System Test: City of Ashes

City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments #2)By:  Cassandra ClarePublished By: Margaret K. McElderry BooksPublication Date: March 25, 2008Page Count:464But it at: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBoundSource:  Purchased by Reviewer  Audience:  Young Adult - Fantasy  As forever, prior to the release of the latest book, I love returning to this world by read city of ashes online pdf the previous installments to put me right back where I need to be with the newest book. So inside that light, let's look at City of Ashes, Cassandra Clare's second installment of The Mortal Instruments series.The following will definitely help you contain some spoilers related to City of Bones... so be forewarned!City of Ashes picks up very shortly when the events of City of Bones -- with Valentine's quest to possess another of the Mortal Instruments to carry out his diabolical plan to bring down the Clave (who he believes is irrevocably corrupt) as well as rid the world of demons and downworlders once and for all. His plan would probably also result in the Shadowhunters having new leadership -- HIS leadership. On the surface, his plan doesn't sound diabolical at all, but Valentine's evilness and self-serving ways are illustrated by your means in which the guy accomplishes his goals.The other story arc continues with Clary and Jace coping with the realization that they are sister and brother, and trying to deny their romantic feelings and carry on like normal siblings. Not surprisingly, they are left frustrated and confused with how they SHOULD BE around each other. This also leads to a lot of mixed-up feelings around Clary and Simon, her best friend who hopes for something more with her. This is a unique love triangle in that the 'forbidden' aspect is that our star-crossed lovers have been told they are siblings (a seemingly impossible situation to overcome) as well as the potential romantic relationship between the best friends faces its own challenges as well.I still admire Clary's determination in seeing things through and not giving up, keeping in mind, that in a short time, her world has basically been turned upside down. Muddying her troubles in love is also dealing with your other realization that Valentine, the man everyone despises and is terrified of, is the lady biological father. And she also has to deal with the fact that her mother is in some sort of enchanted sleep that she is certainly not waking up from.What can be said about Jace other than he is still the arrogant and sarcastic shadowhunter that he was right before, and still somewhat of a troubled to broken character. But his growth is illustrated through his increasing vulnerability where Clary can concerned and how he deals with every unique and difficult situation he comes across.Unfortunately for Jace, his sarcasm ends up finding the ire of new character, The Inquisitor. After the realization that Valentine is indeed alive, and for many years posed as Michael Wayland raising Jace, The Inquisitor, among others, questions Jace's loyalty to the actual Clave versus his loyalty to his father.In this installment, we also get to know Maryse as well as Robert Lightwood, along with their son Max, when they return to the Institute and were left to deal with the repercussions following the last battle with Valentine in their absence.And then there's Simon. At first, I was not at all happy with the direction that Simon's character had taken. But as the story continues to unfold, I've come to accept this and really absolutely love him and his devotion to Clary and his will to always do what is right. He really shines in this story.There is lots of tender moments -- not just between Clary and Jace -- but between the other characters as well. I also loved getting to know Luke's back-story and his history with both Valentine and Jocelyn and its significance to present events.There was never a dull instant and the story continued to go in directions I did not anticipate -- making it a 'couldn't put down' read!