Review: City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

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4 out of 5 Demonic Stars

This is my 2nd time reading this. It’s the 2nd book in The Mortal Instruments series. I’m re-reading the series to read Lady Midnight, because, well, I like to re-read series, sometimes. I also loved The Infernal Devices, the prequel series, so much, and I’ll be re-reading that as well.

I really enjoyed this. We meet Clary, now living with Luke, her substitute father, trying to live as normally as she can. Well, as normal as a Shadowhunter whose mother is in a magically induced coma, who has discovered that her love interest from the last book is actually her brother. Dun dun dunnnnnnnn.

This whole Jace thing is messing everybody up. Everyone is trying to deal with the fact that Valentine, Jace and Clary’s father, is back, that Valentine is their father at all, and what his lies and interference mean. And are they tainted through their blood and allegiance? All of this is brought center stage when the Clave sends the Inquisitor, which sounds just like it is. And does she have a hard-on for punishing anyone and everyone associated with Valentine?! Yes, yes, she does.

Besides the Shadowhunter turmoil, Downworlder children are being found murdered. All have been drained of blood, so the first culprit seems to be the Vampires, but they claim innocence. With the Downworlders at each other throats and clamoring for the Shadowhunters to do their jobs and take care of this shiz, another Mortal Instrument is stolen. The Soul-Sword is taken from the Silent Brothers.

In this one, we get more cool settings. For the first time, we get to see the Fey court. The Fairie Queen is a cruel bitch, and we see just the edge of her cruelty. It really sets up the stuff that goes on in the rest of the series. And it also stirs up questions in Jace and Clary’s minds. The Queen suggests there is more than just Valentine’s blood in their veins and stirs up all kinds of stuff. The Fae are ageless and they are willing to take their time when it comes to getting revenge, or seeing how things are turning before they pick a side.

And of course, the relationships in this book are all over the place. When I think back to this series, I think of how much Jace and Clary piss me off.. .but the relationship is actually a slow burn. I don’t know how much of a spoiler we can say this is – we know Jace and Clary are in a relationship – so that means there has to be something about the brother/sister thing. Even in the first book, they are just enamored with each other, not full on “dating” – or what you want to call it. They both also grow in their individual powers, finding that they can do cool new things.

We also have the beginning of the Malec relationship starting. I always wanted more from that one… but it’s base is laid in this book. And Magnus is a badass in this one – I wish he was my boyfriend. I will fight you Alec! And most likely lose horribly…. There isn’t just romantic relationship drama! Clary is constantly being taunted by Valentine, and now she will straight up say that Luke is her father, not Valentine, when last book, Luke tried to push her away. Then there is the Lightwood/Jace conundrum. He considers the Lightwood children his siblings, but what about the adult Lightwoods? How do they feel about him?

I am writing new reviews for these books as we go along. Last time I read these was 2 years ago – and the stuff I said bothered me the first time wasn’t an issue this time. In short, I’m enjoying the series even more the 2nd time around.

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