Part One: Dark Descent
City of Bones, the first book of Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments series, begins as Clary Fray and her friend Simon go dancing at a Manhattan club. Clary witnesses three kids corner a boy and stab him, and then the boy’s body disappears without a trace. When she confronts the murderers, they appear shocked that she can see them. They tell her that they are invisible to ordinary people, whom they call mundanes or mundies. Clary tries to talk to a security guard about what she has seen, and she realizes that the kids really are invisible; the guard looks right through them.
Shaken, Clary hails a cab home and finds that her mother, Jocelyn, is furious that she has stayed out so late. The next day, Jocelyn announces that she is taking Clary to her friend Luke’s farm in the country for the rest of the summer. Clary does not understand why Jocelyn is so upset, and Jocelyn refuses to explain. Luke, who is almost like a father to Clary, hints that Jocelyn has some important information she should share with Clary, but Jocelyn refuses to do so. Clary gets angry and storms out of the house.
Clary meets up with Simon and agrees to go to a poetry reading, just for an excuse to stay out of the house. At the coffee shop where the poetry reading is taking place, Simon makes a stuttering attempt to tell Clary that he likes her. Before he can get the words out, one of the invisible kids, a beautiful golden-eyed boy named Jace, appears. She leaves Simon mid-speech and chases Jace out of the coffee shop.
Outside, Jace says that he needs to know more about Clary in order to understand why she can see him. She is suspicious of him because of what she saw him do, but Jace insists that he is a member of a race of demon killers called Shadowhunters. He explains that the world is full of creatures Clary has long believed imaginary: vampires, faeries, demons, warlocks, and so on. Clary is struggling to decide whether or not to believe him when she gets a phone call from her mother, who tells her not to come home because it is too dangerous. Clary hears loud noises in the background, and then the call gets cut off.
Ignoring her mother’s plea to stay away, Clary goes home to attempt to rescue her mother. When she arrives, her mother is gone, and a strange creature attacks Clary. It almost kills her, but she manages to kill it instead. The...
(The entire section is 2449 words.)
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