Review: City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

Clary Fray is back. In the second instalment of The Mortal Instruments, Clary knows who she is. With her mother in a coma and her father intent on world domination, Clary is embroiled deeper and deeper in the world of the Shadowhunters. Which is kind of unfortunate, given the fact that she and Jace had to break up after discovering that they were brother and sister. Clary is doing her best to make her new relationship with her best friend and longtime admirer with Simon work, but there are plenty of obstacles in their way--like the fact that Simon is turning into a vampire and that Clary is still secretly in love with her brother. Meanwhile, the young Shadowhunters must bound together to one, stop Clary's evil dad Valentine and two stop Imogen Herondale from using every legal means possible to destroy Jace to get revenge on Valentine. Even with the help of Clary's almost-stepdad, Warewolf Luke and powerful warlock, Magnus Bane, the group have the odds stacked against them, but maybe, just maybe, Clary has skills deeper than anyone knows ...

This was an enjoyable return to the world of the Shadowhunters, and another ripping, page-turning read. It was interesting watching some of the characters form new relationships--I was more or less expecting Alec and Magnus to get together; young werewolf Maia developing a crush on Simon was probably more of a surprise than Simon becoming a vampire. In this volume, we learn more about the world of the Shadowhunters and the Clave, and not all of it is nice. Perhaps the most surprising thing of all, though, was a note at the end of my copy of City of Ashes advising readers that the Shadowhunters would face their final challenge in the next book, City of Glass. Does this mean that the series was originally intended as a trilogy? 

In any case, the whole thing is a lot of fun. Recommended. 


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