Book Review: “The Mortal Instruments: City of Glass” by Cassandra Clare

To save her mother’s life, Clary must travel to the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters — never mind that entering the city without permission is against the Law, and breaking the Law could mean death. To make things worse, she learns that Jace does not want her there, and her best friend, Simon, has been thrown in prison by the Shadowhunters, who are deeply suspicious of a vampire who can withstand sunlight.

As Clary uncovers more about her family’s past, she find an ally in mysterious Shadowhunter Sebastian. With Valentine mustering the full force of his power to destroy all Shadowhunters forever, their only chance to defeat him is to fight alongside their eternal enemies. But can Downworlders and Shadowhunters put aside their hatred to work together? While Jace realizes exactly how much he’s willing to risk for Clary, can she harness her newfound powers to help save the Glass City — whatever the cost?

When I started reading City of Glass I began to get a little worried. The first third of the book moves at what feels like a snail’s pace. On top of the slow-moving action is the non-stop mess that is Clary. She already wasn’t at the top of my list of favorite characters in these books and after this one she fell a little bit further down the list. Something about her constant disregard for the good of the group drives me up the wall. By the end of the book she sort of turns a corner in fixing that behavior, but she isn’t quite there yet. I really need to find a book that features a female protagonist who isn’t always causing trouble or feeling picked on.

Luckily for me the other characters in City of Glass give me plenty to love. The relationship between Alec and Magnus Bane blossoms into full swing during the book and I found myself a little giddy because of it. Jace is clearly a troubled individual, but I like the rebound he gets at the conclusion. He finally comes out of the shadows and gets to man up to reality a little bit. Hopefully he stays that way. And, of course, there’s Simon. I cannot get enough of Simon, he’s absolutely great in my opinion. His transformation into a vampire over the past two books has left me very hungry for more of his story moving forward. I’m glad there are more books to be read because his whole Mark of Cain business is bound to get all sorts of interesting.

The action really picks up in the latter half of the book and things start to get a little crazy. Cassandra Clare really seems to enjoy adding big twists to her story and overall she does a pretty good job of it. I wasn’t really surprised to discover that Clary and Jace weren’t really brother and sister, but at the same time I wish they had remained that way. But, in this particular genre of urban fantasy it’s difficult not to let the love abound after so much angst between the characters. Clare does wrap things up quite nicely at the end of City of Glass and I felt very satisfied with where each character was left standing when I reached the final page.

My favorite scene was by far when Valentine summons Raziel out of Lake Lyn. I don’t know if it was the imagery that Clare uses, or the picture of what Raziel looks like that I had in my mind’s eye, but whatever it was made me reread that encounter a couple of times because I thought it was so cool.

City of Glass is a fitting end to the trilogy and ties up loose ends quite nicely. I know there are more books that continue where this one leaves off, but City of Glass is a good stopping point for me so I can move on to some other new authors I haven’t tried yet. I do intend to return to The Mortal Instruments books though and see what books 4, 5, and 6 have to offer at some point.

Overall Grade: B
Length: 576 pages

Amazon   Barnes & Noble

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