Ballad of The Desert and Infernal Devices: Similarities!!!

(@calculusfanatic: This is a guestpost. I’ll hand the baton over to @chairmanlichi) Oh. My. God! I think you all need to read this right now. Because I’m positively sure that there are a few glaring similarities between our Chinese Novel, Ballad of the Desert (Da Mo Yao), written by Tong Hua, and the Infernal Devices Series by the American author Cassandra Clare.


Okay, before I begin, let me make it clear to you all that I’m only making an observation and nothing beyond that.

I love the Infernal Devices Trilogy. I really do. I loved all of Cassandra Clare’s work. And I’ve been following her right since her Fan-fiction days (Potterheads that we both happen to be!).

But, I think it’s a coincidence (or maybe not), but there is a huge similarity between a character created by Cassy and Tong Hua. I think it’s mutually exclusive, but somehow became inclusive.

Getting to the point, I know that almost all of you must have read Ballad of the Desert’s English Translations done by @Koala. If not, you can read @asianbolt ‘s review right now.

But I’ll give you all a brief introduction to Infernal Devices Trilogy, set in the late 1800s. Theresa Gray shifts from New York to London once her aunt dies, so as to live with her brother Nate. There, she’s kidnapped and held hostage by a Warlock named Mrs. Black, who reveals to Tessa (aka Theresa), that she’s not a human, and in fact is a shape-shifter. Tessa is also shocked to know that she’s to marry a mysterious and powerful (and evil) man called Magister.

Enter William Herondale and James Carstairs, Will and Jem in short. Both of them are Shadowhunters who are these secretive demon hunters and excellent martial artists. And both of them are extremely handsome. They rescue Tessa and take her away with them.

Slowly, Tessa begins to meet and form bonds with other Shadowhunters, and even falls in love Will. But Will has a dark secret. And it’s that he’s cursed: anybody who ever learns to care for him will die.

He pushes her away and insults her, though both love each other. Then Tessa starts getting closer to Jem and both of them fall in love with each other.

But Jem has a problem: he’s seventeen and he’s dying.

And the similarity which I was talking about is this: Jem and Jiu Ye.

Now, a bit of background on Jem. Jem’s of mixed parentage: his dad is British while his mother is Chinese. His parents were killed in an attack by the demons who also held him captive. They tortured him and fed him a drug called Yin Fen. So much that even after he was rescued, Jem was addicted to Yin Fen and without regular consumption of the drug, he would die. And if he consumes it too much also, he will die. So, bottomline: he will die.e9317ee98e93c2266cb695c93010b6bd

And he’s in love with Tessa too.

Now, do you get what I’m saying?!

This star-crossed lovers theme is what makes it similar to Da Mo Yao. And more than that, it’s that both Jem and Jiu Ye have a medical history. They can’t have the happy life with their girls though they love each other.

To put it more clearly, I think I’ll have to do it like bullets:

  • Both Jem and Jiu Ye are the ill-fated Second Leads
  • Both have them have a star-crossed (or rather, medically-crossed), storyline.
  • Both of them are Chinese.
  • Both play instruments: Jem plays the Violin, while Jie Ye plays the flute.
  • Both of them are described to be ethereally beautiful.
  • Both of them are also described to love their girls like a constant flame.
  • Both of them are kind and sweet, always polite.
  • Both make their love rivals seem hot-tempered and childish.
  • Both of them feel that they can’t have a happy life with their girls because of their medical condition (though Jem would rather be married to Tessa at least for one day! Thank God that there’s no Noble Idiocy there!)
  • Both of their names begin with “J”

I would love to hear your observations on this, as it’s always good to have more brains working on the similarity.

But I do feel that Cassy was inspired by Meng Jiu while writing Jem. She’s just too original to copy. And I love her. She’s awesome. So no hurtful comments against her either.

Catch up with Cassy’s new book, Lady Midnight, a new part of the Shadowhunter Chronicles. It’s awesome. I swear.


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