City of Bones Summary
Fifteen-year-old Clary Fray is partying hard at the Pandemonium Club with her best friend, Simon. There, she sees a crowd of strangely behaving, but incredibly attractive teens sneak into a storeroom. She follows them, and discovers that they're demon hunters when they kill a demon in front of her, which dissolves into the floor. Yuck.
Back at home, her mother is acting all cryptic and over-protective, packing up their stuff to move away from New York City and into the country home of her best friend, Luke. Clary isn't pleased, and leaves the apartment to hang out with Simon. She finds him at a poetry reading, where she also runs into Jace, one of the demon hunters (called Shadowhunters or Nephilim). And then she receives a scary phone call from her mother that sounds like she's being attacked.
Back at the apartment, Clary finds the place deserted. Except, that is, for the giant, slobbering, poisonous demon that bites her. She kills the demon by herself, but not before she's bitten and passes out. Poisoned, Clary is carried to the Institute by Jace, who introduces her to a few other Shadowhunters.
Worried about her missing mother, Clary takes Jace back to her apartment to investigate. They're attacked—again. They seek cover in the apartment of Madame Dorothea, a hacky looking psychic who has ties to the Nephilim. She also has a magical Portal, and Clary, thinking her mother might be through there, rushes through it.
Clary seems to have adopted some sort of act first, ask questions later strategy, which—trust Shmoop—is a bad one. She ends up at her mother's friend Luke's bookstore, where Simon has been lurking, trying to figure out what Luke is up to. She heads back to the Institute, where she finds out more secrets, like the fact that she has a mental block that's preventing her from seeing everything in the Shadowhunter world.
So what's a girl to do? Party, of course. They suit up sexily for a wild party at the apartment of Magnus Bane, the High Warlock of Brooklyn. He's the one who put the block on Clary's memory in the first place, and she totally wants it removed, so crashing the shindig seems like her best bet.
The party's fun enough, except for the fact that Magnus can't remove Clary's mind block. Oh, and Simon gets turned into a rat. He's cute, sure. But he's a rat. Clary puts him into her backpack, but some vindictive vampires steal him and take him to their lair. So Jace and Clary set off to rescue the poor sucker.
Which they do. And then they head back to the Institute again. Jace and Simon have to rest in the infirmary to heal up after a kerfluffle at the vampire lair. That night, Jace takes Clary on a midnight picnic, and their romance blossoms in the greenhouse with a romantic first kiss.
Later, Clary has a light bulb moment. She realizes that her mother must have hidden the Mortal Cup, a magical artifact that is pretty much the most important thing ever, inside a painting—the hand-painted Tarot deck she made for Madame Dorothea.
So it's back to the apartment!
Clary cleverly retrieves the cup, but then an evil demon, Abbadon, rushes through the Portal, possesses Madame Dorothea, and tries to kill Clary and Co. They manage to escape and return to the Institute, where Hodge, Jace's tutor, betrays them by handing over the Cup and an unconscious Jace to Valentine, the Big Bad, whom he had been working with all along.
Gasp! Hodge flees, pursued by Clary. They confront each other in an alleyway, and Hodge attacks her. She's saved by Luke, who is a werewolf. Double gasp!
Luke and Clary formulate a plan to storm Valentine's stronghold. Inside Valentine's castle, which is under a spell that makes it look like a crumbling mental hospital, Clary finds her mother, who is unconscious and chained up.
Then Jace shows up and tells Clary that Valentine is his father. Triple gasp! Which means that Clary and Jace are brother and sister. Okay, we're hyperventilating now. Clary manages to convince Jace that even though Valentine is his father, he's still a murderous, lying buttface. Valentine escapes through a Portal with the Cup, smashing the Portal behind him.
Jace and Clary's story ends with them trying to come to terms with the fact that they're related (and trying to cut back on the flirting). They take one last amazing flying bike ride over the city at night, and Clary appreciates the wonders of the world laid out before her.
- Welcome to the City of Bones, Part One: "Dark Descent."
- Clary Fray, fifteen, and her best friend, Simon, wait in line to enter the Pandemonium Club.
- A mysterious—but cute!—blue-haired boy in a red jacket jokes to the bouncer that's he a vampire hunter, and gains admittance to the club before Clary and her friend.
- He stalks a beautiful black-haired girl through the club and follows her into a secluded storage area.
- We get a glimpse into his thoughts as he slinks through the club. He has some sort of magical powers that affect perception and he really doesn't have a high opinion of humans, whom he calls "mundies."
- Unable to take her eyes off the blue-haired—and cute!—boy, Clary notices that he's being followed, too, and one of his (two male) followers has a knife.
- She decides to follow them herself, to which we say, Bad Idea. If they were any closer, it would be a Conga line of death.
- Before Clary arrives, we get a glimpse of what's going on in the storage room.
- It seems that the girl, whose name is Isabelle, was acting as bait to lure the blue-haired boy into a trap. According to the blue-haired boy (did we mention that Clary thinks he's cute?), whose minutes are numbered, the girl and her two male friends are Shadowhunters. They're also all really pretty.
- Clary sneaks in and starts eavesdropping on the confusing conversation they're having.
- They talk about things like Demons, the Clave, and someone named Valentine. She also learns that the two boys not tied up right now are named Alec and Jace.
- Right before Jace is about to stab the blue-haired boy, Clary shouts out for them to stop.
- The Shadowhunters are all, wait, she can see us?
- While the Shadowhunters are preoccupied with Clary, the blue-haired demon boy decides to seize the opportunity to escape. He grasps Jace's throat with his claws.
- The struggle doesn't last long. The Shadowhunters dispatch the demon, and he disintegrates.
- So now what? They debate about whether to take Clary back with them to "the Institute," and ask her confusing questions about Night Children and warlocks. Um… what are Night Children?
- Finally, Simon pops into the storage room, oh, only about ten minutes too late, with security guards in tow.
- Strangely, they can only see Clary in the room, by herself. They can't see the Shadowhunters.
- And that's the end of that. Clary and Simon hail a cab back to Brooklyn.
- Normally when we're in a cab, we're too busy trying not to feel motion sick, but Clary's busy trying to feel like she's not totally crazy.
Secrets and Lies
- This chapter is considerably less supernatural than the last.
- Clary spends time sketching in her room and chatting on the phone with Simon. Oh, and complaining about her mother.
- Simon's been trying to think of a band name. He misses the best one when he and Clary joke about an "orgy in Hoboken." (2.20) Dude, Orgy in Hoboken would be an awesome band name.
- At one point while they're talking, Simon mentions that Clary's mother has scars along her arms and back, but Clary says she hasn't ever seen them. How could Simon possibly know that? Or why would Simon make something like that up?
- We meet Clary's Uncle Luke, who isn't really her uncle—just a good life-long friend of her mother.
- Their relationship is platonic, because Clary's father, Jonathan, died in a car accident before Clary was born. Her mother never moved on.
- Take a moment to sniffle into some tissues while Luke lugs some empty boxes into the apartment.
- Not content to feel crazy in private, Clary asks Luke what he would do if he ever saw people that no one else could see.
- Luke doesn't tell her to get her eyes—or her brain—checked. He just tells her, "You see the world in ways that other people don't. […] It doesn't make you crazy—just different" (2.46).
- Just then, Clary's mother, Jocelyn, comes in and cuts their little bonding moment short.
- Jocelyn says that they're going to pack up and move to Luke's farmhouse for the summer, which means Clary has to drop out of her summer school art program and move away from her friends.
- With a shrug, Clary says "alright," and helps them to start packing.
- Ha, just kidding. Naturally, Clary gets angry and tries to come up with a plan to stay in New York, sans mother.
- When she eavesdrops on her mother and Luke, Clary hears them mention Clary's father and the name Bane. Bane? Who's Bane?
- Just as things are getting heated, Simon shows up and whisks Clary away to get Mexican food and cool off. Nothing like super spicy food to calm the mind.
- They see a strange possibly not-human man as they pass by Madame Dorothea's psychic shop downstairs. Well, Clary sees it, then she seems to forget about it right after.
- Cut to Java Jones coffee shop during a really awful poetry slam for Simon's friend Eric.
- Drowning out the terribly poetry, Clary and Simon talk about girls and dating. Sure, Clary may be able to see demons, but she's totally blind to the fact that Simon is in love with her. Bummer, dude.
- Her cute boy radar isn't on the fritz, though. She sees Jace, the Shadowhunter from the Pandemonium Club, and follows him out into the streets.
- In the alley, Clary grills Jace about why he's following her. He gives her a magical little info dump:
- Shadowhunter (noun) = someone who kills demons
- Downworlders (noun) = magical folk, like warlocks, faeries, zombies, vampires, and werewolves.
- Mark (noun) = a magical rune on the skin giving special powers
- Hodge (proper name) = Jace's mentor
- Just when Clary is finally starting to piece things together, Jace's exposition is cut off when Clary's phone rings.
- It's her mom. She tells Clary to not come home, to go to Simon's house instead. Then there's a crash, and Jocelyn tells Clary she loves her right before the line goes dead. Yikes.
- Panicked, Clary grabs for Jace's phone. It's not a phone at all, though. He tells her it's a sensor, but not what it senses. Some help he is.
- Whatever. Clary's got bigger fish to fry, so she races home to see what happened to her mother, sensor in hand.
- Clary gets home to find her apartment ripped to shreds, and no sign of her mother.
- As if that weren't trouble enough, she's not alone. A slithery demon, "like a cross between an alligator and a centipede," attacks her.
- After a struggle, Clary shoves Jace's sensor down the monster's throat. It seems to choke on it and die.
- Covered in the beast's acidic drool, which burns her skin, Clary crawls for the door. But before she can get there, something clocks her in the back of the head and she faints.
- To be fair, we would have fainted when we saw the thing. Heck, we faint at the sight of just a regular centipede, so kudos, Clary for staying conscious, at least for a little while.
- She wakes up in the grass with Jace watching over her. He killed the demon while she was knocked out.
- Jace tells Clary that she needs to come with him so that she can be cured of the Ravener demon poison inside her. Oh so that's what that burning drool is.
- To hide her from sight, he Marks her with a rune using his stele, which looks like a metal magician's wand.
- With Clary protected, Jace scoops her up in his arms and carries her away.
Clave and Covenant
- It's been three days since Clary was attacked by a Ravener demon. She has some incredible vivid dreams.
- She finally wakes up in a gorgeous room, complete with a ceiling "painted with a rococo motif of clouds and cherubs" (5.20). Heavenly, right?
- Wrong. Not so heavenly is the fact that she's surrounded by people who think she's going to die.
- Fully regaining consciousness, Clary officially meets Isabelle, who has been providing Clary with a cup of one of Hodge's "tisanes."
- Isabelle lets Clary borrow some of her clothes so she can get ready to meet Hodge.
- After she's dressed, Clary finds Jace who escorts her to Hodge's library. They travel through the Institute, which looks a lot like a monastery would look if it were designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and photographed by Annie Leibovitz for Vanity Fair.
- Jace tells Clary about the Lightwoods: Isabelle, Alec, and Max, who is the youngest and is away overseas. It's nice to keep a sibling in reserve for any sequels that may arise.
- The Lightwoods aren't on vacation. They're ambassadors in Idris, the Shadowhunter home country, which isn't visible to human eyes. It's squeezed somewhere between Germany and France. So… near Luxembourg?
- They arrive at Hodge's library, which is a book-filled tower and we totally want to go to there. If only Hodge and his creepy raven, Hugo, weren't always hanging around.
- But he's not the only one ruining the peaceful serenity of the library. Isabelle and her brother Alec are there too. Alec and Jace bicker about Jace's decision to bring Clary, whom they call a mundie, into the Institute.
- See, Alec's afraid of being reported to the Clave, which seems to be the Shadowhunter's governing body.
- Jace says that Clary isn't exactly a mundie. After all, he Marked her with a rune to protect her, and that might have killed an ordinary mundie. So she has to be special somehow.
- As evidence, Jace gets Clary to show them the rune, which consists of "three faint overlapping circles" (154).
- Clary's just a little miffed that Jace could have killed her. Hey, we would be mad too, but only because Jace tattooed her with a Venn Diagram, which is not exactly the sexiest tattoo in the world.
- In order to clear up the confusion about whether she's some sort of mystical Shadowhunter or not, Clary calls Luke on the Institute phone. How would that show up on caller ID?
- He's not exactly helpful. He tells Clary that her mother wasn't found. Also, "I've got my own problems, and I don't need to be bothered by yours" (5.186). Wow. He's a standup guy, that Luke. Very honorable.
- After Clary dabs her eyes on Hodge's handkerchief, it's time for a Shadowhunter history lesson. Phew! Finally. We were hoping we'd get one of these eventually.
- Shadowhunters are created from humans who drink the Angel Raziel's blood from the Mortal Cup. Okay. Got that.
- The Cup disappeared after Valentine, a Shadowhunter-gone-rogue, and his group (called the Circle) tried to overthrow the peace Accords between Shadowhunters and Downworlders. Downworlders, by the way, are part-demons, like warlocks and vampires.
- Even though Valentine sounds pretty despicable, Hodge seems to admire him, calling him "a visionary, a man of great personal charm and conviction" (5.246). What's that about?
- As if Clary needs more information, Hodge decides to summon the Silent Brothers (they sound fun!) to teach her more.
- With Hodge's permission, Clary and Jace return to Clary's apartment to search it for clues about her mom's whereabouts.
- The apartment is empty. Everything is gone—the furniture, their decorations, her mother's paintings—as though they had just moved out or something.
- Just as they're about to search Clary's room, they get ambushed by a giant troll-like creature.
- Jace kills it after a fight that leaves Clary winded and Jace's arm broken.
- It just takes a quick scribble of a healing rune on Jace's arm with his stele to fix the broken bone. Hey, where can Shmoop get one of those?
- Clary finds out that the creature wasn't a demon; it was a Forsaken. That's an ordinary human who has had one too many runes carved into him, making him deformed and crazy. So remember that, Shmoopers, when you're on your fourth barbed wire tattoo.
- After he's explained everything to Clary, Jace decides to head back upstairs to see if there are more foes afoot.
- But he's stopped by Madame Dorothea, Clary's psychic neighbor. She eerily knows a lot more than we expected her to, like about the Clave, the Covenant, and the Forsaken. Looks like she's not just some hack psychic after all.
- Clary learns two things from Madame Dorothea: Jace's last name (the totally non-heroic sounding Wayland) and that her mother might still be alive.
- Hey, that's something.
The Five-Dimensional Door
- Come in, pull up a Ouija board, and grab a seat for a tour around Madame Dorothea's psychic abode.
- She has a variety of posters hanging: zodiac signs, Chinese symbols, and the like. These are the psychic's equivalent of cute kitten posters with the inspirational phrase, "Hang in there, baby."
- One poster of a hand says In Manibus Fortuna, which means "Upon by the hands of fortune," which sounds an awful lot like a MST3K episode we remember…
- Okay, so Madame Dorothea isn't a total hack. And she can make a steaming pot of tea and a mean cucumber sandwich, which they all daintily munch on while talking about vampirism and lycanthropy.
- After tea, they skip the crumpets and head straight for tealeaf reading, which is our kind of party.
- Madame Dorothea sees "violence" and "love with the wrong person" (7.69) in Jace's cup and just a pile of green mush in Clary's cup.
- Wait. Why doesn't Clary have a future in a teacup? Madame Dorothea believes that someone might have put a block on her mind.
- This fortune-telling emergency requires Madame Dorothea to bust out the Tarot cards. She uses her own personal deck, which was hand-painted by Clary's mother.
- Clary draws the Ace of Cups, and Madame Dorothea launches into a story about Clary's mother's past.
- She says that not only was Jocelyn a Shadowhunter, but their apartment building was supposed to be a Sanctuary from Valentine (remember him?).
- Hmm. It sure doesn't look like that worked out too well.
- The plan, if it had worked, would have been for Jocelyn to escape through the Portal in Madame Dorothea's apartment. The Portal's a door set into an exterior wall between two windows, so it doesn't just go outside; it could teleport someone anywhere.
- Curious to know where her mother would have ended up, Clary yanks the door open and tumbles through.
- That's pretty much like pushing a giant red blinking Emergency Self-Destruct button, but we'll go with it.
Weapon of Choice
- Madame Dorothea's Portal dumps Clary on the other side of the fence from Luke's home/bookshop, Garroway Books. Phew. Thank goodness she didn't end up on the Planet Krypton or anything.
- Jace plops down on top of Clary. Once they untangle themselves, he tells us that Portals don't have a set end point; they go wherever the traveler has on her mind.
- Deducing that Luke isn't home, Jace hops the fence... and lands on someone on the other side.
- Simon had been hiding in Luke's bushes, watching what Luke was up to because he (Simon) thought he (Luke) was acting suspicious.
- Looks like Simon saw Luke packing a duffel bag full of glowing weapons. And Simon thought that was strange. Wait. Don't all booksellers tote around an arsenal of glow-in-the-dark swords? Oh wait, that's librarians.
- Clary and Jace fill Simon in on all the complicated Shadowhunter business that Clary's had to learn over the last six chapters. So Simon's got a bit of catching up to do.
- Simon's reaction? "It's like Dungeons and Dragons, but real" (8.76). All caught up, it seems.
- Jace has no clue what D&D is. Hmm, maybe they can find a D&D Player's Handbook in Luke's bookshop. Jace pries the lock with his magical stele and in they go.
- It's dark inside, but Jace uses a little glowy stone called a witchlight to illuminate the room.
- It also illuminates a bloody pair of manacles on the wall. What the heck kind of bookstore is this?
- They also find Luke's sack o' weapons. What could his weapon of choice be? Well, he could go with this, or he could go with that…
- Unexpected visitors arrive before they can investigate further, so they hide behind a screen.
- Jace's stele is able to cut a little one-way glass into the screen so they can watch like they're police detectives secretly observing an interrogation.
- And that's kind of what happens when two warlocks named Blackwell and Pangborn intimidate Luke, trying to extract info about the Mortal Cup.
- During their gab session, we learn that Clary's mother is still alive, and that Luke's real name is Lucian Graymark and he might not be entirely human himself.
- Oh, and those two warlocks, Blackwell and Pangborn?
- They're the ones who killed Jace's father.
The Circle and the Brotherhood
- Jace and Clary take Simon back to the Institute.
- They would give him the grand tour, but the only sightseeing he's interested in is Isabelle.
- She has Simon drooling right away, and it's not because of her cooking, which Jace says is really bad.
- Isabelle's a hot dish (okay, we'll stop with the cooking puns) and Clary is so jealous.
- She can't stand the heat, so she gets out of the kitchen. (Okay, we promise we'll stop for real now.)
- On the way to visit Hodge in the greenhouse, Jace gives Clary a crash course in gender politics, Shadowhunter-style.
- The greenhouse, by the way, is really pretty and colorful and fragrant and wonderful and wow. In books, we don't have allergies, so we totally want to go to there.
- When Clary and Jace give Hodge the scoop on what happened at Luke/Lucian's, Hodge goes pale with the realization that Valentine's Circle is making a comeback.
- He leads them to the library where he pulls out a book containing the loyalty oath of the Circle of Raziel: "I will be ready to risk my life at any time for the Circle, in order to preserve the purity of the bloodline of Idris" (9.138).
- Clary says it best when she says, "It sounds creepy […] like a fascist organization or something" (9.141). Yep. We hear ya, honey.
- She's right, too. Hodge says that the Circle's plan was to wipe out the half-demon Downworlders in order to restore the world's purity. Very original, Emperor Palpatine. Oops, we mean Voldemort. Ack, we mean Valentine.
- As if that wasn't enough, Hodge reveals that he was in the Circle.
- So was Clary's mother.
- And one more parting shot before the curtain falls on Part One:
- Jocelyn was Valentine's wife.
City of Bones
- Welcome to Part Two, which is called "Easy is the Descent."
- Woo! Title-of-the-book shout-out. Maybe that's why this chapter is one of the longest in the book.
- Chapter 10 picks up right where Chapter 9 left off. Remember? Clary's mother was not in the Circle, but she was Valentine's wife. Quite the shocker for our heroine.
- Other members of the Circle include Jace's dad, Michael Wayland, Robert and Maryse Lightwood (Isabelle's and Alec's parents), and warlock daddy killers Blackwell and Pangborn.
- Any member who didn't abandon the Clave before the Uprising has been punished.
- That includes Hodge, who can never leave the Institute, and the Lightwoods, who can only return to Idris for short periods of time.
- They also talk a lot about Valentine and his motivations. Check out his character page for the demonic dirt.
- Jace ultimately decides that they need to lift the block on Clary's memory if they can hope to learn anything, and only the Silent Brothers can do it.
- Clary has to think about it. After all, this would involve allowing someone access to her mind, to see her most private memories, some of which she never even knew she had.
- When Jace is a little pushy to Clary, Simon tries to step in and defend her. It's a nice effort, but he fails miserably. He does succeed in getting escorted out of the Institute altogether, though.
- That night, Clary has a weird dream about dancing with Simon and Jace in the Glass City of Idris.
- The next day, Clary meets Brother Jeremiah of the Silent City. He lives up to his hometown's name. The dude does not talk. Ever. He prefers to communicate telepathically.
- He's downright dreamy, too, with his bald head, no eyes, and sewn-shut mouth. Rawr. Jace who?
- Brother Jeremiah can't read Clary's mind yet. The block is too strong, so Clary will have to travel to the Bone City and be analyzed by the entire Silent Brotherhood. Sounds like a hoot.
- They may travel to the Bone City in style—Brother Jeremiah has a carriage fit for a princess—but Clary isn't Cinderella and this isn't a princely ball. It's, not surprisingly, a graveyard.
- The motto of the Shadowhunters greets them as they descend into the crypt: "The descent into Hell is easy" (10.297). This just keeps getting sunnier!
- It gets darker and darker as they head deeper and deeper into what is now called the Silent City. Either the Silent City and the Bone City are one in the same, or the Silent City is separate and below it. We're not sure yet.
- One of the rooms they pass through is like a mausoleum made of dead Shadowhunters.
- As Brother Jeremiah says (well, he doesn't say anything, but you know what we mean), "Those who die in battle are burned, their ashes used to make the marble arches you see here. […] Even in death, the Clave serves the cause" (10.317).
- Finally they tromp through a long, torch-lined tunnel into a room with a huge table surrounded by numerous hooded Silent Brothers. We had thought there were just two or three, like the Jonas Brothers or, for you Shmoopers who've been around awhile, the Smothers Brothers. We were wrong. Numbers-wise, these guys are more like the Knights of the Round Table.
- Clary agrees to open up her mind before the silent council.
- It's not pleasant. At all.
- She sees a fast-paced rush of memories, a whole life-passing-before-her-eyes thing, ending with two words "burning into her eyes: MAGNUS BANE" (10.342).
- Um, who?
- After Magnus Bane, whoever that is, practically smacks her in the face, she swoons and cracks her elbow open on the marble table.
- Jace helps Clary up and heals her with his stele.
- He tries to lead Clary out of the Silent City by himself, hoping to sneak a peek at parts of it he hasn't seen, but Brother Jeremiah puts a stop to that and supervises their exit.
- They hail a cab back to the Institute.
- Instead of heading back to the Institute as planned, Jace takes Clary to Taki's, "the greatest restaurant in New York" (11.4).
- Um, guys, now is not the time for a first date. But alas, since when do teenagers listen?
- The whole gang—Alec, Isabelle, even Simon—gathers there to eat delicious food.
- On the menu: apricot-plum smoothies, coconut pancakes, locusts, animal blood, and a toasted bat sandwich. Yum!
- Conveniently, Isabelle has received a party invitation held at the apartment of one Magnus the Magnificent Warlock.
- But Clary's got quite a while until the party, which starts at midnight, so she wanders aimlessly around the Institute in the meantime.
- Snooping through the library, she discovers a photo tucked into the pages of a book. It's of her mother and Valentine and a few other Circle members when they were younger.
- Hodge comes in and waxes nostalgic about the glory days of the Circle (oh, how much fun they must have had plotting genocide!) and talking about the glitz and glamour of Alicante, the Glass City.
- Clary connects some dots, realizing that the strange dream she had must have been about Alicante. Maybe she's been there before? Or she's channeling her mother's memories? We're not sure, and she keeps the thoughts to herself.
- Hodge gives Clary a sleep potion—she's been up for a long time, and she was poisoned, after all—and sends her back to her room.
- When she enters, she finds Jace on her bed. Startled, she drops the sleeping potion before she can drink a single drop. Well there goes that idea.
- To help Clary sleep, Jace tells her a lovely little bedroom story. About his abusive father. Click over to Jace's character page for all the sad details.
- Somehow Clary manages to go to sleep and not have nightmares.
- When she wakes up, it's time to get dressed to par-tay!
- Isabelle picks out some clothes for Clary and gives her a little makeover.
- While she's getting eyelinered, Clary asks Isabelle if her brother Alec is gay. Nosy, much?
- He is, but he's too ashamed to talk about it. They're afraid his parents will disown him and expel him from the Clave.
- Not too surprisingly, Alec is also secretly in love with Jace. He's blonde, sexy, cocky, and conceited. Who wouldn't be attracted to that?
- All right, gossip girls, time to party. Let's do a quick run-down. Short sexy dress? Check. Great makeup? Check. Weapons? Ch—wait, weapons?
- Jace gives Clary a dagger, which she slips into her purse before letting down her hair and stepping out the door.
- Every style maven needs a dagger to complete her ensemble.
Dead Man's Party
- Outside Magnus's apartment, Clary and crew check out some hot vampire rides—weird organic motorcycles, which Clary describes as looking like "bio-creatures in a Giger painting" (12.20).
- Jace seems to be up to something fishy, but Clary's not sure what.
- They press the buzzer marked BANE near the apartment door until someone answers.
- Magnus Bane doesn't look like we would picture the Head Warlock of Brooklyn to look. He's thin, black hair, jeans, blue lipstick, and a glittery party mask. We were expecting someone a bit more… imposing.
- Clary and friends follow Magnus up the stairs to his loft, where the party is raging.
- So many strange multi-colored (and multi-limbed) people are gyrating around inside, it feels like they've walked into the Mos Eisley Cantina.
- Before Clary can even get herself situated, she sees Simon and Isabelle doing some dirty dancing on the dance floor and starts fuming with silent jealousy.
- Jace tries to strike up a conversation with Magnus about the block on Clary's brain, but he's interrupted by a vampire who's having a fit about his bio-bike being melted with holy water.
- Ah, the old sugar in the gas tank ruse. Except, you know, with holy water.
- Thankfully, the angry vamp gets magically ejected from the apartment by Magnus before he can cause any trouble.
- Magnus decides to talk to Jace only after Jace threatens him with a visit from the Silent City.
- He reveals that yes, he did put a block on Clary's mind, but only at the request of—wait for it—her mother.
- Dun dun dun. Aaaand scene.
The Memory of Whiteness
- Magnus reveals that Jocelyn brought Clary to him when she (Clary) was two years old. He's been blocking her Sight every two years since then, making sure that she couldn't see any aspect of the Shadow World.
- That explains why Clary couldn't see the scars on her mother's arms and back: they're Covenant Marks, and they were hidden from her view.
- Unfortunately, Magnus can't remove the spell without risking permanent mind damage.
- What he can do, though, is try to teach her a variety of magic runes.
- "Will it hurt?" (13.41) Clary asks. "All knowledge hurts," (13.42) responds Magnus. Except Shmoop knowledge, that is.
- So Clary hits the books—the magic books.
- The first rune she studies is "something like a winged spiral […] and then it seemed like a staff wound around with vines." (13.42) A caduceus, perhaps?
- If you need to do some magic studying of your own, head over to our "Symbols, Imagery, Allegory" section for a moment. We'll keep memorizing runes while we wait.
- Back? Well you missed Magnus talking about the Mortal Instruments. Sorry to do this to you, but back over to the "Symbols" page for the details. We don't want his exposition to bog down the plot.
- Let's fast forward a bit: blah blah Valentine, blah blah revenge, blah blah Simon's a rat.
- Wait—what?! Simon's a rat. Rewind!
- Looks like while they were all blabbing on about cups and swords and the fate of the world, Simon drank some blue drink and turned into a rat. Why do they even serve those drinks? Was Anjelica Huston circa 1990 the bartender?
- Clary gets mad at everyone. But she's especially angry with Isabelle for letting it happen.
- She finds Simon pretty quickly though, under the bar, and tucks him into one of her backpack's pockets.
- With Simon secure, they decide to ditch this party. Before shutting the door behind them, Magnus gives them two things to chew on.
- (1) He gives Alec a flirtatious wink and asks for him to give him a call sometime. Aww.
- (2) He tells Clary that when her mother ran away from the Shadowhunters and their lifestyle, "It wasn't the monsters she was hiding from. Not the warlocks, the wolf-men, the Fair Folk, not even the demons themselves. It was them. It was the Shadowhunters" (13.165).
- Well that's new.
- Before Clary has much time to ponder that little morsel, she realizes that Simon is missing from her backpack. Someone totally swiped her rat bestie. Uh oh.
- They all march back up the stairs to see if Magnus knows where Simon might have scampered off to.
- Magnus's theory is that a group of vampires must have taken him, probably thinking that killing a Shadowhunter's pet would be a great way to get revenge for a busted bike.
- Their lair is in the Hotel Dumort uptown, so Jace and Clary decide to swing by the nearest Catholic Church (for weapons, of course) before heading there.
- Inside the Diamond Street Catholic church, Jace uses his stele to extract some weapons from under a stone: holy water, knives, crucifixes, you know, standard vampire-slaying accoutrement.
- Clary and Jace talk a bit about belief in God—or lack thereof, in Jace's case—before hopping the train to the Hotel Dumort, where Simon, in rat-form, is being held captive by a group of vampires. Yep, this is happening.
- It would be too easy if they could just waltz inside the front doors, so Clary and Jace search for an alternate entrance.
- A boy around Jace's age interrupts them as they're getting ready to overturn a dumpster, hoping to find a ground-level entrance hidden under it, because, let's face it, underneath a dumpster is as good a place as any to look for a door.
- The boy, whose name is Raphael, helps them find a grate that can gain them access. He goes with them because he says his brother tried to attack the vampires but never returned.
- They explore the dilapidated hotel for a spell but don't find anything.
- To spice things up a bit, Jace throws his knife at Raphael, plunging it up to its hilt in his chest.
- Okay, okay, so he wasn't bored. He just realized that Raphael was a vampire who had been sent to lure them inside.
- Suddenly, dozens of vampires emerge from the shadows to size up their prey.
- A tense standoff commences between Jace, with his knife to Raphael's heart, and Lily, Elliott, and Jacob, three vampires who have poor little rat Simon.
- The vamps want Jace to "swear on the Angel" (14.218) that he won't hurt Raphael. If he swears, they will release Simon.
- This goes back and forth for a while before Clary just flings herself at Elliott and snatches Simon from his hands.
- All hell breaks loose, ending with Jace and Clary (and rat Simon) surrounded by a circle of vampires.
- Just as Clary wraps her fingers around the dagger in her belt and prepares to go blade-to-fang with some angry vampires, many windows in the hotel suddenly shatter.
- Dozens of werewolves leap into the building.
- In case you've lived under a rock (or, conversely, in permanent sunlight) over the last decade or two, werewolves and vampires don't exactly get along.
High and Dry
- Jace starts off this chapter by making sure we know what a big deal it is that the werewolves have invaded the vampires' lair: "We're about to be in the middle of a war" (15.4).
- It seems like the war might be about Clary.
- As the werewolves and vampires clash violently, Simon escapes Clary's arms and races for the curtains.
- He leads her to a hidden door, but before she and Jace can escape through it, a werewolf attacks.
- Clary hurls a dagger at it, and they race through the door, locking it behind them with a magical rune. Jeez, those things are handy.
- They traverse some rickety staircases and end up on the roof of the Hotel Dumort.
- There's nowhere to go but down. Jace hijacks a vampire bio-bike and, with Clary clutching his waist, plummets off the side of the building. This sounds like a horrible idea.
- Thankfully, this is one of the flying bikes, so they don't just go splat on the pavement. Clary finds the trip both beautiful and terrifying. It's the Tilda Swinton of motorcycle rides.
- Clary even gets to see the gorgeous sunrise over the city.
- But only for a second because sunrise and demon energy don't exactly mix. The sunlight causes the demon bike to fail, and Clary and Jace skid across the asphalt of a parking lot.
- Somehow she manages not to squish rat Simon during her painful, bloody tumble.
- Sunlight must cause Simon's spell to wear off, too, because he shapeshifts back to human form. What a relief.
- Lucky for Simon (and his dignity) his clothing shapeshifts with him.
- Bruised and bloody, Jace, Simon, and Clary return to the Institute and Hodge, furious at Jace's irresponsible behavior.
- Clary somehow escaped with the fewest and least severe injuries of the three of them.
- When she visits Simon in the infirmary, he gives her a light kiss on the cheek, which surprises her.
- Before Clary can return to her room, Alec stops her and confronts her.
- He wants her to leave the Institute, because he thinks Clary makes Jace act recklessly, which puts his life in danger. The dude's not entirely wrong.
- The two of them have a heated argument, which ends with Clary calling out Alec on his secret love for Jace.
- "She could see how she was hurting him, and it made her glad" (16.46). Clary, that's not very nice.
- He decides to hurt her, too. "Don't you ever […] say anything like that to him or I'll kill you" (16.47). Then he grabs her arms so hard it hurts her.
- After gripping her for only a second or two, he lets go and staggers away.
- Clary spends the rest of the chapter drawing to take her mind off things, and chatting and telling jokes with Simon after he gets released from the infirmary.
- Later that night, she gets a visit from Jace, who wants to take her on a surprise late-night picnic.
The Midnight Flower
- Jace and Clary bond over cheese sandwiches and apples.
- Sorry we can't provide you with a picnic lunch, but if you pop over to Jace's character page for a bit, you can learn the secrets he shared with Clary.
- Not only does Jace give Clary a rock (not a diamond, but a witchlight stone, which is a rock that glows), he also gives her quite a kiss.
- They've been eating apples, so Jace tastes of the sweet, classically forbidden fruit.
- He escorts her back to her room, giving her another goodbye kiss at the threshold.
- At that moment, Simon opens the door and catches them in the act.
- Surprise, surprise, this causes all sorts of jealous tensions to flare up and ignite.
- As the fires simmer down, Simon tells Clary, "I've been in love with you for ten years" (17.130).
- Then, just to drive his heartbreak home, he tells her "[Your mom] said you'd break my heart" (17.135).
- Clary throws herself a little pity party that night. She feels that she's being punished for her selfishness.
- She turns to her sketchbook to relieve her stress.
- As her mind races, she idly scribbles some runes into the corner of one of her drawings.
- The magic in the runes brings the drawing to life and gives Clary an idea.
The Mortal Cup
- This chapter starts off a little different, with our narrator focusing on Jace's P.O.V. for the first few pages.
- We get clued in on his thoughts on Clary. It's no surprise to anyone to discover that he kinda likes her and thinks she's pretty. Hence that whole kissing thing.
- And speak of the devil. Clary interrupts his brooding by busting in and telling him her a-ha moment: her mother hid the Mortal Cup inside a painting.
- She knows which one, too—the Ace of Cups in Madame Dorothea's hand-painted Tarot card deck.
- Jace wrangles Isabelle and Alec into what we'll call Operation: Collect the Cup, and Clary recruits Simon to be their getaway driver.
- After getting armed and getting runes on their arms, the young Shadowhunter posse is ready to roll.
- They arrive at Madame Dorothea's without any incident. Well, without any demon-related incident. The van ride is a little tense with all the little sparks of jealousy still flickering among Simon, Jace, and Clary, but at least no one gets hurt. Physically.
- Madame Dorothea's apartment is unchanged since their last visit, when Clary escaped through the hidden Portal.
- Clary convinces Madame Dorothea, whom Jace now calls Lady of the Haven, to let her shuffle through the Tarot deck for the Ace of Cups.
- Once she locates it, she traces the runes on the back with Jace's stele. The painting changes, and the hand grasping the Cup in the picture releases its grip.
- After Clary reaches inside the card and retrieves the Cup, the card disintegrates into ashes.
- The Cup is, well, a little underwhelming. It's a cup. Isabelle cracks, "It's the Mortal Cup, Jace, not the Mortal Toilet Bowl" (19.4). Oh, we so hope the Mortal Toilet Bowl shows up in a future book. And the Plunger of Doom.
- Madame Dorothea tries to snatch the Cup from Clary's hands, but Clary backs away in time.
- She doesn't seem herself when she tears down the curtains in front of the Portal and releases a surge of demonic energy, which flows into her body and transforms her into a huge stinky monster with claws, maggot-filled sores, and exposed bones. Awkward.
- We would try to describe it further, but we're a little scared, so we'll let it describe itself: "I am Abbadon. I am the Demon of the Abyss. Mine are the empty places between worlds. […] You cannot hope to defeat me. Give me the Cup or die" (19.27).
- Jace may have Abbadon beat looks-wise (who doesn't?), but Abbadon definitely gives him a run for his money in the cockiness department.
- Fighters on both sides get in some good hits: Isabelle lashes it with her whip, Alec whacks it with his staff, Jace gets in a blow or two with his blades. But Abbadon manages to handily knock Isabelle and Alec out of the fray.
- Speaking of fray, Clary Fray is pretty much just standing aside, paralyzed with fear, watching everyone get the spit knocked out of them.
- All hope seems lost when an unexpected savior opens the door: Simon. He had borrowed Alec's bow, and fires an arrow into the skylight, unleashing a blast of sunlight. Take that, nasty demon thing.
- Abbadon shrivels and crumples in the sun, leaving only a greasy scorch mark on the ground. Upgrade!
- Alec's injuries have left him in critical condition, so they load into the van and burn rubber back to the Institute.
- On the way, Clary's nice enough to let Alec believe that he killed the demon. Jace beats himself up because he feels responsible for Alec's reckless behavior.
- Back at the Institute, Hodge does his best to nurse Alec's injuries, but they may be beyond even his expertise.
- "It's a pity […] that you did not retrieve the Cup" (19.131), Hodge says to Clary. He thinks its retrieval would be a comfort to Alec, knowing that he isn't maybe going to die for nothing.
- Clary tells Hodge that they did, in fact, retrieve the Cup. Hodge has an interesting way of celebrating this triumph. He orders Hugo, his raven, to claw Clary's face off.
- The crafty bird gets the Cup from Clary, and Hodge's betrayal is revealed.
- Right on cue, Valentine shows up to take the Cup and Jace, who was knocked unconscious somehow. Unclear.
- Before he leaves through the Portal from which he came, Valentine lifts Hodge's curse, freeing him to leave the Institute for the first time in years.
In Rats' Alley
- Hodge traps Clary in an invisible box (a real, magic invisible box, not a fake, weird invisible box like the kind used by mimes) so that she can't pursue him when he flees the Institute.
- But before he does that, he spends a lot of time trying to convince her that he's not a bad guy, even though he just let Valentine take the Cup and Jace.
- Also, he tells Clary, "You were not raised as one of us. You have no part of this life of scars and killing. […] Leave the Institute, Clary. Leave, and never come back" (20.21).
- Dude, you just locked her inside an invisible magic box. She can't even leave the room, much less the Institute.
- Anyway, Hodge leaves, and Clary pounds futilely for a while until she realizes she still has Jace's stele in her pocket. She uses that to get out of the box and chase Hodge.
- Clary corners Hodge in an alley and demands to know where Valentine is.
- As if he'd give up the information that easily. Hodge attacks Clary with his chakram, a sharp flying metal disk (you know, like the kind Xena used?).
- She ducks, but Hodge has another ready to throw.
- Before he can attack again, a giant werewolf leaps into the alley. Hodge throws his chakram into the wolf's side and the wolf drives his teeth into Hodge's shoulder. We'd say this is a tie so far.
- Luckily, this big hairy distraction gives Clary the opportunity to make a break for it.
- She's almost made it out of the alley when the werewolf grabs her by the ankle and drags her to the ground.
- Hitting her head on the pavement, she passes out, coming to later in the werewolf's lair.
- It's not just any werewolf that kidnapped her. It's her Uncle Luke, last seen leaving his house/bookshop with a duffel bag full of glowing weapons.
- A couple of other werewolves in human form, Gretel and Alaric, bustle around Clary and tend to her injuries as Luke tells Clary a bit about what's going on.
- Looks like he's been watching her a while. It was his wolf pack that attacked the vampires at the Hotel Dumort.
- Clary's still mad at Luke for abandoning her mother, so he decides to tell her his side of the story.
The Werewolf's Tale
- Part Three is called "The Descent Beckons." Dun dun dun.
- This is different. This entire chapter is told first person from Luke's perspective. After all, he's the werewolf with a tale to tell.
- For the real lowdown, you should definitely check out this chapter for yourself, but we'll go ahead and give you the highlights.
- Luke and Jocelyn, Clary's mother, grew up in Idris, the Shadowhunters' home country.
- Valentine Morgenstern (we think this is the least intimidating villain name ever) was rich and popular and handsome and everyone there was just like ZOMG wow all over him—including Jocelyn, who married the guy.
- That is, until werewolves killed his father and he decided that he should just wipe out all Downworlders to make the world a purer place.
- He also wanted Luke to kill himself after he was bitten by a werewolf and contracted lycanthropy.
- Obviously he didn't kill himself. Instead, he found a wolf clan, killed its leader (like you do), and became its alpha male.
- One day, Jocelyn found Luke's clan. She had run away from Valentine's Circle because they had aligned with demons to gain the upper hand in their war against Downworlders.
- That was the last straw for her, so she took her child, a boy named Jonathan Christopher, and escaped.
- With Jocelyn's help, Luke's werewolves helped put a stop to the Circle's violent attack at the Peace Accords, but not without significant casualties.
- During the fracas, Valentine fled with Jocelyn in tow, the kidnapping jerk.
- Luke found her later near her home, which had been burned to the ground with her parents and her young son inside.
- She was pregnant with another child, so she fled Idris never to return.
- Before she boarded her plane, she told Luke, "Valentine is not dead" (21.44).
- Years passed. Luke wandered America aimlessly, until one day he came across some of Jocelyn's artwork in a gallery in SoHo and came back into her life, meeting her daughter, Clary, for the first time.
- Now we're back in the third-person P.O.V. mode. No more Luke.
- Clary is shocked to learn that the Jonathan her mother was always mourning was not her father, but a brother she never knew.
- Not only that, but Valentine is her father. That's quite a Darth Vader moment.
- After a bit of critical thinking and a quick phone call to Simon to use his 'net-searching skills, Clary and Luke deduce that Valentine's hideout must be Renwick Smallpox Hospital on Roosevelt Island, disused and in disrepair for decades.
- On their way to Valentine's hideout, Luke and Clary chow down and make up, bonding a bit more during the drive.
- They arrive at the hideout, which looks pretty much just how you would expect a century-old dilapidated hospital to look.
- With Clary's special Sight, she's able to see it as it really is—as an imposing Gothic castle.
- It's a good thing that Luke brought some lupine backup, because they have to fight their way through a mini-army of Forsaken to get inside.
- Inside the stronghold, they find Jocelyn, Clary's mother, chained to a bed with all sorts of weird medical-looking paraphernalia attached to her. Ick.
- Luke can't help because the chains are silver, and werewolves have that pesky aversion to silver.
- Clary wants to go find an ax, but she gets interrupted by Blackwell, Valentine's minion, who Jace said was half of the duo that killed his father.
- After a minute or so, Blackwell's partner, Pangborn, joins him.
- The two of them say some pretty nasty things about Clary's mother, and get some taunts from Luke in response.
- Before the conflict can get too heated, Luke throws a scalpel expertly into Blackwell's throat, killing him.
- This sudden kill creates enough of a diversion for Clary to escape. As she's running away, she hears Luke transform (which probably means that Pangborn is about to be lunch).
- Clary finds a weapons room, but all the weapons are magically glued to the wall. She observes that "there was magic in this room, and not runic magic either: something wild and strange, something dark" (22.233). We have no clue what that could be, and we kind of don't want to find out.
- After more searching through the castle, Clary finds the room where Jace is being held.
- Well, held isn't quite the right word, because it seems like Jace is staying there of his own free will.
- See, Jace has totally been drinking Valentine's Kool-Aid. Valentine told Jace that his father isn't dead; Valentine never killed him.
- To prove this point, Valentine walks into the room, and Jace introduces him as his father.
- Yipes. This isn't just a Darth Vader moment; this is a Luke-and-Leia-who-are-brother-and-sister-but-didn't-know-it-when-they-were-smooching moment. Um, awk-ward!
- 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.
The Ascent Beckons
- Clary's mother has been hospitalized in a comatose-like state for over three days, while Clary visits her every day.
- After visiting hours, Simon takes Clary back to the Institute, where he gives her a small kiss before letting her out of the van.
- At the Institute, Clary runs into Isabelle, whom Jace has selectively filled in on a few details. For example, she knows that Hodge had his curse removed and left, but she doesn't know that he was a giant honking traitor.
- Also, Alec survived the attack from Abbadon and was nursed back to health by Magnus Bane.
- Alec takes Clary up to the greenhouse, where Jace is, and apologizes for the way he treated her.
- It seems that Jace has taken the whole evil-father thing pretty hard. He also feels sorry for Hodge, and kind of wishes he had gone through the Portal to Idris, the only place where he ever felt happy.
- He looks in the Portal shard every once in a while, watching Idris and hoping to catch a glimpse of his father.
- At the very end, Jace leads Clary to the roof of the Institute, where a new hijacked flying bio-bike is waiting.
- He takes Clary on a beautiful trip across New York City.
- Even though it's pretty gosh darn scary, Clary "kept her eyes open, so that she could see it all" (Epilogue.176).