In the second book of the Mortal Instruments series, City of Ashes, we find the gang back together but more strained than ever. With the newest realization that Jace is actually Valentine’s son, his home life with the Lightwoods, who have been his surrogate family for the last 7 years, is far from normal. We also find Clary’s new living situation a bit strained as well.
With the arrival of the inquisitor to the institute we find Jace fighting for people to believe him. The inquisitor sends him to the cells of the Silent Brothers to await trial by the Mortal Sword, when he hears a sound no man could make, the sound of death. Valentine comes back for the second Mortal Instrument with a greater demon at his side to do his bidding. When he visits Jace in his cell, Jace finally realizes this is his fight and he will not stand for his father’s behavior. Clary, Alec, and Isabelle swoop in to release him from his cell and are found in the perfectly wrong place at the wrong time.
With the realization that the adult shadow hunters will not take what they say seriously, the group decides to go ask the Queen of the Seelie Court for her allegiance in the fight to come.
The queen with her love of twisting words and making everyone squirm, tricks Clary into indebtedness to the Queen with only true loves kiss to free her. After that gripping show of affection we see Simon disappear only to reappear later with Rafael, the leader of the Vampires. Now that he is officially no longer a “mundane” he struggles with hiding his new found fear of sun from his parents and helping Clary and the shadow hunters hunt down Valentine a second time to stop him from unleashing hell on earth.
In this book we learn that not only Jace, but Clary as well, has some extraordinary gifts thanks to their father Valentine’s experiments. With her newfound talent she helps the shadow hunters in ways they do not fully comprehend and if they did they might not like.
This second book in the series is just as gripping as the first. With all the romance, death and normal ups and downs of a teenager’s life, I found myself constantly screaming at the pages urging them to keep going and feeling every cut and tear of the characters. Cassandra Clare has done it again.