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City of Glass

Title: City of Glass

Author: Cassandra Clare

Published: 24th March 2009

Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Paranormal, Fiction

Number of Pages: 541

Start Date: 8th May 2022

Finish Date: 22nd May 2022


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.


The beginning of City of Glass felt for me a disappointment. It is slow, and chapters that follow did not allow me to see a picking up of the storyline. Clary and her friends travel to the City of Glass where the Clave ( the adult Shadowhunters) are having meeting after meeting to discuss what to do with Valentine’s plans. But it was this aspect that felt for me that the storyline became stagnant and was not developing for over half the book, droning on and on about past occurrences and relations but not taking that step forward in evolving the storyline and taking it further.

Until I was 2/3 in, the storyline took off with a great revelation about Jace and Clary that, has caused me to rethink my opinion of the series. I was way put off by the fact that their was a heavy romancing scene between Jace and Clary and that it continued but I am certainly glad that Cassandra Clare explained some of the details. And looking back at the whole book and the series so far, City of Glass is just that, it is a book that allows many of the pieces of the puzzle to fall into place. Not only about Jace and Clary but about Valentine, the world, and many other characters as well. It was all very carefully done and backtracking a bit allows everything so far to make sense.

In terms of taking the storyline further this is achieved by the revealing introduced in City of Glass. In the prequels, Valentine was gathering the Mortal Instruments to plot the downfall of the Shadowhunters, his reasons were known but with what is told in City of Glass there is all of a sudden much more to his goal. Valentine was displayed as the villain but sometimes did not quite feel as the ultimate villain. With the dark and gritty history of Valentine and all his experimenting really added a great depth to his character and showed him truly as a evil villain, who will go over bodies to get what he wants. Another great addition in the plotline was the character of Sebastian. I first discarded him as a secondary character but later found out that there is much more to Sebastian. Sebastian’s character together with the information about the history of the characters really made this story came to life in the end.

City of Glass upon reflection is a great addition to the growing series of Mortal Instruments, for me it would only have been better is the first 2/3 of the book would have been skipped. Cassandra Clare created an interlude with letting fall in place many of the puzzle pieces and on top of this there is a nice climactic battle and confrontation with Valentine in the end. City of Glass ends with an all good ending. With several threats eliminated, Cassandra Clare can now start, the fourth book City of Fallen Angels anyway she wants.

Written for young adults, The Mortal Instruments series so far has followed the story of Clary, an average New York teenage girl, whose mother suddenly disappears at the same time that she starts being able to see things, such as demons, that most normal people can’t. Clary’s mother had been hiding her from her demon hunting heritage in an attempt to protect Clary from the machinations of Valentine, the evil father Clary had never known. The previous books in the series have followed Clary on her journey from mundane teenager to rune-wielding Shadowhunter, introducing the reader to a magical world, populated with werewolves, vampires, faeries and mages along the way.

In the opening pages of City of Glass readers leave the mundane world of New York completely behind. Previous books have changed, or revealed, all of the story’s main characters to be to be either Downworlder or Shadowhunter so with no mundanes left in their group they travel to Idris, the homeland of the Shadowhunters. The rest of the story is set there and with its magical protections, towers, forests and horse-based transport the Idris setting has more in common with classic epic fantasy than with the urban fantasy landscapes of a magical New York that were a striking feature of the previous Mortal Instruments books.

The Shadowhunters are on the brink of war and with Valentine in possession of two of the three Mortal Instruments (sacred objects that can be used to summon the angel Raziel) it looks like nothing can stop him from his plans for Shadowhunter world domination and extermination of all the Downworlder races. Clary and Jace once again find themselves thrown into the heart of the action and they both have a large part to play in efforts to stop Valentine from unleashing his demon army.

The most pressing part of the story though is the tortured relationship between Jace and Clary. Originally this pair of would-be young lovers looked set follow the time-honoured tradition of sniping at each other until they realised how attracted they were to each other before falling into each others arms. Unfortunately by the time they got to realize their attraction to each other it was also revealed that they were actually brother and sister, secretly separated since birth. The whole forbidden love plotline is enough to keep reader engrossed and drives the story forward even without the threat of war and imminent death.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

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