Wednesday, January 28, 2009

City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

Main character: 16-year-old Clary who's been raised human but recently discovered she is a Shadowhunter
Location: New York City
Time period: Contemporary
Genre: YA Fiction, Fantasy, Supernatural with vampires, werewolves and other demons
Series: The Mortal Instruments #2

In the previous book, Clary discovered that she was a Shadowhunter; that her father is the evil Valentine; and that Jace, the intriguing guy she has a definite attraction to, is really her brother. All together now--eeewwwwwww!

Things just continue to pile up on Clary and her friends. Valentine managed to get the cup last time--now he is after a sword which will allow him to call upon demons. The trick is that he needs to wash the sword in the blood of four downworlder children--a warlock, a werewolf, a vampire, and a faerie. That small fact doesn't bother him, but the attacks cause the werewolves and the vampires to accuse each other and come to the brink of war.

Jace has his own problems--the Inquisitor of the Shadowhunters has come to examine him. She doesn't believe that he never knew he was really Valentine's son and believes that he is even now spying on them for Valentine. It becomes obvious that her suspicions of Jace are motivated by a purely personal reason--her own son died because of Valentine and she is perfectly willing to use Jace as bait to trap Valentine.

And Simon--poor Simon!--is turned into a vampire, something he has dreaded since he was bitten in the first book.

Once again, Clare has created a densely plotted and populated novel with many twists and turns, but keeps it rooted in this family of characters that we come to care for. Personally, I'm not that interested in Valentine and his quest for world domination, but I do care about Clary and Jace, Simon and Maia and Luke, Alec and Isabelle and Magnus. I loved the visit to the faerie world and learning how they cannot lie but they've lived so long that they can deceive while telling the truth.

I don't know what the third Mortal Instrument will be, but I am psyched because Clary's mom--stuck in a coma in the hospital for much of the last two stories--is finally going to have to wake up.

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