City of Ashes is the next book in the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. While the first finds Clary thrown into a world that she didn’t even know exist (at least, she thought she didn’t), the second finds her continuing to explore that world and find her place within it.
Clary now knows the truth about who she is and what is really out there. While still waiting for her mother to wake up, Clary finds herself living with Luke and beginning to understand more of the world she has been thrust into. But it’s more than that; Clary is discovering the power within herself and precisely what she is capable of doing. She seems more powerful than her friends. Apart from Jace.
With their relationship as conflicted as ever, Clary is not the only one discovering more about herself. Jace battles between his feelings for his sister and how he should be reacting to his father. However, his struggle isn’t for him alone and when the powers-at-be are called in to determine whose side Jace is truly on, he finds himself in a whole load of trouble that even he can’t sweet talk his way out of. And on top of that… he’s beginning to realise he can physically do things that, even for a Shadowhunter, should not be possible.
But it’s not all demons and magic that has Clary’s world in a conflict. Her relationship with Jace is explosive at best, yet Clary finds herself taking things further than just friendship with Simon. He’s the reliable and sane one out of her men. Or so she thinks. She is not the only one struggling to find a place in this new world and after an accident befalls Simon, he is more involved than he could have ever imagined. Or wanted, yet there would be no way he could turn his back on this new world because that would mean turning his back on Clary.
As the teenagers come to terms with events surrounding them, Valentine is upping his game and calling the demons to him. He seems undefeatable, with weapons at his disposal the Shadowhunters prayed he never got his hands on. But with so much power behind him, is there any chance at all that anyone is going to be able to stop him? The best chance seems to lie with his own children, yet their belief in themselves causes issues for the task ahead.
Another thrilling book from Clare. Despite (again) the ease at which they were read, the plot was gripping and engaging, the characters believable. Despite the number of books out there about these sort of supernatural elements, Clare’s tale is original and refreshing; it’s not quite apparent where she is going to go next. A tale of love and betrayal, of magic and loyalty. It has everything you would want from this sort of novel and it is beautifully written. Certainly an impressive sequel that leaves the reader eagerly anticipating the next book.