Clary Fray, student and last of the Shadow Hunters, finds herself fleeing for her life from her maniacal father while searching for a way to free her mother from a curse of never ending sleep. Clary Fray, fifteen year old girl and one of the last of the Shadow Hunters (a group who take out all of things that go 'bump' in the night), is still not speaking to her best friend Simon and now ex-boyfriend. Even though it has been several days, she still has no idea what to say or how to approach him. She knows they should have never dates as best friends make horrible couples when done by persuasion (and desperation) yet at the same time, Clary found him as a sweet and loving distraction. However, Clary has bigger problems since her father Valentine, a shadow hunter who went rogue, wants her dead and she is still having sexual tension towards her first love Jace, who is also a shadow hunter but a few months ago she found out he happened to be her half brother, which kind of put a damper on their relationship.
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Clary is notified by Magnus Bane, a sorcerer and good friend that they have received permission from the Clave (the high council of Shadow Hunters) to send her Jace and another hunter, Madeleine to a good friend Alicante in Idris (another dimension unseen by the human world) to keep her safe from her father Valentine. Clary, however has no desire to leave her home and feels fleeing would only be detrimental to the current situation. She doesn't want to run now or ever and feels facing Valentine cold be the end to their problems. Jace knows Valentine would kill Clary and not even think twice about it so he asks to meet with Simon at the Institute ( a school where Shadow Hunters are trained). Simon reluctantly agrees as he sees Jace as the reason Clary broke up with him.
Simon asks Jace what he wants and Jace explains that Clary has no interest in going to Idris and that he needs Simon to lie in order to get her there. Simon refuses, stating he wants Clary nearby as he knows he can protect her. Jace knows this is the wrong method and the two begin to argue over who can best protect her. However, the argument is cut short when the Institute comes under attack by the Forsaken (humans who have gone insane after becoming Shadow Hunters and losing their identities). In the scuffle, Madeleine is murdered by a Forsaken and Simon is severely wounded. Jace opens a portal to Idris and escapes with Simon before the Forsaken overtake them.
Meanwhile, Clary has been trying to get a hold of Simon and Jace, wondering why they haven't been picking up their phones. Realizing that the two could be together which is never a good thing, she rushes to the Institute and finds the aftermath of the battle. Magnus reveals himself among the wreckage and explains to Clary that Simon was wounded and Jace fled with him to Idris. Clary immediately opens a portal to Idris by casting a rune, but right at the last minute her guardian Luke arrives and is pulled into the portal with her.
The journey to Idris is rough and violent as they traverse time and space. However, when they arrive on the other side they are cast out of the city since they don't have an invitation and are thrown in a lake on the outskirts of the city. Wet and extremely agitated, Clary begins to swim to shore. Luke warns her not to drink any of the water as it is toxic to Shadow Hunters and could make her go mad. Clary doesn't find this comforting in the slightest.
As they travel towards the city of Idris, Clary begins to hallucinate and mumble incoherently. Luke realizes that the toxic effects of the lake have begun to overtake her. After they sneak into the city, Clary succumbs to the lake's toxin and passes out. Luke sneaks through the city, carrying Clary to his sister, Amatis. She immediately begins to work the toxin out of her system while Luke goes out to search for the others.
Meanwhile, Simon and Jace are brought in front of the Clave. The members demand that Simon lie and say he is one of Valentine's spies. Simon has no interest in being made out as a villain and refuses. The Clave is taken aback that he would so willingly refuse their wishes and demand he be sent to prison. Simon feels he has been set up by Jace and tells him he has truly made an enemy of him. Jace is introduced to two other Shadow Hunters, Sebastian and his cousin Aline. Jace is quite taken with Aline and her beauty and the two flirt up a storm much to Sebastian's annoyance.
Later that night, Clary comes to and is told by Amatis to stay in bed. Worried about the others, Clary sneaks out of the house and searches the dark streets for Jace and Simon. Unfortunately, she runs into Jace at an inopportune moment as he is kissing Aline. Clary is stunned and flooded with jealousy and rage. Despite how much she has denied her feelings for Jace, she knows in her heart she is desperately in love with him. However, Jace spots her and demands she leave, being beyond hurtful. Sebastian witnesses the exchange and offers to take her home. Unfortunately, Clary's night only gets worse when she returns to a furious Amatis.
The next morning, Clary decides to pay a visit to a man named Ragnor Fell, someone she had been told in her past could help save her mother from the coma she fell into months prior when her father Valentine kidnapped her. They had thought she would wake up once back in their care but it had yet to happen, leaving Clary more than worried. Sebastian knows where Ragnor's home is and offers his assistance to Clary and she happily agrees. However, as they approach Ragnor's home, she can sense something is terribly wrong. When they enter the home they find Ragnor dead and Magnus hovering over his body. Magnus immediately casts a freeze spell on Sebastian so he can speak to Clary in private. He tells her that she must travel to Jace's father's estate known as Wayland Manor where a spellbook resides that could save her mother. He warns her not to mention anything to Sebastian as he is not sure he can be trusted. Clary agrees.
After Magnus unfreezes Sebastian, they head back to Amatis's home but along the way Sebastian kisses her. While enjoyable, Clary breaks it off and tells him her hear belongs to someone else. Sebastian is slightly crushed and shows a hint of jealousy due to his attraction to Clary. When they return back to Atamis's Clary is surprised to find Jace. She really has no interest in speaking to him but he begs for him to be heard. He apologizes for being horribly awful to her when she walked in on him and Aline and states it means nothing as she means so much to him regardless of their blood connection.
However, the reconciliation turns into an all out war when Clary learns of Simon's imprisonment and Jace keeping it from her. Jace argues his case that Simon is safer in this world in prison than he would be on the outside. Reluctantly, Clary agrees as he does have a point and Simon's tendency find trouble was never ending. Clary confides in Jace about the spell book that Magnus told her about and that she must head to the Wayland Manor to retrieve it. Jace agrees to go with her and they travel through a portal into the manor.
When they arrive, Clary and Jace are horrified to find an old experiment of Valentine's where he was torturing a Nephilim (an angel). The Nephilim shows the two of them the location of the spell book and kills himself putting an end to his torture. However, this triggers the destruction of the house and the two of them barely escape with their lives into the yard. In a moment of passion, the two of them embrace however, Clary pulls away refusing to get entangled in Jace's web again.
Later, they return to the city and find the city under attack by Valentine and the Forsaken. The city lost to the flames, Clary and Jace head to the prison and free Simon. They also locate Magnus and give him the spell book he needed that can break her mother's curse. The group learn that Sebastian is actually one of Valentine's minions and they fight him although the battle is relentless and he flees. Later that night, Jace finds Clary and confesses his love, stating he could care less about them being siblings and that he will always love her no matter what.
The next morning, Magnus awakens Clary's mother who confides in Clary that both her and Jace are part Nephilim due experiments done on them before they were born. She also reveals that Jace is not her son or Valentine's which means they aren't related at all. Jace and Clary are relieved knowing they can no be together with no guilt. However, the issue of Sebastian and Valentine is still at hand. As Jace walks the grounds to clear his head, he spots Valentine and Sebastian talking where it is revealed that Valentine plans to summon a powerful Forsaken known as Raziel to kill every single Shadow Hunter. After Valentine portals out, Jace confronts Sebastian and they begin to fight. As the battle turns desperate, Jace strikes the final blow and stabs him in the heart. Jace rushes to Clary and reveals Valentine's plan. Without thinking, Clary immediately portals out to Valentine hoping to stop him from raising Raziel.
Unfortunately, Clary is too late and Valentine has already begun the summoning ritual. He applauds Clary for her determination, but that she walked right into his trap and he plans to use her as a blood sacrifice. However,before he can kill her Jace shows up and pushes Clary out of the way and his stabbed in the chest instead. Clary watches the future she would have had with Jace flash before her eyes as she becomes a slave to her emotions. However, she has little time to mourn as Raziel is summoned. Valentine is thrilled with his success but it immediately turns to dread when Raziel kills him as he knows Valentine only wants to use him to kill the Shadow Hunters.
Clary faces off with Raziel who instead of killing her offers to grant her a wish. He can sense her half-breed blood line and knows that she is the one who will bring the world back to the light. Raziel asks if there is one thing that Clary would fish for and she begs him for Jace's life. She admits she loves him with every fiber of her being and being without him would feel like losing a piece of herself. Raziel complies and breathes life back into Jace and then descends back from where he came.
Clary and Jace embrace, not knowing what trouble the future will bring, but that at least they have each other when it comes to facing it.
Best part of story, including ending:
I loved the sexual tension between Clary and Jace. You know they are meant for one another despite the sibling issue and you just can't help that love will prevail. Thankfully, when Clary's mother reveals they are not blood related, they can finally be together with no issue.
Best scene in story:
I loved the ending where Jace sacrifices himself for Clary, proving once and for all he loves her. The fact Clary revives him with her one wish is just a testament to how much these two are meant to be.
Opinion about the main character:
Clary tends to be a little spastic and has a severe lack of judgment. Thankfully, her friends and family are there to continuously course correct though her constant leaping to conclusions tends to get them into trouble more so than not.