City of Glass
Published 2009 492 pages
Summary (from the book jacket)
Amid the chaos of war, the Shadowhunters must decide to fight with the vampires, werewolves and other Downworlders – or against them. Meanwhile, Jace and Clary have their own decision to make: should they pursue the love they both know is forbidden?
City of Glass is the third and final part of Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments trilogy. Since this is the third part of a trilogy I think it goes almost without saying that you need to have read City of Bones and City of Ashes (parts one and two of The Mortal Instruments) before attempting to read this novel.
Written for young adults, The Mortal Instruments trilogy 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 trilogy have followed Clary on her journey from mundane (non-supernatural) 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…
City of Glass makes a fitting end to the Mortal Instruments trilogy. If you enjoyed the previous two books in this series there is no reason that you won’t like City of Glass too. It wraps up the story up to a satisfying conclusion and leaves few unanswered questions. At nearly 500 pages the story is perhaps a touch overlong but the pacing of the book is fast enough to stop the story from dragging. Even though I’m a lot older than the target audience for this book The Mortal Instruments has become one of my favourite fantasy series. Check the trilogy out – it could become a favourite of yours too!
Fans of this trilogy will be pleased to hear that Cassandra Clare is planning a prequel series called The Infernal Devices. Set in a Victorian era Shadowhunter world it features new characters and a new fantasy mystery adventure.
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