City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

The basics

Title: City of Ashes


Series: The Mortal Instruments #2

- City of Bones (March 2007)
- City of Ashes (March 2008)
- City of Glass (March 2009)
- City of Fallen Angels (April 2011)
- City of Lost Souls (May 2012)
- City of Heavenly Fire (May 2014)

Add it: Goodreads

Goodreads Summary:

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?

Read a full summary of City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare below. If you can’t remember what happened in City of Ashes and you need a refresher, then you’re in the right place.

In short

After finding out that she is a Shadowhunter, Clary tries to get used to her new life. But since there are all kinds of weird murders going on, that doesn’t go very well.

What happened in City of Ashes?

  • Clary’s mom is still in the hospital, so Clary is living at Luke’s house. All of a sudden, Simon kisses her and starts calling her his girlfriend. (Okay?)
  • Jace gets kicked out of the Institute, picks a fight in a werewolf bar, only to be saved by Luke (the leader). It is revealed that a werewolf child has been killed nearby.
  • After some persuasion from Luke, Jace goes back to the Institute and finds out that he was kicked out because the Inquisitor is coming. (Trust me, you don’t want to know this woman.) So Alec and Isabelle’s mom only tried to save Jace when kicking him out. Apparently.
  • But, Jace being Jace, he does something to insult the Inquisitor and gets locked up in the Silent City. When Clary, Isabelle and Alec go to rescue him, crazy things start happening. Jace, in his cell, sees Valentine (his father) killing the Silent Brothers. It’s a bit of a bloody mess.
  • Obviously Jace can’t stay imprisoned in the Silent City, but the Inquisitor still wants to punish him and sends him to be a prisoner in Magnus Bane’s house instead.
  • However, Jace gets an invite to visit the Faerie Queen in her court. Clary is tricked into eating faerie food, and can only leave if she does what the Queen wants, this being kissing the person she most desires to kiss. AND JACE KISSES HER. (They’re brother and sister, but you know, whatever.) Simon storms off because he’s angry and all.
  • Remember how Simon went to the Hotel Dumont and got vampire blood in him in book one? Well, things sort of went downhill from there. Raphael (vampire leader something) shows up at the Institute with Simon half-dead in his arms. If they want to save him, they must bury him and let him become a vampire. So they do.
  • Simon-the-vampire is in Luke’s house when Maia (the werewolf girl) shows up injured, being attacted by demons outside Luke’s house. Jace and Clary go outside to fight the demons and they flee after seeing a rune on Clary’s arm. Apparently, Clary has a gift for runes and can make whatever she wants.
  • When everyone is asleep, Jace steals Raphael’s motorcycle and goes to a ship where Valentine is. Valentine tries to convince him to join his army and Jace refuses, but the Inquisitor finds out he was there and wants to trades Jace’s life for the Mortal Instruments. Obviously, Valentine just takes Jace instead. He also takes Simon and Maia.
  • This is where things get kind of crazy. On the ship, Valentine kills newborn vampire Simon, but Jace manages to bring him back to life by feeding him his blood.
  • When all kinds of Shadowhunters get to the ship to fight Valentine, the Inquisitor suddenly recognizes Jace as something we’ll find out in book 3 (yay) but dies before being able to tell him.
  • When fighting Valentine, Clary creates a ruin that allows all of them to escape before Valentine can beat them. They escape and Simon turns out to be a Daylighter now. (A vampire that can walk in the daylight.)

How did City of Ashes end?

Luke confesses his love for Clary’s mother, Clary and Simon break up, and Jace promises Clary he will only be her brother from now on. Outside the hospital, Clary meets a woman named Madeleine, who tells her she knows how to wake up Clary’s mom.

Anything else?

Mundanes: regular humans

Shadowhunters: Men/Women that drank from the Mortal Cup consisting of Jonathan Shadowhunter and angel Raziel’s blood. Their children are Shadowhunters as well. Their job is to keep the downworlders in line.

Downworlders: A term referring to creatures that are not human, such as faeries, warlocks, werewolves, vampires, demons, etc.

Clave: These are the big wigs of the Shadowhunters. They make all the major decisions.

Rune: Marks drawn on the skin of Shadowhunters to give them specific powers or protection.

Iratze: A rune that heals Shadowhunters super fast.

Parabatai: When two Shadowhunters develop such a close relationship that they are like family. They are deeply connected and can sense when something is wrong with the other. (Alec & Jace)

Stele: A tool that Shadowhunters use to create runes on the body.

Witchlight rune-stone: basically a rock that gives off light.

The Uprising: A group of Shadowhunters back in the day formed a group called ‘The Circle’. They tried to take the Clave down.

This is a full plot summary of what happened in City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare. Check out our recap list for more recaps. If you can’t find what you need, you can request a recap from us!

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