It’s another Shadowhunter Saturday! Where Ellie (Read to Ramble) and I are discussing our journey through the world of the Shadowhunters! If you missed our announcement you can find all the details about this collaboration Here or if you are interested in our thoughts on City of Bones or City of Ashes.
The first section is my spoiler free mini review of what I thought of the book followed by my interview of Ellie and her Thoughts. If you would like to see my answers to the interview questions and Ellie’s mini review you can find it one her blog Here.
Title: City of Ashes
Author: Cassandra Clare
Series: The Mortal Instruments #2
As Clary uncovers more about her family’s past, she finds an ally in mysterious Shadowhunter Sebastian. With Valentine mustering the full force of his power to destroy all Shadowhunters forever, their only chance to defeat him is to fight alongside their eternal enemies. But can Downworlders and Shadowhunters put aside their hatred to work together? While Jace realizes exactly how much he’s willing to risk for Clary, can she harness her newfound powers to help save the Glass City — whatever the cost?
Love is a mortal sin and the secrets of the past prove deadly as Clary and Jace face down Valentine in the final installment of the New York Times bestselling The Mortal Instruments
This one got me. I was kinda hooked on this book. I really really enjoyed it. Unlike the previous two this one was action packed from the start. The first two in the series started slow and took a while to draw me in to the plot but this one really did hit the nail on the head pacing wise. We got excitement from the beginning, the multiple different character motivations and plot lines started from the beginning and it really didnt feel like we had to do a lot of waiting around as the reader to get to the
I really liked the change of pace and scenery. We got so much more world building about the Shadowhunter’s homeland, we got new characters that really expanded the past of some of our characters and I just felt there was more depth in this one. The writing still has its faults. There was still groan out loud moments at some of the dialogue. Cringe worthy romance scenes but I think that is part of what I like about these books. The cheese level is just what i wanted.
I will admit Clare didn’t pull her punches in this one and there was a character death that got to me a little. I audibly gasped which I didn’t think I would do with a Cassie Clare book. Its moments like this where again I recommend buddy reading these. The number of OMG texts i sent Ellie skyrocketed with this book. I think its fair to say i might be becoming a shadowhunter fan.
SPOILER ALERT! – The next section is full of Spoilers where I ask Ellie about what she thought of the book. We discuss key plot points and give away lots of detail so if you don’t want to read spoilers.
I ASKED ELLIE SOME QUESTIONS
Fi: What was your favourite moment?
Ellie: I think my teenage heart is coming out at this point, but my favourite moment had to be when I realised that Clary and Jace were not siblings and I was so relieved that the incest plot line was actually not even true. It was such a yucky feeling throughout the three books to be first rooting for them and then discovering they were siblings, and seeing how much they were acting like “i love you but you’re my sibling”, and then it finally wasn’t true! I also really enjoyed the moment when Clary was able to convince the Clave to make an alliance with the Downworlders and to mark each other with the binding rune!
Fi: This is the “end” of the first trilogy do you think it was a good end?
Ellie: I have to say that immediately, this book grabbed me and ran away with my feelings, so I was hooked right from page 1. I was worried that it was going to have a slow start like the previous two in the series, but it actually didn’t, so I was enjoying this book much more anyway. I do think it ended really well, there are still A LOT of questions in my head and I feel like we haven’t seen the end of Sebastian/Jonathan Morgenstern, but the ending was really satisfying and enjoyable. The problem is that now I’m hooked, curse you Cassie!!
Fi: Have your thoughts about the series changed?
Ellie: YES! A lot. Before starting this first trilogy, I knew the massive amount of hype behind it, I have read blogs and watched BookTube videos where people are raving about this from start to end, sobbing about it, screaming ect, and I had never ever gotten the hype until things started to speed up and get exciting in the last 3rd of City of Ashes, and now the whole of this book. While reading City of Bones, I struggled to start with, then I really enjoyed it, and then obviously there was the whole incest plot that completely disgusted me. City of Ashes was better but still slow to start, however, City of Glass was SO MUCH better, and now I’m pretty sure I love this series, the world, the characters. I wouldn’t say 5-star love yet, but very good anyway.
Fi: There is a second trilogy to this series. What do you think is going to happen next?
Ellie: I am so excited to start it! It’s going to be really hard to wait to get to it between us reading The Infernal Devices trilogy first, but I actually think that it might be good to take a little break between both trilogies to think about things that happened and for it to be even better when we go back to it. I’m pretty sure some new force of evil is going to rise and want to bring down Clary and her friends, the blurb sounds amazing though, so I’m looking forward to it!
What ELLIE Thought About the Plot
Simon getting dragged into another Shadowhunter mission
Ellie:I wanted Simon to get a break in this book because he literally goes through EVERYTHING in books 1 and 2, but apparently there was still more things that could happen to him. I still find it weird that Simon is a vampire, especially a Daylighter, or a vampire that can go out in the sun, and I thought that he would probably take a step back from all the Shadowhunter mess, but right from the start he is dragged to Idris. I really wasn’t expecting that, but I really liked where it went, even though Simon got a lot of stuff thrown at him again.
Clary makes a portal and falls in a magic lake
Ellie: I was really surprised in book 2 when Clary made the rune that blew up the whole boat, so I knew she could do something like this, but I was actually strangely proud of her and her abilities to learn her special skills fast and by herself. I feel like there is still so much to Clary and Jace’s powers that we haven’t worked out or that haven’t come to light, but I really liked how she evolved in this book. I thought the bit where she fell into the lake was a bit scary aha, I thought something worse was going to happen, but it was really interesting when Luke explained to her about the lake.
Luke’s sister – Herondale
Ellie: I didn’t even realise that Luke had a sister as he has never really spoken about himself, except him being in Valentine’s Circle and being turned into a werewolf. I really like Luke as a character, so it was nice to have another little bit of insight into him and his past, especially his family. I was really shocked about the Herondale bit though, to start with I thought that it must mean that Luke was a Herondale. I’ve just heard that name so much that when it finally appeared I had a bit of a “Eureka” moment haha!
Simon being thrown in prison by the Clave
Ellie: Poor Simon, he really never gets a break in these books, it feels like Cassandra Clare just picked one character out of a hat and decided that he would be the one to get it all. This was another moment where I was just like “What the heck”, cause adults in these books are stupid, and the fact that they thought that Simon was Valentine’s spy was hilarious. I think Simon handled it all well though, I would personally have lost it at that point. I really do hope that Simon will catch a break in book 4! I knew that something like this was going to happen because it couldn’t be as straightforward to send him back to New York, but I didn’t expect the Inquisitor (is that the name i’m looking for?) to be in on it.
Magnus Bane in Idris and Ragnor Fell getting murdered by Valentine’s demons
Ellie: I’m really, really starting to fall for Magnus, I love him!! I was happy to see him at the start but sad when he disappeared, so when he reappeared suddenly in Ragnor Fell’s house I was actually super happy, I feel like all the characters can now really rely on him. I was a bit disappointed that we never even got to meet Ragnor, it was a bit like Cassandra just name throwing and then nothing happening. It was really cool how Magnus found out what happened to Ragnor and where the Book of White was though! I really hope he will be more present in book 4, and hopefully we will soon get to the book about him!
The Book of the White – Clary and Jace go to find it – Ithuriel in the Wayland Manor
Ellie: Again, this was something else that Clary’s mum had thought about! I was surprised about this whole thing cause it seemed like such a struggle to get answers about her mum, and then Madeleine turned up, and got murdered right after, but it felt a bit easy to me that Clary and Jace just waltzed into the Wayland Manor and plucked the book of the shelf. Again, I don’t think we got much of an insight into the Book of White because Clary gave it to Magnus the minute she found him, but I’m glad he came through and was able to wake her mother up. The really surprising part of Clary and Jace’s visit to the manor was their discovery of the angel Ithuriel in the basement, this was really spooky and quite disgusting because we found out about Valentine’s experiments, and how he kept the angel alive for years without him being able to move on. Put it this way, Valentine is a sick person (to be polite).
Demons arrive in Idris as the wards go down on the Demon Towers
Ellie: The funny thing about the Shadowhunter books (in my experience anyway), is that you know something bad is going to happen, you know all hell is going to break lose (here literally) but until it happens, you don’t believe it actually will. Well here, everything did happen, I was expecting it, but at this point the whole situation was accelerated and it became really fast-paced, I was whizzing through it and really enjoying it. It was also around this point that I started to get suspicious of Sebastian. I knew that Valentine was going to somehow get the wards down, and then when it happened and I started piecing things together I was just trying to read as fast as I could to see if my suspicions were right. This was a great moment in the book!!
Ellie: OMG, I never expected this to happen, I completely forgot about Hodge when he disappeared at the end of book 1 after betraying everyone, and then he suddenly reappeared!! I think this also got the book going faster because at this point, revelations were being dropped left and right, and even though Hodge was a bad person, the way he died was a bit sad to me cause I wanted to see him do something good, or help Clary, Jace, Simon, Isabelle and Alec fight against Valentine and his demons.
Sebastian kills Max – Sebastian is not Sebastian Verlac
Ellie: By this point, I was lacking behind a little bit, and you probably all know by now that Fiona and I send each other reaction gifs when something happens, so when she told me I would be crying, I was really scared to go into this chapter, and I was expecting it to be about Hodge, but then when Sebastian killed Max, and smacked Isabelle on the head, and we saw the Lightwoods in the Accords Hall holding a dead Max in their arms and crying, I just… Phew, that was a hard chapter. I hadn’t really felt a connection to Max, but for a character to murder a 9-year-old just cause he was in his way was so cruel and broke my heart. Then we we learned that Sebastian wasn’t who he said he was, I was sort of relieved that the real Sebastian wasn’t the culprit, but that’s when I really started to think “Well who is he then?”, and that’s when it started to click into place.
Clary’s mother arrives in Idris
Ellie: Jocelyn finally arrives back into the story! It had been forever since we met her and I feel like even though this was a really important part of the plot, a lot of people forgot about her because she was in the hospital in a coma, and then she suddenly waltzes back into Clary’s life. I found Clary’s reaction to her a tad excessive, but I agree that the way she disappeared by taking the potion was really cowardly, like why would you not try to protect your daughter? Why not at least tell her or give her the tools to understand? Again, this is a case of adults being idiots in YA books, but seriously, I’m glad Clary had a go at her, because it needed to be said. I’m not too sure what I think about her, but at least now we have a lot more of an insight into her life when she was married to Valentine and in the Clave and after she fled Idris for New York.
Clary and Jace are not siblings – Sebastian is Clary’s brother
Ellie: OMG YAY, I was so happy about this, I was really getting tired and disgusted of the whole incest plotline, especially because I’ve heard literally no one raise this issue as problematic, so this made me think there was more to it. I’m so glad our hunch turned out to be right. This means that Clary and Jace can be together and I’m actually happy about it cause they have chemistry and I’m happy that it wasn’t just like sibling affection or something, cause I was starting to really hate all that. However, the fact that Clary now has a brother who murdered Max, and is basically an evil mastermind with demon blood was like *brain explodes* and I’m pretty certain that Sebastian/Jonathan is going to turn up in future books. I’m just wondering how Clary’s mother is dealing with all this going on and knowing that she gave birth to a monster even though it was because Valentine experimented on him.
Clary and Jace have angel blood
Ellie:I was sort of already expecting this but to finally have answers after 3 books was great. It was really cool to learn and see all of Jace and Clary’s special powers and abilities, and even though Valentine experimented on them was sick, it was cool to finally know why that was happening to them.
The Clave and Downworlders: their alliance against Valentine thanks to Clary’s rune
Ellie: This was a total fist-pump YASS moment for me, finally adults being intelligent in this series and I’m so glad they ended up listening to Clary. I love these types of moments in books and it gave me faith that everything was going to be okay (with Cassandra Clare and how fast she kills off her characters, you need faith). I was really expecting the Clave to side with Valentine cause they are stupid and corrupted, but Clary did a great job of changing their minds and I really enjoyed these chapters. It was also great to see Downworlders and Shadowhunters come together against the same enemy and be marked with Clary’s rune, I’m a strong believer that uniting will make things better, so this made my little heart happy.
The Lake, the Angel and Valentine’s death
Ellie: Wow, as always with Cassandra Clare’s books, the last chapters are super long, but also super intense and fast-paced, City of Glass was not an exception. I figured that Valentine was going to go to the Lake, but Clary deciding to Portal into it was really reckless (after all, that is the definition of Clary), and I really thought he was going to kill her or something, but then when Jace appeared and Valentine killed him, I think I nearly died. I always have this feeling in a book when something goes wrong that there will still always be a good ending, but with Cassie’s books, I’ve learned to not think that, so for that whole chapter, I thought Jace was properly dead (that was a very bad time for me lol). I have to say that the whole Angel rising from the waters and raining vengeance and justice on Valentine and killing him was super cool and for once the baddie gets dispatched mouahahaa, that was probably one of my favourite parts of the book (oops).
Another really long epilogue!
Ellie: Well, once again, a long epilogue, I feel like I should be used to this by now but I’m not. I do however think that this was a great way to end this book, there are still a lot of unanswered questions, but it feels like it is opening up to them in the next book, or the potential is there ready. The ending was really satisfying, and overall, I loved this book way more that City of Bones and City of Ashes. I’m really excited for City of Fallen Angels now!
If you want to read my answers to the questions and read Ellie’s mini review you can find them all on Ellie’s Blog Read To Ramble
Ellie and I are not switching it up and going allow with the reading order moving on to The Infernal devices book one. We will be sticking with the 3 week reading schedule so out next Shadowhunter Saturday will be August 22nd!
We also would love to know what you thought. If you have read City of bones let us know your answers to the questions! and come discuss the world of the shadow hunters in the comments!