Cassandra Clare: City of Ashes

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Cassandra Clare City of Ashes
  • Название:
    City of Ashes
  • Автор:
  • Издательство:
    Simon & Schuster
  • Жанр:
    sf_fantasy_city / на английском языке
  • Год:
    2008
  • Язык:
    Английский
  • ISBN:
    1416914293
  • Рейтинг книги:
    3 / 5
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City of Ashes: краткое содержание, описание и аннотация

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Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what's normal when you're a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who's becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn't ready to let her go — especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary's only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil — and also her father. To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings — and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father? In this breathtaking sequel to , Cassandra Clare lures her readers back into the dark grip of New York City's Downworld, where love is never safe and power becomes the deadliest temptation.

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City of Ashes

(The second book in the Mortal Instruments series)

(2008)

A novel by

Cassandra Clare

For my father,

who is not evil.

Well, maybe a little bit.

Acknowledgments

The writing of this book would not have been possible without the support and encouragement of my writing group: Holly Black, Kelly Link, Ellen Kushner, Delia Sherman, Gavin Grant, and Sarah Smith. I also couldn't do without the NB Team: Justine Larbalestier, Maureen Johnson, Margaret Crocker, Libba Bray, Cecil Castellucci, Jaida Jones, Diana Peterfreund, and Marissa Edelman. Thanks also go to Eve Sinaiko and Emily Lauer for their help (and snarky commentary), and to Sarah Rees Brennan, for loving Simon more than anyone else on earth. My gratitude goes out to everyone at Simon & Schuster and Walker Books for believing in these books. Special thanks to my editor, Karen Wojtyla, for all the purple pencil marks, Sarah Payne for making changes way past the deadline, Bara MacNeill for keeping track of Jace's weaponry stash, and my agent, Barry Goldblatt, for telling me I'm being an idiot when I'm being an idiot. To my family as well: my mother, my father, Kate Conner, Jim Hill, my aunt Naomi, and my cousin Joyce for their encouragement. And for Josh, who is less than three.

This Bitter Language

I know your streets, sweet city,
I know the demons and angels that flock
and roost in your boughs like birds.
I know you, river, as if you flowed through my heart.
I am your warrior daughter.
There are letters made of your body
as a fountain is made of water.
There are languages
of which you are the blueprint
and as we speak them
the city rises.

—Elka Cloke

Prologue

Smoke and Diamonds

The formidable glass-and-steel structure rose from its position on Front Street like a glittering needle threading the sky. There were fifty-seven floors to the Metropole, Manhattan's most expensive new downtown condominium tower. The topmost floor, the fifty-seventh, contained the most luxurious apartment of all: the Metropole penthouse, a masterpiece of sleek black-and-white design. Too new to have gathered dust yet, its bare marble floors reflected back the stars visible through the enormous floor-to-ceiling windows. The window glass was perfectly translucent, providing such a complete illusion that there was nothing between the viewer and the view that it had been known to induce vertigo even in those unafraid of heights.

Far below ran the silver ribbon of the East River, braceleted by shining bridges, flecked by boats as small as flyspecks, splitting the shining banks of light that were Manhattan and Brooklyn on either side. On a clear night the illuminated Statue of Liberty was just visible to the south—but there was fog tonight, and Liberty Island was hidden behind a white bank of mist.

However spectacular the view, the man standing in front of the window didn't look particularly impressed by it. There was a frown on his narrow, ascetic face as he turned away from the glass and strode across the floor, the heels of his boots echoing against the marble floor. "Aren't you ready yet?" he demanded, raking a hand through his salt-white hair. "We've been here nearly an hour."

The boy kneeling on the floor looked up at him, nervous and petulant. "It's the marble. It's more solid than I thought. It's making it hard to draw the pentagram."

"So skip the pentagram." Up close it was easier to see that despite his white hair, the man wasn't old. His hard face was severe but unlined, his eyes clear and steady.

The boy swallowed hard and the membranous black wings protruding from his narrow shoulder blades (he had cut slits in the back of his denim jacket to accommodate them) flapped nervously. "The pentagram is a necessary part of any demon-raising ritual. You know that, sir. Without it…"

"We're not protected. I know that, young Elias. But get on with it. I've known warlocks who could raise a demon, chat him up, and dispatch him back to hell in the time it's taken you to draw half a five-pointed star."

The boy said nothing, only attacked the marble again, this time with renewed urgency. Sweat dripped from his forehead and he pushed his hair back with a hand whose fingers were connected with delicate weblike membranes. "Done," he said at last, sitting back on his heels with a gasp. "It's done."

"Good." The man sounded pleased. "Let's get started."

"My money—"

"I told you. You'll get your money after I talk to Agramon, not before."

Elias got to his feet and shrugged his jacket off. Despite the holes he'd cut in it, it still compressed his wings uncomfortably; freed, they stretched and expanded themselves, wafting a breeze through the unventilated room. His wings were the color of an oil slick: black threaded with a rainbow of dizzying colors. The man looked away from him, as if the wings displeased him, but Elias didn't seem to notice. He began circling the pentagram he'd drawn, circling it counterclockwise and chanting in a demon language that sounded like the crackle of flames.

With a sound like air being sucked from a tire, the outline of the pentagram suddenly burst into flames. The dozen huge windows cast back a dozen burning reflected five-pointed stars.

Something was moving inside the pentagram, something formless and black. Elias was chanting more quickly now, raising his webbed hands, tracing delicate outlines on the air with his fingers. Where they passed, blue fire crackled. The man couldn't speak Chthonian, the warlock language, with any fluency, but he recognized enough of the words to understand Elias's repeated chant: Agramon, I summon thee. Out of the spaces between the worlds, I summon thee.

The man slid a hand into his pocket. Something hard and cold and metallic met the touch of his fingers. He smiled.

Elias had stopped walking. He was standing in front of the pentagram now, his voice rising and falling in a steady chant, blue fire crackling around him like lightning. Suddenly a plume of black smoke rose inside the pentagram; it spiraled upward, spreading and solidifying. Two eyes hung in the shadow like jewels caught in a spider's web.

"Who has called me here across the worlds?" Agramon demanded in a voice like shattering glass. "Who summons me?"

Elias had stopped chanting. He was standing still in front of the pentagram—still except for his wings, which beat the air slowly. The air stank of corrosion and burning.

"Agramon," the warlock said. "I am the warlock Elias. I am the one who has summoned you."

For a moment there was silence. Then the demon laughed, if smoke can be said to laugh. The laugh itself was caustic as acid. "Foolish warlock," Agramon wheezed. "Foolish boy."

"You are the foolish one, if you think you can threaten me," Elias said, but his voice trembled like his wings. "You will be a prisoner of that pentagram, Agramon, until I release you."

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