I’m reading The Mortal Instruments: City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare, and we’re getting to see a little more of Malec in this one. During City of Bones, it was sort of just vaguely implied that there was an interest, mostly from Magnus.
I’m almost finished with this book, which is the second in the series, but I just can’t hold it in anymore. I have to express my sadness over Magnus’s predicament. And perhaps Alec’s, as well.
During the book there’s a confrontation going on in Luke’s house when the Inquisitor and Alec’s parents show up there, unhappy to see that Jace and Magnus are not where they were supposed to be. They’d come to help Luke’s pack member, Maia. Well, Magnus had and since he was watching over Jace during his house arrest, Jace had to come along in order for Magnus to keep his part of the contract with the Inquisitor.
When they show up, Alec is about to throw caution to the wind and tell his parents that he is seeing someone. Not only that, but the person he’s seeing is a Downworlder, a warlock, and therefore a man. That Alec is, in fact, gay. Something he’s worked very hard to keep hidden, mostly because as we found out in City of Bones from Isabelle…it’s possible he could be thrown out of the Clave if he is found to be homosexual.
I won’t go into spoilers of why he’s doing that all of a sudden.
Everyone who does know, or who at least suspects, is understandably alarmed by what they’re witnessing. Magnus promptly saves the day (well, at least saves the moment) by using his magic subtly to more or less knock Alec senseless onto the floor before he can reveal more than the fact that he is seeing someone. Dating isn’t a bad thing, even seeing a Downworlder isn’t horrible (as we find out in City of Ashes, Isabelle — Alec’s sister — is having a sexual relationship with an Fey. Then again, no word on whether anybody but Alec and Jace were aware of this). But, it stopped him from revealing who or what he was dating.
I think it’s Clary who realizes that even though Magnus is seeing Alec (and there is also evidence that this relationship is at least somewhat physical), he is aware that Alec has feelings for Jace. That he originally didn’t want Jace to know he was seeing anyone, not because he was worried Jace would forsake him for being gay, but because Alec is in love with Jace. Something that Clary had figured out in City of Bones. And that even though Magnus is aware of this, he still cares for Alec enough that despite that he will still save him from himself when the need arises.
This really makes me feel bad for Magnus, because how hurtful must it be to be in a relationship with someone and yet know that they are actually in love with someone else. And that they had preferred to keep your relationship from this other person solely, or at the very least mostly, because they were still hoping to keep that option open should this other person ever express interest.
How hurt must Magnus feel knowing that? It must feel as though he’s simply being used, or at the very least is playing second fiddle. That he’s just the consolation prize. That he’s just second best. A placeholder, if in fact Jace does ever show interest in Alec? Because, he must be aware that if that did happen Alec would break up with him in order to be with the person he loves more. Jace.
Not that I’m saying I anticipate that ever happening or being a possibility. I don’t. But, these are still things that Magnus has probably thought of and realized. And that Alec is probably hoping for, even if it won’t ever happen. Hope doesn’t necessarily have to mesh with reality all the time.
And I feel bad for Alec, too. Because, he’s totally in love with someone (and has apparently been so for quite some time, perhaps years) who won’t ever be interested in him in the slightest. Not like that. Someone who is in love with another person. Someone new, some interloper who Jace can’t even really have.
And, it’s all also rather ironic, isn’t it? That Jace and Clary are so in love with each other, but are apparently biologically related and so even though they didn’t grow up with each other and don’t really see each other as siblings, they are still bound by biology and social standards to not be with each other. To hide how they feel. To know that anyone else realizing how they feel would find it disgusting. And even Clary, who doesn’t really find it disgusting despite some of the things she says, seems to feel as though she OUGHT to and seems to feel shame and perhaps guilt over the fact that she doesn’t. And agony over the fact that their being siblings prohibits them from being together and acting on their feelings.
Yet, Alec who did grow up as though he and Jace were siblings (though they aren’t biologically related) is apparently head over heels for Jace, who is supposed to be like a brother to him and whom Jace really does only see as a brother. Even if Jace were gay, it’s unlikely he’d see Alec as anything other than a brother.
And while I’m talking about all these people I feel sorry for, I feel bad for Simon, too. He’s sort of being used in the same way that Alec is using Magnus. Which sucks.
Actually, in this book series just about all the important characters are doing this sort of thing. There’s even something similar between Luke and Jocelyn. Except that for this entire book Jocelyn is sort of out of commission.
Not everything is as it seems, though, and I think some of it ties into this. It’s a YA book series, so I would have expected that even though Clare could get away with having Jace and Clary be siblings and still having feelings for each other in book one (because they didn’t find out that about each other until practically the very end of City of Bones), it would have stopped by the time City of Ashes takes place. This is a book series for kids (well, teens), after all. So, it surprises me that there’s still blatant incest, even if it’s just more or less sexual tension with the occasional surprise kiss thrown in. Clary and Jace are very clear in this book about how they feel about each other. It’s not just implied.
This makes me think that they probably aren’t really related to each other, or if they are they probably aren’t siblings. Not that I’m against incest in books. I love V.C. Andrews books…however, those aren’t really meant for kids (teens, whatevs). Not that kids can’t or don’t read them (I read them when I was a teenager and I had other friends who did too!) but that’s not the target audience. That’s not the case with Clare’s The Mortal Instruments series. So, I’m anticipating that by the end of City of Ashes (or at the very least sometime within the next couple of books), I’ll find out that Clary and Jace aren’t actually related and it was all a gigantic ruse by Valentine.
In which case, Jocelyn’s current situation might be a kindness, since if she were aware of what’s going on all this time it would be heartbreaking for her to think she has her son back, after having thought for so many years that he was dead, only to have her son ripped away from her again with the realization that it was just more of Valentine’s cruel trickery and mindfuckery.
And he’s just the sort of sociopathic bastard to do something like that, too.