The second book in Cassandra Clare's The Mortal Instruments series, City of Ashes continues the gripping love story between Clary and Jace who discovered, at the end of the last book, that they might be siblings. Of course, it was impossible for them to take the relationship any further, but that didn't mean that the feelings they'd developed for each other just went away. In City of Ashes, we see both of them struggling to forget what the other means to them, exactly as intended by Valentine, the man who claims to have fathered them both.
At the beginning of the book, Jace is under suspicion of collaborating with Valentine, who is practicing all kinds of dark magic and trying to raise demons. Even though Jace has nothing to do with the man, he is investigated by an Inquisitor from Idris, the city of Nephilim, a half angel and half human species that both, Jace and Clary, are a part of. Meanwhile, Valentine slaughters all the people in the Silent City in order to get a sword, which is the second mortal instrument he seeks. Now, he must get the blood from four types of Downworlder children—a warlock, a faerie, a werewolf and a vampire—so that he can get demons to do his bidding. He's already found two of these and ends up kidnapping Maia, a werewolf Clary knows, and Simon, Clary's best friend, who has been turned into a vampire.
Jace and Clary also travel to the faerie realm where they are forced to kiss again to escape the Queen's spell and return to the real world. We also learn that Jace and Clary have special powers that other Nephilim do not possess. While Jace's powers are physical, enabling him to cover long distances in a trice, Clary's powers lie in coming up with new and powerful runes.
Overall, this installment of the mortal instruments is action-packed and full of romantic tension, given that Clary and Jace both believe that their love can't ever be consummated. More information about their possible blood connection is given us in the third book. Clare's writing is beautiful and detailed and we learn a lot more about this fantasy world and the characters inhabiting it as the series goes on.
Cassandra Clare's real name is Judith Rumelt and she was born in Iran to American parents. Her family traveled a lot when she was young, so she lived in France, England and Switzerland before the age of ten. Since they were never in one place for too long, young Judith turned to books and always carried one under her arm. As an adult, she worked for various tabloids, writing celebrity gossip, but in 2006, she started writing fiction full time and playfully jokes that she never wants to write about Paris Hilton again. She is friends with Holly Black, also a fantasy writer and the two often refer to characters in each others' books within their own work.
Welcome back to the exotic world beyond the shadows...
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? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who's becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn't ready to 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.
To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings -- and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?
In this breathtaking sequel to City of Bones, Cassandra Clare lures her readers back into the dark grip of New York City's Downworld, where love is never safe and power becomes the deadliest temptation. Download and start listening now!