posted by Annoula_S
Plot[edit source | editbeta]
One night at a club, 15-year-old Clarissa "Clary" Fray witnesses an apparent murder by a strange teenager whom no one else can see, Jace Wayland. He tells her the victim was actually a disguised demon. The next day, after Clary sees Jace again, she returns home to find her mother Jocelyn Fray, missing and her apartment trashed and occupied by a monstrous creature (later labeled a Ravener demon). Clary defeats it but is injured.
Jace finds her and takes her to his home, "The Institute," an old Gothic cathedral that normal humans, called "mundanes" or "mundies" by the inhabitants, can't see, because it is concealed by a magic called 'glamour'. After recuperating, Clary meets Jace's tutor, Hodge Starkweather, and his adoptive siblings Isabelle Lightwood and Alec Lightwood. They are Shadowhunters, who hunt demons unbeknownst to and—except for Clary—unseen by the mundane world.
With the help of "Silent Brother" Jeremiah, a monk with magical powers, their investigation into why Clary can see them uncovers a block on her mind, keeping her memories sealed. She travels with Jace and Jeremiah to the City of Bones, where the Silent Brothers attempt to break it. Although the attempt fails, Clary gets flashes of information, particularly the name Magnus Bane. Tracing this name to a party, Clary and the Shadowhunter teens, along with her mundy best friend Simon, discover that Magnus is the High Warlock of Brooklyn, and he placed the block on Clary at the request of her mother, an ex-Shadowhunter. Every two years, Jocelyn had been sending Clary to Magnus to have her memories and Sight (ability to see what mundanes cannot) blocked, hoping to keep her safely in the dark about her true self so she could live a normal life. Magnus refuses to bring Clary's memories back, claiming it would be too difficult and dangerous, and they may return anyway, now that she knows the truth and the spell has begun to fade. During the party, Simon ignores Isabelle's warnings and consumes a drink, which was spiked, turning him into a rat. Simon is then kidnapped by the vampires.
Clary and Jace attempt to rescue Simon from the vampire coven who reside in the abandoned Hotel Dumort. In a fight for their lives, they are saved by werewolves. Clary and Jace escape, rescue Simon, and steal a motorcycle from the vampires. When Simon is returned to his human form, he and Clary share an intimate moment where they hug in relief for each other's safety, to Jace's dismay.
At the Institute, Clary and Alec confront each other in the hallway. Alec demands she return to her own world, fearing she is putting Jace in danger; Clary is more concerned that Alec is in love with Jace. Alec pins Clary against a wall and threatens her to keep his sexual orientation and affections secret, then, stunned at his own violent reaction, departs. That night, the eve of Clary's 16th birthday, she and Jace go for a midnight walk in the Institute's Garden and kiss. After Simon walks in on them, an argument culminates in Simon declaring that he has been in love with Clary for 10 years and only flirted with Isabelle in hopes of making Clary jealous. Later, Clary draws in her sketchbook to calm herself about the night's events, and suddenly realizes where the Mortal Cup is. When the teens go to retrieve it, they are attacked by a Greater Demon and Alec is gravely injured. Eventually, Simon saves them all, and they successfully bring the Mortal Cup to the Institute, where Magnus Bane keeps Alec from dying.
When Clary and Jace give the Mortal Cup to Hodge, he reveals he's working for a man named Valentine Morgenstern, who was thought to be dead. Valentine kidnaps Jace, and Clary goes after the fleeing Hodge but is knocked unconscious. When Clary wakes up, her mother's best friend, Luke Garroway, reveals himself as a werewolf and says that Valentine is her father. Luke and his werewolf pack raid Valentine's lair, but they are ambushed, although Luke and Clary make it inside. While Luke is distracted, Clary finds Jace and Valentine, who tells them that he is Jace's biological father as well, making them siblings; the teens, who are in love, are horrified by this revelation. Luke then returns to fight Valentine, but although Jace helps, Valentine escapes to the Shadowhunter capital, Idris, where he has hidden the Mortal Cup, one of three Mortal Instruments given to the first Shadowhunter by the angel Raziel. If Valentine acquires the 3 Instruments, he will be able to create an army of Shadowhunters.
Clary finds her mother in a coma caused by a potion and takes her to a hospital. Back at the Institute, Alec, healed by Magnus, agrees with Clary to start fresh. Clary encourages Jace to see their mother, and although he has not fully forgiven Jocelyn for leaving him, he agrees and they ride to the city on the stolen motorcycle.
Characters[edit source | editbeta]
Clarissa (Clary) Fray - She is the 15-year-old protagonist. Raised by her widowed mother, Jocelyn Fray/Fairchild, a former Shadowhunter, and the werewolf Lucian 'Luke' Garroway/Graymark, a family friend who served as a father figure to Clary. All traces of the magical world were hidden from her in an attempt to keep her safe and have her live a normal non-Shadowhunter life. She is a little over 5 feet tall, with bright red hair, green eyes, freckles, and described as looking almost identical to her mother. She is an artist, like her mother, often drawing out her emotions in pictures - her version of a diary. Throughout the remainder of the series, Clary embarks on a quest to help her mother while adjusting to a life as a Shadowhunter. She and Jace eventually develop a mutual attraction; although the revelation that they are siblings dashes their romantic hopes. Lily Collins portrayed Clary in the film adaption of the book
Jace Wayland / Morgenstern - A Shadowhunter orphaned at a young age because of his father's murder. He has lived with the Lightwoods and Hodge Starkweather at the Institute in New York City since he became a Shadowhunter. He is said to be the best Shadowhunter of his age, his father having trained him before death. He is described as having golden hair, eyes, and skin. He is attracted to Clary, and horrified to find out that they are siblings.
Simon Lewis - Clary's human best friend for about 10 years. He is in love with Clary, though she does not appear to have the same feelings for him and is oblivious to them until he directly tells her. He is jealous of Jace over Clary's affection.
Isabelle (Izzy) Lightwood - Beautiful and pale, Izzy is a Shadowhunter; the only daughter of Maryse Lightwood and Robert Lightwood and younger sister to Alec Lightwood. She is described as tall and incredibly beautiful, with black hair and eyes. She, like her brother (Alec Lightwood), dislikes Clary at the beginning of the book, but, by the end of the novel, becomes her friend.
Alexander (Alec) Lightwood - Isabelle's brother. Though he has been a Shadowhunter for many years, he has yet to kill a demon, and is severely wounded in a fight with a Greater Demon. He has black hair and blue eyes. Alec is revealed to be in love with Jace. He is jealous of Clary over Jace's affection.
Lucian Graymark/Luke Garroway - Once a Shadowhunter and a member of the Circle, a group started by Valentine Morgenstern. He is Jocelyn's best friend and seems to be in love with her, though he has yet to admit it. Because of his close relationship with Jocelyn, Clary looks up to him as she would a father. Luke became a werewolf when he was betrayed by Valentine and bitten. Since then, he has become a pack leader twice (in Paris and in New York).
Valentine Morgenstern - A powerful Shadowhunter, he reappears after several years in hiding, during which he was presumed dead, and attempts to steal the Mortal Cup from his ex-wife Jocelyn. He tells Jace and Clary that they are both his and Jocelyn's children.
Magnus Bane - The High Warlock of Brooklyn, who has a romantic interest in Alec Lightwood. When his name is found imprinted inside Clary's mind, Clary and her allies seek him out to uncover his connection to her past and her mother. He saved Alec from death when the latter was injured by a Greater Demon.
Hodge Starkweather - Isabelle, Alec and Jace's tutor; a curse made by the Clave keeps him trapped inside the walls of the Institute, punishment for his days as a member of the Circle. Unbeknownst to anyone, he is still working for Valentine
Jocelyn Fray/Fairchild - Clary's mother, an ex-Shadowhunter in hiding because of her involvement in the Circle with Valentine, her ex-husband. She is an artist. Jocelyn is described as elegant and beautiful, with long red hair darker than Clary's. She hid the Mortal Cup (one of the three Mortal Instruments) so that no one else would be able to claim it; and disclosed its location using subtle clues that only her daughter Clary would be able to crack. When she found Clary playing with faeries, Jocelyn began seeking help from Magnus Bane every two years to shield Clary from the Shadowhunter world. Abducted by Valentine in hopes of discovering where she had hidden the Mortal Cup, she is eventually found by Clary in a potion-induced coma, and taken to the hospital.
Cover and title[edit source | editbeta]
The Cover Shows Jace Wayland/Lightwood.
Reception[edit source | editbeta]
Critical reception for City of Bones was mostly positive, with Publishers Weekly calling the book "a compelling story". Teen Ink gave a mixed review, stating that the book was "addicting" [sic] but that parts of the book were too predictable. The School Library Journal also criticized the book's predictability, but wrote that "Despite the narrative flaws, this version of New York, full of Buffyesque teens who are trying to save the world, is entertaining and will have fantasy readers anxiously awaiting the next book in the series."
Film adaptation[edit source | editbeta]
Main article: The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones
On June 10, 2010, Screen Gems announced that they were going into production on a film adaptation of The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, with a script written by Jessica Postigo. Harald Zwart was announced as the film's director, with Lily Collins as Clary Fray on April 20, 2012. The film was shot in Toronto and New York, and was released worldwide on August 21, 2013. It received largely negative reviews, most critics addressing the film's predictability and similarities to other fantasy and supernatural romance franchises such as Harry Potter, The Hunger Games and particularly The Twilight Saga.
Allusions to other works[edit source | editbeta]
In the novel, Cassandra Clare includes references to the works of Holly Black, who is a friend of Clare's.
In the beginning of the book, Clary is drawing and listening to a band called Stepping Razor. Stepping Razor is the name of Ellen Fierch's band in Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale.
In the scene in Chapter 10 where Clary and Jace are riding in the carriage, Clary looks out the window and sees a few homeless teenagers. One of them is a girl with a shaved head, the other a boy with dreadlocks and facial piercings who appears to be blind in one eye. These teenagers are actually the characters Valerie and Luis from Black's book Valiant: A Modern Tale of Faerie.
She also includes references to the works of Philip Reeve, whose works Mortal Engines and Infernal Devices she drew inspiration from. Her inclusion of the antagonist Valentine, who is later revealed to be the father of Clary, is a nod to Philip Reeve's main antagonist in Mortal Engines of the same name, who is also discovered to be the father of one of the main characters.