City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

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Title: City of Ashes

Author: Cassandra Clare

Pages: 411

Publisher: Walker

Published: 2008

Source: Bought

Rating: ★★★★


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?


This was one of the lucky books that got to come away with me on my travels last year and I’m glad I took it with me. I did also take my Kindle but I didn’t want to have to buy this book again. It’s a good job as I managed to get a lovely picture of it with the beautiful, blue Aare River in Bern, Switzerland. I read this way back in June last year and this post has been sat in my drafts for months now. This will more than likely be a short review, but because I want to pick up the next book, City of Glass, and because I want to review all of the books in the Mortal Instruments series I felt that this review should finally go out into the world.

City of Ashes is the second book in the Mortal Instruments series which you probably already know because basically everyone has read this series except for me. I felt like this book was a step up from the first and really helped formulate the story more. It felt like the story was really beginning to expand and I can begin to see why the series needs more than just a few books. I can see why a lot of people say that the books improve as the series goes on as I think that I preferred this one to City of Bones. 

There is the addition of some new characters and the books delve into the world of Shadowhunters and demons a little bit more. I liked the characters but felt that Clary was still a little immature. I still think Jace is a bit of an idiot but I hope that he improves. I find the relationship between Clary and Jace to still be a little odd after what we found out at the end of City of Bones but I am fairly sure something happens in the following books which will sort this out!

The writing and pace is good and despite the fact that I was only reading the book on train rides, I found myself wanting to read more. I was lucky since I could actually just keep on reading with little distractions. When you’re stuck on a train for 8 hours, being a reader is a fantastic thing!

I don’t really have much more to say on this book. I don’t want to ruin it for anybody as I know there are still some of you out there that haven’t read this series yet!

As I read these books and look to start the next book in this series, I do wish that I had known about them when they were first released. I find looking at the collection of books that Cassandra Clare has published up until now to be very daunting. I am, however, determined to get through them!

2 thoughts on “City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

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