City of Bones – Chapter 6

Well, after a week of well over 10 degrees (it got to around 15 last Wednesday), spring has decided it’s not playing. Yesterday we had some flurries of snow that didn’t stick. This morning we woke up to a decent frosting, and it was throwing it down all day so hard that it was up to about mid-calf depth (if you’re as short as me) in the deeper drifts. Insane.

So, due to that and work reasons, I couldn’t make iai tonight. And what’s the next best thing?

Making fun of other people’s hard work, that’s what!

Let’s get… FORSAKEN!

In the last chapter of City of Bones, we learned that the Covenant is some kind of treaty between Shadowhunters and Downworlders, and the Clave is… I’m sure the Clave is something. It’s something Hodge is writing to, and it’s something with blood, because Jace was talking about Clary having Clave blood, so… it’s… something. I guess.


Clary goes to the weapons room, a room filled with obsolete weapons (not like guns would be useful or anything) to see Alec the inexplicable knobend and Jace the obnoxious. She tells them Hodge is writing to the Silent Brothers and Alec is like EW without volunteering any more information.

See what I mean? This is the only way Clare seems able to worldbuild. I guess she’s trying to show not tell, but this really isn’t how you do it. And I’m not sure if I’m relieved or infuriated that Clary never bothers to ask about all this namedropping idiocy.

So anyway Jace is making seraph blades, and Clary’s like HOW’D YOU DO THAT? MAGIC? and Alec freaks out. Like he just looks mortified. And Jace is like GOD YOU MUNDIES (hate that word) DON’T KNOW ANYTHING.

Well tell us, oh wise one!


The closest we get, after he tells Clary that she only thinks she knows what magic is, after not bothering to find out what she thinks magic is, is “Magic is a dark and elemental force, not a lot of sparkly wands and crystal balls and talking goldfish.”

Oh goodness, a dark and elemental force? That’s a new one. I’ve never heard of anyone portraying magic that way before! But worry not, gentle reader! Your mind won’t be too blown, because Clare chooses not to put her money where her mouth is and show/tell us what magic actually is in her world.

He makes some confused analogy about calling an electric eel a rubber duck, by which I think he means that calling a dark and elemental force “magic” is somehow making it less dark and elemental, because that’s totally how words work, I don’t even.

So Clary’s like whatever, you’re a jerk, let’s go raid my house and find out if my mam was a Shadowhunter or whatevs, and Jace goes. As she leaves Alec gives her a death-glare, but everyone in the Institute is so crazy that I don’t even blame Clary for having no emotions about it. She gets all coy and “Tell me how you knew I was special~~” and he’s like “eh, a guess, I was 90% sure.”

Then, I kid you not, she slaps him, and says “That’s for the other ten percent.”

WTF. As obnoxious and vain as he is, even Jace doesn’t deserve a slap for not being psychic. See, Clary, this is why no one likes you. I mean, can you imagine if it was the other way around? Jace slapping Clary for not being 100% confident on a decision? This is Cassandra Clare’s idea of a feminist character, guys. Explains a lot.

They take a train, some girls stare at Jace, Clary’s like GOSH I GUESS HE IS QUITE GOOD-LOOKING!? in her Vulcan way, and thinks about how she doesn’t like girls with fake tans and jelly mules (SO FEMINIST AND EDGY OMG WHAT A FREE SPIRIT) and then turns “instant traitor against her gender” by telling Jace the girls totes fancy him. Wow, I bet they just can’t live with themselves knowing that he knows.

He probably noticed anyway. Given how incredibly ~astute~ Clary is, they were probably dancing up and down right in front of him, waving placards saying “we <3 u jace”.

Anyway, Jace is thrilled to have some attention AT LAST, and winks at them, which pisses Clary off even more. Then he starts humming and Clare tries to write cleverly and Clary eventually apologises. This for some reason leads to an explanation of “parabatai” (reminder: warrior BFFs who are “closer than brothers”, totally not an invitation to slash fans) and he explains his family situation (he lives with the Lightwoods as a kind of adopted family?) and then thank god they get to Clary’s house.

Jace breaks out his MacGuffin Sensor and learns that there are no demons around, so they head on in. They find wet blood on the banister (don’t expect this to ever come up again) and you should be thanking me right now from sparing you the cheap suspense tricks before they actually get into the house. The house is, as we knew, empty, and the open, empty cupboards “[remind] her of a nursery rhyme“. Let me guess, is it Old Mother Hubbard? Do I win?

Seriously, though, it’s just such a weird thing to say. Why should we care? Why is it interesting?

So she goes to see her room, and the door opens super slowly and then BOOM, a giant man! OMG! Peculiarly, he smells of “poisonous sweat” which, wow.

Anyway, he’s a big evil zombie, and Jace calls the seraph blade forth. They fight, Jace gets knocked around a bit, unfortunately I don’t like him enough as a character to care a whole lot, and it really does just feel like Clare, having created robotic feelings girl and pointlessly hostile boy, is trying to force Clary to feel sympathy for him and start liking him more. I mean, he;s a Shadowhunter. He’s fine.

The zombie giant is not so lucky. Jace kills it with the second seraph blade, because I don’t know maybe it’s a fashion faux pas to use the same sword twice in Shadowhunter land. He’s like MAN MY ARM’S BROKEN, but don’t worry, Clare doesn’t want to burden her characters with such mundane things as injuries, so he draws on himself with a “stele”, the same weird thing he drew on Clary with to hide her from the demon!police, and he’s totes fine again.

At this point, Clary remembers her mam’s back, covered with scars exactly like the ones Jace is making on himself. “Her mother’s back didn’t really look like that, she knew“.




So yeah, even though she remembers it now, after Simon mentioned it for the first time, after Jace and Hodge told her she’s probably got a Shadowhunter parent, after Jace makes the exact same marks on himself as she remembers seeing on her mam, she’s STILL like “lol how silly!” and pays it no more mind.

How is this not an annoying character? She is devoid of curiosity, of realistic emotions, of the ability to put two and two together and even IMAGINE that it’s POSSIBLE there’s more to her mam than meets the eye.

So she literally forgets all about it AGAIN and Jace explains away his magical, convenient healing abilities (and by the way, how the hell is Shadowhunter ~magyck~ really that different from what a normal human would imagine it to be? He writes runes on himself and then he is magically healed. How is this hard for anyone to wrap their head around in the context of magic?) and explains that the zombie giant was a Forsaken, which is a normal human who’s had too many runes. Then Madame Dorothea, the hedge witch next door neighbour, appears, and is like “so I see you guys have been killing Forsaken and not cleaning up after yourselves! TYPICAL” and Jace is like “BUT YOU’RE A MUNDAAAAAAYYYYYYNE”

FUCK Jace, why do you always have to be so rude!?

So he’s like WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL THE CLAAAAAVE and she’s like oh hell no, they’ve done nothing for me and I don’t owe them shit.

Incidentally, the Downworlder/Shadowhunter relations and tenseness is one of the parts I really do like about this book. Mostly because teh Shadowhunters look like huge douchebags.

So Madame Dorothea is like btw Clary your mam’s gone, so yeah, and Jace is like TELL US EVERYTHING and she’s like dude can you not hear and he threatens her with the Silent Brothers (Cassandra Clare, the reader will not care about this threat because you haven’t explained what the Silent Brothers ARE) and she’s like OK fine Jace Wayland.

And Clary doesn’t care about anything because now she knows Jace’s last name, so she knows what to doodle on all her sketchbooks.


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