Study Guide

City of Ashes Lust

By Cassandra Clare


There was no point telling [Luke] how badly [Clary] wanted Jace not to be her brother. (1.1.54)

No, you probably don't want to tell your adopted father that you have sexual feelings for your biological brother. But lust makes people do crazy things.

[Clary] did not, however, push [Simon] away, and clearly taking this as a sign of encouragement, Simon slid his hand behind her head and deepened the kiss, parting her lips with his. His mouth was soft, softer than Jace's had been, and the hand that cupped her neck was warm and gentle. (1.1.126)

Clary doesn't like soft. Clary wants something a little rougher around the edges, and Simon just doesn't do it for her.

[Maia] had a compact, curvy body, wide hips flaring out from a smaller waist. (1.2.184)

We only get this sultry description of Maia when the POV character is Simon, which shows us exactly what part of Simon's body is doing the thinking when Maia is in front of him.

"I meant you don't have to sleep on the couch if you don't want." "Then where…" His voice trailed off, eyes wide behind his glasses. "Oh." (1.4.179-1.4.180)

Clary feeds into Simon's sexual feelings for her, even though she doesn't feel the same way. Why does she do this?

Kissing Simon was pleasant. (1.5.20)

We had to include this quote here because of how not lustful it is. Pleasant. Pleasant?! What else is pleasant: toast, Febreze, a really nice sneeze. None of these things get your blood boiling. To Clary, Simon is toast, and Jace is a raging fire.

Water ran from his wet jeans and jacket, and made the white shirt he was wearing transparent. She could see the dark lines of his permanent Marks through it and the faint scar on his shoulder. (2.8.227)

Clary is probably wishing Jace's jeans were transparent here too.

[Clary] felt the brush of [Jace, her brother's] lips, light at first, and her own opened automatically beneath the pressure. Almost against her will she felt herself go fluid and pliant, stretching upward to twine her arms around his neck the way that a sunflower twists toward the light. His arms slid around her, his hands knotting in her hair, and the kiss stopped being gentle and became fierce, all in a single moment like tinder flaring into a blaze. (2.8.402)

Clary and Jace are a heck of a lot hotter than Greg and Marcia Brady.

"The truth is that I love Simon like I should love you, and I wish he was my brother and you weren't, but I can't do anything about that and neither can you!" (2.9.51)

It takes a long time to get here, but Clary finally speaks the truth about everything. She acts like her lustful feelings are something she can't control. Is she right?

"The greatest fear in Jonathan's life is the love he feels for his sister." (3.18.109)

This replicates the first quote we chose, about Clary not wanting to confess her love for Jace. The feeling—and fear—is mutual.

"You kept telling me that I couldn't have what I wanted from you, and I kept pushing at you and pushing at you and not listening to you at all. I just wanted you and I didn't care what anybody else had to say about it. Not even you." (Epilogue.145)

Jace seems able to finally push his lust aside, and stop pushing it on Clary. We imagine his feelings still exist, he's just choosing to ignore them: something Clary was never able to do.