Monday, April 21, 2014

Book Summary: City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, Book 2), By Cassandra Clare

City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, Book 2)
By: Cassandra Clare




The following City of Ashes summary contains spoilers and is meant to refresh the memory of someone who has already read the book. It does not contain every detail (despite its length) and is not a replacement for the real thing. For a spoiler free idea of what to expect in the way of sex, violence and profanity: see the City of Ashes content based review or The Mortal Instruments series review



City of Ashes Plot Summary 


Opening Scene: Valentine tricks a young warlock into summoning Agramon, a powerful greater demon. Agramon attacks the warlock.Valentine then informs Agramon that he needs the warlock's blood and that Agramon must serve him because he has the mortal cup.


Maryse Lightwood (Alec and Isabelle's mother) returns to the institute. She doesn't believe that Jace was ignorant of Valentine's (his father) true identity and essentially tells him to leave the institute. Hurt he leaves.


Simon kisses Clary and is interrupted when Isabelle calls to tell Clary that Jace is gone.


Jace Ends up at a Downworlders bar. While he's there a werewolf child is killed in the alley. Jace picks a fight with an entire room full of werewolves. Luke Garroway brakes it up and calls Clary to come talk to Jace. Jace agrees to go back and talk to Mayris if Clary and Luke come with him.



Maryse is conferencing with Raphael (head vampire) about the death of another downworlder who was killed and drained of blood. Raphael insists the vampires are not responsible and leaves. Maryse tells them that the inquisitor is on her way to investigate everyone because of the events in City of Bones. The Inquisitor could put Jace in prison or strip his marks and turn him into a mundane. Jace chooses to stay and stand trial, trusting that the mortal sword will testify to his innocents.


Later: Luke gives Clary Jocelyn's (her mother) old stele.


The Inquisitor arrives at the Institute. She is not a fan of Jace, Jace lips off, and she sends him to prison in the Silent City to teach him a lesson.


Back at Luke's, Clary meets a young female werewolf named Maia who will be keeping an eye on things and then Simon calls Clary his girlfriend. Simon decides to stay the night, they kiss for a while, and Simon falls asleep. That's when Clary gets a call/text from Isabelle about Jace's imprisonment and rushes off.



While Jace is locked in his cell in the Silent City, Valentine and Agramon kill all the Silent Brothers and steal the Mortal Sword. Valentine tell Jace that he would never have hurt Clary, and that when Jace wants to find him he will and then leaves him in his cell.


At the Institute, Clary meets Max (Alec and Isabelle's younger brother) and discovers that Maryse and the Inquisitor were called out to investigate the death of a fey child, before a call for help from the Silent Brothers sends Clary, Alec and Isabelle running to the Silent City. All the Silent Brothers are dead including Brother Jeremiah (City of Bones). They find Jace in the dungeon. Clary uses her stele to break open Jace's cell and manacles. Jace is injured and not doing well. Maryse, the Inquisitor, and a bunch of Shadowhunters were waiting at the entrance. A female Shadowhunter with silver hair looked like she wanted to tell Clary something. While the Inquisitor and Jace are arguing about Jace's involvement or awareness in Valentine's plans, Jace collapses. The healing wounds aren't working so Alec calls in Magnes to take care of Jace. Magnus agrees to tend to Jace and keep him prisoner under contract for the Clave.


In a dream, Jocelyn (Clary's mom) draws a rune on her arm that she says will protect her and tells her that Jocelyn is only sleeping. When she wakes up the rune is really on her arm.


Clary and Simon go to see Jace at Magnus' house. Magnus believes that Valentine is trying to perform the ritual of infernal conversion on the mortal sword to transform it into a powerful evil object. He needs the blood of the downworlder children he's been killing and draining. He still needs the blood of a werewolf child and a vampire child.


Isabelle calls saying that the Queen of the Seelie court has requested an audience with them. Jace, Clary, Simon, Isabelle and a fey knight Isabelle is dating go to the Seelie Court. Alec is able to stay with Magnus in Jace's stead through a clever loophole in Magnus' contract.


In the Seelie Court they tell the Queen that they believe Valentine is responsible for the fey child's death. the Queen tells them that Clary has the gift of words that can not be spoken and Jace has the Angel's own gift as Valentine made sure of this before he was even born. The Queen swears that if Jace asks Valentine "who's blood flows in Jace's veins" she will give what aid she can when they strike against Valentine. Clary accidentally eats faerie food and is unable to leave the faerie court. The Queen says the kiss Clary most desires will free her. Simon watches Jace kiss Clary and then takes off as soon as they are back in the normal world.


Jace, Clary, and Isabelle go to the Institute (that is practically deserted as everyone is investigating the silent brothers' death). Jace and Clary have a conversation about their mutual desires to be together. Jace says that they could keep it a secret and Clary insists that it's pointless, they couldn't lie to their family/friends and be happy. Clary falls asleep. When she wakes up, Jace has the small piece of broken portal that Valentine had escaped through (City of Bones). They are going to return to Magnus' place when the institute doorbell rings.


Rafael (Head Vampire) is on the door steps with a very nearly dead Simon. Simon had gone to the vampire's lair because he was afraid he was turning into a vampire. The vampires attacked him. Now he must be buried so that he can rise as a vampire or beheaded/burned so that he won't. Clary agrees to bury Simon. They bury him quickly, Magnus and Alec bring blood and Simon rises soon after. He doesn't know Clary and feeds desperately on the blood.


A while later: Clary goes to visit her unconscious mother and tells her about everything that has happened since the beginning of City of Bones. At this point in the story Clary is blaming everything bad on herself and/or Jace. She's not speaking to Jace as penance for what happened to Simon. Luke tells her that what happened to Simon is not her fault and drives her home. Simon is waiting for her there. They've talked on the phone since he was turned but this is the first time she's seen him. Simon is unhappy about the direction his life has take and is not hot on Clary's suggestion to tell his mother.


Luke uses his truck to run over a demon that's attacking Maia. Luke removes the Demon's poisonous spikes from Maia's arm and sends Clary and Simon to call the institute for help. Clary has Simon call Jace. Luke goes outside and Maia (realizing he is now a vampire) gets into an altercation with Simon. Clary gets between them and Jace, Magnus and Alec arrive. Magnus attends to Maia. Jace, Simon and Clary go looking for a now missing Luke. They kill/fight demons and bring back an injured Luke. Magnus tends to Luke and there is a very awkward conversation skirting around Alec's relationship with Magnus and feelings for Jace. Then Jace and Clary have a brief feelings conversation which is interrupted by Simon. Simon storms off. Clary goes to bed.


Jace calls in a favor from Raphael to get a flying bike. He flies to the river and finds Valentine's boat. He's confronted by Agramon who shows him his greatest fear: Clary dying. When Jace wakes up Valentine is there. Jace asks Valentine "who's blood runs in his veins" Valentine says the blood of the angel runs in his veins. Valentine shows Jace his demon army and tells him that all his friends will be protected in the war if he joins with Valentine.


Jace returns the next morning and Magnus is not happy with him for taking off. While discussing the demon fight the night before Clary tells everyone that she thinks the rune on her arm scared the demons off. Since none of the others recognize the rune, Clary says that she thinks the Seelie Queen meant that she can create new runes.


Jace tells her to draw a rune for fearless. She does, and they put the rune on Alec to try it out and see if it works.


Isabelle, Maryse, the Inquisitor and Robert Lightwood (Alec & Isabelle's father) show up and Alec immediately tries to tell them that he is seeing Magnus (as the rune kicks in), but Magnus stops him before he can.


The Inquisitor says that Jace saw Valentine last night. The Inquisitor bugged the piece of portal Jace had collected from the institute. The Inquisitor destroyed the piece and arrests Jace.  Alec verbally agrees with the Inquisitor and Isabelle stomps off. After the Lightwoods and Magnus leave, Luke tells Clary that the Clave will likely strip Jace of his marks (making him a normal human).


Maia is very contrite about her run in with Simon and sneaks off to apologize to Simon. But she runs into Agramon and Valentine.


At the institute the Inquisitor imprisons Jace and tells him she plans to trade him to Valentine for the cup and sword. Jace tells her his father will never accept that trade. When the Inquisitor is gone, Alec comes in and explains that he sided with the Inquisitor so that she wouldn't be watching - allowing him to help Jace escape now. He suggests how Jace can escape and Jace does.


Luke and Clary discover that Maia has left and call Simon to see if she is there. While they are talking Valentine breaks into Simon's home. Clary and Luke race to Simon's but Valentine is already gone with Simon. Valentine left a message that he has everyone he needs (for the infernal conversion).


Alec, Jace, and Isabelle plot and call Magnus for help. Luke and Clary pick up Jace. A Shadowhunter tries to stop them but the silver-haired Shadowhunter woman stops him and they get away. Simon and Maia make peace in their mutual captivity. Valentine throws silver powder at Maia and cuts Simons throne.


Clary, Jace and Luke wait for Magnus on the waterfront. Luke explains that the Inquisitor's son (Stephen) was part of the circle. Valentine forced Stephen to divorce his wife (Amatis) on account of bad family connections and had him re-marry a young girl. Stephen was killed and his wife (who was eight months pregnant) committed suicide. The Inquisitor blames Valentine for her son's death and hates that Valentine still has a living son. Magnus arrives. Clary marks Jace with the fearless rune so that he can face Agramon. Magnus uses magic to allow Luke's truck to drive on top of the water to Valentine's ship.


Back at the institute Valentine turns down the Inquisitor's offer (even though she says Jace will be executed if he doesn't take it) and makes it clear that Jace is not his spy, Jace refused to join him, and Jace chose to return to the Clave. Valentine leaves.


The truck reaches Valentine's boat, Jace kisses Clary and much demon fighting ensues. A demon snatches Clary and deposits her next to Maia who tells her Simon is dead.


The Inquisitor finally realizes the weight of the situation they're in. There's no time to get help from the clave, they have to fight valentine immediately. Maryse takes back control. Jace and Luke take on a hoard of demons. Clary helps Maia escape into a different part of the ship before Valentine shows up and grabs her (she looses her stele). He takes her to the room where he's doing the sword conversion.


Luke's leg is broken when the Inquisitor and all the Shadowhunters arive. The Inquisitor takes Jace aside and asks him about a scar on his shoulder that he's always had. She then dies to save him. Isabelle gets badly injured, Alec gets thrown off the ship, and Jace falls down into the guts of the ship. Jace finds Clary's stele and runs into Agramon masquerading as Valentine - he turns him to dust. He then finds Simon and discovers that he is still alive. He feeds Simon his own blood to restore him.


Alec wakes up to Magnus who's about to pass out. Alec tells his to use his (Alec's) strength to do what he needs to do.


Valentine tells Clary that he will trade her for Maia. He says her mother left him because she believed he had turned her first child into a monster and left before he could do the same to her second. Jace and Simon drop in. There's a scuffle, Jace throws the stele to Clary, Clary blasts the ship with a rune. She ends up in the river and passes out.


Clary wakes up in Luke's truck, the water faeries had rescued them from the water. Many Shadowhunters died, Valentine is gone with the sword, but all Clary's friends survived. The sun starts coming up before they make it back to shore. Simon tells Clary he loves her, and Jace hauls her away from him. But Simon doesn't burn in the sun.


Jace packs to leave the institute, but Maryse talks him into staying. Simon (who can still be in sunlight) breaks up with Clary, but wants to be friends still. Luke admits to Clary that he's in love with her mother, but he doesn't think she loves him in return. Clary tells Luke that he ought to tell Jocelyn the truth about how he feels.


Clary goes to the institute to tell Jace how she feels, but when they talk Jace tells her that he's sorry for pressuring her to be in a relationship, that she's right - it would be wrong/selfish, and that he'll just be her brother from now on. Clary (brokenhearted) goes to see her mother at the hospital. The silver-haired Shadowhunter (Maideleine) is waiting for her there. Maideleine says that Jocelyn put herself in the coma so that Valentine couldn't get information out of her. Jocelyn told only Maideleine of how to reverse it and she can tell Clary how to wake her mother up.


See more about The Mortal Instruments books:
  1. City of Bones (Book Review) (Plot Summary) (Movie) 
  2. City of Ashes (Book Review) (Plot Summary) (Movie)
  3. City of Glass (Book Review)
  4. City of Fallen Angels (Book Review)
  5. City of Lost Souls (Book Review)
  6. City of Heavenly Fire (Expected Publication May 27, 2014)


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