Title: City of Glass
Author: Cassandra Clare
Series: The Mortal Instruments, #3
Release Date: March 24th 2009
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 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 finds 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?
Love is a mortal sin and the secrets of the past prove deadly as Clary and Jace face down Valentine in the third instalment of the New York Times bestselling series The Mortal Instruments.
– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com
This review may contain spoilers for previous book(s) in the series.
My Thoughts On…
After finally having a way to wake her mother Clary prepared to travel to Idris to seek the help of Ragnor Fell, but while the Clave want to meet Jocelyn’s daughter Jace is determined to keep Clary away from Idris and out of the Clave’s reach. Seeking help from Simon Jace asks him to lie to the Lightwood’s, to tell them Clary changed her mind, but then the Forsaken attack. With no other choice Jace takes Simon through the portal and into the Glass City, a place no Downworlder has seen without permission from the Clave.
When Clary discovers she’s been left behind she’s crushed. She had a way to wake her mum within her reach only to have it snatched away again, until she finds them remnants of Magnus’s portal in the Institute and re-makes it with her own runes. However instead of finding herself in the heart of Idris Clary, and Luke who travelled through the portal with her, ends up miles outside of the city in the middle of Lake Lyn.
While Clary and Luke begin their long journey back to Idris Jace deals with the consequences of bringing a vampire into the heart of the Clave. The new Inquisitor promises to send Simon back home to New York but he has other plans for the vampire that could adversely affect the Lightwoods’ future as Shadowhunters.
When Clary finally arrives in Idris she finds she has no idea where to begin looking for Ragnor Fell, and to make matters worse she’s not wanted there by Jace. As Clary searches for the warlock with the help of Sebastian Verlac and Jace struggles to help Simon anyway he can Valentine starts putting his master plan into action; a plan that could bring down Idris and destroy any hope of peace between the Shadowhunters and the Downworlders.
There’s a lot more at stake in City of Glass as Jace and Clary begin to realise the full force of Valentine’s plan, and what he means to do with the help of the Mortal Sword and Cup. The threats to the Shadowhunters are even more real in this book, what Valentine plans could mean extinction for them, but safe behind the wards of the Glass City the Clave believe, however falsely, they are safe from his demons.
Clary seems to grow a lot in this book. At the beginning she is reckless with her own life and heedless of the consequences of her decisions. She jumps through a half-opened portal after getting upset at being left behind, ignorant of what it could do to her or Luke, runs to Jace when she arrives at the Glass City, despite not technically being invited into Idris. Clary is a character who acts first and realises the consequences of her decisions later. Like in the first book Clary is determined to save her mother, and now she has a direction to turn to it seems to be all she can see.
However she also learns from her mistakes, and slowly she starts to become more confident in herself and her strange abilities. She doesn’t understand her gift but she knows it can help the Shadowhunters as they prepare to face Valentine. Clary may not be a typical Shadowhunter in terms of her fighting skills she helps in other ways, and knows when to step back from the battles she can’t win.
Jace discovers some hard to face truths about himself which throw everything he’s ever known out the window. He believes he is a monster and what he feels for Clary, his sister, only furthers that belief. Jace is reckless, even more so than in the previous two books, and truly doesn’t seem to care about his own life anymore. He throws himself head first into everything he does, be it trying to forget Clary with another Shadowhunter girl or prepare to face Valentine.
The relationship between Jace and Clary is heartbreaking at times. Both of them clearly want one another but they can’t allow themselves to be together, and without Simon standing in their way there’s nothing they can use as a barrier against the other’s feelings.
As a Daylighter Simon is an outcast from the other vampires, he doesn’t belong and his refusal to accept his ‘death’ is only another mark against him. Simon is loyal to the people from his human life which keeps him holding onto the past and Raphael can’t accept that. Meanwhile Alec struggles to deal with the ‘feelings’ he has always had for Jace and what he feels for Magnus. However sick of waiting for someone who will never fully give himself to him it seems like Magnus has given up on Alec.
While I enjoyed exploring the setting of the first two books, which took New York and added magic to the ordinary, showing us the Silent City and the Seelie Court hidden in the heart of the city, I loved seeing Idris in the last book of this trilogy. Throughout City of Bones and City of Ashes we heard about Idris from the other Shadowhunters who had either been exiled from there, Hodge and Luke, or who had a childlike idealisation of it, Jace. In City of Glass we get to see it with our own eyes, and while Idris is a beautiful city it’s not the utopia the memories of the banished or the children have made of it. Idris is the heart of the Shadowhunter’s world but, like the Clave itself, it has its flaws through people refuse to see them.
City of Glass is the last book from the Shadowhunter world that I have previously read, so when I get started on The Infernal Devices series and the second half of The Mortal Instrument series I’ll be going into each book with no clue where they’ll take me.
When I read this series for the first time City of Glass was my favourite of the three, and that remains the same as I’ve reread each book. Seeing the Shadowhunter’s home country, seeing Valentine’s grand plan fall into place, and seeing all the questions I had from the first two books answered made this an amazing story that I didn’t want to end, but at the same time couldn’t read fast enough.
What did you think of City of Glass? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.