City of Fallen Angels
Goodreads ratings
4.12 / 5

"City of Fallen Angels" Summary

By Cassandra Clare

fantasy | 425 pages | Published in 2011

The Mortal War is over, and sixteen-year-old Clary Fray is back home in New York, excited about all the possibilities before her. She’s training to become a Shadowhunter and to use her unique power. Her mother is getting married to the love of her life. Downworlders and Shadowhunters are at peace at last. And—most importantly of all—she can finally call Jace her boyfriend.But nothing comes without a price.Someone is murdering Shadowhunters, provoking tensions between Downworlders and Shadowhunters that could lead to a second, bloody war. Clary’s best friend, Simon, can’t help her—his mother just found out that he’s a vampire, and now he’s homeless. When Jace begins to pull away from her without explaining why, Clary is forced to delve into the heart of a mystery whose solution reveals her worst nightmare: she herself has set in motion a terrible chain of events that could lead to her losing everything she loves. Even Jace.


Estimated read time: 5 min read

One Sentence Summary

Jace struggles with inner demons while Clary faces a new threat in this continuation of the Shadowhunter series.


"C​ity of Fallen Angels"​ is a captivating urban fantasy novel written by Cassandra Clare. It is the fourth installment in the "Mortal Instruments" series and continues the story of Clary Fray and her friends as they navigate the shadow world of demons, warlocks, and angels. The book delves into themes of love, betrayal, and the consequences of one's actions, all set against the backdrop of a vibrant and dangerous urban landscape.

Brief Synopsis

Plot Overview

The story picks up a few months after the events of the previous book. Clary is trying to adjust to her new life as a Shadowhunter, while her boyfriend Jace struggles with the darkness within him. As tensions rise in the Shadowhunter world, a new threat emerges, and Clary and her friends must confront their own inner demons while facing external challenges.


The novel is primarily set in the urban metropolis of New York City, where the Shadowhunters and Downworlders coexist in a delicate balance. The city becomes a character in itself, with its dark alleys, bustling streets, and hidden supernatural realms adding depth to the narrative.

Main Characters

The characters in "City of Fallen Angels" are complex and multi-dimensional, each with their own struggles and motivations.

Clary FrayA headstrong and determined Shadowhunter with a talent for drawing magical runes.
Jace WaylandClary's boyfriend, a skilled and fierce Shadowhunter grappling with his inner darkness.
Simon LewisClary's best friend, who is navigating the challenges of being a vampire while still trying to fit into her world.
Isabelle LightwoodA confident and skilled Shadowhunter, known for her beauty and combat prowess.
Alec LightwoodIsabelle's protective brother, who is struggling with his feelings for Magnus Bane and the expectations of his family.

Story Points Over Chapters

Chapter 1-5

Clary and Jace attempt to find normalcy in their relationship, but Jace's inner turmoil threatens to tear them apart. Meanwhile, Simon grapples with his new life as a vampire and the complications it brings to his friendship with Clary.

Chapter 6-10

A series of brutal murders rock the Shadowhunter community, leading Clary and her friends to investigate the mysterious killings. Tensions rise as old grudges resurface, and the fragile peace between the Shadowhunters and Downworlders is threatened.

Chapter 11-15

As Clary delves deeper into her investigation, she uncovers a sinister plot that puts her and her loved ones in grave danger. Jace's struggle with his inner demons reaches a breaking point, and he makes a fateful decision that could change everything.

Chapter 16-20

The stakes escalate as Clary and her friends race against time to stop the impending catastrophe. Betrayals and revelations test their loyalties, and they must confront their own fears and weaknesses to stand a chance against the looming threat.

Main Events

  1. Jace's Inner Struggle: Jace grapples with the dark magic that lingers within him, causing strain in his relationship with Clary and putting him at odds with his fellow Shadowhunters.
  2. Mysterious Murders: A series of gruesome murders shock the Shadowhunter community, prompting Clary and her friends to unravel the mystery behind the killings.
  3. Threat of Catastrophe: Clary uncovers a dangerous conspiracy that poses a grave threat to the world of Shadowhunters and Downworlders, forcing her to confront powerful adversaries.
  4. Betrayals and Alliances: Loyalties are tested as hidden agendas come to light, leading to unexpected betrayals and unlikely alliances among the characters.

Themes and Insights

Love and Sacrifice

The novel explores the sacrifices that characters are willing to make for the ones they love, even in the face of daunting challenges and personal struggles.

Inner Darkness

The theme of inner darkness is prominent, as characters confront their own demons and grapple with the choices that can lead them down darker paths.

Consequences of Actions

The story delves into the repercussions of characters' choices, highlighting how their decisions reverberate through their lives and the lives of those around them.

Reader's Takeaway

"C​ity of Fallen Angels"​ offers readers a compelling blend of action, romance, and supernatural intrigue. It delves into the complexities of relationships and the internal battles that shape the characters' journeys. The novel's richly detailed urban setting and dynamic ensemble cast make for an immersive reading experience that keeps readers eagerly turning the pages.


In conclusion, "​City of Fallen Angels"​ continues to captivate readers with its gripping narrative, vibrant characters, and thought-provoking themes. As the Shadowhunters and their allies navigate the treacherous world around them, they are forced to confront their deepest fears and make choices that will have far-reaching consequences. Cassandra Clare's masterful storytelling weaves together a tale of love, betrayal, and the enduring resilience of the human spirit, making this installment a must-read for fans of urban fantasy and supernatural fiction.

City of Fallen Angels FAQ

  1. Who is the author of City of Fallen Angels?

    The author of City of Fallen Angels is Cassandra Clare.

  2. Is City of Fallen Angels part of a series?

    Yes, City of Fallen Angels is the fourth book in The Mortal Instruments series.

  3. Do I need to read the previous books in the series to understand City of Fallen Angels?

    It is recommended to read the previous books in The Mortal Instruments series to fully understand the characters and the ongoing storyline in City of Fallen Angels.

  4. What genre does City of Fallen Angels belong to?

    City of Fallen Angels belongs to the young adult fantasy genre with elements of romance and urban fantasy.

  5. Can City of Fallen Angels be read as a standalone novel?

    City of Fallen Angels is best enjoyed as part of The Mortal Instruments series and may not be as impactful if read as a standalone novel.