Review: City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

1582996City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
Published by: Margaret K. McElderry
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Format: Paperback
Pages: 453
Rating: 5
Date Read: 02/09/2013

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?

City of Ashes is the sequel of City of Bones, written by Cassandra Clare. I actually Enjoyed this one better than the first book, City of Bones. The main thing that I enjoyed more about this book was the pace. Perhaps because, due to the fact that the world was pretty much built and we were introduced to all of the main points in the first book, there was more room for the actual plot in this book.

The series is about Clarissa Fray, a shadowhunter girl who is in the midst of a large war between Valentine and his demon horde, and the Clave, the society that keeps downworlders like vampires/werewolves and shadowhunters in order. Clary Fray having just recently found out that she is a Shadowhunter, a race of Nephilim who protect Mundane humans from demons and Downworlders. Re-entering the world of the Shadowhunters was thrilling. Clary and Jace are dealing with their father’s theft of the Angel’s Cup and are continuing to struggle with the fact that they are brother and sister.

I’ve grown to like Clary’s character more in this instalment, she’s slowly growing on me and I was more engrossed in her character than I thought I’d be. She also grows a bit herself in this one as well, she’s growing into her role as a Shadowhunter and begins to sort out her personal life, however confusing it is.

I also liked that Magnus is way more present in this sequel than in City of bones. Everything he said or did was either hilarious or intelligent. For me, he’s the most charismatic character and the one that stands out the most in The Mortal Instruments series.

Isabelle wasn’t that open in City of Bones, but in this book, we get to really know her and understand her way of acting and how she’s protective toward the people she loves.

I enjoyed the character development in this book. The characters all felt so real, as if they could’ve really existed. They were all unique and I could’ve had an opinion on each one of them because they all got to me in one way or another.

I also really enjoyed meeting new characters in this book and I felt they really helped enhance the series and the plot. In City of Ashes, we meet Alec and Izzy’s parents. New characters are presented such as Maia, and Imogen. Learning about other Downworlders was also brilliant. It was fascinating to get the extra world building that was absent from the first book.

There is a lot we learn as we see new and returning characters interact and reveal things both secret and unknown to the reader. We learn more about the Clave and their inner-workings, we see another Mortal Instrument and learn of his power. We also learn more about the Instruments as a whole and how their affects work.

Valentine is the main villain of the story and less clichéd like he was in City of Bones. He doesn’t love Jace or Clary, which I believe is a great addition to the story. Valentine is very prominent in this book. Valentine now has two mortal instruments and is calling up evil left and right. He has serious delusions of grandeur and tries everything he can to get Jace to join him.

I also liked that Magnus is way more present in this sequel than in City of bones. Everything he said or did was either hilarious or intelligent. For me, he’s the most charismatic character and the one that stands out the most in The Mortal Instruments series.

Isabelle wasn’t that open in City of Bones, but in this book, we get to really know her and understand her way of acting and how she’s protective toward the people she loves. Also Simon has a bigger story in this book. Something happens to Simon that changes the rest of his life.

Cassandra Clare did an astonishing job with the mythology and twisting it up in new ways. She took a closer look at vampires and seelies. The book has a mixture of ancient legends, religious myths and modern story themes, which has been combined. Clare’s writing was delightful, and I continue to fall in love with it. The writing is detailed, but also includes the right amount of dialogue to keep the story going.

This is an outstanding follow-up to City of Bones. After reading this book we know a little more about Alec, get to know Magnus better, discover some special abilities Clary and Jace possess, and get a hint that there might be more to Jace’s lineage than we first thought. So many twists and turns in these novels, things you should’ve seen coming, things you’d never expect, and along the whole journey, so many incredible characters that make these books impossible to put down.

Even better than the first one. The complexity of the characters was greater and you get a better sense of what the story really is about. This book in a way was just as good as the first one. The story progresses, our characters are growing accustomed to the hell they’re living through and Clary is adjusting alright to her Shadowhunter part.

 I truly loved this book. There’s always so much going on this series – it’s definitely never boring – the entire book had me on edge. There is just so much to say, that I could literally talk about this series for hours. I highly recommend this series to anyone who has an interest in Fantasy books. Even if you don’t, this would be a great series to become familiar with the genre. It will keep you entertained from start to finish.

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