City of Ashes is book two in Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments series. If you have not yet read, City of Bones, book one in this series, I highly recommend reading it first. Although, this review is about City of Ashes, I loved City of Bones and highly recommend it as well. If, like me, it’s been awhile since you read City of Bones, I think you will be fine to still jump right back into the series with City of Ashes. Cassandra Clare does a great job at reminding the reader of pertinent information from City of Bones.
Wow! This is an amazing, fun-filled, page-turning read! Cassandra Clare takes the reader into a fantasy world full of shadow hunters, werewolves, warlocks, fairies, mundanes (humans) etc. This fantasy world exists right along side the world as we know it, but no human knows this except for one, Simon. In City of Ashes, evil Valentine is at it again! His determination to overthrow The Clave is still in full force. This time, Valentine wants Jace, his son and shadow hunter’s help. Yes, there is tons of page turning action in this book, but It’s also a story about loyalty and choice, especially for Jace. Will he defend The Clave with his adopted family and friends or help his biological father attempt to overthrow The Clave? Is Jace evil like his biological father or is it a choice?
Simon, the mundane, may be my favorite character in this book. But, it’s hard to chose just one since Cassandra Clare creates so many wonderful characters. As humans ourselves, I think it’s easy to relate to Simon and interesting to see this fantasy world through his mundane eyes. Simon goes through a very interesting and unexpected change in City of Ashes that changes the course of his relationships with his friends as the book progresses, some for the better and some for the worse.
I also find the dynamics between Clary (Jace’s sister), Simon and Jace very interesting. It’s definitely an unconventional and complex set of relationships that take a lot of sorting out and twists and turns throughout the book. I found myself constantly wanting to know more about these three and their relationships with each other.
Cassandra Clare has such a way with words and the ability to transport the reader into a whole new world. However, she puts just enough touches into her writing for the reader to still have a touch of the world as we know it. Clare writes “”What’s on?” Magnus inquired. “What Not to Wear,” came a familiar drawling voice,…he shook his head at the screen.”High-waisted khaki pants? Who wears those?”” (City of Ashes, pg 136)
If you’re looking for a book to escape into, this is the book for you! It will transport you to an action-packed fantasy world with battles. Battles not just for power, but for family, friendships, love and loyalty. The world created by Cassandra Clare will be one you will wish you could jump right in to!
The ending to City of Ashes, left me wanting so much more and I hope it does for you as well! I’m off to go purchase City of Glass. I can’t wait to see what’s next for Clary, Jace, Simon and all of the characters in The Mortal Instruments. 🙂