Study Guide

City of Ashes Part 1, Chapter 1

By Cassandra Clare

Part 1, Chapter 1

Valentine's Arrow

  • Part 1 is called "A Season In Hell." Oh, well this sounds uplifting.
  • Alec and Jace argue in the elevator. Love in an elevator? No, this is annoyance in an elevator.
  • Their clothes are muddy and tattered after an apparent fight with a demon.
  • Isabelle breaks up the argument, and Alec wonders who she escaped the fight without getting dirty.
  • When the elevator opens, their mother, Maryse Lightwood, is there, back from a trip to Alicante, along with the youngest brother, Max Lightwood.
  • After everyone says hi to Max, Maryse tells Jace to clean himself up and meet her in the library. Something tells us this isn't about an overdue book.
  • Meanwhile, Clary and Simon are hanging out in his room, eating chips and watching anime.
  • Clary worries about her mother being comatose in the hospital, and how she wishes super-sexy Jace weren't her brother because that really kills the mood.
  • They switch the channel and an old Dracula movie comes on.
  • This upsets Simon, and he leaves the room.
  • Back at the Institute, Jace gets out of the shower and puts on "jeans and a clean shirt" (1.1.65).
  • He meets Maryse in the library, and he asks her why she never sang to him, even though she would sing her other children—her biological children—to sleep.
  • She says, "Oh, you. […] You were never afraid of the dark" (1.1.78).
  • She goes on to tell him that she doesn't trust him. She thinks he always knew that Valentine was his father.
  • He denies this, but she still wants Jace to say that he hates his birth father. "Tell me you hate that man and everything he stands for" (1.1.107).
  • Jace won't do it, so Maryse calls him Valentine's arrow, "an arrow shot directly into the heart of the Clave" (1.1.113).
  • Back at Simon's house, Clary checks on Simon in his kitchen.
  • He asks her if he seems different. "You're still Simon," (1.1.124) she says.
  • He kisses her a couple of times, and she lets him. Mentally, she compares the kiss to that time she kissed Jace. Her brother.
  • The phone rings and Simon answers it. It's Isabelle, and she wants to speak to Clary.
  • Isabelle tells Clary that Jace is gone!