|City of Ashes|
|Cover artist||Cliff Nielsen|
|Release Date||March 25, 2008|
| Preceded by|
City of Bones
| Followed by|
City of Glass
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?
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.
Prologue: Smoke and Diamonds
In the penthouse on the 57th floor of the Metropole in Manhattan, a young warlock named Elias is preparing to summon the Greater Demon Agramon for his client, Valentine Morgenstern. Unbeknownst to the boy, Valentine has other plans: after the ritual is successfully performed, the Demon of Fear reads that Elias's own greatest fear is of a demon escaping his pentagram—a fear the demon brings to life before proceeding the kill the warlock, with Valentine remarking that he intends to use the boy's blood. Valentine then speaks to Agramon, telling him that he will obey him as he has the Mortal Cup, and Agramon "kneels" to him in allegiance.
Part One: A Season in Hell
Clary Fray's mother still hasn't woken up. Jace who was kicked out of his home by Maryse Lightwood, goes to a werewolf bar and picks a fight with the local werewolf pack.He is saved by Luke Garroway, who calls Clary.
The three of them go to the Institute and confront Maryse, who said that the Inquisitor is coming to talk with Jace and she was trying to spare him. When the Inquisitor arrives, she locks him in the City of Bones. Clary, Isabelle and Alec go to save Jace and find that Valentine had come in the night and killed all of the Silent Brothers in order to take the Mortal Sword. Clary uses an Opening rune to blow Jace's cell door off its hinges, and with Alec half-carrying Jace, who can barely stand, they make their way out.
Part Two: The Gates of Hell
When they emerge, the Inquisitor agrees to let Jace stay with Magnus Bane while he recovers. Clary, Jace, Isabelle, Alec, and Simon go to the Faerie Realm. Clary was supposed to stay because she took Faerie food through a trick. To escape, she had to kiss Jace passionately, making Simon storm off when they get out of the realm. Later, they are at the Institute when Raphael shows up with an almost dead Simon, saying he'll be a vampire. They bury his dead body and Simon is reborn. At Luke's house, Maia Roberts, a werewolf, is attacked by a demon, and Luke is also attacked shortly after. They go after the demons while Jace goes to visit his father on a boat in the river. The Inquisitor shows up the next morning claiming that Jace was working with Valentine. She planned to threaten Jace's life unless Valentine returned the Mortal Instruments. Of course, it didn't work, and Jace leaps incredibly high out of the Malachi Configuration she set up.
At the river, Clary drew the Fearless rune on Jace and was taken by a Demon onto the ship to her father. The boat was swarmed with Shadowhunters. The Inquisitor ended up saving Jace's life after seeing the scar on his shoulder. He goes deeper into the boat, kills the fear-creating Demon, and gives Simon his blood to save his life. Clary inscribes a rune on the boat which makes the boat fall apart, and they learn that Simon is now able to walk in the sunlight (because of the angel blood in Jace's blood). Jace ends up being welcomed back in the Institute by Alec's mother.
Part Three: Day of Wrath
Clary goes to visit Simon, who tells her he would rather stay friends than risk losing what they have. Clary goes back to Luke's house and asks him to take her to the Institute, where she bumps into Jace as he is leaving to pick up food from Taki's Diner. She accompanies him there. Jace tells her that he will just be her brother from that point on. After this, Clary goes to the hospital to visit her comatose mother, Jocelyn. Here she meets Maideleine, who knew her mother and said that she knows how to wake her up.
Valentine set in motion the next move in his plan: realign the Mortal Sword from seraphic to demonic with the Ritual of Infernal Conversion. With Agramon in his employ, he set out to drain four young Downworlders of their blood.
Jace and Clary remain conflicted about their feelings for one another. Clary briefly dates Simon, but the relationship is complicated by Clary's feelings for Jace, and vice versa—something that disturbs them both and try to deny to one another, considering that they now know that they are siblings—which is later made known to the others when the Seelie Queen forces the pair to share the kiss that Clary desires most.
Meanwhile, Simon is Turned into a vampire by Raphael Santiago. Valentine then targets Simon and Maia, a member of Luke's pack, as the vampire and werewolf recipients of his ritual. Aboard Valentine's ship
And while Jocelyn remained in her coma, Clary is approached by Madeleine Bellefleur, who tells her she can show her how to wake her mother up.
Clary discovers her special power with runes. They destroy Valentine's ship, and Jace decides he will only be Clary's brother. Valentine only needs the mirror, the last of the mortal instruments, to create his shadowhunter army.
The Infernal Conversion ceremony of the Mortal Sword, which will change its allegiance from angelic to demonic, requires blood from the youth of each of the Downworlder species (warlocks, werewolves, vampires, and faeries). After the scene with Valentine, we find that Jace Herondale has been kicked out of the New York Institute by Maryse Lightwood. We see that Clary Fray's mother, Jocelyn Fray, is still in her self-induced coma from when she was captured by Valentine Morgenstern in City of Bones. After Jace is kicked out of the Institute, he goes to a werewolf bar and starts a fight with Bat Velasquez, which causes other members of Bat's pack to join the fight. During this time, a young werewolf is discovered dead. Valentine failed to drain the blood needed from the werewolf in time, and when the death was reported to Jace in a request for help, he laughs in their face, angering Bat more. In the end, Jace was left almost entirely untouched, but multiple werewolves sustained injuries. Luke Garroway stepped in to remove Jace from the situation and called Clary for help dealing with him, as she's the only one Jace listens to. She brings along her best friend Simon Lewis. While he meets Maia Roberts, a werewolf of the New York werewolf pack, Jace tells Luke and Clary that he has been kicked out of the Institute. They all go to the institute talk to Maryse. When they arrived they discovered that he's been kicked out because the Inquisitor, Imogen Herondale, was coming to talk to Jace.
They confronted the inquisitor, who threw Jace into the cells of the Silent City to help him learn to be more respectful. While Jace is locked up, Valentine shows up, killing all the Silent Brothers in order to steal the Mortal Sword. Clary, Isabelle, and Alec go to the Silent City after receiving a call for help from the Silent Brothers. When they arrive, they find Jace alive, but everyone else dead. Clary frees him from his cell with a special opening rune.
Prologue: Smoke and Diamonds
Part Two: The Gates of Hell
Part Three: Day of Wrath
- Clary Fray - the main protagonist of the series, Clary, though raised a mundane, was suddenly thrown into the world of Shadowhunting upon her mother's disappearance.
- Jace Morgenstern - one of the most skilled Shadowhunters of his generation, Jace discovered that his father is Valentine Morgenstern, and that Clary, whom Jace had just expressed interest in, is his sister.
- Alec Lightwood - the eldest Lightwood and Jace's parabatai; Alec's sexuality, which is frowned upon in the Nephilim society, and relationship with Magnus Bane bring up issues for himself and his family.
- Isabelle Lightwood - Alec's beautiful younger sister, Isabelle is a strong and fierce Shadowhunter, as well as a rebellious daughter.
- Valentine Morgenstern - the notorious leader of the Circle, father of Clary and Jace, and husband of Jocelyn. Believed to be dead for over a decade, Valentine recently revealed himself to be alive, plotting the downfall of Shadowhunters and Downworlders.
- Jocelyn Fray - Clary's mother who put herself in a coma to prevent Valentine from getting answers from her.
- Maryse & Robert Lightwood - parents of the Lightwood children and heads of the New York Institute.
- Max Lightwood - the youngest Lightwood child at nine years old.
- Imogen Herondale - the Inquisitor with a vendetta who rushed over to New York to investigate Valentine's "son".
- Simon Lewis - Clary's geeky, mundane best friend who inevitably joins Clary and the Shadowhunters because of his feelings for her.
- Magnus Bane - the High Warlock of Brooklyn who decides to help the Conclave for Alec.
- Luke Garroway - Valentine's former parabatai before Turning into a werewolf, Luke is a close friend of Jocelyn who helped raise Clary.
- Maia Roberts - a member of Luke's New York werewolf pack.
- Raphael Santiago - leader of the New York vampire clan.
- Seelie Queen - the queen of the Seelie Court of the Fair Folk.
- Meliorn - the queen's personal knight and confidante, Meliorn has a past connection with a certain Lightwood.
- The original (now hardbound) cover features Clary Fray and the Brooklyn bridge. The repackaged (paperback) cover also features Clary, this time holding a stele while sitting on the ground in front of a Fearless rune.
- The title refers to the Silent City after it was infiltrated by Agramon and Valentine Morgenstern. They murdered all the present Silent Brothers and, as explained by the characters, deceased Shadowhunters are usually burned, their ashes used to make the City's marble, giving off a smell of smoke and ashes, which was worsened by the smell of their decaying bodies. After their death, the term "city of ashes" became morbidly appropriate.
- The book is told from different points of views, namely: Clary, Jace, Simon, Maia, Alec, Isabelle, and briefly in Valentine's.
- "City of Blood" was a title once considered for the book.