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ACE #1

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.

453 pages, Hardcover

First published August 7, 2008

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About the author

Cassandra Clare

186 books265k followers
Cassandra Clare was born to American parents in Tehran, Iran and spent much of her childhood travelling the world with her family, including one trek through the Himalayas as a toddler where she spent a month living in her father’s backpack. She lived in France, England and Switzerland before she was ten years old.

Since her family moved around so much she found familiarity in books and went everywhere with a book under her arm. She spent her high school years in Los Angeles where she used to write stories to amuse her classmates, including an epic novel called “The Beautiful Cassandra” based on a Jane Austen short story of the same name (and which later inspired her current pen name).

After college, Cassie lived in Los Angeles and New York where she worked at various entertainment magazines and even some rather suspect tabloids where she reported on Brad and Angelina’s world travels and Britney Spears’ wardrobe malfunctions. She started working on her YA novel, City of Bones, in 2004, inspired by the urban landscape of Manhattan, her favourite city. She turned to writing fantasy fiction full time in 2006 and hopes never to have to write about Paris Hilton again.
Cassie’s first professional writing sale was a short story called “The Girl’s Guide to Defeating the Dark Lord” in a Baen anthology of humor fantasy. Cassie hates working at home alone because she always gets distracted by reality TV shows and the antics of her cats, so she usually sets out to write in local coffee shops and restaurants. She likes to work in the company of her friends, who see that she sticks to her deadlines.

City of Bones was her first novel. Sword Catcher is her most recent novel.

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Profile Image for SKB.
126 reviews
March 20, 2011
All right, so when we last left our creepy incestuous couple, Draco had just found out his dad was Voldemort, not Lucius Malfoy. Clarmione also found out that Draco was her brother, so that hot makeout session they'd had partway through the first book was now kind of icky, and further physical involvement strictly verboten.

So Voldemort is still alive! Oh noes. Enter the Clave and the Inquisitor, Dolores Umbridge. Umbridge has been sent to see if Draco is telling the truth that he had no idea Voldemort was his dad this whole time (we were led to think Voldemort was dead because he blew up his house and left body parts that actually belonged to the real Malfoys, in a move reminiscent of Peter Pettigrew blowing up a ton of Muggles and his pinkie finger in order to frame Sirius Black).

Ronrry is still in love with Clarmione, and they start dating, especially now that Clarmione is trying to squash down her incestuous feelings for her brother. Her mom is still in a coma.

Voldemort meanwhile has the Mortal Cup, which, like, makes Inferi.

So there's this sword, see, that knows when you're telling the truth. Kind of like Veritaserum-blade. It's held in the Silent City. Umbridge takes Draco down there and locks him up in the Silent City's Azkaban. But while he's there overnight, Voldemort shows up, kills the blind, mute monks, and steals the sword.

Meanwhile, Clarmione and the Scoobies hurry down to the City of Bones to rescue Draco, and she uses some crazy Alohamora charm to open the doors and manacles, but it, like, totally blows the motherfucking place apart. This may be important later.

It turns out the sword Voldemort has stolen is also a Mortal Instrument. It is the same sword the angel had in the Garden of Eden, when, you know, stuff happened after Adam and Eve sinned or something. So it's a tool of heaven, but there's this thing, see, where if you dip the sword in the blood of child versions of each of the four cool kinds of Downworlders (faerie, vampire, werewolf, warlock), you can, like, convert the blade into a Crazy Tool of Sin that makes all demons bend to your will and also calls them into your dimension. Or something. Obviously, Voldemort wants this very much.

Voldemort already has the warlock blood from this stupid little shit from the prologue who summons a Boggart for him and then dies of fear. Turns out the stupid little shit warlock's biggest fear was that his pentagram would not hold back the power of a Boggart. Winning! Then he kills a faerie child in Central Park or some shit, and now the Seelie Court is Displeased. You don't fuck with faeries, man. You just don't.

Draco is still in big trouble with Umbridge.

Hoping for help, Draco, Clarmione, Ronrry, and, I don't know, Xander and Willow? Anyway, they all go to the Seelie Court to talk to the Faerie Queen. She's convinced it's the vampires, I mean, OBVIOUSLY, since vampires drain things of blood and stuff. She says that Draco and Clarmione have certain gifts that Voldemort gave them in creepy science experiments or such.

Also, it is important to note that faeries are tricksy! They are tricksy and not to be trusted! The faeries lay out a faerie picnic for Draco, Clarmione, Ronrry, and the Scoobies. Draco tells them not to eat anything, but Clarmione has dipped her finger into the goblet and crushed a flower petal, then a pixie thing bites her finger, and she sucks on her finger, also drinking a bit of the juice. And once you've eaten faerie food, you have to stay in the faerie kingdom.

Draco's like, "This is effing ridiculous!" so the Faerie Queen agrees to let Clarmione go if she kisses the person she desires most in the world. And, hint, it's not Ronrry Pottsley. So there's a full-on V.C. Andrews disturbing brother-sister make-out session that ... wow, it goes on for quite some time. And everyone's watching. The Faerie Queen is obviously a V.C. Andrews fan, because she lets Clarmione go, but Ronrry won't look at her, and he runs off as soon as they're back in Manhattan.

Um, so then Ronrry gets turned into a vampire. I'm serious.

Snapin and one of the wolves from his pack, Leah, get attacked by the slug things from Doublemeat Palace. He shows up in Bella's truck. Leah's badly injured. She also freaks out when she runs into Ronrry the Vampire, even though they were sort of friendly earlier. Snapin says he's going to the truck to repark it, but he disappears, and Clarmione and Draco go in search of him, fighting off more slug things. Snapin is also crazy injured, so Gay Xander calls his fab Grand Warlock secret boyfriend to come heal everyone up.

Draco sneaks off, having found out from Doublemeat Palace Slug where Voldemort is hiding. He rides Sirius Black's vampire-owned flying motorcycle to the Black Pearl ship in the middle of the East River. He is faced with a Boggart, and he sees Clary dead. Voldemort calls off the Boggart, and then he's all, "If you join me, Skywalker, I will make sure none of your friends get hurt." Draco holds the sword for a moment and sees all the demons about to break through into our dimension.

The Scoobies are trying to figure out what Clarmionie's gift is, and she can, like, write Runes that no one even KNOWS, kind of the way Lyra can read the Althiometer. They challenge her to create a Rune to take away fear, and she TOTALLY DOES. They put it on Gay Xander's body, and then when Gay Xander's parents show up, he has SO LITTLE FEAR that he just about outs himself from the Big Gay Shadowhunter Closet until Draco stops him.

Umm, what else? Umbridge catches up to them again because she'd put a tracer on the shard of the two-way mirror thing that Sirius gave Harry and he'd see Dumbledore's eye in--remember that? Anyway, so she knows exactly where Draco's been and locks him up until further notice in a room at Hogwarts-Manhattan campus, putting him in this magical cage made of angel blades and electric fencing. She says her plan is to trade Draco to Voldemort for the Mortal Instruments. Of course Voldemort would choose his own son over a cup and a sword, right? Umbridge seems upset about SOMETHING LIKE MAYBE HER SON WAS KILLED SOMEHOW BY VOLDEMORT, but no one can figure it out even though it's pretty obvious if you have more than one working brain cell.

The cage, however, doesn't have a lid, because Umbridge isn't that smart, so Draco, with Gay Xander's help, leaps out of the top like a cat, or perhaps Superman.

Meanwhile, Leah has leapt out the window to go apologize to Ronrry. But then she runs into the ghost of her dead, sociopathic, abusive twin brother, and really it's the Boggart, and Voldemort catches her!

Ronrry is on the phone with Clarmione when he says that someone is breaking into his house. It's Voldemort.

Somehow Draco puts together that Voldemort needs child vampire and child werewolf blood still, and that that's why he wanted Ronrry the Vampire and Leah. The Vampire fell in love with the Werewolf. I mean, the vampire and the werewolf wake up on the Black Pearl in the East River.

Gay Xander and Willow eavesdrop outside the room where Voldemort has hologram-conference-called in with Umbridge, where he rejects her offer, and she's all, "What the what?" Gay Xander and Willow bust in and tell them everything that's going on, and Umbridge goes slightly catatonic, but calls the rest of the Clave and the adult Order of the Phoenix people who are around at the moment.

Ronrry and Leah are chained up on the Black Pearl. Voldemort comes in and slashes Ronrry the Vampire's throat.

Draco and Clarmione and Snapin climb into Bella's truck, and they race off to the Black Pearl.

Big Gay Warlock has put a charm onto Bella's truck and changed it to the Weasley's Ford Anglia, which now is like a duck boat and can drive right over the water. Draco asks Clarmione to put the "fearless" rune on his skin, which she does.

Big battle, demons, whatever, it goes on forever and I really don't care. Umbridge dies saving Draco. Clarmione finds Leah, who tells her that Ronrry is dead. She frees Leah and runs to find Voldemort.

Draco finds Ronrry's body ... but he's not dead ... yet. Draco lets him feed off of him like that one time in Season 3 of Buffy when Angel gets hit with that arrow dipped in poison that is deadly to vampires unless they drink the blood of a Slayer, and Buffy punches Angel in the face until he drinks from her. It's kind of like that. So Ronrry is just fine. Draco then kills the Boggart because he is FEARLESS, see? He's fearless.

Clarmione tries to face off with Voldemort, and everyone ends up in a room together: Clarmione, Voldemort, Draco, Ronrry, Leah. Wait, is Leah there? I don't remember, and I just finished the book like half an hour ago. Anyway, it looks like they're all going to die horribly and Voldemort is going to win, but then Clarmione draws this Rune on the floor that makes the entire Black Pearl disintegrate and explode simultaneously.

They do that Harry Potter thing where everyone is unconscious after the big battle thing, and when they wake up, they get the explanations and the denouement. Everyone thought Clarmione was dead, and Draco saved Ronrry by putting him on a floating metal hunk in the river, much like Leo di Caprio put Kate Winslet on the door so she doesn't freeze in the Atlantic after the Titanic sinks. The sun is rising, and Ronrry will die and explode because sunlight-non-sparkly-vampires-it-burns syndrome. But it turns out he's just fine because he was mostly filled with Draco blood. He's still a vampire, but he won't be killed by the sun.

Ronrry breaks up with Clarmione because he thinks he'd be better off with another Downworlder, like, hanging out with Leah. Because they are a crazy vampire/werewolf couple who can totally MAKE IT WORK.

Clarmione is going to tell Draco that fuck it, she doesn't care if it's incest, but then Draco's all, "I'll just love you as a brother, because that's what you want, right?" And she agrees.

Then there's a lady waiting outside the hospital where her mom's still in a coma. It turns out that her mom put the coma on herself so Voldemort wouldn't get the answers he wanted out of her. The lady was apparently the Secret-Keeper in this scenario, so she tells Clarmione that she can wake her mom from the coma THE END THE END THE END!

And that's what happens in this wholly original book.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Patrick.
Author 64 books233k followers
July 25, 2013
This book cost me around 600 dollars.

When I'm traveling to and from conventions, I use the airplane time to catch up on my reading. A lot of times this means I'm taking the opportunity to read books that have been popular for a while, but that I haven't gotten around to. I feel like I should be aware of the landscape.

Anyway, on my way home from Seattle, I had a layover in Minneapolis. I grabbed this book so I'd have something to read while I was eating dinner in the airport.

So I ate dinner, and I read the book, and I lost track of time, and I missed my plane.

I ended up having to rent a car and drive the three and a half hours back to Stevens Point.

You win this round, Cassandra Clare....
Profile Image for Emma Giordano.
316 reviews115k followers
September 22, 2020
I guess 9th times the charms because I loved this book way more than I ever had. I think in my adolescence, I spent a lot of my time comparing City of Ashes to other books in the series. This reread, I viewed this story as an individual entity, which allowed me to better appreciate the complexities and conflicts that arise in this sequel. I had such a fabulous time rereading book two and cannot wait to continue rereading the rest of the series!
Profile Image for John Egbert.
189 reviews164 followers
December 4, 2013
John no longer uses this account. I have no patience for this bullshit any longer. There are many ways to state an opinion that is in disagreement with this review, and so far, many of you have FAILED to do so. I will no longer tolerate disparaging comments. Rethink them if you don't want me to delete them.

John's Sister

PS: John is not male. She changed her gender status so she would not receive misogynistic comments, or gendered insults. JFYI.

I will tell the complete and honest truth. And I will tell it right now.



I don't...

*takes deep breath*


It's true, okay, it's true!

Let me explain!

I've never liked Cassandra Clare. In fact, I hate her writing. So it surprised me in this story that I could even deal with her prose. Deal with it, mind you. It surprised me even more that I could read through it somewhat smoothly. So my problem isn't with her prose.

It's Alec and Magnus.

Yes, you read right.

Read it again.

My problem. Is with. Alec. And. Magnus.



Okay, before you dub me as a homophobe and move on, allow me to explain.

Alec and Magnus, apart, I like them. Magnus has a certain charm which, to a point, you have to respect. Alec isn't a bad guy, and when he isn't bitching at Magnus or Clary, you can't really have a problem with him either. (Although he does angst quite a bit, so does everyone in this series, so you can get over that.)

So, you may ask, what is my problem? I claim to like the characters enough, so why can't I like them together?

Ah, let me give you one word, my dears, execution. Clare doesn't know how to execute much of anything correctly, especially her ideas that seem to be original. She'd rather write her less original ideas (Ginny Bella Clary and Draco in Leather Pants Edward Angstyer Harry Jace) to "perfection" than the actual ideas that might be worth something if she tried.

My first problem?

Magnus's body language creeped me out.

Now, one of my friends pointed out that a 100 year old warlock is BOUND to be creepy. This is my point. In this story, I keep getting creepy perv vibes off of him. Now, I know the typical response "Magnus is really seventeen! He hasn't mentally or physically aged a day!" This is nice, but it's just impossible. After you've lived for that long, it's just...preposterous that you would be able to just ignore everything you had to go through. He's the high Warlock of Brooklyn, if I'm not mistaken, and he had to learn SOMETHING to get in that position.

It's just the little things that he does that steer me away from him. Probably, it was the thing of wearing the jeans so low on his hips Alec had to look away. That sort of kept me looking like this,


Yeah, like that.

I'm not that much of a prude, but come on. That just weirded me out.

Moving on,

Then we have Alec. Oh, Alec. Insecure, emo, closeted gay. Okay, this is cute, but what else? What makes Magnus attracted to him? What makes him attracted to Magnus? In this story, we're shown their relationship. Basically,

Alec is gay.

Alec likes Magnus.

Magnus likes Alec.

Alec doesn't want anyone to know he is gay.

Thus, he doesn't want anyone to know he likes Magnus.

Magnus is exasperated at this.

That is the basis of their relationship. Thankfully, we fix this later and get rid of the last three. So, we have.

Alec is gay.

Alec likes Magnus.

Magnus likes Alec.

And that is it. Not that I find anything wrong with this, but...come on. And later we have to create fake conflict for them, because we're running out of actual conflict and apparently even Clare is getting bored of writing the same thing over and over again.

Okay. This is cute.

So, besides Magnus's slightly creepyness and Alec's...generallyness...there isn't much there. I don't see why I should like them. I mean, they aren't annoying together or anything, but there just isn't...


There just isn't...



There, I said it! Okay, I said it!

Basically, after a while, I was just looking at the screen like,


Basically, what I'm saying?

Alec = Okay.

Magnus = Okay (kind of a creeper, but okay).

Alec + Magnus = x

x = [image error]

Okay. Now what?

Merged review:

Fans of The Immortal Instruments -- [image error]

I've decided to rate this 2 stars. That's all I can give it.

Here we go --

First thing's first


The meme that most describes him?

Yes. Jace is a jackass. That much of a jackass.

In fact, this meme doesn't even do Jace justice. Jace is the reason I hate this book. Jace is not just a jackass -- he is a gigantic asshole.

He bosses Clary around constantly, to the point where logic is twisted just so they can end up at the same place together. He thinks himself higher than everyone else, picks fights for no reason (to the point where he goes in a pub full of werewolves who just lost a cub(no older than fifteen) and berates them for feeling sad about this -- WTF?), and is a general awful person.

The worst part?

Because of his "BWWWAAADDDD PWWWAAASSSTTT" we're supposed to be sympathizing with this self absorbed FREAK! Let me tell you this, I don't give a flying banana leaf(yes, running out of euphemisms here) how tortured or depressed or loony this guy is, if he is an asshole he is an ASSHOLE, no questions asked! I am not going to excuse him for it because he has a little wangst material!

Don't get me wrong, Jace's life sucks, sure -- but I don't CARE. It can suck and suck and suck -- that doesn't give him an excuse to be such an asshole all of the time.

Everytime Jace comes up in the book, I want to curse at him. I want to kick him and scream at him. I WANT HIM DEAD IN THE GROUND.

Jace ruined this novel for me than anything else. The self absorbed jerk.


Actually, Clary isn't as annoying as I thought she was going to be. If she wasn't such a Mary Sue and a moron, maybe I could like her.


Let me give you the meme that describes Clary,

[image error]



Firstly, Clary is such a flaming Mary Sue.

She can create her own runes. Runes in this world are like spells in the Harry Potter world. Let's take Harry. Imagine he can create his won spells -- on the spot, mind you. Lets imagine they always work. Now, make his dad Voldemort. He's not a chosen one anymore, but his dad being Voldemort should make up for that, amirite?

Her own BROTHER wants her. As in, wants to mate with her. Wants to run away with her. Gross.

Secondly, she is an idiot.

And by idiot, I mean utter and complete moron.

"Clary could see why they were called the Fair Folk, for they were fair indeed with their pale lovely faces, their wings of lilac and gold and blue—how could she have believed Jace that they meant to harm her."

Can I roll my eyes? Just because they look prrrtttyyyy, THEY CAN'T HARM ANYONE??

She is a block of wood. A prop. I was surprised that the story was even told from her point of view. She is rarely active. The entire novel, everything is happening to her, which can get vastly annoying. She isn't as whiny as Jace, thankfully, and not nearly as much of a jackass. But she is just...a block of wood.

She is also a doormat. She lets everybody walk all over her -- and only protests when it has to do with Jace!

She had to be told FIVE TIMES not to touch the magical fairy drink that would keep her dancing forever. FIVE TIMES. You'd think that after that long living in such an unpredictable magical world, she would have gotten a little bit of common sense and thought "Oh God, maybe...just MAYBE...this isn't a good idea! Maybe I should listen when people who have lived in this world their entire lives talk to me!"

She never has any ideas. She never contributes anything. The only saving grace is her stupid rune making skills, which aren't used in the slightest to actually do important things.

Honestly, if Clary was cut out of this book and replaced with a plant, I doubt it would have made much of a difference.


A delicate mix between,




The first thing that set me off about him was that he seemingly popped out of nowhere, only to be a healing plot device.

Nobody had met him before, besides Alec.

EDIT! : Actually, as lovely Jillian corrected me below, they HAD known Magnus. This is odd to me, because from their reactions upon encountering them, it seemed like they had no idea who he was. Well, another reason as how I don't think very highly of Clare's writing skills. I don't care if I come into a book seventy volumes late -- there are some things I should be able to pick up! This happens to be one of them.

The second thing that set me off was when Alec sat on an end of a couch, only because (as Clare narrates) "it was as far away from him as possible". I get that this might have been because he didn't want anyone to think he was Magnus's boyfriend. I can deal with that.

But then we have number three.

"Mother." Alec's voice as he interrupted his mother was firm, implacable, and not unkind. "Father. There's something I have to tell you." He smiled at them. "I'm seeing someone."

Robert Lightwood looked at his son with some exasperation. "Alec," he said. "This is hardly the time."

"Yes, it is. This is important. You see, I'm not just seeing anyone." Words seemed to be pouring out of Alec in a torrent, while his parents looked on in confusion. Isabelle and Magnus were staring at him with expressions of nearly identical astonishment. "I'm seeing a Downworlder. In fact, I'm seeing a war—"

Magnus's fingers moved, quick as a flash of light, in Alec's direction. There was a faint shimmer in the air around Alec—his eyes rolled up—and he dropped to the floor, felled like a tree.

"Alec!" Maryse clapped her hand to her mouth. Isabelle, who had been standing closest to her brother, dropped down beside him. But Alec had already begun to stir, his eyelids fluttering open.

"Wha—what—why am I on the floor?"

"That's a good question." Isabelle glowered down at her brother. "What was that?"

"What was what?" Alec sat up, holding his head. A look of alarm crossed his face. "Wait— did I say anything? Before I passed out, I mean."

Jace snorted. "You know how we were wondering if that thing Clary did would work or not?" he asked. "It works all right."

Alec looked supremely horrified. "What did I say?"

"You said you were seeing someone," his father told him. "Though you weren't clear as to why that was important."

"It's not," Alec said. "I mean, I'm not seeing anyone. And it's not important. Or it wouldn't be if I was seeing someone, which I'm not."

Magnus looked at him as if he were an idiot. "Alec's been delirious," he said. "Side effect of some demon toxins. Most unfortunate, but he'll be fine soon."

Can someone tell me that making your boyfriend forget what he was saying when he was just about to admit to his parents that he was seeing you is NOT creeper behavior???



There is a problem when I type your villain's name into Google and get a bunch of hearts and people kissing.

However, I can move past this if your villain is actually menacing in the book. Valentine is not. I struggle to care about whatever he does. When Jace being an asshole outshines this guy murdering CHILDREN for some freaky power ritual, there is a problem.



Those were the biggest problems, characterwise, I had with this book.

The Runes

*sigh* It'd be nice if we could have actual RULES for these things. Like, levels of runes one can preform. What happens if you draw a wrong rune, what makes a rune -- you know, actual creative thought. Could we have explored this, when, I dunno, Clary was CREATING runes???

Too much to ask, I suppose.

Plot of the book
In pictures



Then some Jace angst.

Then some werewolves.

Then Jace being a jackass.
[image error]

Then some kissing. (Well, eventually anyway)

Then some...vampires? Well, somewhere in the story there are vampires.

Then, more boredom.

Give or take more werewolves, more Jace being a jackass, Clary idiocy, and LOTS and LOTS of boredom...

And then we get a bad guy showdown...

It's a hell of a lot less interesting that that, though. More like this,


And that's pretty much it.

Oh, more kissing though.

I am bored...

So, I will end this review. I've pretty much hit the nail on the hammer with everything that annoyed me anyway.



I will state what I like.


Maia was one girl who I liked. She was interesting, she didn't stand around and do nothing -- she acknowledged Jace as an asshole and didn't try and throw him pity parties because he had a hard time -- she fought (most) of her own battles, and wasn't an annoying and whiny brat.


Maia and Simon

Simon himself wasn't enough to get me to like him. He was a quipster, mostly, and his quipsterness with Maia's general awesomeness is a win. Her personality can suffice for his.

I liked them together. They had chemistry. They had something. I liked how the "Children of Night" and "Children of Moon" finally got along -- to show that, HEY, we DON'T have to hate each other just because our ancestors did.

That, was a win!

Things I didn't Mind










Over all, this book wasn't my cup of tea. And I would not recommend it to anyone. BUT that doesn't mean there aren't some things that I DO like about it. Like Maia. And Simon.

Woo. That was long.

If You Are Enraged at My Review, Read This!

This if my personal opinion and IF you feel like making a rebuttal to my points, please feel free to do so. However, I'd appreciate it if you refrained from ad-homenim attacks (aka Namecalling), saying I "don't get it" or "don't liek don't read". I'd really appreciate that.


How I became a devoted Jace/Simon shipper
(Excerpt from the book.)
Jace sank to his knees, still holding Simon's shoulder. He thought hopelessly of Clary, of her pain when she found out, of the way she'd crushed his hands in hers, so much strength in those small fingers. 'Find Simon. I know you will.'

And he had. But it was too late.

When Jace was ten, his father had explained to him all the ways to kill vampires. Stake them. Cut their heads off and set them to burning like eerie jack-o'-lanterns. Let the sun scorch them to ashes. Or drain their blood. They needed blood to live, they ran on it, like cars ran on gasoline.

Looking at the ragged wound in Simon's throat, it wasn't hard to see what Valentine had done. Jace reached out to close Simon's staring eyes. If Clary had to see him dead, better she not see him like this. He moved his hand down to the collar of Simon's shirt, meaning to tug it up, to cover the gash.

Simon moved. His eyelids twitched and opened, his eyes rolled back to the whites. He gurgled then, a faint sound, lips curling back, showing the points of vampire fangs. The breath rattled in his slashed throat. Nausea rose in the back of Jace's throat, his hand tightening on Simon's collar. He wasn't dead. But God, the pain, it must be incredible. He couldn't heal, couldn't regenerate, not

Not without blood. Jace let go of Simon's shirt and dragged his right sleeve up with his teeth. Using the jagged tip of the broken strut, he slashed a deep cut lengthwise down his wrist. Blood gushed to the surface of the skin. He dropped the strut; it hit the metal floor with a clang. He could smell his own blood in the air, sharp and coppery.

He looked down at Simon, who hadn't moved.

The blood was running down Jace's hand now, his wrist stinging. He held it out over Simon's face, letting the blood drip down his fingers, spill onto Simon's mouth. There was no reaction. Simon wasn't moving. Jace moved closer; he was kneeling over Simon now, his breath making white puffs in the icy air.

He leaned down, pressed his bleeding wrist against Simon's mouth. "Drink my blood, idiot," he whispered. "Drink it."

For a moment nothing happened. Then Simon's eyes fluttered shut. Jace felt a sharp sting in his wrist, a sort of pull, a hard pressure—and Simon's right hand flew up and clamped onto Jace's arm, just above the elbow. Simon's back arched off the floor, the pressure on Jace's wrist
Profile Image for  Teodora .
329 reviews1,777 followers
February 12, 2023
3.25/5 ⭐

Full review on my Blog: The Dacian She-Wolf 🐺

I honestly have no idea what’s wrong either with this series or with me or with the both of us but...we don’t really have chemistry. Why? Dunno. I don’t really feel all the everything that’s going on there.

The thing is, I feel like nothing really happens in there and this second book has almost the same pattern as City of Bones : the bad guy wants something, he raises a whole army to get it, he gets it, the good guys get involved and fight the bad guy, the bad guy escapes and takes the priceless somethings with him aaaand at the very end of the book there is something ploty-twisty to make you go shit, now I want to read and see what’s happening.

I really felt the emotion of meh while reading this (because, you see, “meh” is an actual emotion).


The world is still quite cool. I mean, it doesn’t resemble anything I’ve managed to read before. I give it points for the strange uniqueness, but it is definitely something there that seems a bit hard to touch. I have moments in life when I am a doubting Thomas so I need to be able to feel a thing in order to believe in its existence. The world here feels at times too vaporous to properly touch.

Another good thing about this book was how funny it was. I mean, I had moments when I started laughing out loud because the lines were so witty and I loved that, especially Jace’s lines (because he is so damn sassy all the time) and some of Simon’s (who always has the classic nerdy comebacks).

Besides all that good, I really must say that for now, the baddest of the bad is the romance in this series. It is kind of lame and it kind of annoys me. I am really rooting for Alec and Magnus to save everything though.

The rest of the romance in there…girl stahp.


I do think there is going to be some upgrading there because I seriously doubt Cassie Clare would leave things this awkward. I feel a twist coming, don’t know when, but I’m sure as hell it’s there. The romance is going to alter its cringe, I can feel it!!

(Please note that I haven’t seen the TV adaptations nor do I read spoilers about what’s going to happen so stay with me here).

Also, a last cool thing about this book is the Seelie Court of the Faeries world building. That was for sure where Holly Black got her own skeleton-world from for the Faerieland in The Folk of the Air trilogy (which I loved so much and what’s happening here is amazing).
I don’t know, I find it so great when authors help authors grow like hey sis, would you mind helping me with this shit, you’re pretty good at it – oh yeah, sure girl, let’s do this together, I’ll show you.

So, this book felt kind of meh overall, but it had some pretty great details that I enjoyed and this is why it wasn’t a complete waste of my time.
Profile Image for The Burning Rose (Jess).
162 reviews369 followers
January 13, 2020
2019: 4.5/5 stars. It was a fun read. My opinion hasn’t changed since the last time I read the book- Simon, I love you <3
In addition, I must point out that I am really not a fan of Clace. They annoy me, especially in this book. Too bad most of the book was around them. I couldn't enjoy Isabelle, Alec or Magnus because they aren't so much in this book. I actually really miss them.
I hope Clary's character grows up already, as there were quite a few passages where I wanted to fucking slap her.
Ugh... and I need more Malec.
2016: 5/5 stars. This book was much better than the first. And I love Simon.
Profile Image for Chelsea Humphrey.
1,480 reviews79k followers
March 10, 2018
4.5 STARS ❤️

I keep sitting down to write a full (read-long) review of this book because I enjoyed it so much, but I struggle so hard on writing my thoughts for sequels in a long running series. I know I'm not supposed to include spoilers in them (even though this book is older than both of my children's ages combined), so it's tough to talk about a book to readers involved in The Mortal Instruments. Either you've already read the book and likely are not looking for any additional insights into the story, or you haven't read it yet and don't want to know any specifics for a book that is farther down the line than where you're at. Whatever the case, I'll just leave it at this: I loved City Of Ashes and am grateful for it's slump-snatching abilities to pull me out of the dark reading hole I was in. I know I'm older than the target audience here, but I applaud Cassie Clare for her inclusion of diversity at a time that it really wasn't politically correct to do so in YA lit.

Wish me luck; I'm trying to catch up on all of these books by the time Queen of Air and Darkness releases!
Profile Image for Candace.
1,176 reviews4,330 followers
July 9, 2017
Picking up where 'City of Bones' left off, 'City of Ashes' doesn't waste any time before plunging you right back into this supernatural world. This book was packed with action and adventure. With ever-changing information and plenty of teenage angst, this cast of characters tries to stay one step ahead of Valentine, making for a highly entertaining read.

Still reeling from the news that they're siblings, Jace and Clary struggle with their feelings toward one another. Awkward doesn't begin to describe the dynamic between these two after that cat was let out of the bag. Maybe it's just my wishful thinking, but I'm betting that somewhere down the road we'll find out that they aren't really siblings after all. I just refuse to believe that they won't end up together.

While the blooming romance between Jace and Clary came to an abrupt and uncomfortable halt, Simon steps out of the shadows. With Jace out of his way, Simon decides to pursue his feelings for Clary. He's always wanted to be more than just her friend and now is his chance.

Soon, Simon finds himself experiencing a major, and unexpected, life change. Nothing will ever be the same for him. He is forever changed, as is his relationship with Clary and everyone he's ever held dear.

Like Simon, Clary and Jace begin to discover changes within themselves. Valentine made it clear that they were "different", but didn't give any details. Little by little, they begin to figure out some of their unique abilities. Although it is early-on in this series, it is evident that they are powerful and their full strength is as of yet unknown.

Overall, I thought this was a great continuation of this series. I am enjoying these characters more and more as the story evolves. I don't know what is in store for them, but am certain that we've not seen the last of Valentine yet. I'm on to the next audiobook now.
Profile Image for Elle.
34 reviews844 followers
January 5, 2011
Well that was awkward.


But before we head down the path of outrageous incest, I will say that City of Ashes was better than City of Bones. The pace was an improvement on that of the latter. Simon was still awesome as ever. I also felt that Ms Clare branched out a wee bit with her creativity with the Vampire transformation stuff, (except that I knew it was coming thanks to a certain Filipino minx who spilt the beans in a comment. You know who you are).

As for the abomination that is the Clary/Jace lustfest: Well, it’s a good thing I have a good gag reflex.

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Listen. Goodreaders. I’m no prude. In fact I am NOTHING if not open minded.
But I’m sorry. No one fancies their own brother. No one.
I understand that they didn’t realise they were related until after the forbidden lust developed. But there is no goddamn way in Vegas that the two of them wouldn’t recoil from each other in utter repulsion upon making this discovery.

I’m no more inclined to accept this nonsense than I am to suddenly believe that I am Kate Moss.

Now before you get all Captain Obvious on me: I too can spot the hints that they may not actually be related in the afterall. This is not the effing point! The point is: THEY DON’T KNOW THAT!

Not the point
Profile Image for megs_bookrack.
1,605 reviews10.7k followers
December 18, 2022

City of Ashes, the second installment in Cassie Clare's beloved Mortal Instruments series, has officially sealed the deal:

I am a Shadowhunter fan.

Someone is murdering Downworlder children in New York City; Clary's hometown.

Clary and crew, fear that the evil Valentine, the Darth Vader of the Shadowhunter realm, may be behind the brutal killings.

But how can they prove it, find him and most importantly, stop him?

I love how Clare continues to build out the world in this sequel. The stakes are higher and the action never stops.

There is so much drama, so much angst, one wildly inappropriate relationship, witty banter, dark humor, Magnus Bane, werewolves, magical runes, and so much more.

What is not to love about that!?

I am so looking forward to continuing on with this series and the rest of the Shadowhunters Chronicles!

Profile Image for Cara.
279 reviews719 followers
August 27, 2016
I didn't go online, hardly talked, didn't eat (ok so I did eat), didn't watch TV just so I could finish this book. So basically I spent the whole day reading and I'm just bursting at the seams to read the next one.

The tension in the book is so great that you feel like the characters are literally going to break from the strain. Clary's mother is still in a coma and her relationships with Simon and Jace are fragile. At one point you just feel so down for everyone. Clary seemed to be getting in the way sometimes. Like she is more a liability rather than an asset. No worries in the end we get to see some real gumption from her. It's ever changing who is my favorite. I'll be thinking Isabelle is my favorite wait...no Max he's really cute but....Luke is great...then again Simon is just so painfully loyal , so I still don't have a clear favorite. I think it's because each and everyone of the characters have their own great scenes, so it's close to impossible to choose.

We see the same quick action sequences, same hilarious sarcastic remarks, and the same heart. Granted it can get over dramatic but that's why we are all reading it! I just think it's precious how with all their shadowhunter abilities they still have to rely on mundane technology, like cell phones. I must say they find themselves in some pretty sticky situations; the people and the cell phones. Jace is growing on me and Valentine is definitely getting more evil. One thing that kind of bothered me was that Valentine doesn't seem too clever. He hasn't done anything like WOW I didn't see that coming. He is suppose to be overthrowing the whole Clave, so he's got to be ultra smart right? Another little irk I had was when Simon was gone for the whole night or a good chunk of the day from his house, we never see the explanation he gives his mom. In the real world he would have to deal with that, but as the reader I get the impression that his mom doesn't care. I doubt that's the case though. Oh and does everything have to taste, smell, and look like metal? Just saying...

We are getting some serious hints that Jace's lineage is not what we think it is and I'm glad to see Simon trying to be the bigger person, however hard that may be. I definitely thought the second one was better than the first. New characters, more knowledge, and closer to seeing how this is all going to turn out. Bring it on because I'm ready for more!
Profile Image for shady boots.
500 reviews2,041 followers
April 30, 2012
I can't do it. I just can't.

Screw this series.

My problem with this series isn't the writing. I'm not one to judge books by the writing since I am pretty terrible at it myself. My problem also isn't exactly the story, which I probably could like. Sort of. I think. I don't know. But anyways, my main problem isn't any of that.

It's the characters.

How can you continue with a series when you feel nothing but pure hatred towards the characters? They all just infuriated me to no end. Jace Wayland especially. He was nothing but a painfully arrogant jackass.

I tried to give this series a chance, but that was pretty much the last straw. I simply will not continue on with it, and guess what?

Profile Image for Melanie.
1,172 reviews98.8k followers
July 20, 2018
1.) City of Bones ★★★

“You are an arrow shot directly into the heart of the Clave, Jace. You are Valentine’s arrow. Whether you know it or not.”

I recently did a poll on Twitter, asking people if I should continue on with this series, or just throw in the towel and read Lady Midnight. I will say that the majority vote was for me to just skip it all, but so many of my best friends wrote to me and pleaded with me not to. So, here I am, continuing on.

I truly enjoyed City of Bones more than City of Ashes, which, I’m not going to lie, scares me for City of Glass, but I’m going to read it anyway. I just felt like this book has too many Harry Potter parallels. From the use of Fenrir Greyback to help Valentine justify being a bigot, to Valentine’s just general quest to collect horcrux-like items. Even the scene with him and Jace where Jace is screaming “I’m nothing like you!” I just felt like I could really see the Harry Potter fanfic shining through, honestly. And it made for a lot less enjoyable reading experience.

“A pair of werewolves occupied another booth. They were eating raw shanks of lamb and arguing about who would win in a fight: Dumbledore from the Harry Potter books or Magnus Bane.”

But you know what I did like? The Queen of Faerie and her entire underworld quote. You all, I was living for that entire chapter, and twisted as the end became. I was on the edge of my chair reading. Completely falling in love with the imagery. From the morbid dancing, to the fae feast, to the inability to lie yet to twists words like no one else. I was living for it. And I personally love Seelie and Unseelie fae courts, and it was just everything I wanted. If the entire book was set there I would have given it an easy five stars.

So, in my review for City of Bones, I did this little breakdown for each character, and I really enjoyed it! I think I’m going to try to continue on for all of Cassie’s books!

Clary - I still don’t think I dislike her as much as many, but she’s just mediocre if I’m being honest. Not a very interesting main character. And *unpopular opinion* she does Simon dirty.

Jace - Meanwhile, Jace just wants to do Clary, dirtily. Like, I am really trusting you all that what is going on isn’t real, but I can’t believe I didn’t get an answer in book two. I’m still side-eyeing all of you. But especially Jace, because that boy does not care. All the Joe Dirt vibes. Also, just in general, Jace does a lot of shitty things in this book (more on that later).

Simon - I felt like I was on a roller-coaster ride this book with Simon. But, I honestly like him. I am not here for any part of this weird triangle, but Simon is the best point, in my opinion. Also, he got a whole hell of a lot more interesting in this book. And I actually really like the Jewish rep in this book, all because of Simon.

Isabelle - Has a sidepiece fae guard boyfriend and talk about goals. I love her. Easily my favorite character with…

Magnus - My bisexual, Asian love! The star of this series, I swear to God. I legit was tearing up at the end when he used his powers to… take a swim. Lord, help me. What a confirmed angel. I will say though, when they said he was over one-hundred-years-old in this book, I kind of took a step back and paused, since he is starting a relationship with someone who isn’t even eighteen yet. Like, I don’t want to get shit for this, but, like, that feels bad and honestly skeevy. And he might have the body of a younger person, but him and Alec’s mindsets are lightyears apart. And even though I love Magnus on his own, I truly don’t love his relationship with Alec. At least not right now in the story. Which I know is a very unpopular opinion. Please, don’t hate me.

Alec - Annoying green-eyed monster. I’m sorry, friends! I know how much you all love him, but, like, no. I guess he was a bit better in this book, but I just really don’t seem to like him like everyone else.

Max - Izzy and Alec’s little brother, and a totally sweetie. He was mentioned in City of Bones, but I feel like this was the book that I actually got to see his character.

Luke - You all, I love Luke. And the end of this book? When he has accepted his life as it is, just to have Clary’s mom in it. Too pure. Luke is probably my fourth favorite character and is a shining light after seeing all these teenagers doing dumb things constantly.

Maia - I actually really liked the introduction of this new werewolf girl, even though my heart was breaking constantly for her. I don’t know how I feel about Simon’s instant feelings, but I like Maia a lot and can’t wait to read more about her!

Imogen - This character just pissed me off mostly, but I feel like I should mention her mostly because of the last name “Herondale” and how I know you all go buck-wild over a person named Will Herondale that I haven’t met yet! But, it was probably pointless of me to bring this character up.

Valentine - The Voldemort vibes were abundant in this one. But he also felt like a mustache twirling and finger tapping villain, too. And he’s obviously playing all these kids.

Okay, everything else in my review is going to be kind of spoilery. Nothing major, and no huge plot points or anything, but just things that really bothered me and I kind of want to talk about. And, they are all about Jace.

First off, Jace outs Alec and it was so gross and made me so uncomfortable. In front of Clary and Simon, while Luke and Maia are also in the house. And the whole scene is painted like Jace is doing “good” by “not caring” and “wanting Alec to be honest with him” when Alec is obviously unhappy and very uncomfortable. And then after, he expected Magnus to "step up" and confirm that he was seeing Alec. Like, all of Chapter Twelve was disgusting, and it was all because of Jace.

Trigger and content warnings for abuse, bullying, murder, death, abduction, captivity, outing someone, and incestuous things (that is probably going to end up not being incest, but it still told in a way where it looks like incest).

“The greatest fear in Jonathan’s life is the love he feels for his sister.”

Okay, I’m just going to say it. Jace is totally, 100%, without question, okay with fucking Clary while he thinks she is his sister. Now, I’m hoping, and praying, and really thinking that this fandom, and all my friends, wouldn’t want me to read this series if they knew incest was truly in it. But, this book had me shook. Jace legitimately does not care. He even says at one point that no one has to know and that they can just keep it a secret. Like, Lord, clean my eyes, please. I can only imagine what all you where thinking, reading this for the first time, being little kids.

The last thing I guess doesn’t really have much to do with Jace, but actually Valentine. Why did he have to specifically choose the blood sacrifice victims that he did? I mean, the spell legit only called for the blood of children of the four houses (warlock, werewolf, vampire, and fae), why did he have to keep going after two of the most important and watched over ones? He could have legit got any random one off the streets and been a thousand times more successful.

Overall, I didn’t love this one, and I know I sound kind of negative in the paragraphs above, but I did have fun while reading this. I mostly liked every scene without Jace being problematic, and I read it in under twenty-four hours! Yet, I do like this world! And I think that the whole topic of “downworlders” and how people can believe that others have “not as pure blood” is something that I think is still damn important to be talking about in 2018. I will for sure continue on with City of Glass, and hopefully I will enjoy it more!

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Profile Image for She-who-must-not-be-named .
180 reviews1,241 followers
May 7, 2021
Warning ⚠: This book may give you a headache. Mind you, not just any headache. I-want-to-bang-my-head-against-a-wall kind of headache.

Being stuck in traffic, slow Wi-Fi, freezing laptop/phone, noisy neighbours and screaming children annoy the shit out of me. That was before I read this book.

There are so many things that drove me insane, which one do I choose?

📌Extremely sulky female protagonist a.k.a Clary?
📌 Lovers-to-siblings trope or is it Lovers-to-siblings-to-lovers trope? (It was atleast better in Star Wars)
📌 Shallow and not-so-villainy villain?
📌 Clary's stupidity?
📌 Melodramatic plot?

Guess I'll choose them all.

*I will elaborate when my head doesn't ache much*
Profile Image for jessica.
2,555 reviews35.5k followers
May 18, 2019
i am pushing through this. slowly, but i promise, i am. i really hope i dont end up resenting this series by the end of it. right now, im not hating it. but i still cant find anything worth immediately loving.

like 'city of bones,' im still not terribly impressed with the writing and the characters are pretty meh (although, alec has significantly grown on me!). but there seems to be something that is keeping me from hating this completely. is it because i need answers? are jace and clary actually related?! who is jace really!? the level of mystery is intriguing, i will admit. but it still feels like these books are missing something.

i am still keeping an open mind. and since reading COB, i have been told this is her weakest series, so i dont feel too bad for not loving this implicitly. but on to book three, i guess. wish me luck!

3 stars
Profile Image for Tharindu Dissanayake.
287 reviews557 followers
July 27, 2022
"Usually, I'm remarkably good-natured. Try me on any day that doesn't end in y."

It wasn't until I picked up City of Bones I had really experienced how damaging the hype could be for one's reading experience. Sure, there had been disappointments before, but not like this. Given how well received Cassandra Clare is, I had saved her for last (with the exception of Sanderson, which I'm hoping to jump in to next) but didn't expect something shockingly bland like this...


In my preview review, one of the GR friends said that this series is 'such a cliché' and I think that comment sums it up perfectly: unless this is one of your first fantasy series, the story is going to look as it lacks any originality. Take away the repetitive descriptions of the same characters' facial features, body language etc., and you have a quite short story. Speaking of characters, with the exception of Magnus Bane perhaps, were underwhelming, and it was only the fast pace and sheer entertainment that kept me going till the end.


As I'm now done with the first three books of MI, seeing there's not much improvement in second or third books, I'm doing a single review for all three at once. I know I'm probably in the minority here, but when it comes to fantasy, I like when romance is only a small part of the overall experience. Though the author had sorted things out by the end of book three, I wasn't much entertained by the way she handled any of Clary's relationships. To me, introducing 'obvious' love triangles is a way to lengthen a book unnecessarily, unless of course the author is a master in using it to better the fantasy elements themselves (which is clearly not the case here).


Though somewhat corny, the humor was somewhat acceptable, but the storytelling was not as great as I had imagined it would be based on the high rating. For me, it lacked that harmony which is essential in keeping the world building, plot, and characters in sync. At times, the narrative's viewpoint was all over the place, breaking the emotional flow.


On the plus side though, the author did manage to see me sailing through all three books of this first half of MI, and then steering towards Infernal Devices to see what's all the fuss is about there. So she's doing something right.

"Everyone has choices to make; no one has the right to take those choices away from us. Not even out of love."
Profile Image for destiny ♡ howling libraries.
1,737 reviews5,279 followers
September 5, 2018
#1 City of Bones ★★★★☆
#2 City of Ashes ★★★☆☆
#3 City of Glass ★★★★☆
#4 City of Fallen Angels ★★★★★
#5 City of Lost Souls ★★★★★
#6 City of Heavenly Fire

I was originally going to give this installment 4 stars like I did with the first one, but after I thought about it for a while (er… the two freaking months it took me to get around to reviewing it, that is), I ultimately decided that I couldn’t really justify it, no matter how much I loved the ending. You see, my problem with Ashes is that, while the last 20% or so is fantastic, everything leading up to that point is booooring. That said, this review won’t be as in-depth as my Bones review was, so I apologize for skimming over things a bit more, but “meh” reviews are really tough for me to write! (Anyone else?)

“I don’t want to be a man,” said Jace. “I want to be an angst-ridden teenager who can’t confront his own inner demons and takes it out verbally on other people instead.”

The angst is real in this book, and I don’t mind teenage angst at all—in fact, I’m often quite the sucker for it—but it never felt legitimate in this series? Maybe I’m jaded because I came into the series so late. Maybe, had I read these books when they were brand new and I didn’t have a clue what was coming, I would be crying right alongside these characters and eating it up, but as it stands, I just kept kind of doing that “hurry up” gesture towards my book and rolling my eyes a bit.

“I’ve got a stele we can use. Who wants to do me?”
“A regrettable choice of words,” muttered Magnus.

We also spend a lot of time with a lot of new characters in this one, whether it’s the Lightwood parents, some vicious old Shadowhunters, Fae folk, more demons, or members of Luke’s pack. I enjoyed the introductions of the newbies, but sometimes, it felt like characters were being introduced for the sole purpose of acting as props, rather than actually being fleshed out fully. One character in particular that I’m hoping we see more three-dimensionality from in the future is Maia, because her sassy little self had my heart from the get-go and I wanted more time with her.

“Is standing by the window muttering about blood something he does all the time?” asked Simon.
“No,” Jace said. “Sometimes he sits on the couch and does it.”

Another thing that was a huge positive for this book is how much time we got to spend exploring the more magical “Downworld” side of things, whether it was meeting the Fae people under the lake, or seeing Magnus show off as the incredible warlock he is. Magnus Bane might actually be my favorite character so far—since he hangs out with the teens, it can be hard for me to keep in mind that he is this incredibly old, powerful being, so whenever he gets the chance to remind everyone, I’m so here for his fabulous bisexual self.

“I thought I’d lie on the floor and writhe in pain for a while,” he grunted. “It relaxes me.”

Of course, my favorite thing about this book is the same as what I enjoyed most in Bones—no matter what your thoughts on Cassie’s writing are, you have to admit that she writes really adorable, hilarious banter, and watching the characters interact with each other is so much fun. The one-liners and snarky remarks alone are enough to keep me coming back for more, and in case you hadn’t already guessed, I will most certainly be picking up the third book in the series as soon as I get the chance. A lot of people have told me the second book is their least favorite and that it’s all uphill from here, so I cannot wait to see what comes next.

You can find this review and more on my blog, or you can follow me on twitter, bookstagram, or facebook!
Profile Image for demi. ♡.
206 reviews276 followers
August 24, 2019
❥ 1 / 5 stars - DNF @ 39%

I’m done. I couldn’t continue it. This is too boring and some characters are super annoying especially Clary and Jace. I found no reason why I should love these two although they are two main characters of the series. I almost DNF it once since 1/5 of the book when Clary and Simon had just kissed and then, she thought of her kiss with Jace and compared them. My mind was like ‘What’s wrong with you, Clary?’ ‘You learned the truth that Jace is your brother and you still think of him that way when you’re with Simon?’ No. No. No. Though it was freaking obvious that they weren’t siblings, I couldn’t stand it. If you want Jace that much, just go to him. Not thinking of him while you’re with someone else. I really tried to finish this book again but I can’t. Sorry. I don’t give a xxxx about this series anymore.
Profile Image for emma.
1,865 reviews54.3k followers
August 4, 2022
conspiracy theory: cassandra clare was put under a curse to get as close to making a book interesting as possible without getting there.

like, a whole book of badass shadow-magic people, but all of them are annoying teenagers with incest subplots, and the plot is so slow it takes a hundred years to read, for example.

part of a series i'm doing in which i review books i read a long time ago
Profile Image for Baba.
3,615 reviews985 followers
September 20, 2022
The Mortal Instruments book No. 2: Rereading this with gloss coming off, was not as fun as my first reading. This continues from the first book, with Clary's mother ill; Clary involved with an interesting and quite daring love triangle, and then some; and Valentine's quest for the Mortal Instruments. I do like the urban fantasy reality and the detail around, and character development of, the supporting characters; what I don't like is how the 'love stories' over dominate the series so much that the jeopardy I should feel for the characters in what at times are very dark events, is watered down knowing in a page or two, we're going to be reading about someone's romantic feelings again. I would say this being such a strongly romance led fantasy is probably what made it so popular with its intended audience. :) 6 out of 12.

2022 read; 2017 read
Profile Image for Hamad.
1,047 reviews1,379 followers
January 15, 2019
This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found @The Book Prescription

“I’ve heard the word ‘fear’. I simply choose to believe it doesn’t apply to me.”

🌟 Let’s start this review by spilling some tea; you probably know that this book may have started as a Harry Potter fanfiction and that it has been controversial for the author for years now! I may have noticed some similarities but it didn’t affect my overall view of the book.

🌟 Long story short is that I enjoyed Book 1 more than this one. It is known that middle books in a series usually suck and that they are bridges to the finale in a trilogy and this was the case here too! I hope book 3 is good again. But I am not blaming Cassie’s second book in her debut trilogy so I am still willing to give this series a chance!

🌟 The writing is as good as book 1, I didn’t feel there was an improvement yet and I didn’t expect to! I love sarcastic characters because that’s how we talk. Let’s face it, we are not deep beings that always know the right thing to say! We do and say a plenty of shitty stuff and that’s normal

“We came to see Jace. Is he alright?”
“I don’t know,” Magnus said. “Does he normally just lie on the floor like that without moving?”

🌟 But what I didn’t like this time was the repetitiveness and how it was full of poisonous creatures and magical healing moments! I rolled my eyes every time that happened after a while. I also think it could have been shorter.

🌟 The Characters are becoming better and growing on me! My favorites are Alec, Magnus and Simon. Jace is improving and I love how they keep roasting him to humble him. I also don’t need to be reminded how beautiful is he every few chapters!

🌟 The series has a kind of a good pacing and it is addicting??!
Despite the negative things I said, I didn’t feel like I wanted to DNF it, I wanted to know what happens and I want to know what will happen. So basically the pacing is good but we don’t need repetition.

🌟 Summary: The book had improvements on some areas while it suffered from middle book syndrome in others. I preferred the first book but I think there is a good chance it will get better. I didn’t see the HP similarities that clearly but I can relate to people who saw them. I ended up giving it 2.5 out of 5 stars!
Profile Image for Beth.
744 reviews575 followers
February 9, 2023
"It’s not just that someone belongs to you, it’s that you give yourself to them.”

A year long, shadowhunter buddy read with my fellow Will Herondale lover? What’s not to love!

It’s with a heavy heart that I’m giving this 4 stars don’t get me wrong I love CASSANDRA CLARE so much. She’s 1000000000% my favourite author. This was initially a five stars for me when I first read this book, but there’s this nagging feeling in me that really really hates the whole Simon - Clary - Jace triangle, and Clary frustrates me so much with the fact that she is undeniably using Simon as a distraction, and I’m not here for that. That is my main issue with this book.

I never like to start off a review with negativity, but I feel like I had to explain why I knocked it down a star. However there are a lot more positives than negatives in this book. I loved the slow building throughout, the introduction of Maia, more shadowhunters, and other changes with other characters, that I won’t mention just in case anyone hasn’t read, but it’s a big thing for this one! There are so many things I enjoyed, we see the building of friendships, relationships and others realising certain things throughout the journey of the story that was unfolded. There was a slow burn as things came to light and the building up to the final chapters was so intense I didn’t want to put it down!

This was completely action packed, we got a lot of Demons this time round and we can see the damage they can inflict, the book started off dark, and it sets it up perfectly for what is to come. The action chapters were so well done, and you get such descriptive detail that you can really picture yourself there. Not only that but we see more of what Jace and Clary can actually do, and it’s so interesting to learn (I haven’t read these books in years and I’d forgot some aspects of the book, which is even better!).


”You are an arrow shot directly into the heart of the Clave, Jace. You are Valentine’s arrow. Whether you know it or not.

Whilst reading this time around I’ve noticed a lot more in relation to Jace, I can’t say I was his greatest fan, but now reading it for a second time (and not comparing him to my precious Will) I’ve noticed there’s so much more to him. Now don’t get me wrong, he is arrogant, but underneath that, there’s such a vulnerable side, and from the way he has been brought up you can’t help but empathise with him and realise he’s like that for a specific reason. I really enjoy his sarcasm this time around and just how much he cares for other people.

Lets not lie… I’m still not the fondest of Clary so far she has just really got on my last nerve, there’s times when I really like her, and others where I’m like GIRL. I enjoy how she’s embracing who she really is, and wanting to go out and do something about it. However I just don’t like how she treats Simon, it’s as though if she can’t have him, no one can. It’s not fair! Going forward with the epilogue I’m actually looking forward to seeing how Clary is in the following books, hopefully I’ll like her more.

During CITY OF BONES I really wasn’t fond of Simon however this time around, I liked him SO much more. Lets be honest, he goes through a rough time in this book, coming to terms with certain things and what not. I think this is where we see him grow as a character, he takes the higher road in some aspects, and I was actually proud of him in many situations. Just rooting him on!

Then we have Maia, Alec, Izzy, Luke and Magnus. It was a great introduction to Maia, I like how sassy she is. Izzy is undeniably so loving and protective over her family. I love how headstrong she is in relation to Jace and never ever doubts him. Luke is such a good father figure, I love how he takes responsibility for everyone and is just so protective. Alec really stepped out of his shell in this book. He was SO good this time around! We see him break the rules, try on a fearless rune (literally my favourite thing ever with him trying to confront his parents, I’m still laughing) but we see him more accepting and not as bitter which is always a plus. Then finally we get more of Magnus! I LOVE Magnus as a character, there’s just something so special about him, that you can’t actually dislike him! It just upsets me that people don’t call him by his name…

I love how evil Valentine is. I really do, it’s always good when you know how evil the “bad guy” character is, he loves to twists things and really has a way with words. He likes to always think he’s right and then will make the other person feel the same way. He’s so evil and I am here for it!

What I liked?
- Maia’s backstory and how she overcame certain situations in her life.
- The chapter in relation to the City of the Bones, I was on the edge of my seat!
- We got to see the Seelie Court, GURL I love me some fae, and the descriptions? Living.
- Alecs trust in Jace, I just love a good friendship.
- When Jace was upset that his Shirt was torn, and not the fact demons attacked. I was howling!
- Jace calling Simon by his name, I felt so proud and was like FINALLY!
- We see glimpses into Malec and my heart is here for it!

What I didn’t like?
- I’m not here for the triangle I’m afraid
- I need more Izzy!

Overall, I’m enjoying my re-read of the series, hopefully I won’t be on the verge of tearing my hair out over this triangle and I can’t wait to read City of Glass next month.

”If you really love something, you never try to keep it the way it is forever. You have to let it be free to change.”

Re-Read 03.11.2022

Ahhhhh, honestly everytime I re-read all things shadowhunter, I just get a wave of nostalgia. You can tell just how YA this is (I still have the feels and love it though). When I re-read this I noticed a lot that made things veryyyy convenient for example the fear rune, Simon becoming a vampire etc. I still love it though sooooo...

All Cassandra Clare Reviews:

The Infernal Devices
Clockwork Angel - 5 Stars
Clockwork Prince - 5 Stars
Clockwork Princess - 5 Stars

The Infernal Devices (Manga) Reviews:
Clockwork Angel - 5 Stars
Clockwork Prince - 5 Stars
Clockwork Princess - 5 Stars

The Last Hours
Chain of Gold - 4 Stars
Chain of Iron - 5 Stars
Chain of Thorns - 4 Stars

The Mortal Instruments
City of Bones - 5 Stars
City of Ashes - 4 Stars
City of Glass - 4 Stars
City of Fallen Angels - 2 Stars
City of Lost Souls - 3 Stars
City of Heavenly Fire - 4 Stars

The Eldest Curses
The Red Scrolls of Magic - 3 Stars

The Dark Artifices
Lady Midnight - 5 Stars
Lord of Shadows - 5 Stars
Queen of Air and Darkness - 5 Stars
May 25, 2017
4 Family Matters Stars

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Short and sweet so I can get to the next book. Wow City of Ashes was action packed and full of teenage angst. And I loved it! I feel this book focused a lot on Simon and all the changes that happen to him. I liked seeing the character growth in this book for Clary, Jace, Simon, Alec, and Izzy. I really didn't like Maryse, I felt like she really let Jace down. Poor Jace it was like no one loved Jace. Everyone turned their back on him or let him down even Clary. All he wants is to be loved! Clary had it hard too. I understand where she was coming from. She loved Jace but can't be with him and she loves Simon like a brother but he wants more and she feels like she needs to give that to him. She really had some emotional stuff to deal with. I felt like Jace really maned up in this book. He stepped up and did some great things especially for Simon. My hate for Valentine(or as I like to call him Paranormal Hitler) grew by leaps and bounds in this book. Cassandra Clare did a great job of writing a evil,psychopathic, bigot bad guy. I flew through this book in one day. I got nothing done today but feeding my children lol. I just couldn't put it down. Great read. Now I am on to the next book and I can't wait to see what happens next!

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Profile Image for Khurram.
1,661 reviews6,660 followers
January 16, 2023
I really enjoyed this book. There are parts of the book that are brilliant, then then there are parts that are just ok. The main reason I could not give this book 5 stars is parts of seemed rushed (if that is possible in a 411 page book).

The book is divided into 3 sections. In the first Cassandra a does a great job of of writing the emotional states of all the characters. Clary and Jace's emotional upheaval at the revelation they are actually brother and sister. Clary seemed to be trying to handle this by staying away from the shadow hunter world, and Jace in general. Simon (already completely in love with Clary) is providing a willing distraction. This is an example of being rushed Clary and Simon, go from a heat of the moment kiss to being called Simon's "girlfriend" to asking Simon to spend the night in her bed the same day.

Meanwhile Jace is channeling his emotional trauma into battle leading his "family" into battle after battle with powerful demons (note we are told this is what he has been doing but after he is returning from the last encounter). We meet the rest of the Lightwood family. With Jace already in a fragile state of mind, he turnes completely self destructive when his adoptive parents and the Clove question his loyalty.

This book left me with more questions then revelations. Maybe that was the point as soon as I finished this book I could not wait to start the next one. I also think the book could use more action, there is a big battle at the end, but apart from a couple of small skirmishes earlier, the book is more about placing the characters for the next book.
Profile Image for Vi Vi.
66 reviews15 followers
March 30, 2011
"That when he thought, really thought, about the fact that he might never get to kiss Clary again, he wanted to die or hurt or bleed so badly he’d go up to the attic and train alone for hours until he was so exhausted he had no choice but to pass out, exhausted."

Oh for fuck's sake.

"He’d have bruises in the morning, bruises and cuts and scraped skin and if he could have named all his injuries they would have had the same name: Clary, Clary, Clary."


"If there had ever been any hope that he could have come to think of Clary as just his sister, this — what had just happened between them — had exploded it into a thousand pieces like a meteorite blasting into the surface of the earth."

Moar similes please! MOAR.

This actually made me throw up a little in my mouth. Damn my masochism.
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