Clary Fray is a seemingly ordinary girl, on the short side and with a love for art. One night, at a favorite nightclub, Clary witnesses a group of Shadowhunters murder a demon. For some reason, she is the only person who can see them. It is only a little later on that Clary learns the truth. Shadowhunters are humans who have the power and responsibility of killing demons. Clary believes that she is nothing more than a Mundane, a human with no special powers like the Shadowhunters, but soon, she discovers that much of her past has been kept a secret from her. Her mother was not merely an artist, like Clary believed, but an important Shadowhunter who once played an important role in an important and dangerous Shadowhunter cult.
When her mother is abducted, Clary knows that she must learn all she can about the world she has only recently discovered if she ever wants to see her mother again. Along with the fighting evil element, Cassandra Clare manages to incorporate a very believable romantic plot, involving Clary, her best friend Simon, and the arrogant, but ever sexy Shadowhunter, Jace. Their little love triangle takes a sharp turn with an unexpected plot twist near the end of the novel.
As the first book in a trilogy, City of Bones does a great job of introducing the many colorful characters, and providing the background information necessary for understanding the world that Cassandra Clare has created. In a couple of places, this background information can become a bit tedious, but Clares style of writing can give even the most trivial details an air of importance. I find it quite remarkable that the author was primarily a Harry Potter fan-fiction writer, and has now come out with her own book. I can see quite a few similarities between City of Bones and Harry Potter, with the plot, and with the characters. But these similarities are never overwhelming and do not deter my enjoyment of the story. If the next two books in the trilogy are as exciting with the witty banter between characters that I have come to enjoy so much, Cassandra Clare will have written an exceptional fantasy trilogy!