The Mortal Instruments #2: City of Ashes

The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare is one of my favorite series of all time. It mixes together intrigue, badass women, fantasy, supernatural and romance in a smooth blend. The multiple perspective writing that Cassandra has integrated in these books lets you see the world from many angles and seamlessly comes together to create a whole and heart-pounding story about Shadowhunters and their constant battle against evil. 

Warning! There will be spoilers!

City of Ashes

Goodreads Link

Published March 25th, 2008

Page Count: 453

“Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what’s normal when you’re a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? Clary would love to spend more time with her best friend, Simon. But the Shadowhunters won’t let her go–especially her handsome, infuriating newfound brother, Jace. And Clary’s only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil–and also her father. When the second of the Mortal Instruments is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor suspects Jace. Could Jace really be willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?”

5 stars  ★ ★ ★ ★

City of Ashes was an exceptional book with the idea of innate love towards one’s parents and children. 
Jace struggles a lot countless times throughout the book between his hate towards his father but also this pull that he feels towards the man who raised him. He knows deep inside his heart that Valentine is evil, and that he is planning on doing something terrible to the Shadow World, but he just cannot bring himself to betray him out loud.

Clary and Jace are both struggling enormously with the fact that they have found out that they are siblings. The entire combination of feeling betrayed by the Lightwoods and the sibling reveal makes Jace fall into the deep side of things for a while. He seems to have lost his way in his usually perfectly ordered world. He drifts towards his only remedy for how he feels and that is not letting out his emotions and feelings but rather to push away people who he cares about and cover it all up with artfully crafted words and heavy sarcasm. He feels a lot for Clary and he loathes himself for it.

Clary is also feelings conflicted and as a result drifts towards trying to build up a relationship with Simon, hoping that by focusing on a person she can actually be with she will dispel the feelings she has towards Jace, which would be considered ‘immoral’. 

Simon is in the midst of struggling with his entire transition into becoming a vampire and having to deal with all the heightened senses, the need for blood as well as his constant worry about the sunlight Thankfully the entire situation with drinking from Jace at the end of the book allows him to stay in the sunlight without getting burned to death.

Alec continues to struggle with his feelings for Magnus and whether or whether not he can go into this relationship and still remaining loyal to his Shadowhunter side as well as worrying about what his parents would think of him. I also think he is still greatly struggling with his feelings for Jace. 
We can see that although Magnus is very informed about Alec’s feelings for Jace, he would never betray that in front of the others and will always do what’s in the best interest for Alec. And we also learn that regardless of how Alec feels towards Jace, he will always remain loyal to his parabatai. 

Favorite Quotes:

“Just because you said dragon demons were extinct—”“I said mostly extinct.”Alec jabbed a finger toward him.“Mostly extinct,” he said, his voice trembling with rage, “is NOTEXTINCT ENOUGH.”“I see,” said Jace. “I’ll just have them change the entry in the demonology textbook from ‘almost extinct’ to ‘not extinct enough for Alec. He prefers his monsters really, really extinct.’ Will that make you happy?”

“Desire is not always lessened by disgust. Nor can it be bestowed, like a favor, to those most deserving of it.”

“Mom. I have something to tell you. I’m undead. Now, I know you may have some preconceived notions about the undead. I know you may not be comfortable with the idea of me being undead. But I’m here to tell you that undead are just like you and me … well, okay. Possibly more like me than you.”“SIMON.”“All right, all right.”He went on. “The first thing you need to understand is that I’m the same person I always was. Being undead isn’t the most important thing about me. It’s just part of who I am. The second thing you should know is that it isn’t a choice. I was born this way.” Simon squinted at her over the pamphlet. “Sorry, reborn this way.”

“That does it,” said Jace. “I’m going to get you a dictionary for Christmas this year.”“Why?” Isabelle said.“So you can look up ‘fun.’ I’m not sure you know what it means.”

“Love makes liars of us all.”

“I’ve got a stele we can use. Who wants to do me?”“A regrettable choice of words,” muttered Magnus.”

“I’d say it’s been nice meeting you all, but, in fact, it hasn’t. It’s been quite awkward, and frankly, the next time I see a single one of you will be far too soon.”“Because only Jace can piss someone off that much.”

“We came to see Jace. Is he alright?”“I don’t know,” Magnus said. “Does he normally just lie on the floor like that without moving?” 

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