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City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, Book 2) Paperback – 7 Jul 2008

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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Walker (7 July 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1406307637
  • ISBN-13: 978-1406307634
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (479 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,042 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Cassandra Clare lives in Brooklyn. She has worked as an entertainment journalist for The Hollywood Reporter, has published several short stories and is the author of the popular internet parody The Very Secret Diaries.

Product Description


"* "Funny, dark, and sexy... Cassie's writing makes my toes curl with envy." Holly Black, author of The Spiderwick Chronicles"<br /><br />In City of Bones (2007), normal teenager Clary discovered she was a Shadowhunter, long-lost daughter of murdering megalomaniac Valentine - and therefore the sister of her new boyfriend Jace. Now she's caught up in the dangerous politics of the Downworld, where Jace is suspected of treason, non-human kids are being ritually murdered and best friend Simon is transforming into a werewolf. Clary must protect Simon, save Jace from a vindictive Downworlder Inquisitor, prevent Valentine from building an unstoppable demon army and fight her undiminished passion for Jace. The prose is exceedingly purple: Eyes are always paint chips, black pits or jewels in a spider's web; ichor-leaking demons have voices like shattering glass; fairies have hair like autumn leaves or poison green skin. But this action-packed tale uses melodrama and florid descriptions to good effect, crafting emotional tension and heart-wrenching romantic dramas. Readers of urban fantasy will devour this deliciously overwrought adventure. Despite hints that Jace's parentage is in question, the incestuous overtones might be too disturbing for some. (Fantasy. YA) (Kirkus Reviews) --Holly Black, author of The Spiderwick Chronicles

"The Mortal Instruments series is a story world I love to live in. Beautiful!" --Stephenie Meyer

"Dear Edward and Jacob, I adore you both, but I'm spending the weekend with Jace. Sorry! Love, Stephenie" --Stephenie Meyer

Book Description

The second book in the bestselling urban fantasy trilogy, The Mortal Instruments.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 26 Aug. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I couldn't help but be slightly disappointed by "City of Ashes" and believe me, I really REALLY wanted to love it. I'll explain why I found it disappointing in places but first of all, here's why it's still worth a read:

I enjoyed City of Bones. It was pretty gripping, the characters are unique and interesting in their own right and the world Cassandra Clare creates is wonderful and unlike any other. City of Ashes picks up right where COB left off. Remember how Valentine (the evil genius that he is) breaks the news that Clary (our fire-haired leading lady) and Jace (our handsome shadowhunter with a touch of a bad temper) are brother and sister. Now that was a twist I'll never forget but it also was quite sad and I was desperate to see where that would go - would they fight their feelings for each other? Would it be revealed that they aren't really related? So reading COA was a must.

Valentine this time around is on the hunt. Not for his children Jace and Clary but for the Mortal Instruments. With the belief that the three instruments will allow him to create a demon army to destroy the Clave and return the world to it's supposedly rightful order (not to mention the obliteration of downworlders). So as you can imagine the gang HAVE to stop him, and part of the reason is that Valentine needs the blood of a select few individuals, And these few are pretty close to our main characters.

The thing I liked the most about COA actually wasn't the storyline as a whole but more the relationship between Jace and Valentine and the internal struggles, and complete unpredictability, of Jace. It's made pretty apparent that although Jace disagrees with his father's actions, he just can't resist being close to him.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Claire Mill on 8 Nov. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
City of Ashes is the second book in the Mortal Instruments series. It picks up just after the events of the first book, City of Bones.

Having learnt the truth of her heritage, and that the boy she's fallen for is actually her brother, Clary struggles to keep positive and moving forward. Her mom is in a coma with little chance of recovery, her best friend wants more than she can give, her brother (Jace) is going off the deep end having discovered the truth about his heritage (and Clary may be the only one who can reach him), facing the Inquisitor (a Shadowhunter who seems to have a personal interest in destroying Jace). And, oh yeah, all hell is breaking loose (literally) as Valentine, her father, tries to create a war that will destroy all underworlders, and anyone else who gets in the way, including his kids. Creating the war means recovering the rest of the Mortal Instruments, and turning them to his own dark uses, something Clary, Jace and the rest of the team will do anything to stop.

Like Bones, Ashes is told in third person, but although most of the book is still Clary's 'perspective' there is a lot from Jace's as well, and a few other characters. The different perspectives help to tell the story pretty well, giving a good look at various aspects of the world. This second book sees Clary and Jace discovering still more about their heritage and the introduction of several new characters adds to the world nicely.

There are time though, where the plot felt a little sluggish. And there is also the odd word that feels like the authors picked up the thesaurus to add more interesting words or something, instead of the normally simple narrative, which doesn't work particularly well.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Becca1405 on 5 Sept. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Review: This book felt like a bit of a placeholder book really. I was hoping that there would be more resolution and progression of the characters and storylines but they didn't seem to move on hugely from the end of the first book. It was entertaining enough and left me wanting to read the next book to find out what happens but it didn't really hold up as a stand alone book.

Favourite character: Clary Fray

Quote: "There's no need to clarify my finger snap," said Magnus. "The implication was clear in the snap itself."
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By Kim Dyer on 5 Mar. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I seem to be in the minority here but I really just could not get into this story. While I wasn't a fan of City of Bones, at least that novel had a nice flow to it and did not get boring. This was not really the case with City of Ashes.

The novel reads as a bit of a cross being Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Harry Potter. The characters speak almost entirely in witty retorts, even when faced by legions of demons, and this got annoying really quickly. The novel is also absolutely full of similies, a lot of which are jarring as they don't even make a lot of sense ("").

The story is full of tangents (partially due to its large cast) and this caused Valentine's plot to largely slip to the background. Even though he's murdering Downworlder children this time, the characters are far more preoccupied with their angsty (and incestuous) love lives. Neither Clary or Jace are particularly likable leads - Clary has discovered her Mary-Sue powers since the last story and strings Simon along for most of the novel and Jace is just an obnoxious, arrogant git.

Even the secondary cast are rather forgettable. The only two I was interested in seeing more of were Magnus and Alec but their budding relationship largely happened off-page (a real shame, as mainstream literature really lacks gay couples). Valentine is also a ridiculously cartoonish villain who seems to be making up his plans on the fly - his scheme has completely changed now from what he was planning in City of Bones.

Many people seem to love this series so I might be missing something but it wasn't for me. I'll probably read the next book at some point and I hope it improves, or getting through the remaining three might be a chore.
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