City of Glass

City of Glass

Title: City of Glass

Author: Cassandra Clare

Series: The Mortal Instruments, #3

Publisher: Walker

Release Date: March 24th 2009


Five Stars

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

This review may contain spoilers for previous book(s) in the series.

My Thoughts On…

…The Plot

“The Clave wants to meet Clarissa. You know that, Jace.”
“The Clave can screw itself.”
“Jace,” Maryse said, sounding genuinely parental for a change. “Language.”
“The Clave wants a lot of things,” Jace amended. “It shouldn’t necessarily get them all.”

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.

Magnus looked at Alec as if he’d lost his mind. “Your city is under attack,” he said. “The wards have been broken, and the streets are full of demons. And you want to know why I haven’t called you?”
Alec set his jaw in a stubborn line. “I want to know why you haven’t called me back.”

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.

…The Characters

“Maybe that was why she couldn’t cry, she realized, staring dry-eyed at the ceiling. Because what was the point in crying when there was no one there to comfort you? And what was worse, when you couldn’t even comfort yourself?”

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.

“I used to think being a good warrior meant not caring,” he said. “About anything, myself especially. I took every risk I could. I flung myself in the path of demons. I think I gave Alec a complex about what kind of fighter he was, just because he wanted to live.”

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.

“There is no pretending,” Jace said with absolute clarity. “I love you, and I will love you until I die, and if there is life after that, I’ll love you then.”

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.

…The Setting

Malachi scowled. “I don’t remember the Clave inviting you into the Glass City, Magnus Bane.”
“They didn’t,” Magnus said. “Your wards are down.”
“Really?” the Consul’s voice dripped sarcasm. “I hadn’t noticed.”
Magnus looked concerned. “That’s terrible. Someone should have told you.” He glanced at Luke. “Tell him the wards are down.”

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.

41 thoughts on “City of Glass

  1. So glad you’re enjoying this series! I think I remember this one or the next book in the TMI series being my favorite! I don’t remember much of this particular book at all but I think I remember how much I loved the new setting of Idris and the advancement of the plot. Things are getting really dicey at this point and the pace has really picked up. There’s so much at stake now and I love how Clare portrays the change in her characters as they struggle with their personal issues as well as the increasing threat of Valentine. I feel for all of the characters and the relationships are possibly the most intriguing aspect of Clare’s books! I hope you love the Infernal Devices. I thought that trilogy was much stronger than the first three books of the TMI series! Also, the characters are FANTASTIC! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I can definitely see why so many people love this series, and I’m excited to continue with it at some point in the near future as well. If it’s this one I can see why it’s your favourite, if it’s the next one then I’m even more excited to get around to it. Oh it was amazing seeing Idris wasn’t it? I’d love to go back there in later books, and yes the advancement of the plot was insane at times, so much was happening. The character development was as amazing in this book as it was in the second one, and even in the first one. If all of Clare’s characters have the same level of development I can see why her series is so popular. I hope so too, I’ve heard so many people saying similar things about TID books so I am so so so excited to get started on them. My hopes are high I’ll admit! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yay!! That’s great to hear 😀 And don’t worry, the world-building and character development get even better with each book, especially the TID trilogy haha. Hope I’m not building this up too much for you, but I have faith you’ll love TID! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh now I’m even more excited. I honestly can’t wait to see where the series goes, and it could go anywhere because there are still so many books I have left to go. Don’t worry, plenty of other people have said the same thing so I’m sure you’ll all be proven right! 😀 ❤


  2. Really glad to hear you’re enjoying this series! Really nice to hear that the characters are “evolving” and that you can clearly see it! I hope the rest of the books continue to impress you. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on them. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Lashaan, and yeah overall this is a great introduction to the Shadowhunter world and a great series as well. The character development has just gotten better and better and I really can’t wait to get started on the next book in the series! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Reading your reviews for this series have made me so nostalgic for the books, Beth! I know we’ve already been talking about it but I’m so happy you ended up enjoying your reread of City of Glass more than you did the first two books. I love the first Magnus and Alec quote you included. I remember that part so vividly! Their scenes together were always my favorite. Like in City of Ashes with the fearless rune 😂. And Clary and Jace definitely both broke my heart in this one, more so Jace. There was so much angst! But if there is anything this author does well it’s angst. I also loved seeing Idris too. After two books where it was hinted at and then getting to finally see it, that was awesome. Anyway! I so can’t wait to see what you end up thinking of the rest of the books. Great review as always!! 💕😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh that’s great to hear Melissa, and actually re-reading these first three has definitely reminded me of what I loved about the series when I first picked it up as well, way back when. City of Glass was amazing, but I think the first time I read these books it was the same thing.
      Every scene with Magnus and Alec has been amazing and honestly I can’t wait to read more about them in the second half of the series and Lady Midnight (if they appear in that book as well which is possible right?)
      Jace had amazing character development, even though I knew how it would end I still really felt for him throughout this book.
      Hopefully I’ll enjoy them as much as I have these ones. I’ll be starting TID books before the second half of this series, and I’ll be picking them up July time maybe? Depends on what my TBR list is like then but it’ll be in the summer sometime.
      Thanks Melissa! 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I may need to do a reread of them myself sometime. Possibly a speed reread though because there are so many books. 😂 It’s been way too long since I last read them.
        They appear quite a bit in the second half of the series but not a lot in Lady Midnight. There are a few scenes with them but since Lady Midnight is mainly focused on another cast of characters in a different city it’s less so than the second half of TMI. BUT with the Magnus series coming out I think there is going to be a lot of them in that. 😊
        He really did! I feel like out of everyone he went through the most character development.
        YAY about TID! It’s definitely good to pick those ones up before the second half of TMI. That’s how I read them whenever I first read the series because I kept reading about how a character from TID pops up in the second half. I can’t wait to see what you end up thinking!
        You’re welcome, Beth!! 😁♥

        Liked by 1 person

      2. For this series I’d recommend a speed read rather than a re-read. I feel like I have a mountain ahead of me when it comes to these books! 😀
        Oh that’s almost a shame about Lady Midnight but yeah I see what you mean. It does focus on different characters after all. Yes I am so so excited for the Magnus series, there’ll obviously be a lot of him in those books! 😀 Do we know anything more about it/when it’s set in the world?
        Yeah I asked someone else about what order to read them in, because I think I remember the second half of TMI and TID being released around about the same time, and they said to pick up TID first so that’s what I’ll be doing. 😀 ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I’m not entirely sure. I know Cassandra Clare has tweeted stuff about the Magnus series but all I can remember is the fact that it’s co-authored and going to be more adult rather than YA.
        I’m thinking it’s going to be set around the same time as TDA or maybe a bit after but I can’t be for sure.
        I need to look up stuff about it. 🙈

        Liked by 1 person

      1. For me the first book was my least favourite, simply because of how slow the plot was at the beginning, things definitely improved in the second and by the third I was in love with the series. I hope it ends up being the same for you! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Yesss I loved this book as well! My memory on these books are a little rusty, but I remember loving City of Glass the most, at least of the first 3 books if not the whole series. I’m SO excited to see what you think of the next 3 books and The Infernal Devices, when you pick it up later on! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My memory on them was a little rusty, it’s why I decided this re-read was necessary before starting the next half of the series at some point. But yes City of Glass was brilliant, and definitely the best of the three in my opinion. I’ll be picking up TID next, probably sometime in June/July, and then it will be the next half of TMI series after that. I’m trying to spread them out so I’m up to date by the end of this year but won’t have too long a wait for the next book after Lord of Shadows! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I adored TID, I can’t wait to see what you think of it! (Jem, you’ll see is a total sweeheart btw. ❤ I love him and all the characters so much!) Ahah that's a good idea! I read Lady Midnight last year and loved it, I can't wait to pick of Lord Shadows but I know the wait for the third book will be so difficult ahah. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’ve heard plenty of amazing things about it so I’m excited to get started. Plus it will be the start of the books I haven’t read before so that’s something else to look forwards to. 🙂
        I’m never any good at waiting for books so I figure the less time I have to wait the better! 😀 ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I agree this was my favourite of the first 3 as well. I hope you like the next 3, I think 5 and 6 were my favourites of the next 3. Great review 😊😊

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.