City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments #2) by Cassandra Clare

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City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare is the sequel to the Bestselling series, The Mortal Instruments, and is the second book read in my #readcassieclare read-a-long!

This review contains a lot of SPOILERS!

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ashes“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.


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This is my second time finishing this book, and I still was surprised with what happens. Granted, it’s been a hot minute since I last read this, but still.

So far, I wouldn’t consider this one of my favorite series, but it’s so much fun to read!

The characters in City of Ashes are getting more in depth with the Shadowhunter world, from Simon’s conversion into a cold-blooded vampire to Jace and Clary’s journey from attraction to siblings.

The plot gets deeper as everyone knows Valentine is back, and he’s not alone. Demons are being risen to help complete a ritual to restore the evil power leaving death behind.

I liked how this sequel is beginning to bring more of the creatures together from the fae to vampires to demons. Even though they aren’t the most compliant with each other, I could tell that they are beginning to realize their strength in coming together in an attempt to stop Valentine.

The characters are starting to get more interesting, especially when it comes to the somewhat love-triangle that takes place between Clary, Simon, and Jace. Even though I am not a fan of this over-used trope, I still enjoyed reading as it unfolded, because in reality, this triangle isn’t as much of a triangle as we’ve seen in YA. We see the struggle Jace and Clary have when they venture into the Queen’s territory leading to the sought-after kiss.

I could tell that the fling between the Simon and Clary wasn’t the most true relationship. I had a feeling that she was using him more as a scapegoat for being unable to be with Jace without going against society’s norm. I mean, their siblings without actually being siblings.

And Jace’s swoop in to rescue Simon was a good twist to the story too!

The Inquisitor. Did anyone else have complete Professor Umbridge vibes?? Her manipulative, aggressive ways with Jace completely made me think of her, and there was no way to unsee that. Even though she became a mortar of sorts by the end, I still wasn’t a fan of her in the entire book.

Overall, I really enjoyed the last third of the book as the plot thickened and the action picked up. I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars.

And the final few pages of the book. Who is Madeline and how does she know how to wake up Clary’s mom?? I’ll be picking up City of Glass to find out!


Discussion Questions:

  • What were your thoughts on the love triangle?
  • Could you tell that Simon and Clary weren’t exactly on the same page?
  • What is your favorite species in this series so far?
  • Did you see Simon’s plot twist coming?
  • What were your thoughts on the Inquisitor?
  • How did you take that ending? Did you immediately pick up the next book to find out?

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Published: 25 March 2008

Publisher: Margaret K. McEkderry Books

Genre: Young Adult Urban Fantasy

Pages: 453

How I Read It: Paperback / Library Audiobook


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What are you thoughts on this series so far??

Join me on Instagram @treestandbookreviews and through #readcassieclare to get a real-time view of all my bookish thoughts on the series!

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If you enjoyed reading along with me, feel free to leave your comments below! What were your favorite parts of this book?


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Until next time..

Happy Reading,

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5 thoughts on “City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments #2) by Cassandra Clare

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