City of Ashes is the second book in Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series. It follows from the first book City of Bones which I also reviewed here. 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:
Haunted by her past, Clary is dragged deeper into New York City’s terrifying underworld of demons and Shadowhunters – but can she control her feelings for a boy who can never be hers?
As I noted in my previous review I am reading this series in publication order. This means I will be reading City of Glass next and then moving onto The Infernal Devices before finishing the second half of The Mortal Instruments. OK, Let’s get into my review of City of Ashes. Like before I will be keeping it spoiler-free!
The Characters and World Building
This sequel continued to develop the characters we saw in City of Bones. I feel like Simon especially got a lot more development this time round, he wasn’t merely Clary’s sidekick he was much more prominent in the story in City of Ashes. I really appreciated that he got his own storyline in this book, it was one that shocked me too! Looking back it really shouldn’t have, but I completely looked over the small details leading up to it and got taken entirely by surprise! Furthermore, I appreciated that we got some development with Clary and her Shadowhunter abilities. I love that we get to watch her flourish as she gets to know herself better. Magnus is still very much my favourite character. His little personal relationship he has going on is adorable, I ship it to the moon and back.
We were introduced to a new Faerie Queen in City of Ashes, I appreciated that we got to adventure to some new settings and meet some new characters. I was particularly fond of how Cassie designed those characters in The Seelie Court and their natures. The fact the Queen never lies and the way the faeries tried to manipulate the group. It was so different, fascinating even. Especially compared to any of the other creatures we have met so far. Very creative writing, this part really stood out as memorable for me.
Story Progression and Plot
The story definitely did not grip me in the same way that City of Bones did. It took a very different avenue that I was marginally interested in but not as much as I was previously. I was kind of left feeling the entire way through that I just wanted to know what was going on with her mother? Luckily at the end we get a taster for what is to come in that department but City of Ashes doesn’t really touch on that loose end at all from City of Bones. It’s very much fixated on expanding the other story lines. Some I enjoyed and others I found to be a bit less entertaining.
Overall Thoughts and Rating
Overall this was a good read! Again, I wasn’t as sucked in as I was during City of Bones but it wasn’t boring or intolerable by any means. I look forward to picking up City of Glass next and seeing what awaits for Clary and Jace. Even though I really should NOT ship them… I feel so bad for them and I can’t help but want them to be able to be together. City of Ashes ends on a very intriguing cliffhanger also… I very much look forward to seeing how that unfolds! I rated this book four out of five stars.
Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed my review of City of Ashes! Next time I will be moving onto City of Glass before embarking onto The Infernal Devices.