Study Guide

City of Ashes Identity

By Cassandra Clare


Everyone has different roles they play on a daily basis. You're a student at school, a people-pleaser at your customer-service job, and a demon hunter once night falls. That's everyone, right?

Well, it's everyone Clary and Jace know in the world of City of Ashes. They're teens, and if that wasn't confusing enough, they're also Shadowhunters, vampires, or werewolves. And in Clary and Jace's case, they don't know whether they identify as brother and sister or boyfriend and girlfriend. Yep, it's complicated.

Questions About Identity

  1. How does Simon deal with being an outsider (a "mundane" as Jace calls him) early in the book, and how does his identity change by the end of the story?
  2. Clary is arguably the most useless of the Shadowhunters. How does she finally manage to fit into the group?
  3. At what times does Clary view herself has Jace's sister, and when does she wish she could be more? Flip the question, too, swapping Clary for Jace and sister for brother.
  4. What is at the core of Jace's identity crisis in this book? What starts it? How does he try and find himself?

Chew on This

Jace and Simon tentatively become friends at the end, because Jace realizes just how similar they have become.

Valentine takes advantage of Jace's identity crisis to try and shape Jace into who he (Valentine) wants him to be.