City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Title : City of Ashes
Author : Cassandra Clare
Genre : Fantasy
Published Date : March 25th 2008
Publisher : Margaret K. McElderry Books
Pages : 453
Source : Bought
Rating : ✿✿✿✿

From Goodreads :
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.


Since Cassie's stunning debut with City of Bones, I quickly became her fans, and when City of Ashes, the second books of the series, came out, I was very excited and bought it immediately. I was finished with this book in one day, actually, long time ago. But I haven't had any chance to review it until now.

"Every time you almost die, I almost die myself."

City of Ashes told us the continuation from where City of Bones finished, with Clary and Jace's relationship threatened by their blood, and Valentine Morgenstern came back to the world for good, spreading terror once again in the Shadowhunter community. Jace, being an official Clave member and also Valentine's son, was guarded tightly by the Inquisitor and treated like a criminal. When the situation became dire, they also had to learn, that sometimes, seeking help from the Downworlders might actually help. And when Jace was caught redhandedly visiting Valentine on his boat, life became lost, truth was revealed, and all were at risk.

I especially love the plot of City of Ashes. It opened very nicely, with Jace making quite a scene at a werewolf's tavern. Even though he seemed nonchalant, it actually portrayed his desperation quite well. 
The story flowed with ease, each scene intersected with each other greatly, and created a fast-paced story that will keep readers entertained but curious about what will happen next as well. 
I also love the way Cassie ended this book, with a cliffhanger that left reader dying to read the next book, but still made them felt satisfied with this book.

The character was way more developed as well in this book, most notably Simon, Maia, and Isabelle.
Simon, with his transformation and his involvement with the Shadowhunter world, seemed to undergone quite a great change, and this book perfectly shown his character too, unlike City of Bones, where his true self was only briefly described.
Maia, who was a young wolf at Luke's pack, was first introduced at this book, and it's actually refreshing to see a girl that hate Jace, seeing what a charmer he was. She had a deep past too, and it really helped make her believable.
Clary Fray, still our main character at this book, was better than she was in the previous book. She was more believable here, and more three-dimensional, although she was still way too ordinary for a main character.
Jace, Clary's counterpart, as well as her so-called brother, shown more of his vulnerable side on this book, mainly because this book rotated around him and his bloodlines and his relationship with Clary and Valentine. Cassie's wrote it so well it was very believable that Jace indeed had flaws and insecurities too just like a normal teenager, not just a badass, unbeatable Shadowhunter.
Isebelle Lightwood, previously portrayed as a carefree, beautiful, fierce girl, also shown more humanity in this book, while she still maintained her playgirl personality, and it helped readers to picture her as a real, true person, and not just a character. 

One thing I'm not quite fond of this book was Valentine's character, or more likely, his action. It was quite unbelievable that a villain as clever and horrible as him would leave traces of his crime here and then. I mean, I totally got it that the dead bodies Valentine left were essential in making City of Ashes's story, but really, valentine was described as a smart and sneaky person. And as a smart and sneaky person, abandoning the dead body on the crime scene was his decision? Really?

Overall, if you love to read about urban-fantasy with a complicated yet sweet romance story, or if you're just a fan of Cassandra Clare, like I do, you should definitely give this a try.

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  1. I adore and devoured her books! The Mortal Instruments books are great :)

    Nice review!

  2. I read City of Bones fairly quickly, last year, but when I picked up City of Ashes I just couldn't keep interested in it. I think I was still angry over Jace and Clary's relationship, which put me off a bit, but I think I'm going to try to read this again, since I did enjoy the first book and was probably just not in the mood the first time I tried to read it! Thanks for sharing! :)

    1. Aww, that's to bad :( I actually kinda lost interest too in CoFA and CoLS, but I think I'll be reading on since I've read five and it's such a waste to not read the last :D Hope you'll give it another try though!


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