City of Bones Chapter 23 Summary
How It All Goes Down
- The last chapter begins with a lot of dialogue between Jace, Clary, and Jace and Clary's supposed father, Valentine.
- Clary spends a lot of time trying to convince Jace that Valentine is a big fat liar, but Jace is pretty convinced that he is the true heir to the revered Morgenstern name.
- Also, Jace thinks that Hodge was the real bad guy, and Valentine kidnapped Clary's mother to heal her, not to harm her.
- Despite being assaulted with Clary's logic, Jace refuses to believe anything else. Finally, he reveals that Jace is a nickname derived from his initials, J.C. No, not Jesus Christ, but Jonathan Christopher, a name Clary knows well, being the name of her supposedly dead brother.
- While Jace goes to brush the taste of his own sister off his tongue (kidding!), Valentine spills more details:
- (1) Michael Wayland, the man who isn't really Jace's father, died during the uprising, and Valentine assumed his name, kind of like a Shadowhunter witness-protection program.
- (2) Ten years later, Valentine received an anonymous blackmail letter threatening to reveal his true identity, so he sent Jace to the Institute to be watched over by the Lightwoods (Isabelle and Alec's family).
- (3) Valentine had to let Jace think he was dead so that the Lightwoods would protect him as they did.
- Now they're all reunited into one big perfect family! And by perfect we mean messy.
- Clary, what do you think about Valentine's plan? "That sounds terrific […] Just you, your comatose wife, your shell-shocked son, and your daughter who hates your guts. Not to mention that your two kids may be in love with each other. Yeah, that sounds like a perfect family reunion" (23.84).
- Before Clary can voice her opinion aloud, Luke, covered in Pangborn's blood (yep, he became lunch) crashes the reunion.
- Luke and Valentine clash while Clary tries to tell Jace about their mother, and how she didn't abandon him; she thought he had died. Jace responds by telling her, really loud, to shut up.
- Jace's outburst distracts Luke for a split second, giving Valentine an opening to stab him.
- Valentine readies a killing blow as Luke lies bleeding on the floor, but Clary gets between the two of them.
- When Valentine moves to strike, even though he'll hit Clary, Jace blocks the swing.
- Of course, Valentine says that he never actually would have chopped his own daughter in two. (To which we say: yeah, right, buddy.)
- Things are once again at a standstill, so Clary takes advantage of the opportunity to continue to badmouth Valentine to Jace.
- She reveals that Valentine burned his own wife's parents, Michael Wayland, and Michael Wayland's son, all to trick Clary's mother into thinking her own husband and son died.
- At first it doesn't seem to convince Jace, but when Valentine moves in again to kill Luke, Jace blocks him and puts his sword to his throat, ready to kill him, his own father.
- Believing that Jace killing his own father might be a little too much to handle (um, you think?), Clary convinces Jace to give the sword to Luke, which he does.
- They find out that Valentine has hidden the Mortal Cup in Idris. Luke pushes Valentine toward the Portal, willing to go through with him and retrieve the cup.
- Just then, Alaric, one of the members of Luke's wolf pack, bursts into the room—literally. He leaves the door in splinters.
- Seizing the moment of distraction, Valentine throws a dagger at Luke's chest. Alaric jumps in front of him, taking the dagger himself to save his pack leader.
- As Luke tries to save Alaric, Valentine beckons Jace into the Portal, to which Jace responds, "That's not my home […] This is my home now" (23.262).
- Valentine travels through the Portal and shatters it, sealing off the way to Idris... and the Cup.
- Alaric dies, and Jace picks up a jagged shard of the Portal, feeling guilty for not killing Valentine when he had the opportunity.
Next Page: Epilogue
Previous Page: Chapter 22