Tag: shadowhunters

Lucius & Draco, fucked up father & fucked up progeny

The 7 Baddest Dads from Literature

Bad dads are a massive inspiration when it comes to literature and media, a broad spectrum of general douchebaggery that ranges from King Triton’s overbearing & possessive nature to Anakin Skywalker’s… well, everything. Luke, I am the source of all your issues going into adulthood! The ones that aren’t actively bad are frequently absent or neglectful, perfect fodder for creating plot conflict or generating sympathy for the protagonist. So, happy Father’s Day weekend to the dads that don’t suck! While we could never compile each and every one of literature’s shittiest dads, these seven will make even the most mediocre among you glow in comparison.

(Obviously, spoiler alert for all the books featured below!)

 

 

1. KING LAIUS

OEDIPUS Rex

 

 

Oedipus, the original motherfucker

Image Via Tv Tropes

 

 

Yup, it’s Oedipus’ dad—one of the only dads worse than Oedipus himself, whose behavior invited some intense scrutiny upon his two daughters, Ismene and the badass Antigone. It’s pretty f*cked up to abandon your child on top of a mountain, even if you HAVE heard he’s going to kill you and then nail your sexy wife, Jacosta. We all know that Oedipus’ fulfilment of the prophecy actually came about because of this blunder: not knowing his parentage, he murdered his father and bedded his mother without any recognition of what he’d done. But even if you’re pro-hillside-abandonment and think it was a justifiable move, why didn’t Laius just kill the kid and save everyone a lot of trouble???

 

2. King Lear

King Lear

 

 

Ian McKellen as King Lear

Image Via PBS

 

 

With enormous power comes an enormous chance of being a d*ck to your children. We’ve heard of divorced daddies’ cliche-riddled ploys to buy their children’s love. Lear actually expects his three daughters to buy his love, saying that Goneril loves him twice as much as Reagan because she offers twice the number of soldiers. He also calls his daughters “unnatural hags,” which we imagine is an untrue statement, given the lack of Sharpie brows and lip fillers back in Shakespeare’s day. Also, maybe Reagan and Goneril would have gotten along better (and hated their father a lot less) if Lear hadn’t obviously favored Cordelia. Some people say the play is an exploration of nature versus nurture, but there wasn’t really a whole lot of nurturing.

 

3. Humbert Humbert

Lolita

 

 

Humbert Humbert & Lo

Image Via Heard Tell

 

 

And here’s Humbert Humbert at number three, proving that this list is not in order of sh*ttiness. Humbert Squared is an evil pedophile who tricks a woman into marrying him so that he can have easy access to her twelve-year-old daughter, Lo—a girl he calls Lolita. When the girl’s mother discovers Humbert’s perverted motives in his journal, she runs to spread the news and is hit by an oncoming car. Humbert destroys the journal pages and takes legal custody of Lo, a position of power he abuses to coerce her into sex with gifts and threats that life would be far worse in an orphanage.

 

4. LUCIUS MALFOY

The Harry Potter Series

 

 

Lucius Malfoy, shit dad

Image Via Elite Daily

 

 

My parents sure didn’t let me get a tattoo when I was in my senior year of high school. Now, obviously that’s secondary to raising your child in a cult centered around the concept of blood purity. While every parent has a responsibility to keep their children safe, Lucius got involved with Magic Manson, an irresistible leader so dangerous that he’d be safer in jail than facing Voldy’s wrath. (Not to mention, of course, that’s he’s obviously a massive racist and literal slaveowner who mistreated Dobby.) He also tried to force his son to murder someone, either by dangling the carrot of his approval in front of Draco’s nose or by reminding him, helpfully, that Voldemort would likely kill Draco if he failed.

 

5. MR. WORMWOOD

Matilda

 

 

Mr. Wormwood, ass

image Via Matilda Fan Wiki

 

 

Ideally, fathers would share words of wisdom with their children. Apparently, some say: “I’m right & you’re wrong. I’m big & you’re small, and there’s nothing you can do about it.” Ideally, fathers would embody the values that they want from their children. Apparently, some sell dangerously broken cars to customers that will run for ten minutes and then break down. Mr. Wormwood is a verbally abusive sh*tbag who happily abandons his child with a random schoolteacher he doesn’t personally know. Is Matilda better off with Miss Honey? Um, obviously. Is it still pretty messed up that he didn’t care at all about keeping his only daughter? ABSOLUTELY.

 

6. ALPHONSO

The Color Purple

 

 

'The Color Purple' Alphonso, leering

Image via The Color Purple Blogspot

 

Here’s a heads up that this depiction of parental abuse is pretty graphic. Considering that Humbert Humbert is on the list and THIS one needs a disclaimer, you can imagine the level of violence. Alphonso beats and violates his daughter, Celie, which has resulted twice in pregnancy. The first child, he took to the woods and murdered. Her father also steals the second child and takes a second wife—though he still keeps Celie close and abuses her physically. Despite his fixation on Celie, Alphonso frequently calls his daughter ugly and gives her away to a man who doesn’t love her. And the icing on the f*cked-up cake? Alphonso isn’t really Celie’s father: he’s her stepfather, pretending to be her father in order to inherit her deceased mother’s property.

 

 

7. VALENTINE MORGENSTERN

The mORTAL inSTRUMENTS sERIES

 

 

Valentine Morgenstern

Image Via FREEFORM

 

 

The devil’s in the details, and Valentine certainly didn’t miss the smallest one. He fed demon blood instead of Gerber’s fruit goo to his firstborn Jonathan Christopher, basically guaranteeing that the newborn would be an unhinged, child-murdering sociopath for the rest of his life. After his wife ran off with their daughter, Valentine found a RANDOM CHILD (Jace), convinced Jace that he was Jace’s real father, and then faked his own death violently in front of the kid. When Valentine reappears and finds Jace and his daughter Clary, he lets them (falsely!!!) believe they’re biological siblings—which is definitely a problem, since they’ve been dating. Oh yeah, and Valentine also murdered Jace’s pet hawk before telling the boy: “to love is to destroy, and to be loved is to be the one destroyed.” Is that the reason Jace has a reputation of sleeping around? Who knows? It’s not like that kid ever saw a therapist.

 

 

Featured Image Via Tor.

'City of Bones,' 'City of Ashes,' and 'City of Glass,' books 1-3 in the six book Mortal Instruments series

7 Unmissable Books for ‘Shadowhunters’ Fans

Happy Birthday, City of Bones! YA Fantasy superstar Cassandra Clare released her debut (the first entry into the sprawling Shadowhunters universe) on March 27th, 2007, which makes the book twelve years old. That would land it squarely in middle school—a familiar landscape which has nonetheless changed a lot since this book’s release. Some things have, of course, remained the same: children are mean and hormones so rarely help anyone. But there are some major differences—YA is more diverse; genre fiction is booming; and social issues have risen to the forefront of modern discourse.

 

'City of Bones' by Cassandra Clare

Image Via Twilight Sleep

 

Cassandra Clare’s novels have continued to do what they did at their outset: tell stories of characters who don’t often have their stories told. Clare’s LGBT+ rep throughout her body of work hits each of those four letters (and perhaps, soon, we’ll get some of the other letters that come with the +.) Clare has also recently gained attention for autistic representation that transcends superficial stereotypes. Her characters are bombastically human with all that entails—dramatic love stories, deep-seated emotional issues, ridiculous inside jokes. Clare’s obvious love for fantasy and the genre is second only to her understanding of human nature, and it’s obvious her work resonates for innumerable reasons: there are currently more than 50 million copies of her novels in print. The Mortal Instruments series in particular has inspired both a film adaptation and a successful TV series. And, of course, her work has always resonated with me.

Picture this: I’m thirteen. I’m wearing a horrific amount of bright blue eyeliner (read: any amount). I am distinctly not straight. Since it’s not terribly likely you know what I look like, imagine me this way: uncomfortable with everything. City of Bones featured one of the very first LGBT+ couples I ever encountered—withdrawn, struggling Alec and the ever-bold Magnus Bane—and changed the way that I thought about what are currently two of my favorite things: genre fiction and myself.

Gay puns on the respective 'Shadowhunters' characters' sexualities.

Image Via @Kayla_Darktale Tumblr

 

We’d call this a list of books to help you fill the Shadowhunters void—except, of course, that there isn’t one! Cassandra Clare has dutifully (and enthusiastically) expanded her universe’s lore since its inception, with new releases forthcoming in 2019: Chain of Goldthe first entry into a new historical fantasy trilogy, and The Red Scrolls of Magic, the start of a trilogy centered on the magical misadventures of Alec and Magnus. Clare even has a section on her website entitled “where to start,” acknowledging the fact that readers might be a little intimidated by the canon. Some advice on starting? Do it. Immediately.

 

Which 'Shadowhunters' Book Should You Start With?

Image Via Riveted Lit

 

But if, like me, you’ve already plowed your way through the majority of the seemingly limitless Shadowhunters canon, here’s a delightful mix of 7 Young Adult & New Adult classics to remind you of all that this genre can accomplish.

1. The Raven Cycle

 

'The Raven Cycle,' a quartet by Maggie Stiefvater

Folded Pages Distillery

 

Is this first on the list because it’s my personal favorite? Yes. Is it first on the list because it’s sure to be your personal favorite? Also yes. It would be a travesty to reduce Maggie Stiefvater‘s quartet to its LGBT+ characters, mostly because it’s so many other things besides strong representation: dangerous, raw, and human as its characters and all the things they want. Bonus content: Molotov cocktails, dead things that are supposed to be alive, alive things that are supposed to be dead. Every possible use of ‘Dick’ as a nickname for Richard. Distinguished boys who, for some reason, continue to wear boat shoes. The feeling of returning home and, for some, the immense desire to leave it. Bees…? One of the most unique series in YA fantasy today, The Raven Cycle is startling, strange, and filled with a cast of characters so real you won’t believe you haven’t really met them. Cassie Clare fans will live for the sarcasm, the limitless wit, the character dynamics, and the positive LGBT+ representation.

 

2. SHADES OF MAGIC

 

The 'Shades of Magic' Trilogy by VE Schwab

ImaGe Via Book riot

 

In V.E. Schwab‘s delightful, inventive, and ambitious trilogy, four different versions of London exist with varying levels of magic—and equivalent levels of danger. (Spoiler: that level is HIGH.) One is the London of old, one that we might recognize: no magic, lots of crime. One London is magic the way that we might imagine it. One is magic with all the cruelty that magic so often entails. And one—the most magic London of all—no longer exists. Or, at least, it no longer exists in any way that we might recognize. Oh, did that description make these books sound happy and upbeat? They are… when everything’s not busy going very, very wrong. Fans of Jace and Alec’s affectionate-yet-frequently-frustrated brotherly dynamic will love the give-and-take between adopted brothers Kell and Rhy. And it would be quite the challenge to build a world richer than Cassandra Clare’s—whose books are physically large enough to build that world brick by brick. V.E. Schwab’s attention to detail will delight those who are after a detailed lore.

 

3. The magicians

 

Lev Grossman's 'The Magicians' Trilogy

Image Via The Reading Room

 

The Magicians has gotten a lot of attention lately thanks to its SyFy TV adaptation—and if it doesn’t already, it deserves to have yours. This may just be the best book series you ever read about a fictional wizard school (and yes, I do know about the other one). Unlike many fantasy series, which can paint concepts of good and evil in the broadest brushstrokes, The Magicians thoroughly examines all the thematic implications of the fantasy genre, subverting every trope in the process. The humor is frequently raunchy, nihilistic. The magic is even more frequently absurd. And the story is consistently unthinkable in its imagination, pushing the limits of what magic (and the fantasy genre!) can accomplish. Lev Grossman‘s world is as dark and sensual as it is intellectual and calculating—but, in the end, it’s more startlingly earnest than it is anything else, a subversive novel written from a clear love of the genre. Bonus: disaster gays, talking bears who drink Peach Schnapps, a hell that looks like a high school gymnasium, and a story to remind you exactly what storytelling means.

 

4. SIX OF CROWS

 

'Six of Crows' Duology by Leigh Bardugo

Image Via Affinity Magazine

One of the best things about Cassandra Clare’s writing is the never-ending banter, each topic seemingly more ludicrous than the last… and somehow, for all its silliness, it only makes the characters feel more human and their dynamics more sincere. Leigh Bardugo‘s Six of Crows is a character-driven heist duology set in a richly-realized fantasy world full of crime; corruption; and badass fight scenes, baby! What’s the difference between a heist and a regular robbery, you might ask? Well, it’s pretty simple: a heist is what they call theft when it’s cool. But as fast-paced and high-concept as this well-oiled plot machine may be, it’s also a deeply character-driven story. This misfit (and very queer) cast of characters may or may not steal what they set out to pilfer, but they’ll certainly steal your heart. And possibly crush it—this book has one of the most devastating backstories of all time.

 

5. Carry On

 

'Carry On' and 'Wayward Son' by Rainbow Rowell

Images Via Amazon; image made with photocollage

 

Rainbow Rowell‘s Carry On isn’t exactly fan-fiction, but it’s certainly fiction written for fandoms. You might call it your average wizard-boarding-school book, except that there’s very little average about it. Carry On is oft called ‘the gay Harry Potter,’ but it’s certainly not derivative—Rowell acknowledges its predecessor in clear ways, and chooses to thoughtfully play with beloved genre tropes. Oh, and you’re not going to find any LGBT+ subtext here—it’s all very much on the page. Rowell herself has commented on the matter of overt representation in Vanity Fair: “there was a time when this had to be subtext… don’t [read] it for the subtext, don’t [read] it for the moments [in BBC’s Sherlock] when Sherlock and John make eye contact and the world sets on fire but none of it’s real. As a culture, we are ready for text.” As a bonus, she also doesn’t think she’s a social justice hero for including a gay couple. “I’m definitely not the first person to write a gay Y.A. story,” she acknowledges, “by a million years.” Regardless, we’re always happy for more! This fun, subversive novel will appeal to pop culture fiends across all fandoms—including Cassandra Clare’s!

 

6. Peeps

 

'Peeps' and 'The Last Days' by Scott Westerfeld

Image Via Pinterest

 

Scott Westerfeld‘s gritty urban fantasy is the It Follows of the mid-2000s urban fantasy world: college freshman Cal’s previous girlfriends (read: YA way to say ‘sexual partners’) have been infected with an unusual sort of vampirism. Sure there’s the whole lurking-in-the-darkness thing, but there’s also the anathema—Westerfeld’s vampires are repulsed by everything about their old lives, everything they once loved. (Especially Cal… although that may have something to do with him dropping off his vampire chlamydia.) A New Adult novel before the classification was coined, Peeps and sequel The Last Days are gritty trysts into the dark supernatural underworld of NYC reminiscent of Clare’s Downworld, where the parties can last as long as some of their attendees’ lifespans. The edgy, fun tone with surprisingly poignant moments is sure to remind audiences of Clare’s own work. This isn’t your average vampire story… probably because it isn’t a vampire story at all. It’s about home, lies, love and equally powerful hatred: things far more human than that.

 

7. Modern Faerie Tale

 

The 'Modern Faerie Tales' trilogy by Holly Black

Image Via yALSA

If you were around when the original three books of The Mortal Instruments were being released—that is, if you weren’t, like, eight years old—you may recall Cassandra Clare and established fantasy writer Holly Black‘s power-couple friendship. (I happen to remember Cassandra Clare’s livestream when she announced that there would be three more books in the series, so it’s safe to say I do.) Author of the children’s classic series The Spiderwick Chronicles, fantasy queen Black gave fans a nod to her close friendship with Cassie by including a mention of Jace and his fellow Shadowhunters in her books! In turn, Clare mentions the protagonist of Valiant in her trilogy as well. Does she use Valerie’s name? No. But which other bald junkie who lurks with the fey folk in subway tunnels could the unnamed character possibly be? Given that Black’s series (urban fantasy, NYC, chaotic fey) fits in quite naturally with Clare’s Downworlder mythology, it’s an excellent companion series.

 

Featured Image Via CNN.

Cassandra Clare's 'Queen of Air and Darkness'

The Most Anticipated December Book Releases

As proof that 2018 seriously dragged on, consider this: the Tide-Pod eating fiasco happened in January of this year. (Consider this: it happened at all.) So if your year has felt even longer than your to-read list, check out the most anticipated releases of December across six different genres.

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