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Bookish Thoughts: City of Ashes

Tuesday, January 3, 2017



"Warning! Contains Spoilers for pretty much the whole series!"

January 3, 2017

"When you love someone, you don't have a choice. Love takes your choices away."  — Cassandra Clare (Clary Fray), The Mortal Instruments, City of Ashes

Two down, four to go.

When I decided to do this re-read of The Mortal Instruments, I had forgotten how long some of them were. I was planning to read the first three back in December and I only ended up reading City of Bones, whoops. Anyways, I just finished City of Ashes and even though it is not my favourite of the series, I really enjoyed it. 


I think the reason I don't like it as much as the others is the same reason I don't care for "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets". As "Prisoner of Azkaban" is my favourite, I always want to skip book 2 and as "City of Glass" is my favourite of TMI, the same rule applies. However, that being said "City of Ashes" is a very important book for the series.

We get introduced to Maia; Simon becomes a vampire and then a Daylighter; Jace and Clary realize they have these extra powers; Magnus and Alec explore a bit more of their relationship; Seelies are introduced; Then of course, Valentine's plans are revealed more. I think Book 2 sets up book 6 as well because what Valentine is trying to do with the sword, Sebastian does with the cup and so on. It also sets up the future relationships. You definitely see Malec and even a tad bit of Sizzy due to Izzy's concern for Simon. However, I love Sizzy in the later novels more. 

My favourite part of book 2 is when Jace saves Simon's life. I still don't know if he did it because of Clary, to spite Valentine, or just because he likes the vampire. I guess it could be all three as well. Hmm. I always really liked the dynamic between Jace and Simon, especially near the end of the series and in "Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy". My theory is this: Jace always liked Simon, but because he is Jace, he needed to keep up his 'Jace facade' which is just stupid because Jace is an incredible character when he isn't be a self-centered ass.

Something else I really like about book 2 is Raphael. He slowly starts to become a major character and the way he acts towards Simon has always confused me a bit. I can't tell if he likes him or just feels sorry for him. After reading a bit more of Raphael's backstory in "The Bane Chronicles" and it made me love him a bit more. Sure, he's a bit of a prick at times, but that is what makes him so fun in my opinion. Speaking of Downworlders, we should talk about Luke. Luke is another one of those characters that you sort of have to love. He is the comfort of the books in a sense, but he also knows when to "wolf-up" and save the day. His "friendship" with Magnus is interesting as well. As Magnus was there for the Uprising, he knows that Luke left, but I feel like there is left over tension there. Yet, I think Magnus respects him as well.

Maia Roberts is another new character that gets introduced and to be honest, I never liked her in the beginning. In the later books, Maia is great and I love her character, but not in book 2. I find her sort of whiny and half the time I just want to slap her and say, "You're a bloody werewolf, buck up sister!". I get she is all tortured from her past, but like book 4 Maia...oh yeah, total badass.

Then of course there is the Seelie Court. For me, it's the most boring part of the book. I would have rather them go off and deal with it while we read what was happening back at Magnus' loft because I assume it would have been major domestic malec, but I could be wrong. That's just me. The kissing scene is weird and the Queen is horrible as she is for the entire rest of the series...it's just a bit much.

Of course, the best part of book 2 is when Clary blows up her father's ship, let's be honest. If I were Valentine, I would scared as hell. Imagine if she just pinned him down and drew that across his chest...ouch. Look, Clary isn't my favourite character, in fact she is probably near the very bottom of my list, but she is so badass. She doesn't care what people tell her because she isn't going to listen anyways. A lot of people say she's childish, but I think that's a good thing. Her powers work off of imagination and if Clary didn't have her colorful and youthful imagination, then I doubt she would be able to create the runes she does. Or get Jace to do what she wants. That too.

Overall I give this book a 4/5 stars. I can't give it 5 for many reasons and none of them are because of Cassie's ability to write because she is the Queen. J.K. Rowling is the Queen Mother and Cassie is the Queen! I've already started City of Glass along with another book I am reviewing for someone, so look out for those!

Happy Reading!

- Haley

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