The second book of The Mortal Instruments Series, The City of Ashes, was my least favourite book of the original trilogy. This review will be non-spoilers except for the end (which I will tell you when) where I will discuss a particular plot point. This point was what made me dislike this book over the other ones. I’d watched the TV show so I did know the ending to the problem that arised, but it still made it so difficult for me to read. But I still enjoyed the book as a whole, and continued reading the series.
I enjoyed the exploration of Jace and his fathers relationship. It was something I could really think about, and it there was depth and confusion. I just really enjoyed how Clare wrote Jace’s struggle with the information. This was a stark contrast to how I felt about Jace and Clary’s changing relationship, which I just did not care for in this book.
City of Ashes had a lot of filler information packed into it. We find out a lot about the werewolves, vampires and faeries. Which I loved. The descriptions of the Seelie court excited because I love books about the fey. I also enjoyed insights into how vampires ‘work’ and the same about the werewolves. I really wanted to see more of the secondary characters such as Raphael, Luke, Maia etc. in this book, just because they were so interesting from what we did see.
You can tell the writing is getting better, as Clare is falling into her own style more in this book. It’s still very easy to read, I read this book in about a day because I just didn’t want to put it down. Except for some chapters which I will tell you about after the ‘spoilers’ line. After reading the first two books, I was definitely ready to read the next one, so I’m happy I got the box set instead of individuals.
Spoilers beyond this point
The whole incest thing annoyed me so damn much. It didn’t really affect the story, other than Clare wanted to put in some tension between the couple. Apparently the love triangle just wasn’t a strong enough trope for this. This isn’t like in Game of Thrones where the Lannister incest actual drove the story from the beginning either, it’s pretty useless. All things considered, it could have been cut with a different tension created instead. It made it really difficult tor read. I actually nearly stopped watching the TV show because I struggled with this point and the same happened with the book. Luckily I knew what was going to happen so I continued. But, it was still difficult to understand these characters in City of Ashes.