Shadowhunters: Ash City (2008), follow a young girl as she helps protect the normal world from demonic forces. The novel is the second in the series The Mortal Instruments written by Cassandra Clare, under the pseudonym Judith Lewis.
The themes include the inviolable promises of family love, the all-consuming nature of revenge, and sacrifice for friends. It combines many genres, including romance, fantasy, and urban drama. While appealing to a largely teenage audience, Clare originally wrote The Mortal Instruments series as an adult fantasy series.
Summary and Synopsis
Clary is a teenager who has led a typical life until she discovers that she was born into a group of people known as “Shadowhunters” who deal with demons and monsters, keeping humans safe and monsters under control.
When he makes this discovery, he also discovers that his father is a violent villain who is gathering specific items with the intention of creating an army of demons and going to war with the Shadowhunters. Clary knew nothing of these things because her mother had hidden her ability to see the supernatural throughout Clary’s childhood.
Clary’s mother is now in a self-induced coma and is dealing with the new situation with the help of her friends and other shadowhunters. The key among his friends is Luke, a werewolf and former shadowhunter who has played the role of Clary’s father all his life.
Clary learns that her father Valentine needs the blood of various creatures to complete the ritual that will summon demons for his army. He kills children, including a fairy, and drains his blood as part of the ritual, but he still needs a werewolf and a vampire boy. Valentine kidnaps Clary’s friends for this purpose.
Simon, a former human friend of Clary’s who is now a vampire, and Maia, a member of Luke’s pack, are detained on Valentine’s ship. Clary and Jace, a shadowhunter Clary believes to be her brother, are at the heart of the effort to save Maia and Simon. Other shadowhunters join them, hoping to defeat Valentine before he can complete his plan.
On board the ship, Clary confronts her father but cannot kill him. Valentine believes she has killed Simon, but Jace revives Simon with his own blood. This changes Simon’s skin and he is no longer in danger from sunlight. At this time, Clary and Jace have realized that they have powers that they haven’t even begun to use.
Armed with her wake, a small wand-shaped instrument used to draw magic runes, Clary allows her creativity to take over and smashes Valentine’s ship, ending the bloody battle between Valentine’s demons and the Hunters of shadows trying to destroy it. The ship sinks and although the core group of characters remains intact, there were casualties.
When the book comes to an end, Clary realizes that Luke has always been in love with her mother, but has never spoken it out loud to him. This leads Clary to tell Jace that her feelings for him are not brotherly love, but Jace rejects her, saying that he promises to love her like a brother. Clary feels compelled to accept that. Clary then goes to the hospital to visit her mother and meets a woman on the steps who says she was friends with Clary’s mother and knows that a self-induced spell keeps her in a coma.
Genre: fantasy novel
wizards and witches, as well as some new twists, such as thestrals and Horcruxes.
Ash City takes a genre-like approach, combining supernatural beasts that we know and love (hate), such as vampires and werewolves, and stir them in a large crucible with angels, demons, magic runes, and artifacts as shown in the title of the saga, The deadly instruments. Even in a world where almost every character is supernatural in some way, there is always something new to discover.
- Clarissa “Clary” Fray: is the main character of the book. She has curly red hair like her mother and green eyes. She is a Shadowhunter but has lived like a mundane with her mother. She is Jace’s younger sister and Valentine’s daughter. She falls in love with Jace even though he is her brother, and that’s why she’s torn between wanting to follow his heart or do what’s right.
- Jonathan “Jace” Wayland / Morgensten: He is an expert Shadowhunter, described as the best of his generation. She has blonde hair and a proud attitude. He is known for his skills as a shadow hunter. Jace is Clary’s older brother and the son of Valentine and Jocelyn.
- Luke: He is Clary’s father figure and also a werewolf. He was also a member of Valentine’s circle before becoming a werewolf and being rejected by the circle. He is in love with Jocelyn even though he never openly admits it.
- Simon: Clary’s best friend and boyfriend. It is described as having a geeky appearance. Due to his love for Clary, he remains with her and accompanies her even if it means that his life will be in danger.
- Alec: He is the eldest son of the Lightwood family. He is shy and cautious, but dedicated to his family. She falls in love with Jace but tries to hide her feelings. He ends up in a secret relationship with Magnus Bane.
- Isabelle: She is the middle daughter of the Lightwood family. She is extremely beautiful but cold. She is very protective of her family and is mad at Alec when she believes he betrayed Jace.
- Valentine – is a Shadowhunter who has a radical point of view regarding undergrounds and demons. He is the founder of the Circle and is known to be very manipulative. He is the father of Jace and Clary, but he does not express his love for them and is willing to sacrifice them to get what he wants.
Clary seeks to understand her place in the world as a Shadowhunter. As she was raised as a mortal, she never learned how to fight, and she understands very little about the culture of Shadowhunters. She doesn’t feel like she fits in with the other Shadowhunters, but she doesn’t feel mortal either. Jace also struggles to discover his identity, because he has learned indescribable things about his true family.
Throughout the novel, Clary struggles with the knowledge that Valentine is her father, as she commits unspeakable atrocities and seeks to use her children only for her own benefit. She also struggles with the knowledge that her mother lied to her for most of her life, refusing to tell her that she was a Shadowhunter, and because her mother is in a coma for the entire book, Clary is unable to confront her.
Jace also struggles with his family, as he believed for years that his father had died, and now he knows that Valentine is his father. He is not sure if he belongs to the Lightwoods, his adoptive family, or his biological family.