CITY OF ASHES by Cassandra Clare (Book 2)

CITY OF ASHES by Cassandra Clare, 453 pages, $ Varies at Amazon.

Now that word has reached the all powerful Clave that Jace is the son of Valentine, they’ve sent the Inquisitor to deal with him. But to Jace’s shock, its not just the Clave that thinks he could betray everyone to help his father, the evil Valentine. His own adoptive parents the Lightwoods believe that he’s been deceiving them for years, and do little to save him when the Inquisitor hands him over to the Silent Brothers for imprisonment.

It’s lucky for the golden warrior that Clary, Alec and Isabelle don’t share the Lightwoods’ doubts about their brother. And lucky for them that the Lightwoods are off to Central Park to investigate the killing of a Downworlder child when a call comes in from the Secret Brothers sounding the alarm for help. The trio are off to help the Silent Brothers, and maybe help Jace while they’re at it.

City of Ashes is the second book in The Mortal Instruments Series and as is often the case with book number two out of a series of three, it is more a set up for the battle to come in book three. But plenty happens along the way. Jace’s love for Clary hasn’t weakened despite the revelation that makes their love impossible, and Clary is being accepted little by little as one of the team. And Simon, who’s always called Mundane by the others, has earned himself another name when he witnesses his beloved Clary kissing Jace and runs off to a Vampire’s nest. Clary learns that she alone has the powerful gift of writing new runes, an ability that has ever been the exclusive domain of Angels.

This book is up to Cassandra Clare’s usual high standard of witty dialog and well drawn young characters that make finishing her books a wish more than a duty. But just as in book one, she over employs a tool chest of cliched descriptions and devices during her battle scenes where, just as in bad movies, the leads always have something witty to say as they nonchalantly drive their seraph blades into the next demon. But we forgive her her trespasses as the saying goes.

Ms Clare is a very good story teller. She keeps the reader entertained with her sparkling dialogues between Jace, Alec, Isabelle, Simon and Clary. And the adult character of Luke manages to be warm and caring while still talking to fifteen and seventeen year olds like they’re adults.

Just like book one this is a good beach read, or one to shorten long flights. Yaroos gives City of Ashes 3 stars out of 5 and we recommend this book to our readers.

J. Taylor