his father is not actually Henry, but Gideon Lightwood and since Matthew has the same hair colour as Gideon and Gideon is very close with his mother, Matthew starts to believe it. He eventually finds out that it isn't true and that Henry is in fact his father, but this is only after he gave his mother a truth potion that turns out to be poison.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: In The Lost World, Livvy discovers that the members of the Cohort who have sealed themselves behind the wards of Idris are struggling to keep themselves fed. Despite having gained custody of the country in their schism from the Clave, a bunch of Shadowhunters who have spent their lives narrowly-focused on fighting skills know virtually nothing about things like agriculture and are reduced to foraging in order to survive. Thus their dream of living in sacred isolation is increasingly being replaced by a desperate urge to break out — for food as much as for revenge.
  • Time Skip: The stories take place over more than hundred years, so naturally there are some pretty big time skips.
  • Vagueness Is Coming: It's pretty obvious that, despite The Dark Artifices having changed the status quo of the franchise massively, something will come to uproot the Shadow World once more.
    • In Through Blood, Through Fire, Tessa admits sensing that there will be a irreversible change within the Shadow World soon and nothing will be the same anymore.
    • The Stinger of Queen of Air and Darkness is expanded a bit in Forever Fallen, where it is revealed that the Thule incarnation of Jace, who has taken the name Janus, is seeking to install Ash as ruler of this world. It's implied that Kit will also play a huge role, possibly as the Shadowhunters' champion against Ash and Janus.
  • Unwanted Spouse: In, The Wicked Ones, Céline is this for Stephen. While he is amiable to her, behind her backs, he regards her as nothing but a young girl and not someone he can treat as an equal. They eventually do have a child together, but it's unknown how much of it is rooted in genuine interest and how much of it is for keeping appearances as a happy couple.
  • The 'Verse: Part of The Shadowhunter Chronicles consisting of this book, The Mortal Instruments, prequel series The Infernal Devices, sequel series The Dark Artifices, The Last Hours (sequel to The Infernal Devices), The Wicked Powers (sequel to The Dark Artifices), The Eldest Curses (spin-off focusing on Alec and Magnus), The Shadowhunter Codex (guide book), The Bane Chronicles (short story collection) and Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy (short story collection), all taking place in the Shadowhunter world.