City of Ashes Extract

A message from Cassandra Clare

Well, hello there! If you're reading this extract, you're going to find yourself smack dab in the middle of City of Ashes, the second in what I call 'The Mortal Instruments trilogy'. if you like sharp, smart modern fantasy, mixed with a little bit of horror and a lot of romance in short, if you were ever a fan of ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ you just might like these books.

City of Ashes continues the story of Clary Fray, an ordinary teenage girl in New York City, who divides her time between reading Japanese manga and hanging out with her best friend, Simon. That is, until her whole life is turned upside-down when her mother disappears and she discovers that she's actually one of the Shadowhunters – a group of half-angelic warriors dedicated to keeping the peace in Downworld, the shadowy, half-hidden mirror version of New York, where the city's supernatural denizens warlocks, demons, vampires and the like spend their time. That's a lot for one girl to handle, but to top it off she meets Jace, a Shadowhunter who turns out to be exactly the wrong boy for her to fall in love with. Unfortunately, by the time she finds that out, it's already too late.

The idea for these books grew out of my fascination with two things that seemed diametrically opposed: fantasy and industrial settings. I wanted to create a mythology out of the juxtaposition of the classically supernatural and the absolutely modern, to make a sort of pop-magic out of the detritus of urban life. So you've got warlocks living in glass and steel lofts, and supernatural warriors text-messaging each other. In City of Ashes, the magical world exists not far away from the modern world, but inside it, in its forgotten and abandoned spaces. So instead of squaring off on a green battlefield, the Shadowhunters fight their enemies in deserted factories and abandoned, rusted oil tankers.

I hope the extract will give you a feel for how fast-paced the books are, for a little of their darkness and magic.

Cassandra Clare

For a taste of City of Ashes download the extract here