City of Ashes Book Review

City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare coacovermyspace-265x400

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Genre: Fantasy, YA, Fiction

Pages: 464

Rating: 3/5

“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?

Yay for Cassandra Claire’s sequal in the Mortal Instruments! Not loving City of Bones I didn’t know what to expect for this book. I’m happy to say I liked it a lot better than the first. There’s definitely a darker tone here. Clary is still a little traumatized by the absence of her mother. While I was reading this I could just feel how much Clary misses her. She’s constantly seeing her and hearing her voice even though her mother still lays in a hospital bed. She tends to draw her strength from her mother which makes me really start to like her more. There was also a significant change in her confidence. As though she is finally coming to terms with being a Shadowhunter.

Clary is no long the only one who is gravely struggling with major changes in her life though. Jace, we see, has his whole world turned upside down. From the end of City of Bones everything Jace knew and admired about his father was completely shattered! Imagine going your whole life remembering your father as heroic and good, only to find out he’s actually the evil villain that everyone has feared your whole life!………what!?
On top of this his foster mother pretty much turns her back on him, believing he’s in cahoots with his villainous father. Did I mention there’s also an Inquisitor who is constantly jumping down his throat? Because there is.
Of course his relationship with Clary does nothing to help matters. Are they related? Are they not related? Jace is very obviously failing to love Clary as a sister, and visa versa.


Let’s not forget Simon! Oh poor Simon. Without giving too much away, he becomes everything he was afraid of becoming. There is a silver lining! Let’s just say he doesn’t fall into the normal category of………..Downworlder. (Did I give too much away there? Don’t worry it’s still pretty epic.) His relationship with Clary is just all over the place and frankly, painfully awkward.
There’s a greater focus on these three than there was in the first book. We don’t see too much of Isabelle at all. Alec comes out of his shell a little more. I did not like him at all in the last book and that has definitely changed. There seemed to be a lot more to his personality this time around.
Luke! Good ‘ol Luke. Protective, caring, and invested in Clary’s life. He remains the faithful father figure she always hoped for. Even I felt a little pride when she stood up to Valentine and reminded him that by definition, Luke is her father.
I understand there’s a hug hype about Magnus circulating in the Shadowhunter’s world? I’m just not seeing it! He’s the most powerful warlock so they say. I’m really excited to see more of his character as I continue into the series and I really want to know more about his background. Where he come’s from, how he came to be so powerful etc.


There are a couple of new characters introduced. Maia, a she wolf who’s part of Luke’s pack. Spunky and hard headed she makes a friend in Simon. Maryse Lightwood, the mother of Isabelle, Alec and Max. (Jace’s stepmother.) I did not appreciate her attitude at all! She deeply frustrated me. She’s quick to turn her back on Jace and question his every motive. Not believing he has nothing to do with Valentine’s plans. Imogen, aka the Inquisitor. She’s ruthless when it comes to Jace. Holding a long time grudge against Valentine, and therefore taking it all out on his son. In the end she tries to right things and whispers some very suspicious words to Jace. Unfortunately we don’t know what those words are, I’m assuming, until the next book. Max! This little guy is the youngest of the Lightwoods. He admires Jace and looks up to him as a brother. He quickly finds a friend in Clary. I certainly hope to see more of Max in the following books.


Last but not least Valentine. As far as bad guys go I’m actually really liking him. He’s convinced his intentions are in the right place. Going about things all wrong of course! Not caring who has to be lost in the process. He’s quickly gaining more power and once again gives the Clave a slip. But I have hope for Valentine, maybe we’ll see a change in him. Who knows?

Finally, I still feel that this book is a 3 out of 5. While I did like the book I just didn’t love it. With a lot more action it was certainly easier to enjoy. I’m loving the growth in Clary, I really hope it keeps up. Can’t say the same for Jace, his obnoxious attitude towards adults brings out the arrogant teenager in him. What I really liked was seeing the new abilities in both of them, this sets them apart from your average Shadowhunter.

If you haven’t picked up this book yet I highly recommend giving it a try! Even though I didn’t love it, you just might. Definitely gonna stick it out until the end of the series. There’s just something about these books that make me want to keep going.



5 Comments Add yours

  1. This series has been getting a lot of good reviews lately! I’m glad you they were good reads. Also, I like how you rate with little candies! Such cute illustrations ❤

    1. itsmisselizabeth says:

      Thank you! I keep hearing that the series just gets better. Had to try it out for myself. I thought the candies would be something different. I’m really glad you like it! Made my day 😉

      1. They were a nice touch 🙂 It was my pleasure! And I know what you mean 🙂

  2. I love these books so much!!! And your review was awesome!!! 🙂

  3. Thank you! I can’t wait to get started on the next one. I hope the story gets better. Which one was your favorite?

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