City of Glass by Cassandra Clare (Mortal Instruments: Book 3)

8/10 A great addition to the growing series of Mortal Instruments.

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?

City of Glass is the third volume in the popular Mortal Instruments series written by Cassandra Clare, the prequels being City of Bones #1 and City of Ashes #2. So far Cassandra Clare has managed to create a very rich urban environment by introducing a New York where vampire, werewolves, faeries and warlock walk freely, but being closely monitored by the “demon” policing force, the Shadowhunters. I enjoyed reading both prequels, though some of the characters and certain persuasions kept nagging at me, particularly the relation between Jace and Clary and the character of Jace. I did start City of Glass with a certain anticipation that it could be really good, especially looking back at the developments seen so far in the storyline in Clary’s and Jace’s past and present, Valentine and the degree of unruliness at the Downworlders. In some parts City of Glass really shines but in others it could have done with a better polish.

With City of Glass being the third book in the series it is hard to write a spoiler free review but I will try to do my best. So far in the series we have met up with the main protagonist Clary, who after a sequence of events has now joined up with the ranks of the Shadowhunters. From the Shadowhunters, she had fallen in love with Jace, but Clary knows this is her brother... it was this romancing aspect that put me a bit off… their father Valentine has a dark and sinister plan for downfall of the Shadowhunters. It is up to Clary and Jace and the other Shadowhunter to stop Valentine from reaching this goal.

As I mentioned in the City of Ashes review, I was left on a nice cliff-hanger moment. However as soon as I started reading City of Glass it did not quite have the continuation I expected and had a different pacing that its prequel. 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.

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Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments series

City of Bones

Mortal Instruments: Book 1

City of Ashes

Mortal Instruments: Book 2

City of Glass

Mortal Instruments: Book 3

City of Lost Souls

Mortal Instruments: Book 5

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