City of Ashes by Cassandra ClareCity of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

City of Ashes

byCassandra Clare

Paperback | March 24, 2009

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Is love worth betraying everything? Plunge into the second adventure in the internationally bestselling Mortal Instruments series and “prepare to be hooked” (Entertainment Weekly).

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.
Cassandra Clare was born in Teheran, Iran and spent much of her childhood travelling the world with her family. After college, Cassie lived in Los Angeles and New York where she worked at various entertainment magazines. Cassie started working on The Mortal Instruments series in 2004. City of Bones, A New York Times Bestseller, is the ...
Title:City of AshesFormat:PaperbackDimensions:512 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1.4 inPublished:March 24, 2009Publisher:Margaret K. McElderry BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1416972242

ISBN - 13:9781416972242

Appropriate for ages: 14

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from HOOKED I could not put the book down!!
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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing series A big improvement from the first book
Date published: 2017-08-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Sequel Not my favourite out of the six books, but that's not saying much, because I still loved this one a lot!
Date published: 2017-08-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Prepare to be hooked! I read this series when it first came out, and loved it! found it so captivating, and creative. I felt while reading it, that you were part of that world. You get so invested in these characters lives as if they are your own friends and family. Clare wrote a novel that not only is creative to its very core but ropes you right inside of it! I am gladly reading it for a second time right now and would read again! Well worth the money paid for the novel!
Date published: 2017-07-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved this series! I read this series when it first came out, and loved it! found it so captivating, and creative. I felt while reading it, that you were part of that world. You get so invested in these characters lives as if they are your own friends and family. Clare wrote a novel that not only is creative to its very core but ropes you right inside of it! I am gladly reading it for a second time right now and would read again! Well worth the money paid for the novel!
Date published: 2017-07-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AMAZING SERIES Great series! You will love!
Date published: 2017-07-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from City of Ashes I loved the first one. I love the Shadowhunter world and all the other different beings that come with it.
Date published: 2017-06-03
Rated 3 out of 5 by from .. Read this book as part of the series and enjoyed this one the best!
Date published: 2017-05-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from So good! I loved this book and the rest of this series. It is excellent for teens but also good gr8 adults just an easier but still entertaining read
Date published: 2017-04-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great book Great sequel to the first. Entertaining story, good characters. I like the mythology they are using for this series. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-03-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book This is a wonderful continuation from the first book. Very captivating story. I read it in one day. Best series I have read.
Date published: 2017-03-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Read An amazing story, that is on the edge of you seat intense. #PlumReview
Date published: 2017-02-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love this series! These books are very good. I love her take on the magical world, all is well crafted. well done... no wonder they made a tv series and a movie of this story!
Date published: 2017-02-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good This was a great continuation from the first book, just as good or better. It leaves you eager to start the next one.
Date published: 2017-01-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great! I loved this book! I read it in one sitting!
Date published: 2017-01-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic! This is by far my favorite series! I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys a book that dabbles between the dark and light of demons and angels!
Date published: 2016-11-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from City of Ashes Just like in real life, Cassandra Clark creates a realm that's got to wade through the species and environment to find peace.
Date published: 2015-02-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This was great This book was very good. It is on my favorite bok list for sure. It is one of those ooks tha ou souldnt stop reading for more than 2 days or else you might get lost
Date published: 2014-12-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing!! This second book was even more amazing as the first one was! I couldn't put it down, I just wanted to finish it and now I can't wait to read the next one.
Date published: 2014-07-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Addicted Loved it!! After hearing a hundred good reviews about these books I finally started reading them!!! Starting the next one in 10seconds!!!
Date published: 2014-06-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing This book was captivating and kept my attention the whole way through. But that cliffhanger tho
Date published: 2014-06-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best book ever I read the book like a gazillion times and it was great. Once you read it you need to get the next one. You just can't put it down. I would know from experience, once I got the city of ashes I read it in one night!!!!!! That's how good it is. Even though at the time I was the only one in my school to read the mortal instruments series I got alot of people to start reading the series.
Date published: 2014-04-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good book I liked it
Date published: 2014-04-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good twists. Lots to look forward to Lots of interesting twists in the story line. Kept me guessing
Date published: 2014-04-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best book ever Best book ever
Date published: 2014-03-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Addicting Started out a little slow but then picked up and I finished the whole book in a day.....can't wait to read the next one!!!!
Date published: 2014-02-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Addicting One of the weaker books in the series, but thats not saying much.. still an amazing heart wrenching book :)
Date published: 2014-01-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Addicting Very good book!! Couldn't put it down. Exited to read the next one!!!
Date published: 2014-01-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Addicting Love it the best book that I've read ......its an amazing series
Date published: 2014-01-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Awesome! Book really hooks you!
Date published: 2014-01-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing This book is a definitely a yes to read !!!!! Its amazing and just gets better and better!!!! If you loved the first book you are going to love this book. I mean I finished this book in a 2 days!!!!! Hope you love it as much as I did :) !!!!!!
Date published: 2014-01-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great couldn't pit it down! Love the book! Its a great read had a hard time putting it down but I'm still confused about Clary and jace someone told me they aren't brother and sister when will that big bit of info be revealed? They're relationship now is a bit creepy and borderline yuck.
Date published: 2013-12-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Great book. Couldn't put it down
Date published: 2013-11-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it. Can't wait to start on the 3rd one.
Date published: 2013-11-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome Great book can't wait for the new one.
Date published: 2013-11-10
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Great series overall The series is great but this book was my least favorite. While necessary, it wasn't as captivating as the first and last.
Date published: 2013-10-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A great world to be in! This series just keeps getting better and better. With the cliffhanger from the first book, City of Bones, I had to dive into this one immediately after finishing — even now, reading this book for what’s now the third time! While Cassandra Clare is somewhat formulaic in her stories, I still think she’s an amazing writer who can keep her readers engaged until the very end. This story, City of Ashes, is about Clary coming into her newfound powers, having to deal with her newfound brother — not boyfriend — Jace, and there’s still the hunt for Valentine. To me, Valentine is like the Voldemort of these books. He’s there, he’s evil, and he just can’t stay away from the shadow hunters. I was crushed — crushed! — at the end of City of Bones when we found out that Jace and Clary were brother and sister and was still on pins and needles through this entire book awaiting the ending (– this is how bad my memory is. I was still completely entranced by the book and had no clue what was going on. I knew bits and pieces but a lot of it was still a surprise.). The best thing about Cassandra Clare’s writing is her characters. It’s hard not to love Jace — even if the narrator (a different one from the previous book) makes him sound snarky — and it’s easy to hate Simon. Even if Simon and Clary keep trying to have some kind of romantic connection, I just don’t see it because I hate Simon. I can never understand why Clary doesn’t hate him, too. My only problem with these books — and with the characters — is that Clary never listens. She’s whiny and is constantly fawning over either Jace or Simon and just can’t make up her mind (which is a little reminiscent of a girl named Bella Swan). I’m not sure if it’s just the narrator of the audiobook, or if it’s Simon’s character in general, but I found him to be snarky, smug, and just an arrogant “butt-faced miscreant” (to quote the Gilmore Girls). He drove me nuts, to no end! I did, however, really love Isabelle’s character (even if she sounded a bit ditzy) and I am completely enamoured with Magnus Bane. Even now, now that I’ve already listened to two of the audiobooks in this series, I’m still hesitant about listening to a female narrate Magnus, but each narrator has gotten it right. I can’t wait to finally listen to a male narrator in the fourth book of this series (and Ed Westwick, at that. A very swoon-worthy male!), and really, I’m quite happy to finally be reading this series again after so many years. Like I’ve said, Cassandra Clare is just a darn good writer. She can suck you in from the first pages into her world of shadow hunters, werewolves, demons, warlocks … it’s just a great world to be in!
Date published: 2012-06-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from In the second book we find Clary and Jace struggling to accept that they brother and sister and nothing more even thought their feelings tell otherwise. If that wasn’t enough they have to go through the stares and whispers as now everyone knows that they are Valentine’s children. I loved this book as much as the first one and maybe more. You get to know the characters better and see the powerful but strange relationship Jace and Clary have. The drama is bigger and the pain and acceptance that Jace and Clary are siblings are enough to handle without the murders. Someone is murdering Downworlders and Simon is acting strange. Magnus is acting as usual but somehow has focused more on Alec. Isabelle is insane as always and Jace more brooding as it can get. Valentine is supposed to be the villain but to me he didn’t seem like one. His actions seemed to be planted on the go and he lacked motivation. As the bad guy I thought I would some minions working for him.... where are they when you need them? I can’t think of a villain that didn’t have or didn’t control other people for personal use. But we find out later on why is that (on the 3rd book) so I am not going to spoil it for you. J When the second mortal instrument is stolen though, they suspect Jace. Jace is now wondering what to do next to prove that he is innocent and for the first time we see him scared as he faces the accusations. Overall.... I loved it! One of favourites for sure and I can’t wait for the third book. You should definitely read this one if you want a strong, suffering love story with a dark and funny adventure background. I didn’t give it 5 stars as the previous book because I thought it needed more action scenes.
Date published: 2011-11-08
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good Summer Read This is the second in The Mortal Instruments series, in which Clary, who has recently discovered a whole world of Shadowhunters, demons, vampires and werewolves, hiding in the real world. I love the idea of a whole world hiding in plain sight, as it were. In this book, Clary and the Shadowhunters are trying to stop Valentine, her father, from using demons to take over the world. The story is exciting and there is lots of action. However, I still did not like this book as much as the first one, City of Bones. I felt as if this was a transition book, with everyone running around and reacting to things rather than a strong overall story. I know there is the plot of stopping Valentine, but everyone just keeps reacting. I was also a little disappointed that Clary was not stronger. After the first book, I was hoping that she would become a more take charge, competent character. I felt like she spent running around after others and when she did do something, it was by accident. However, she is still young and this book did only take place days after the first one, so I still hold out hope for her. This novel, like the first, does have some interesting twists and foreshadows even more - which definitely keeps the reader reading and waiting for the next book. I don't want to say too much about this, but I am hoping for some big shake ups in the third book. Jace, the young, good looking jerk from the first book, does soften a bit in this one, which is nice. I am not sure about the relationship between Clary and Jace though. I don't want to give away any of the plot (if you have not read City of Bones, you may want to stop reading now), but I don't like the story line of them being brother and sister, but still having a romantic attraction. I can also see the foreshadowing that they are not actually brother and sister, but they think that they are and I find the whole scenario a bit much and kind of creepy. I found some of the other characters in this book to be the most interesting, for example, Simon, Mangus, Alec and Isabelle. They are really good, interesting supporting characters with a lot of personality and are not as caught up in feeling so morose (except for maybe Alec). I did enjoy reading City of Ashes - it is a fun summer read, and will certainly read the next in the series. I can really see teenage girls liking this book, as well as those who like urban fantasy.
Date published: 2011-08-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Really liked it After reading the first book City of Bones there was no way i could not keep going. I couldnt put the book down. It just keeps you wondering whats next.
Date published: 2011-05-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome Awesome Awesome! Absolutely love this series!!!! Such a great series. I was a little worried in the beginning but the series is fantastic!
Date published: 2011-05-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Not quite as good as the first but still wonderful I really enjoyed reading this book, it was a great follow up to City of Bones, that being said it sort of reminded me of "the Two Towers" from the Lord of the Rings. A book that while a great stepping stone in an epic tale, it can't quite stand alone. That being said it's a part of a series and was not meant to stand on it's own. Readers of this will voraciously head for City of Glass once they close the cover on City of Ashes.
Date published: 2011-04-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from TOO MUCH EXCITEMENT !! (No spoilers IF you read Book 1) IF you read Book 1, City of Bones, THEN, there aren’t any spoilers in this review. If you’re reading this review, I assume you read Book 1. City of Ashes is book 2 in Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments series. (I was going to say trilogy, but I just realized there is a Book 4 coming out in the near future, so I’ll stick to series). I believe City of Ashes has a strong and exciting story line. As in book 1, the story is mainly told from Clary’s perspective. This is perfect since you get to live, and feel, her still quite “human” and “every day” girl reactions, and wonder in this new and secret world of the Shadowhunters. The story will take you through the development of important events happening in book 1 (City of Bones), such as her new disturbing and confusing relationship with her new found brother, JACE. The boy she desires, but, of course, can’t, and shouldn’t, have. You’ll feel their struggle with the fact that they are brother and sister. Or her strong feelings for SIMON, her lifelong best friend. The boy she would rather have as a brother and not a boy friend. All this drama, without it being the center of the story, adds to all the excitement going on. Their characters, Clary, Jace and Simon, are more profoundly developed, and you get to learn a lot more about them. We also get to learn more about some other characters we met in Book 1, like Alec, Luke, Magnus (who I love), etc; their roles and personalities are more deeply defined. And some new characters join in the ride. For example, we get to meet Isabelle and Alec’s parents: MARYSE and ROBERT LIGHTWOOD. You will also have the delight to meet IMOGEN, The Inquisitor. A bit of a pain, for she is the one who determines the right type of punishment in the Shadowhunter world. You can think of her as the leader, or representative, of what we could call the Shadowhunter Police Force! She takes care of rebellions and infractions. And let’s not forget VALENTINE! In my City of Bones review, I mentioned I found Valentine to not be scary and evil enough. Not too convincing, I thought, as the evil guy. Well… that changes in City of Ashes. Now that we know he’s Jace and Clary’s father, and that he’s running after the Mortal Instruments, you’ll get to see how evil he can be to his 2 children, without mentioning the rest, and his lust for power and destruction. Personally I now think that Ms. Clare managed to give Valentine a quite intriguing role. I can’t wait to see what he’s up to next, in book 3. You’ll love to hate him! There is a lot of emotional tension all through the story. It’s a fast paced, well written, engaging and intriguing read. I’m all excited about Book 3 . Happy reading!
Date published: 2011-03-28
Rated 3 out of 5 by from great tone, weird relationships City of Ashes was an excellent sequel to City of Bones. Cassandra Clare's writing has a tone and personality to it that makes me feel like we'd get along great. Theres a sarcasm and darkness that is somehow light as a feather, flowing beautifully. The action is steady and the characters interesting. What really draws me in though is the structure of the world, the hierarchies and prejudices. I've been thinking a lot about what MMO (massive multiplayer online role playing game) I want to get into, and yesterday I made the argument to my boyfriend that Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments would make a fantastic game. You could be a shadowhunter, vampire, werewolf, warlock, fay or mundane. There's so much potential there, especially with the potential for designing runes if you were a character like Clary. If such a game is ever made, I will definitely check it out. *spoiler alert if you haven't read City of Bones The one major thing that bothered me about this book is that it's marketed as sexy but the major "love story" is between characters who believe themselves to be siblings. I'm pretty confident that Jace will turn out not to be the Jonathan they believe he is, but the situation is just icky. Any sexual tension just makes me feel awkward, witnessing incest isn't my cup of tea (not that I like tea...). I'm already halfway through City of Glass, so I'll be posting about that soon.
Date published: 2011-03-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from No Sophmore Slump Here! I have to admit that my reaction to the first book in this series, City of Bones, was not the most positive; however, Cassandra Clare has taken the framework that she lays through the first novel and expands it into the realm of fantastical brilliance! Again, I am not a fan of Clare's writing style, but the story itself is so entrancing and the characters that I loved after reading the first book continue to get better and better! I liked the first book, but I loved this one! Clary, Jace and their friends are such an an amazing cast of characters and I am so looking forward to reading what happens in the third novel!
Date published: 2011-02-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare -- After the being shoved into a world of demons and other downworlders, Clary is dealing with things surprisingly well considering everything that is going on around her. But as Valentine’s plan starts to become clearer, and important people in the Clave can’t be trusted to follow the law, bad things start to happen one after the other – and something has to be done. While Jace is deciding who’s side he’s on, and Simon is going through a transformation that will change his whole life, Clary is still trying to find a way to wake up her mother – and make sure to defeat Valentine once and for all. -- I have to say a few thing about this book. I really enjoyed it, and I love this one just like I loved the first one, but that comes with some of the same problems. I remember last time saying things about how it was a little bit too full of descriptions and that sort of thing… well the writing style didn’t really improve for this book. I kept on getting distracted because of the amount of describing that was going on – especially in the actions scenes. I don’t know… it might be because I was tired and just reading this book because I had nothing better to do, but I felt like the plot didn’t really develop all that much. I mean, it was interesting and engaging but almost just a middle sort of thing before the next book (which is pretty much what it was.) But still… I don’t know. There was one thing that I have always loved about the first book that continued onto this one. Which was the constant romance problems going on between the characters… I think that was the root of my interest level, because honestly, there was parts in that book that were just amazing to read. Amazing novel, amazing series, AS ALWAYS. Don’t mind my grump. Yeah, I was going to put 3.5 but I settled for 4. So, here is the website as usual. LATER CHEESE GRATERS, MRR
Date published: 2011-02-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from LOOOOVVVVVVVVEEEEEE it this book is so good like i really mean so good. sadly (SPOILERS) jace and Clary are brother and sister. i was hoping they get back to the cuddling bear situation but no CASSANDRA wants us to suffer
Date published: 2011-01-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely Addictive When I sat down to write a review of this book, I ran into a problem. First City of Bones was so good I bought and read this book before reviewing it. I am even a third through City of Glass before coming back to review this one. The writing in this series is just so good, I did not even want to stop and write a review but keep reading. This book continues almost immediately after City of Bones, The conflict and tension between Clary and Jace is at a new high. The triangle of Clary, Jace and Simon has new and interesting twists. Alex is accepting his sexuality and though many react negatively to his being homosexual, Clare does a good job of handing the subject matter. The battle between Valentine and the Clave takes a dark and deadly twist. Down Worlder children are being murdered and their blood drained. The Inquisitor has been sent to investigate Jace and his father Valentine. Valentine's quest for the Mortal instruments is intensifying. But questions about who is more unstable arise - The Inquisitor of Valentine? I can only say this is a great book in an excellent series by and amazing author. I cannot recommend her writing enough.
Date published: 2010-11-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Courtesy of Lost for Words The hunt continues for Valentine in this, the second installment in the Mortal Instruments series. Clary, Simon, Jace, Isabelle, and Alex are back along with a host of old and new characters. This installment ups the ante and brings more surprising twists, as well as more questions. This book is definitely action-packed and secondary characters are now brought to the forefront. We also get a more detailed look at the Shadowhunter world. Clary is still getting used to the idea that she is a Shadowhunter, but she has to learn quickly if she wants to stay alive. Surprise revelations from the last book make this one more interesting in regards to the dynamics of several relationships. It's intriguing to see what is going to happen, and what boundaries have been laid down. What happens when certain boundaries are crossed? Well, you'll just have to read the book to find out. Quips fly when Jace and Simon are together. Their banter is witty and amusing and keeps the story moving when the action is low. All in all, City of Ashes is an absorbing read. It is full of exhilarating action, and just the right amount of slow scenes to have you wishing for more. This is definitely an excellent follow up to City of Bones.
Date published: 2010-09-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Just as good as City of Bones This book was just as good as the first one. Still filled with action, and intrigue. There were plenty of twists, especially when it come to some characters (Simon being the major prime example). I really did enjoy reading Simon’s story arc. It was just so interesting and there was so much development to his character. I just really like Simon overall. It did certainly feel as if he had a personality change. He wasn’t the fun loving guy anymore but was replaced by a more serious, older sounding Simon. I liked the transition as it wasn’t done in just one go. It was gradual, starting with issues with Clary and Jace, to other more life changing moments (I don’t want to give it away). The plot was really good and interesting. It was a good mixture of action, a bit of romance, and funny wit all in one. There were plenty of parts where I found myself laughing at a comment or two - usually done by either Jace or Clary. Now down to the ugly part. I’m going to have to say this. I hear everybody raving about it and how awesome he is, how “hot” he is etc etc. I’m going to say it. Brace yourselves. I hate Jace. I really do. Wow do I really hate him. I’d like to jump into the book and punch him. That or I hope Simon does me the favor one day. Hopefully. Why do I hate him? he’s arrogant. He’s a jerk. He’s selfish. I admit yes there are some quotes from him that made me laugh but to me, he’s not boyfriend material. In fact he’s just a douche in my eyes. I don’t understand the appeal there is to this guy. Plus he ruins everything. Clary and Simon were doing just fine until Jace had to goose step in thinking he’s the hottest thing since the Twilight characters. Also Clary was really starting to get to me throughout the last half of the book. I don’t understand her. She whines about being with Simon, and then thinks lusty thoughts about Jace - and here I am thinking that if I really wanted to read a book with brother and sister being ‘together’ I’d pull out Flowers in the Attic. It was getting to the point where I was just about to do so. I’m really glad Clary got her come uppins in the end in the love department. She really did deserve that for being so wishy washy. Right now I don’t know what to think about her. I used to like her a lot but after this thing with Jace and Simon I’m not so sure. The ending was good and left at a real cliffhanger. I am looking forward to getting the third book to see what happens. Overall, the series is so far, really good and has been an exciting read. I am definitely looking foward to reading City of Glass.
Date published: 2010-07-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Dreaming of Books Review I’m officially in love with this series. I keep asking myself why I didn’t start the books sooner but I’m so glad I finally got around to it. Clary and Jace now know that they are brother and sister but they can’t help how they feel about each other and that there’s still a spark there. Little hints have been dropped that indicate that they might not be related so it’s still not a 100% for certain thing. Along with that, they are still learning things about themselves and discover that they have abilities that make them more than the average Shadowhunter. Cassandra Clare’s writing is phenomenal. I was never sure what evil and hurtful thing Valentine would do next and there were so many surprises in this second book. There were two big moments in the story where it seemed like something terrible happened to two of the central characters which had me both glued to the story and dreading the possibly horrible outcome.
Date published: 2010-07-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from YESSSSSSSS These are great and highly addictive!!
Date published: 2010-03-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Must Read Series!! Yet another fabulous installment in the Mortal Instrument series. Poor Clary a normal girl thrown into a magical world she never asked to be in, with Jace who she once loved in one way and then to find out he's her brother, and evil most evil ex- Shadow-Hunter Valentine is their father. If you think that's not bad enough Clary's mother is in a magically induced coma, and Jace is on the "believe Valentine is a good guy" mentality. I love all the new characters, the twist and turns in this book and the mystery. The question is: Is it actually Valentine who is killing the other Down-Worlder kids, and the sword was it Jace or not who stole it. Read and see, I know it hurts to wait. Back to the book; I know its incest, but I hope just hoped throughout the book that Jace and Clary would actually make a move on each other. This book keeps giving and you can't put it down it's like the books putting a spell on you! I loved this book, I'm also really enjoying this series. I adore how each book had it's own point of view and how they each view for example vampires different. I love how Cassandra Clare's writes, it has beautifully written descriptions you can actually see the story in your head. I love the covers for these books very eye catching, and unique. I think if you haven't read this series yet you need to get on this, it is a must read. I'm sorry to the people reading this who have yet to read City of Bones I'm honestly sorry if I did spoil any of the book to you (you should still read it!!) I tried avoiding it, but I just can't!! If you enjoyed the Evernight series, Vampire Academy, Blue Bloods, etc, then you will surely love this book. City of Ashes includes all the favorite magical characters; Vampires, Faeries, Werewolves, and more...
Date published: 2010-03-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Just keeps getting better **Contains Spoilers** With the realization that they are brother and sister toward the end of City of Bones, the second book City of Ashes continues right where the last one left off. Clary and Jace are torn between the obvious attraction they still have for one another, but won’t act on it because of the whole incest thing!! She and her best friend Simon sort of try dating…. Luke’s a werewolf, her mother’s in a coma, Valentine is psychotic, still at large and potentially killing innocent downworlder children… Just like the first book, could not put it down, draws you in and keeps you captivated!!!
Date published: 2010-02-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An Exciting Series that Keeps you Reading! Oh wow!! I am done the second book, as of this morning, and still in awe of what all happened in this book. I can't wait to read "City of Glass" to see how this all turns out at the end. If you like the supernatural books, Twilight, or Kelley Armstrong's series, you'll love this series as well! It just keeps me going, having to know what happens next and see the secrets revealed about Jace and Clary. This is a MUST READ series!
Date published: 2009-11-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A great sequel that keeps you on edge The second book in the Mortal Instruments Series picks up right where the first one left off-with Valentine on the loose, Clary's mother in some sort of weird, magical coma, Luke a werewolf, and Jace being Clary's brother...and still really rude and obnoxious and unbelievably cute... Now, there's even more going on! Murder's are being committed all over...murder's of Downworlder children. All their blood is drained and their bodies are left behind to rot. Could it be Vampires? Or something much more sinister? Meanwhile, Clary is struggling with her feelings for Simon, her best friend since birth...and also with her feelings for Jace, her brother. Everytime she looks at him her heart leaps into her throat and she hates herself for it. All your favorite characters are in this one-Isabelle, Magnus Bane, Alec...and we're, of course, introduced to some new ones. I found this book even better than the first, what with us being so deep into the story now, that all the crazy twists and turns were taking place.Cassandra Claire knows right when to place a moment, a great piece of dialogue here, an epic battle there, it all fits together perfectly. This is one of those books you won't want to pass up... especially if you've already read City of Bones.
Date published: 2009-10-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from What Would You do if You Fell for the Wrong Person but it was too Late? This book picks up right were the first one left off. Clary's life has gotten alot more complicated ever since she discovered that she is a shadowhunter. Her mother is in some kind of magical coma that no one can get her out of, Luke, the man that she has grown up with and practcally a father to her, is a werewolf, Valentine, her newly discovered father, has escaped with the Mortal Cup, and she has a new brother, Jace. And it looks like things are just going to continue to get even more complicated. The whole Shadow world is falling apart, not only has there been no sign of Valentines where about and the Mortal cup, but there's something that has been killing downworlder children. First a young worlock was found dead and drane drained of blood, then a werewolf boy was attacked out side of a popular werewolf hang out, and now a fea child was drained of blood. All evidence is pointing to the Children of the Night, but there leader swears that it is not them that have been murdering the downworlder children. So now it is up to Clary and her new friends to uncover what is really happenning in the Shadow World, while also dealing with there own personal problems, Jace is being acused of conspiering with his father against the Clave, Clary is trying to give Simon a chance, and even though they have now discovered that they are brother and sister, Jace and Clary are having trouble hidding their feelings for each other, but it may be to late, have they already begun to fall in love. I thought that this was a great sequl to the first book, City of Bones. It picked up right were the first left off and never skiped a beet. The characters continue to get further developed and seem almost real. Clare has done an amazing job creating a story line that keeps you hang on it's every word. She knows exactly were to put all the twists and turns that keep you guessing and wanting to read more to find out what will happen next. I think that I may have like this one even more then the first, there was more action and the plot just keeps getting thicker and thicker, and now I can't wait to start the next book to find out what will happen in the end. I would recommend this book to anyone, if you like a book with adventure, secrets, love, and the paranomal than your sure to love this book. Also if you've read the first book and loved it you will not be disapointed with this one.
Date published: 2009-10-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Better Than I Expected :) After finishing City of Bones, I went straight to City of Ashes, expecting it to be as great as City of Bones. And I was right. The last couple of chapters + the epilogue was what reeally made the book - in my opinion. There was a good amount of action, twists and interesting discoveries in City of Ashes. But what really made me wonder in the end, was what Imogen wanted to say to Jace. Hmmm, I wonder .. Now it's onto City of Glass , hopefully they`ll have the paperback addition soon enough. (: 4/5
Date published: 2009-10-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Ugh... way too amazing for words! Ok I know I loved the first one but oh my god this was an absolute amazing follow up. The series keeps me wanting to read more!
Date published: 2009-09-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from LOVED IT!!!!! I really loved this book again Clary and Jace get into a whole lot of things love for one another and fighting to keep things right. =)
Date published: 2009-09-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from If These Places Were Real They'd Be the Number One Vacation Spots Please ignore the Cheesy Review Title. Anyway so the title might be a bit cheesy but the book: NO way! Cassandra Clare has done it again with her second book of the Mortal Instruments series, City Of Ashes. This book is filled with adventure that is unbelievable to imagine, and romance that Romeo And Juliet would be jealous of! Lol! Anyways I really recommend this series, I thought it was beautifully written and it all fit together like a puzzle. The characters just keep getting better and better throughout the books, so far I this one was better than the First one!
Date published: 2009-09-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best book in the entire series. <3!(:
Date published: 2009-08-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Had me screaming, so yeah... great book. I really love this series. You know it is a good book when you finish it and you are yelling and screaming at it. Any book that gets me into it that much and can provoke that much emotion is good in my eyes. Honestly I don't know where the last book ended and this one began, which is a sign of a great trilogy, but here goes... In this book (middle of three) Clary is dealing with her 'new life' and the whole new forbidden love thing (which is what had me screaming at the end, i HATE it when they do THAT!!!). Jace is trying to deal with his new look on his family and basically everyone is trying to deal with Valentine. I don't want to give away too much as you just need to read it. So what is there left to say? I really love this series so far (yes even with the anger I was feeling) and now have the last book so I will leave and go read that. Please pick this up and give it a try.
Date published: 2009-08-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from FANTASTIC Great series read the first one City of Bones and could not wait to get my hands on this one to continue the story. Absolutely loved it. Recommend it to anyone to read if into the paranormal reading.
Date published: 2009-08-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from how to explain a book that blows you away... so... how do you really explain a book that really does blow you away. im in love with this series. and i have one more book left. and when i think about it, it makes me sadd. cuz this is such a great novel. such a great series so farr. that YOU HAVE TO READ! and i really do hate myself for not reading it early. atleast i had a great summer series to read so farr. cannot wait to see what happens in city of glass ( L)
Date published: 2009-08-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A bit more edgey, but love the series! I absolutely love this series. It always has me hooked from the beginning. Once again we have our heroine Clary who is torn between helping her mother, her "boyfriend" SImon and shadowhunter Jace. *Spoiler* I am a little unsure about the storyline about Clary and Jace being brother and sister for the age group it is intended. But the fact that they are so torn apart makes you want them together even more. Which is what I am unsure about because you are left aching for them to be together when you know how wrong it is as a reader as well??!! Eitehr way, again an action packed story that will have you from beginning to end!!
Date published: 2009-08-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from What a great book! This book just has so much action in it thats it's hard just to put down to take a break. I'm really looking forward to reading 'City of Glass'. I'm so sad I don't have it yet! :(
Date published: 2009-07-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Hooked WOAH!! So i've finished reading this book and i'm itching to get the third one!! It's one of the series where you just have to read them one after the other. I've read spoilers on the City of Glass and it's just made me want to go out and get it ASAP...but i've had no time:( IT's a good read. Start from the beginning!!!!
Date published: 2009-07-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from O M G...(Spoilers) Okay I can definately forsee something else happening with Jace and Clary with the whole "boyfriend" thing now done with Simon...but the best part is I have no idea how they are going to NOT BE BRO and SIS, which is so wicked. I love how while you know it is going to happen, you don't know how!!!!!
Date published: 2009-06-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Yay!!! Even Better :) So much happens in this book that when it ends the reader is left begging for more!!! The relationship between Jace and Clary becomes tragically intense. I've got my fingers crossed. The plot and the characters are developed really well in Cassandra Clare's outstanding imaginary world. I love this series sooooo much. I'm starting "City of Glass" right away!!!
Date published: 2009-06-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Second Book This was the 2nd instalment of the Mortal Instrument Series. Clary’s life is no longer normal after everything she learns about her past in City of Bones. Her mother remains in a coma and Clary attempts to find a way to remove the spell. Clary and Simon start to grow closer but Simon may no longer be human. Clary and Jace try to deal with the awkwardness of knowing they are siblings after they started to have feelings for one another in book 1. It was very hard seeing them as siblings and my heart broke for the two of them. Alec and Magnus grow closer and we meet Alec and Isabelle’s parents. Valentine has now stolen the second of the Mortal instruments and attempts to sway Jace to join him. The follow up to City of Bones was even better. I really love the characters and they go into greater deps. A great read!
Date published: 2009-05-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Better than the first This one was even better than City of Bones. It is action packed and suspenceful with no dull moments. Romantic tension and tons of hilarious sarcastic humour throughout. Loving this series!
Date published: 2009-04-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love, love, love it!! Honestly, I think that The Mortal Instruments is an amazing series of books (dare I say better than the Twilight Saga?? Oh no I didn't LOL). I read this book in a day and a half. I am dying to get my hands on City of Glass to see how things end. Cassandra Clare's story and characters are exciting . I feel like I'm right there interacting in the story. I am secretly in love with Jace!! HA HA HA!!
Date published: 2009-04-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The best series I've read since Twilight! The was the second book in the series and it did not disappoint. I stayed up till 3 in the morning because I couldn't put it down. I love the writing in these books; the dialogue between character and different demons and Downworlder's. It's a creative gem that should be read be everyone. Read it! You won't be sorry. And S-P-O-I-L-E-R A-L-E-R-T ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ********** **** * **** ********** **** * I wrote the spoiler backwards incase someone accidently reads it. !detaler er'yeht kniht t'nod I
Date published: 2009-04-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from As AMAZING as the first one! ONE OF MY FAVOURITES!! This is one of my favourite series and a book that I absolutely love! I love reading it again and again!! Right from the very first page, you'll be sucked into Clary's world. You won't put the book down until it's done, that's for sure! Clary knows now that she can never be normal again. Her mother may be saved from Valentine, but she still won't wake up. And of course, Valentine, having escaped with the Mortal Cup at the end of City of Bones (the first novel), is up to no good again and has some unfinished business. Clary may be with Simon now, but she still loves Jace, even though she knows that she can't ever be with him (if you've read the first one, you'll know what I mean, but it not, then I've saved you by not spoiling it...). Shadowhunters (demon hunters), werewolves, vampires, warlocks, and faeries! Plus, lots more action, suspense, plot twists, surprises, and a great build up to a wicked ending... how can you go wrong? You'll be begging for the final installment in the series, City of Glass, by the time you're done.
Date published: 2009-03-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent! I cannot wait for the third book to come out! It just keeps getting better. This triligoy keeps you wanting more and wondering if the characters are really who they are!
Date published: 2009-03-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from As good as the first This book was as good as the first. Loved all the characters and the storyline. It's a fun and entertaining book full of suspense, humour, action, friendship, and a bit of love. Great read. Can't wait for the third.
Date published: 2009-01-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from What a great book I just finished reading City of Ashes for the third time and I think the person on the cover Ms .Clare newest book is Clary's real brother !And I also think that Jace is the Inquistor son Stephen!!!Anyone else out there think the same ? I can't wait to find out ,just a few more monthes !
Date published: 2009-01-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great, Just as Expected So, after finishing "City of Bones" I immediately went out to buy the sequel, wondering if it would be as good as the first. I was surprised when I discovered it was even better! Dwelling deeper into the world of Shadowhunters, "City of Ashes" follows the original gang as they face bigger challenges and the aftermath of the events that occurred in the first novel. A few new characters are introduced while the older ones are explored further, revealing interesting things about each. The plot becomes even more twisted and exciting as new scenarios sprout up, bringing drama, action, and all the funny one liners you can handle. If you enjoyed the first book than you will definitely love this one!
Date published: 2009-01-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sequel lives up to the standards of the first THis book was just as excellent as the first one. All the things i fell in love with the first one came back in the second plus a few extra surprises. I highly recommend for anyone who has read city of bones to read this awesome novel as well and anyone who hasn't read this trilogy and is looking for an amazing read to pick it up!
Date published: 2009-01-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Funny story... See, i've finished City of Ashes a long time ago already, and today i picked it up again and randomly opened it to a page and found myself reading it again. i actually finished the book all over again! xD That's how good it is. It captures you again and again and you can't help yourself but to finish the story. This is one of my favourite books, and i love cassandra clare. i can't wait till City of Glass comes out in march!!
Date published: 2009-01-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from What an amazing book Cassandra Clare is a genuis. I've never read a book thats only taken me half a day to read. She captivates you, good luck trying to put this book down. I just Started the secound one yesterday morning and finished it a couple of minutes ago(could of finished it yesterday but i stopped myself i wanted to cherish it ). The storyline is ingenius and this is a book that i will read over and over again. The personalities of the characters is priceless. Simon on the other hand, is such a dork. I think if Jace were a real human, he would be pretty famous in his own way. Clary is a girl that everyone should look up to, she is brave, curious, beautiful and strong. I don't know what else to say but Cassandra Clare, WRITE MORE BOOKS!!!!
Date published: 2008-12-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An All Time Favourite ***** Spoiler Alert***** I'm EXTREMELY glad I hadn't missed out the series The City of Bones. I was assigned to read City of Bones to do a movie trailer for my media class in English however I was ALWAYS wanting to read the series because of it's title. It was something different to me and it stood out. Fortunately, because of my curiousity I had read the sequel to it named City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare. I wanted to know how Clary was going to digest the fact that Simon had been in love with her for ten years, the fact that she is in love with her brother, Jace and now knows that her father isn't dead and that his name is Valentine Morgenstern. This sequel was EVEN better than the City of Bones and as the plot moves on, the sequels get better and better. This is one of my ALL time favourites. I loved this series and I haven't read something EXTREMELY amazing in quite some time. I recommend this novel to anyone that loves to have a great taste of romance and action combined together. I cannot wait for the third sequel City of Glass comming out on the 24th of March, 2009 !!! =)
Date published: 2008-10-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from WOW This book was so good. I read the whole thing in one day. I couldnt put it down. It is amazing I am dieing to find out what happens next and I cant believe I have to wait until March 24! This series is much better than Twilight and Harry Potter combined. It has mystery, magic, love, and everything else a good book should have. I love Jace and Simon, I cant believe Clary and Jace are siblings I mean they were almost TOGETHER! Then Simon finally admits that he loves Clary and she doesnt love him like that and then he turns into a vampire! O my gosh!!!!!! It is so fricken good. I seriously would recommend this book to anybody who enjoyed the Twilight or the Harry Potter series. It is a little hard at first to sort out all the terminology but once you do it is great! A absolute must read! I will defidently be reading this series again and again and agian.
Date published: 2008-09-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from loved it! After seeing all the negative reviews on amazon I'm glad that this book seems to be getting a more positive reaction here. I think that the main reason people have a problem with Cassie Clare is because she was famous for her fan fiction before she actually got published. As a fan of her fan fiction, this aspect of her background doesn't bother me. After reading her famous Draco Trilogy which I love, was a little disappointed with her first original novel (City of Bones) because I know that she can do much better. It was good, but it wasn't as good as if should have been. With City of Ashes, Clare really comes into her own. She does one of the things that in my opinion made the Draco Trilogy great- rotating point of view. With City of Bones we were mostly seeing everything through Clary's eyes, which killed a lot of the potential suspense of the story, and got a little boring. In City of Ashes we flip between Clary, Jace, Luke, Alec, even Valentine a bit, which means we're seeing lots of different scenes at once and there is a lot more suspense and excitement. I like the changes the characters go through as well, though I won't give anything away. Overall, a great read,
Date published: 2008-08-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Even Better than the First I don't even know what to say, I just thought this book was amazing. Lots of people complain about her relating back to her Harry Potter Fanfic roots, and copying J.K. Rowling, but(I am an AVID Harry Potter fan) I never even made the connection until I read people's reviews. I was too caught up in the storyline. I think both City of Bones and Ashes are great works in themselves.
Date published: 2008-07-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So good. I needed to read this right away to find out what happened to the characters and what direction the story would take after all the frustrating excitement of City of Bones. Again, the story pulls you through the pages until you are dissapointed that you've come to the end. With some things left unresolved, I cannot wait to read the next book when it finally comes out.
Date published: 2008-07-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Complete Satisfyer ..once again Just like the first book this was an excellent read. It had lots of things going on so i don't want to hear anyone saying this was a slow read or boring et cetera!! It was simply fantastic and i cant wait till the third book comes out although the wait is going to be excruciating. I liked the twists and turns this book brought with it and i LOVED the fact that Simon finally gave up with him and Clary ever being an item. It gives me hope that in the third book her and Jace will finally be together!!! [ i realize this may be wrong for obvious reasons but quite frankly i don't give a crap :) ] so in conclusion i recommend this book to anyone who reads ! Go buy the two books that are out...NOW!!! :)
Date published: 2008-07-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! I wish there had been books like this when I was a teen. Amazingly well-written and adult but still with the sense of a teenager. I loved it and cannot believe the next one only comes out in March 2009. Definetly recommend.
Date published: 2008-06-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Clare Is Definitely Carving Her Niche Such a fantastic read. Clare has continued the misadventures of Clary in this second novel with just as much sass and drama as the first one. What I love about this is that it's a good versus evil story but at heart really just a fight against racism and bigotry. There's plenty of character growth and most importantly, a lot of them that become less narrow minded and appreciative of people for who they are, and not just their "race." There are also lots of similarities between the Mortal Instruments series and Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy. Those are quite obvious but don't overly detract from the story. You can see the homage, but at the same time Clare's created a very unique universe populated with outspoken and colourful characters. The character I found shone the most in this novel was really Simon. His character, seemingly just a secondary one in the first story, becomes more necessary this time around for Clary. I look forward to the third installment and this has definitely fallen under an author I'd recommend to any young reader.
Date published: 2008-05-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from WOW WOW WOW again!!!!!!!!!!! Yet another GREAT book ,I can't wait for the next book ! This book is a MUST and I repeat a MUST read book .The way Ms.Clare writes its like you are the characters ,I can't write enough about Ms Clare's book ,JUST READ THEM FOR YOURSELF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Date published: 2008-04-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Epic!! Reading City of Ashes and its partner City of Bones was like a breath of fresh air, I truly loved both of the books and I cant wait for City of Glass to appear on our shelves next spring. The only disappointing part of both books was when Clary and Jace find out they are related, which puts a downer on most relationships, dont you think? If you loved this book you will also love Twilight, New Moon and Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer.
Date published: 2008-04-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brilliant! The first two books into the series by Cassandra Clare is amazing. I litterally finished reading the first two books in 3 days. It suspensful and action packed with just the right amount of romance, I felt so connected with the Clary. Honestly, I would say it they're the best books I've read since the Twilight series (I can't wait for Breaking Dawn!). Pick it up, take a look, and tell me how you like it!
Date published: 2008-04-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Incredible! In City of Bones we were introduced to the riveting world of Shadowhunters as well as a stunning cast of characters. City of Ashes commences with Clary and her friends in a precarious situation. Clary's mother is still in a coma, the Clave is under the belief that Jace is a spy for Valentine and Clary's friend Simon continues to pursue her romantically. We finally get to meet Alec and Isabelle's parents, The Lightwoods. Maryse (Mrs. Lightwood) doubts Jace's word ever since the relevation of him being Valentine's son. Afraid that Valentine has sent Jace as a spy in the Clave, she insists that he leaves the Insitute. Her doubt also leads her to call The Inquisitor to question Jace about Valentine. And Maryse and the Inquisitor believe in Jace. In fact, the Inquisitor seems to have a personal grudge against Jace and subjects him to horrible punishments and unwarranted imprisonments. Valentine's latest plan is to steal the Soul-Sword and transform it from a demon killing sword to a sword to kill the members of the Clave. But this transformation requires the blood of different types of young Downworlders, causing danger to Simon and Maia, a member of Luke's path. Along with the increasing danger and the discovery that Jace and Clary may have some unknown powers, City of Ashes furthur explores the characters...Alec and Magnus are developed more and Luke's motives for helping Clary's mother are also revealed. Clary's friend Simon also encounters some problems of his own. And of course, Clary and Jace are still trying to get used to their new status as brother and sister. Cassandra Clare has written a fabulous sequel to City of Bones, one that readers should not miss. I found myself turning the pages as rapidly as possible as I so desperately wanted to know what would happen. It's one of my new favourites.
Date published: 2008-03-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from interesting ***Caution spoilers from last book*** i loved the last book up until Jay turned out to be her brother but they were in love, it got into a very sticky mess. i'm looking forward to seeing how she fixes the issue. it was definatly a book that has you glued to the seat
Date published: 2007-09-25

Read from the Book

Prologue SMOKE AND DIAMONDS The formidable glass-and-steel structure rose from its position on Front Street like a glittering needle threading the sky. There were fifty-seven floors to the Metropole, Manhattan's most expensive new downtown condominium tower. The topmost floor, the fifty-seventh, contained the most luxurious apartment of all: the Metropole penthouse, a masterpiece of sleek black-and-white design. Too new to have gathered dust yet, its bare marble floors reflected back the stars visible through the enormous floor-to-ceiling windows. The window glass was perfectly translucent, providing such a complete illusion that there was nothing between the viewer and the view that it had been known to induce vertigo even in those unafraid of heights. Far below ran the silver ribbon of the East River, braceleted by shining bridges, flecked by boats as small as flyspecks, splitting the shining banks of light that were Manhattan and Brooklyn on either side. On a clear night the illuminated Statue of Liberty was just visible to the south -- but there was fog tonight, and Liberty Island was hidden behind a white bank of mist. However spectacular the view, the man standing in front of the window didn't look particularly impressed by it. There was a frown on his narrow, ascetic face as he turned away from the glass and strode across the floor, the heels of his boots echoing against the marble floor. "Aren't you ready yet?" he demanded, raking a hand through his salt-white hair. "We've been here nearly an hour." The boy kneeling on the floor looked up at him, nervous and petulant. "It's the marble. It's more solid than I thought. It's making it hard to draw the pentagram." "So skip the pentagram." Up close it was easier to see that despite his white hair, the man wasn't old. His hard face was severe but unlined, his eyes clear and steady. The boy swallowed hard and the membranous black wings protruding from his narrow shoulder blades (he had cut slits in the back of his denim jacket to accommodate them) flapped nervously. "The pentagram is a necessary part of any demonraising ritual. You know that, sir. Without it..." "We're not protected. I know that, young Elias. But get on with it. I've known warlocks who could raise a demon, chat him up, and dispatch him back to hell in the time it's taken you to draw half a five-pointed star." The boy said nothing, only attacked the marble again, this time with renewed urgency. Sweat dripped from his forehead and he pushed his hair back with a hand whose fingers were connected with delicate weblike membranes. "Done," he said at last, sitting back on his heels with a gasp. "It's done." "Good." The man sounded pleased. "Let's get started." "My money -- " "I told you. You'll get your money after I talk to Agramon, not before." Elias got to his feet and shrugged his jacket off. Despite the holes he'd cut in it, it still compressed his wings uncomfortably; freed, they stretched and expanded themselves, wafting a breeze through the unventilated room. His wings were the color of an oil slick: black threaded with a rainbow of dizzying colors. The man looked away from him, as if the wings displeased him, but Elias didn't seem to notice. He began circling the pentagram he'd drawn, circling it counterclockwise and chanting in a demon language that sounded like the crackle of flames. With a sound like air being sucked from a tire, the outline of the pentagram suddenly burst into flames. The dozen huge windows cast back a dozen burning reflected five-pointed stars. Something was moving inside the pentagram, something formless and black. Elias was chanting more quickly now, raising his webbed hands, tracing delicate outlines on the air with his fingers. Where they passed, blue fire crackled. The man couldn't speak Chthonian, the warlock language, with any fluency, but he recognized enough of the words to understand Elias's repeated chant: Agramon, I summon thee. Out of the spaces between the worlds, I summon thee. The man slid a hand into his pocket. Something hard and cold and metallic met the touch of his fingers. He smiled. Elias had stopped walking. He was standing in front of the pentagram now, his voice rising and falling in a steady chant, blue fire crackling around him like lightning. Suddenly a plume of black smoke rose inside the pentagram; it spiraled upward, spreading and solidifying. Two eyes hung in the shadow like jewels caught in a spider's web. "Who has called me here across the worlds?" Agramon demanded in a voice like shattering glass. "Who summons me?" Elias had stopped chanting. He was standing still in front of the pentagram -- still except for his wings, which beat the air slowly. The air stank of corrosion and burning. "Agramon," the warlock said. "I am the warlock Elias. I am the one who has summoned you." For a moment there was silence. Then the demon laughed, if smoke can be said to laugh. The laugh itself was caustic as acid. "Foolish warlock," Agramon wheezed. "Foolish boy." "You are the foolish one, if you think you can threaten me," Elias said, but his voice trembled like his wings. "You will be a prisoner of that pentagram, Agramon, until I release you." "Will I?" The smoke surged forward, forming and re-forming itself. A tendril took the shape of a human hand and stroked the edge of the burning pentagram that contained it. Then, with a surge, the smoke seethed past the edge of the star, poured over the border like a wave breaching a levee. The flames guttered and died as Elias, screaming, stumbled backward. He was chanting now, in rapid Chthonian, spells of containment and banishment. Nothing happened; the black smoke-mass came on inexorably, and now it was starting to have something of a shape -- a malformed, enormous, hideous shape, its glowing eyes altering, rounding to the size of saucers, spilling a dreadful light. The man watched with impassive interest as Elias screamed again and turned to run. He never reached the door. Agramon surged forward, his dark mass crashing down over the warlock like a surge of boiling black tar. Elias struggled feebly for a moment under the onslaught -- and then was still. The black shape withdrew, leaving the warlock lying contorted on the marble floor. "I do hope," said the man, who had taken the cold metal object out of his pocket and was toying with it idly, "that you haven't done anything to him that will render him useless to me. I need his blood, you see." Agramon turned, a black pillar with deadly diamond eyes. They took in the man in the expensive suit, his narrow, unconcerned face, the black Marks covering his skin, and the glowing object in his hand. "You paid the warlock child to summon me? And you did not tell him what I could do?" "You guess correctly," said the man. Agramon spoke with grudging admiration. "That was clever." The man took a step toward the demon. "I am very clever. And I'm also your master now. I hold the Mortal Cup. You must obey me, or face the consequences." The demon was silent a moment. Then it slid to the ground in a mockery of obeisance -- the closest a creature with no real body could come to kneeling. "I am at your service, my Lord...?" The sentence ended politely, on a question. The man smiled. "You may call me Valentine." Copyright © 2008 by Cassandra Claire, LLC Chapter 1 VALENTINE'S ARROW "Are you still mad?" Alec, leaning against the wall of the elevator, glared across the small space at Jace. "I'm not mad." "Oh, yes you are." Jace gestured accusingly at his stepbrother, then yelped as pain shot up his arm. Every part of him hurt from the thumping he'd taken that afternoon when he'd dropped three floors through rotted wood onto a pile of scrap metal. Even his fingers were bruised. Alec, who'd only recently put away the crutches he'd had to use after his fight with Abbadon, didn't look much better than Jace felt. His clothes were covered in mud and his hair hung down in lank, sweaty strips. There was a long cut down the side of his cheek. "I am not," Alec said, through his teeth. "Just because you said dragon demons were extinct -- " "I said mostly extinct." Alec jabbed a finger toward him. "Mostly extinct," he said, his voice trembling with rage, "is NOT EXTINCT ENOUGH." "I see," said Jace. "I'll just have them change the entry in the demonology textbook from 'almost extinct' to 'not extinct enough for Alec. He prefers his monsters really, really extinct.' Will that make you happy?" "Boys, boys," said Isabelle, who'd been examining her face in the elevator's mirrored wall. "Don't fight." She turned away from the glass with a sunny smile. "All right, so it was a little more action than we were expecting, but I thought it was fun." Alec looked at her and shook his head. "How do you manage never to get mud on you?" Isabelle shrugged philosophically. "I'm pure at heart. It repels the dirt." Jace snorted so loudly that she turned on him with a frown. He wiggled his mud-caked fingers at her. His nails were black crescents. "Filthy inside and out." Isabelle was about to reply when the elevator ground to a halt with the sound of screeching brakes. "Time to get this thing fixed," she said, yanking the door open. Jace followed her out into the entryway, already looking forward to shucking his armor and weapons and stepping into a hot shower. He'd convinced his stepsiblings to come hunting with him despite the fact that neither of them was entirely comfortable going out on their own now that Hodge wasn't there to give them instructions. But Jace had wanted the oblivion of fighting, the harsh diversion of killing, and the distraction of injuries. And knowing he wanted it, they'd gone along with it, crawling through filthy deserted subway tunnels until they'd found the Dragonidae demon and killed it. The three of them working together in perfect unison, the waythey always had. Like family. He unzipped his jacket and slung it over one of the pegs hanging on the wall. Alec was sitting on the low wooden bench next to him, kicking off his muck-covered boots. He was humming tunelessly under his breath, letting Jace know he wasn't that annoyed. Isabelle was pulling the pins out of her long dark hair, allowing it to shower down around her. "Now I'm hungry," she said. "I wish Mom were here to cook us something." "Better that she isn't," said Jace, unbuckling his weapons belt. "She'd already be shrieking about the rugs." "You're right about that," said a cool voice, and Jace swung around, his hands still at his belt, and saw Maryse Lightwood, her arms folded, standing in the doorway. She wore a stiff black traveling suit and her hair, black as Isabelle's, was drawn back into a thick rope that hung halfway down her back. Her eyes, a glacial blue, swept over the three of them like a tracking searchlight. "Mom!" Isabelle, recovering her composure, ran to her mother for a hug. Alec got to his feet and joined them, trying to hide the fact that he was still limping. Jace stood where he was. There had been something in Maryse's eyes as her gaze had passed over him that froze him in place. Surely what he had said wasn't that bad. They joked about her obsession with the antique rugs all the time -- "Where's Dad?" Isabelle asked, stepping back from her mother. "And Max?" There was an almost imperceptible pause. Then Maryse said, "Max is in his room. And your father, unfortunately, is still in Alicante. There was some business there that required his attention." Alec, generally more sensitive to moods than his sister, seemed to hesitate. "Is something wrong?" "I could ask you that." His mother's tone was dry. "Are you limping?" "I..." Alec was a terrible liar. Isabelle picked up for him, smoothly: "We had a run-in with a Dragonidae demon in the subway tunnels. But it was nothing." "And I suppose that Greater Demon you fought last week, that was nothing too?" Even Isabelle was silenced by that. She looked to Jace, who wished she hadn't. "That wasn't planned for." Jace was having a hard time concentrating. Maryse hadn't greeted him yet, hadn't said so much as hello, and she was still looking at him with eyes like blue daggers. There was a hollow feeling in the pit of his stomach that was beginning to spread. She'd never looked at him like this before, no matter what he'd done. "It was a mistake -- " "Jace!" Max, the youngest Lightwood, squeezed his way around Maryse and darted into the room, evading his mother's reaching hand. "You're back! You're all back." He turned in a circle, grinning at Alec and Isabelle in triumph. "I thought I heard the elevator." "And I thought I told you to stay in your room," said Maryse. "I don't remember that," said Max, with a seriousness that made even Alec smile. Max was small for his age -- he looked about seven -- but he had a self-contained gravity that, combined with his oversize glasses, gave him the air of someone older. Alec reached over and ruffled his brother's hair, but Max was still looking at Jace, his eyes shining. Jace felt the cold fist clenched in his stomach relax ever so slightly. Max had always hero-worshiped him in a way that he didn't worship his own older brother, probably because Jace was far more tolerant of Max's presence. "I heard you fought a Greater Demon," he said. "Was it awesome?" "It was...different," Jace hedged. "How was Alicante?" "It was awesome. We saw the coolest stuff. There's this huge armory in Alicante and they took me to some of the places where they make the weapons. They showed me a new way to make seraph blades too, so they last longer, and I'm going to try to get Hodge to show me -- " Jace couldn't help it; his eyes flicked instantly to Maryse, his expression incredulous. So Max didn't know about Hodge? Hadn't she told him? Maryse saw his look and her lips thinned into a knifelike line. "That's enough, Max." She took her youngest son by the arm. He craned his head to look up at her in surprise. "But I'm talking to Jace -- " "I can see that." She pushed him gently toward Isabelle. "Isabelle, Alec, take your brother to his room. Jace," -- there was a tightness in her voice when she spoke his name, as if invisible acid were drying up the syllables in her mouth -- "get yourself cleaned up and meet me in the library as soon as you can." "I don't get it," said Alec, looking from his mother to Jace, and back again. "What's going on?" Jace could feel cold sweat start up along his spine. "Is this about my father?" Maryse jerked twice, as if the words "my father" had been two separate slaps. "The library," she said, through clenched teeth. "We'll discuss the matter there." Alec said, "What happened while you were gone wasn't Jace's fault. We were all in on it. And Hodge said -- " "We'll discuss Hodge later as well." Maryse's eyes were on Max, her tone warning. "But, Mother," Isabelle protested. "If you're going to punish Jace, you should punish us as well. It would only be fair. We all did exactly the same things." "No," said Maryse, after a pause so long that Jace thought perhaps she wasn't going to say anything at all. "You didn't." "Rule number one of anime," Simon said. He sat propped up against a pile of pillows at the foot of his bed, a bag of potato chips in one hand and the TV remote in the other. He was wearing a black T-shirt that said I BLOGGED YOUR MOM and a pair of jeans with a hole ripped in one knee. "Never screw with a blind monk." "I know," Clary said, taking a potato chip and dunking it into the can of dip balanced on the TV tray between them. "For some reason they're always way better fighters than monks who can see." She peered at the screen. "Are those guys dancing?" "That's not dancing. They're trying to kill each other. This is the guy who's the mortal enemy of the other guy, remember? He killed his dad. Why would they be dancing?" Clary crunched at her chip and stared meditatively at the screen, where animated swirls of pink and yellow clouds rippled between the figures of two winged men, who floated around each other, each clutching a glowing spear. Every once in a while one of them would speak, but since it was all in Japanese with Chinese subtitles, it didn't clarify much. "The guy with the hat," she said. "He was the evil guy?" "No, the hat guy was the dad. He was the magical emperor, and that was his hat of power. The evil guy was the one with the mechanical hand that talks." The telephone rang. Simon set the bag of chips down and made as if to get up and answer it. Clary put her hand on his wrist. "Don't. Just leave it." "But it might be Luke. He could be calling from the hospital." "It's not Luke," Clary said, sounding more sure than she felt. "He'd call my cell, not your house." Simon looked at her a long moment before sinking back down on the rug beside her. "If you say so." She could hear the doubt in his voice, but also the unspoken assurance, I just want you to be happy. She wasn't sure "happy" was anything she was likely to be right now, not with her mother in the hospital hooked up to tubes and bleeping machines, and Luke like a zombie, slumped in the hard plastic chair next to her bed. Not with worrying about Jace all the time and picking up the phone a dozen times to call the Institute before setting it back down, the number still undialed. If Jace wanted to talk to her, he could call. Maybe it had been a mistake to take him to see Jocelyn. She'd been so sure that if her mother could just hear the voice of her son, her firstborn, she'd wake up. But she hadn't. Jace had stood stiff and awkward by the bed, his face like a painted angel's, with blank indifferent eyes. Clary had finally lost her patience and shouted at him, and he'd shouted back before storming off. Luke had watched him go with a clinical sort of interest on his exhausted face. "That's the first time I've seen you act like sister and brother," he'd remarked. Clary had said nothing in response. There was no point telling him how badly she wanted Jace not to be her brother. You couldn't rip out your own DNA, no matter how much you wished you could. No matter how much it would make you happy. But even if she couldn't quite manage happy, she thought, at least here in Simon's house, in his bedroom, she felt comfortable and at home. She'd known him long enough to remember when he had a bed shaped like a fire truck and LEGOs piled in a corner of the room. Now the bed was a futon with a brightly striped quilt that had been a present from his sister, and the walls were plastered with posters of bands like Rock Solid Panda and Stepping Razor. There was a drum set wedged into the corner of the room where the LEGOs had been, and a computer in the other corner, the screen still frozen on an image from World of Warcraft. It was almost as familiar as being in her own bedroom at home -- which no longer existed, so at least this was the next best thing. "More chibis," said Simon gloomily. All the characters on-screen had turned into inch-high baby versions of themselves and were chasing each other around waving pots and pans. "I'm changing the channel," Simon announced, seizing the remote. "I'm tired of this anime. I can't tell what the plot is and no one ever has sex." "Of course they don't," Clary said, taking another chip. "Anime is wholesome family entertainment." "If you're in the mood for less wholesome entertainment, we could try the porn channels," Simon observed. "Would you rather watch The Witches of Breastwick or As I Lay Dianne?" "Give me that!" Clary grabbed for the remote, but Simon, chortling, had already switched the TV to another channel. His laughter broke off abruptly. Clary looked up in surprise and saw him staring blankly at the TV. An old black-and-white movie was playing -- Dracula. She'd seen it before, with her mother. Bela Lugosi, thin and white-faced, was on-screen, wrapped in the familiar high-collared cloak, his lips curled back from his pointed teeth. "I never," he intoned in his thick Hungarian accent. "I love how the spiderwebs are made out of rubber," Clary said, trying to sound light. "You can totally tell." But Simon was already on his feet, dropping the remote onto the bed. "I'll be right back," he muttered. His face was the color of winter sky just before it rained. Clary watched him go, biting her lip hard -- it was the first time since her mother had gone to the hospital that she'd realized maybe Simon wasn't too happy either. Toweling off his hair, Jace regarded his reflection in the mirror with a quizzical scowl. A healing rune had taken care of the worst of his bruises, but it hadn't helped the shadows under his eyes or the tight lines at the corners of his mouth. His head ached and he felt slightly dizzy. He knew he should have eaten something that morning, but he'd woken up nauseated and panting from nightmares, not wanting to pause to eat, just wanting the release of physical activity, to burn out his dreams in bruises and sweat. Tossing the towel aside, he thought longingly of the sweet black tea Hodge used to brew from the night-blooming flowers in the greenhouse. The tea had taken away hunger pangs and brought a swift surge of energy. Since Hodge's death, Jace had tried boiling the plants' leaves in water to see if he could produce the same effect, but the only result was a bitter, ashy-tasting liquid that made him gag and spit. Barefoot, he padded into the bedroom and threw on jeans and a clean shirt. He pushed back his wet blond hair, frowning. It was too long at the moment, falling into his eyes -- something Maryse would be sure to chide him about. She always did. He might not be the Lightwoods' biological son, but they'd treated him like it since they'd adopted him at age ten, after the death of his own father. The supposed death, Jace reminded himself, that hollow feeling in his guts resurfacing again. He'd felt like a jack-o'-lantern for the past few days, as if his guts had been yanked out with a fork and dumped in a heap while a grinning smile stayed plastered on his face. He often wondered if anything he'd believed about his life, or himself, had ever been true. He'd thought he was an orphan -- he wasn't. He'd thought he was an only child -- he had a sister. Clary. The pain came again, stronger. He pushed it down. His eyes fell on the bit of broken mirror that lay atop his dresser, still reflecting green boughs and a diamond of blue sky. It was nearly twilight now in Idris: The sky was dark as cobalt. Choking on hollowness, Jace yanked his boots on and headed downstairs to the library. He wondered as he clattered down the stone steps just what it was that Maryse wanted to say to him alone. She'd looked like she'd wanted to haul off and smack him. He couldn't remember the last time she'd laid a hand on him. The Lightwoods weren't given to corporal punishment -- quite a change from being brought up by Valentine, who'd concocted all sorts of painful castigations to encourage obedience. Jace's Shadowhunter skin always healed, covering all but the worst of the evidence. In the days and weeks after his father died Jace could remember searching his body for scars, for some mark that would be a token, a remembrance to tie him physically to his father's memory. He reached the library and knocked once before pushing the door open. Maryse was there, sitting in Hodge's old chair by the fire. Light streamed down through the high windows and Jace could see the touches of gray in her hair. She was holding a glass of red wine; there was a cut-glass decanter on the table beside her. "Maryse," he said. She jumped a little, spilling some of the wine. "Jace. I didn't hear you come in." He didn't move. "Do you remember that song you used to sing to Isabelle and Alec -- when they were little and afraid of the dark -- to get them to fall asleep?" Maryse appeared taken aback. "What are you talking about?" "I used to hear you through the walls," he said. "Alec's bedroom was next to mine then." She said nothing. "It was in French," Jace said. "The song." "I don't know why you'd remember something like that." She looked at him as if he'd accused her of something. "You never sang to me." There was a barely perceptible pause. Then, "Oh, you," she said. "You were never afraid of the dark." "What kind of ten-year-old is never afraid of the dark?" Her eyebrows went up. "Sit down, Jonathan," she said. "Now." He went, just slowly enough to annoy her, across the room, and threw himself into one of the wing-back chairs beside the desk. "I'd rather you didn't call me Jonathan." "Why not? It's your name." She looked at him consideringly. "How long have you known?" "Known what?" "Don't be stupid. You know exactly what I'm asking you." She turned her glass in her fingers. "How long have you known that Valentine is your father?" Jace considered and discarded several responses. Usually he could get his way with Maryse by making her laugh. He was one of the only people in the world who could make her laugh. "About as long as you have." Maryse shook her head slowly. "I don't believe that." Jace sat up straight. His hands were in fists where they rested on the chair arms. He could see a slight tremor in his fingers, wondered if he'd ever had it before. He didn't think so. His hands had always been as steady as his heartbeat. "You don't believe me?" He heard the incredulity in his own voice and winced inwardly. Of course she didn't believe him. That had been obvious from the moment she had arrived home. "It doesn't make sense, Jace. How could you not know who your own father is?" "He told me he was Michael Wayland. We lived in the Wayland country house -- " "A nice touch," said Maryse, "that. And your name? What's your real name?" "You know my real name." "Jonathan Christopher. I knew that was Valentine's son's name. I knew Michael had a son named Jonathan too. It's a common enough Shadowhunter name -- I never thought it was strange they shared it, and as for Michael's boy's middle name, I never inquired. But now I can't help wondering. What was Michael Wayland's son's real middle name? How long had Valentine been planning what he was going to do? How long did he know he was going to murder Jonathan Wayland -- ?" She broke off, her eyes fixed on Jace. "You never looked like Michael, you know," she said. "But sometimes children don't look like their parents. I didn't think about it before. But now I can see Valentine in you. The way you're looking at me. That defiance. You don't care what I say, do you?" But he did care. All he was good at was making sure she couldn't see it. "Would it make a difference if I did?" She set the glass down on the table beside her. It was empty. "And you answer questions with questions to throw me off, just like Valentine always did. Maybe I should have known." "Maybe nothing. I'm still exactly the same person I've been for the past seven years. Nothing's changed about me. If I didn't remind you of Valentine before, I don't see why I would now." Her glance moved over him and away as if she couldn't bear to look directly at him. "Surely when we talked about Michael, you must have known we couldn't possibly have meant your father. The things we said about him could never have applied to Valentine." "You said he was a good man." Anger twisted inside him. "A brave Shadowhunter. A loving father. I thought that seemed accurate enough." "What about photographs? You must have seen photographs of Michael Wayland and realized he wasn't the man you called your father." She bit her lip. "Help me out here, Jace." "All the photographs were destroyed in the Uprising. That's what you told me. Now I wonder if it wasn't because Valentine had them all burned so nobody would know who was in the Circle. I never had a photograph of my father," Jace said, and wondered if he sounded as bitter as he felt. Maryse put a hand to her temple and massaged it as if her head were aching. "I can't believe this," she said, as if to herself. "It's insane." "So don't believe it. Believe me," Jace said, and felt the tremor in his hands increase. She dropped her hand. "Don't you think I want to?" she demanded, and for a moment he heard the echo in her voice of the Maryse who'd come into his bedroom at night when he was ten years old and staring dry-eyed at the ceiling, thinking of his father -- and she'd sat by the bed with him until he'd fallen asleep just before dawn. "I didn't know," Jace said again. "And when he asked me to come with him back to Idris, I said no. I'm still here. Doesn't that count for anything?" She turned to look back at the decanter, as if considering another drink, then seemed to discard the idea. "I wish it did," she said. "But there are so many reasons your fathermight want you to remain at the Institute. Where Valentine is concerned, I can't afford to trust anyone his influence has touched." "His influence touched you," Jace said, and instantly regretted it at the look that flashed across her face. "And I repudiated him," said Maryse. "Have you? Could you?" Her blue eyes were the same color as Alec's, but Alec had never looked at him like this. "Tell me you hate him, Jace. Tell me you hate that man and everything he stands for." A moment passed, and another, and Jace, looking down, saw that his hands were so tightly fisted that the knuckles stood out white and hard like the bones in a fish's spine. "I can't say that." Maryse sucked in her breath. "Why not?" "Why can't you say that you trust me? I've lived with you almost half my life. Surely you must know me better than that?" "You sound so honest, Jonathan. You always have, even when you were a little boy trying to pin the blame for something you'd done wrong on Isabelle or Alec. I've only ever met one person who could sound as persuasive as you." Jace tasted copper in his mouth. "You mean my father." "There were only ever two kinds of people in the world for Valentine," she said. "Those who were for the Circle and those who were against it. The latter were enemies, and the former were weapons in his arsenal. I saw him try to turn each of his friends, even his own wife, into a weapon for the Cause -- and you want me to believe he wouldn't have done the same with his own son?" She shook her head. "I knew him him better than that." For the first time, Maryse looked at him with more sadness than anger. "You are an arrow shot directly into the heart of the Clave, Jace. You are Valentine's arrow. Whether you know it or not." Clary shut the bedroom door on the blaring TV and went to look for Simon. She found him in the kitchen, bent over the sink with the water running. His hands were braced on the draining board. "Simon?" The kitchen was a bright, cheerful yellow, the walls decorated with framed chalk and pencil sketches Simon and Rebecca had done in grade school. Rebecca had some drawing talent, you could tell, but Simon's sketches of people all looked like parking meters with tufts of hair. He didn't look up now, though she could tell by the tightening of his shoulder muscles that he'd heard her. She went over to the sink, laying a hand lightly on his back. She felt the sharp nubs of his spine through the thin cotton T-shirt and wondered if he'd lost weight. She couldn't tell by looking at him, but looking at Simon was like looking in a mirror -- when you saw someone every day, you didn't always notice small changes in their outward appearance. "Are you okay?" He turned the water off with a hard jerk of his wrist. "Sure. I'm fine." She laid a finger against the side of his chin and turned his face toward her. He was sweating, the dark hair that lay across his forehead stuck to his skin, though the air coming through the half-open kitchen window was cool. "You don't look fine. Was it the movie?" He didn't answer. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have laughed, it's just -- " "You don't remember?" His voice sounded hoarse. "I..." Clary trailed off. That night, looking back, seemed a long haze of running, of blood and sweat, of shadows glimpsed in doorways, of falling through space. She remembered the white faces of the vampires, like paper cutouts against the darkness, and remembered Jace holding her, shouting hoarsely into her ear. "Not really. It's a blur." His gaze flicked past her and then back. "Do I seem different to you?" he asked. She raised her eyes to his. His were the color of black coffee -- not really black, but a rich brown without a touch of gray or hazel. Did he seem different? There might have been an extra touch of confidence in the way he held himself since the day he'd killed Abbadon, the Greater Demon; but there was also a wariness about him, as if he were waiting or watching for something. It was something she had noticed about Jace as well. Perhaps it was only the awareness of mortality. "You're still Simon." He half-closed his eyes as if in relief, and as his eyelashes lowered, she saw how angular his cheekbones looked. He had lost weight, she thought, and was about to say so when he leaned down and kissed her. She was so surprised at the feel of his mouth on hers that she went rigid all over, grabbing for the edge of the draining board to support herself. She did not, however, push him away, and clearly taking this as a sign of encouragement, Simon slid his hand behind her head and deepened the kiss, parting her lips with his. His mouth was soft, softer than Jace's had been, and the hand that cupped her neck was warm and gentle. He tasted like salt. She let her eyes fall shut and for a moment floated dizzily in the darkness and the heat, the feel of his fingers moving through her hair. When the harsh ring of the telephone cut through her daze, she jumped back as if he'd pushed her away, though he hadn't moved. They stared at each other for a moment, in wild confusion, like two people finding themselves suddenly transported to a strange landscape where nothing was familiar. Simon turned away first, reaching for the phone that hung on the wall beside the spice rack. "Hello?" He sounded normal, but his chest was rising and falling fast. He held the receiver out to Clary. "It's for you." Clary took the phone. She could still feel the pounding of her heart in her throat, like the fluttering wings of an insect trapped under her skin. It's Luke, calling from the hospital. Something's happened to my mother. She swallowed. "Luke? Is it you?" "No. It's Isabelle." "Isabelle?" Clary looked up and saw Simon watching her, leaning against the sink. The flush on his cheeks had faded. "Why are you -- I mean, what's up?" There was a hitch in the other girl's voice, as if she'd been crying. "Is Jace there?" Clary actually held out the phone so she could stare at it before bringing the receiver back to her ear. "Jace? No. Why would he be here?" Isabelle's answering breath echoed down the phone line like a gasp. "The thing is...he's gone." Copyright © 2008 by Cassandra Claire, LLC

Editorial Reviews

"[A] smart, funny, romantic read."