‘City of Ashes’ is the second book in ‘The Mortal Instruments’ series by Cassandra Clare. It continues the story of Clary, Jace and their friends in the battle against Valentine, as well as continuing their own, personal stories. Cassandra Clare is a phenomenal writer, and this book continues to show her strengths of writing fascinating characters with a well-developed plot. So much happens that you are hooked from the very beginning.
I am not going to say much about this book for fear of spoiling the previous novel, but I will say that, while shorter, I think this was the better of the two. The first book was very much setting up the story. This one was all about the action and the character development. There are difficult choices to be made for each of the characters and moments where you find yourself holding your breath, not knowing what will happen.
Cassandra Clare seems to greatly enjoy playing with her readers and this pays off in ‘City of Ashes’. While it does get a little repetitive at one point towards the end, I thought the fact that she was willing to toy with the characters, sending them down paths that would only challenge them and those around them, was very effective and made the read all that more enjoyable.
The main relationship still troubles me, and while I thought it was a brave choice doing what she did with it in the last book, I can’t help but feel like she is going to undo that twist just to make the relationship work, which I would find disappointing. I enjoyed the struggles the twist brought and its controversial nature.
I do recommend this series. It is slowly turning into one of my favourite series – up there with Harry Potter, and I can only see the following books getting better and better.