Jamie's Reviews > City of Ashes

City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
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's review
Jan 16, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: books-i-obsess-over, books-that-break-my-heart, demons, fae, kick-ass-heroines, magic, multi-pov, series-i-can-t-wait-to-continue, shifters, unbelievably-sexy-heros, vampires, ya
Read from January 13 to 15, 2012


This is an outstanding follow-up to City of Bones. In City of Ashes, we find Jace and Clarey dealing with the personal fall-out from City of Bones, Alec and Isabelle not as visible but are still included, Simon still mackin' on Clarey but finds his own bit of trouble, and Magnus Bane cementing himself as the flamboyant, awesome warlock I knew he would be. And then there's the psychopathic Valentine....grrrr....

"You think she'll be able to talk some sense into him?" she asked. "His sister?"

"If he listens to anyone, it would be her."

"That's sweet," said Maia. "That he loves his sister like that."

"Yeah," Simon said. "It's precious."

I'm using the quote above because it sets the tone for City of Ashes. The realization that Clarey and Jace are "supposedly" siblings is the driving force behind this book. While City of Bones is the story of the Shadowhunters and Clarey's introduction to them, City of Ashes deals with the fall-out of the previous book and with Clarey's acceptance of her place in the Shadowhiunter world. While heavy emotional scenes are happening, there is at least always someone, like Simon or Magnus, to lighten the load with sarcasm.

At the beginning of CoB, Clarey and Jace are still on uncertain ground, and Clarey begins to learn more about her abilities and her family history. Luke is there as a stand-in father, and Simon is usually around to support Clarey. Valentine, who is up to no good at all, takes another mortal instrument, and then begins to kill different Downworlders in order to change the goodness/evilness of said Mortal Instrument. Jace is fighting his demons, and makes a stand against his "father" early on in this book. Magnus is in the picture, too, guarding Jace, and healing the Shadowhunters when needed. Magnus' flair is a very enjoyable part of this book:

"Never doubt my weaseling abilities, Shadowhunter, for they are epic and memorable in their scope."

"Sure. And Madonna wants me as a back up dancer on her next world tour."

Simon begins this book still lusting after Clarey, although he is the one that tells her he wants to call the romantic portion of their relationship quits. He is around for lots of sarcastic observations, such as:

"That you freed a criminal by trading away your brother to a warlock who looks like a gay Sonic the Hedgehog and dresses like the Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang?" Simon inquired.

But Simon has a bigger story in this book. Something BIG happens to Simon that changes the rest of his life. I don't know if it's good or bad, but I look forward to seeing Simon change and grow within this new context.

The tension between Jace and Clarey increases throughout this book. And the thing about these two is that it's not just about the physical realtionship, although that it there, too. It's the idea that Jace would do anything for Clarey, and Clarey would do the same for Jace. These two just can't catch a break. They certainly don't have brotherly/sisterly feelings for one another. The scene at the Seelie court was heartbreaking, disturbing and slightly exciting.

"His arms slid around her, his hands knotting in her hair, and the kiss stopped being gentle and became fierce, all in a single moment like tinder flaring into a blaze."


"You're my sister."

"It doesn't matter how many times you say it. It'll still be true."

"And it doesn't matter what you won't let me say, that'll still be true, too."

Valentine is up to his old tricks again. Not only does he have possession of two Mortal Instruments, but he's controlling demons and wreaking havoc in Manhattan. As Valentine kidnaps some Downworlders, Jace, Clarey and company must move quickly to stop him .

Valentine's face was impassive, almost motionless. His lips barely moved as he said, "And why is that?"

"Because," Simon said, "you're obviously psychotic."

That he is. Valentine seems sociopathic in his single-mindedness, his egoism and his lack of caring for anyone or anything else. There is a big, often gory fight scene at then end, a special moment when Simon learns yet something else about himself, and a sad moment at the end of this book in a conversation between Jace and Clarey.

Okay - so we are still left with the idea that Jace and Clarey are siblings. Wrong. I don't believe it. There are at least three times in this book where three different characters remark that Clarey and Jace look NOTHING alike, and a very specific quote where someone says that Clarey looks very much like Valentine. There's a scene with the Inspector where she realizes something about Jace connected to his shoulder scar, but can't quite get the words out of her mouth. There are too many clues piling up to make me believe that these two are related. The only question in my mind remains - How is Cassandra Clare going to pull this off?

Onto City of Glass.
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Quotes Jamie Liked

Cassandra Clare
“No, I'm just a very naughty boy. I do all sorts of bad things. I kick kittens. I make rude gestures at nuns.”
Cassandra Clare, City of Ashes

Reading Progress

01/13/2012 page 44
10.0% "Bad form, Maryse. Not very nice :(" 10 comments
01/14/2012 page 98
22.0% "What are you doing, stupid Clarey? This can't possibly end well."
01/14/2012 page 145
32.0% "Maryse is a bit of a bitch, no? And uncomfortable tension is starting...Not buying this...."
01/14/2012 page 174
38.0% "Holy shit! That was extraordinarily uncomfortable to read. Yet... A little bit jot at the same time. Ugh! Listen to me! This is awful!" 11 comments
01/15/2012 page 360
79.0% "And the plot thickens....."
01/15/2012 page 392
87.0% "Dammit, Inquisitor! You KNOW something!" 52 comments
04/09/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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Jamie "Sure. And Madonna wants me as a back up dancer on her next world tour.". I almost spit my vodka and cranberry out when I read this!

MISS VAIN You're review gets a "like" for that comment alone!;))

Nora I totally agree! I really am not buying that they're related. But Cassandra Clare, that is so EVIL! Why must you make me feel so uncomfortable? WHY?! Why can't they just be together forever like normal people?! *sobs in corner*.

Katie aka Moogles great review

He is not a spychopath!

Payton That pretty much sums it up. Who the heck comes up with this stuff. I mean, this really evil psychotic jerk tells two people who are obviously in love with each other, they are siblings, try's to destroy the shadow hunter world, and is like a shadow hunter Hitler, leaves them to sort the whole sibling stuff out and does it all with a giant evil stinking smile. How does anyone come up with this

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