Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Mortal Instruments: City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

(In which the addiction continues.)


One of my terrible habits, at least in the eyes of my students, is that I ask them if they have seen an interesting movie that has been recently shown. The worse part of my strangeness is when I share with them the new book I'm reading. As sad as it is real, my students are not the reading kind. But I was lucky to have at least one student who can relate and actually shares back. It's not so bad, especially when the fact that two students in two different classes are three books ahead of me and, as they themselves said, are "just waiting for The City of Heavenly Fire to be released". What other motivation can be more persuading than that?

So that is the impetus behind this recent update in this blog, and the apparent sudden adrenaline to finish the first five books of Clare's best-selling series. 

I bookmarked my latest progress on the second book - City of Ashes, which continues were the City of Bones left off - the revelation bomb that Clary and Jace are siblings. 

It is sadly expected that Jace will be a magnet of controversy after the Clave gets informed of his true parentage. The complication is so severe that Maryse Lightwoods, mother of Alec and Isabelle, decides to send Jace out of the Institute in fear of him being Valentine's spy. To prove his innocence, Jace declares that he is willing to undergo the Trial by Sword. The process involves the use of the Soul-Sword, another Mortal Instrument guarded by the Silent Brothers and this powerful weapon can determine whether someone is lying. For the trial to happen, Maryse summons the Inquisitor of the Clave, who appears to believe that Jace works with Valentine and is determined to punish him. What complicates matters is a series of murders of young Downworlders and the Silent Brothers in the Bone City. And the Shadowhunters believe Valentine is behind it. In their pursuit of discovering Valentine's plan, Alec and Isabelle find themselves tangled in a familial conflict while Jace, Clary and Simon struggle to find their places in the lives of people who matter to them most.

What's worth saying about the second installment is that Clare's signature wit (that interestingly manifests itself in almost all the characters) is a refreshing comic relief even in the most dangerous fight scenes and confrontations. The plot somehow runs predictably but one still clings on to the next turn of the page. Some sections are expected to raise several eyebrows (both eyebrows in a single face at that) but will surely melt more hearts. With its curiosity-inducing foreshadowing, City of Ashes provides a satisfying piece of the puzzle of the search for the justification to the answer almost all readers of the novel already know.

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