ByMichaela Turcotte, writer at
Michaela Turcotte

The new series released by Freeform and Netflix, "Shadowhunters" has received mixed reviews, mainly from fans of the book series that inspired the show, "The Mortal Instruments."

Author of this book series, Cassandra Clare, seems to be happy with the outcome of the show, but recently has bigger problems to worry about.

Clare is being sued for "compensatory damages" by a fellow author, Sherrilyn Kenyon, who claims that the entire premise upon which Clare has built her best-selling novels, was plagiarized.

In 1998, Kenyon released a series of books chronicling a group of people called "dark-hunters" who are "an elite band of warriors that must protect the human world from the unseen paranormal threat that seeks to destroy humans as they go about their daily lives," and must "preserve the balance between good and evil, protecting humans from being consumed or enslaved."

It is these characteristics that Kenyon claims were stolen from her novels for the Cassandra Clare universe that would go on to expand to up to five different series of novels.

Try as she may to hide it from the public, this isn't the first time Clare has landed in hot water. Fans have pointed out, as the books have been released, elements of The Mortal Instruments that were barely disguised elements stolen from other novels, TV shows, and movies.

Another thing the average reader doesn't know about Clare's history, is that before being published under the pen name Cassandra Clare, Judith Rumelt was a popular Harry Potter Fanfiction writer under the name Cassandra Claire.

The "I" was dropped by Clare's publishers in an effort to hide her past, something that many people have tried to bring to light. Blogs, twitter accounts, tumblr profiles, have all been brave enough to post evidence of Clare's suspicious history, all of which were shut down by her management.

So what is it that these people are so desperate to reveal?

  • Clare has a history of plagiarism. When writing fanfiction online, this is acceptable, but many people have used it as a segway into why it's not entirely surprising that you can find elements from other stories in Clare's published works.
  • Clare has a history of cyber-bullying. When she was a fanfiction writer, Cassie Claire was known for being a vicious bully. When a commenter would appear who did not like her stories, Clare would be known to lash out at them, call them hateful names, even tell them to kill themselves, and that nobody would care. The most extreme example of Clare's bullying was when she had a disagreement with a commenter online, and went so far as to hatch a plan to try and frame the girl, and have her expelled from her University.
  • Cassandra Clare, after being published, is still known to bully those who don't like her stories, though now that she's in the public eye, she must do it more discreetly. When people send her rude or mean tweets about her or her stories, rather than just focusing on the positive like most "celebrities" she replies to them. She puts a big show on about how hurt she is and how much they're affecting her life, and when her fans jump to her defence, and attack the individual who simply didn't enjoy a book they read Cassie Clare sits back and favourites the mean tweets and death threats that have forced multiple twitter users to delete their accounts.

To this day, if you search Cassandra Claire, with the I, into google, you get stories of not a successful fantasy author, but a cruel, ruthless fanfiction writer with a history of plagiarising her stories.

So really, is it any surprise that Cassandra Clare is being brought to court for plagiarism now?

What do you think? Is Sherrilyn Kenyon reaching for money she has no right to, or is Cassandra Clare, in fact, guilty of copyright infringement?



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