City of Glass by Cassandra Clare
Pages: 592 pages
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance
Overall Rating: 4.5/5 ★★★★
Synopsis: 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?
I really must say this book really finished selling me into the Shadowhunting world. The first book was good enough to get me into the second, which improved but was still a shaky attempt. Book three, however, is the book that proved my faith in Cassandra Clare was fruitful. On my City of Bones review, I mentioned that I could see Clare’s writing potential but it is my personal opinion that she was trying too hard during the first two installments of her six part TMI series.
I think I can understand why. Being her debuting novel, CoB probably was a source of a lot of pressure for her, especially given the scandal surrounding the originality of her work. This is also why I think CoA was also a stumbling sequel, since she had to prove she was the real thing. Regardless of what each of us have to think or say about the plagiarism issue, I do believe it is to be credited that she has many books under her belt and has acquired a significant and loyal fanbase. That doesn’t just happen simply because.
But I’m stopping with my author opinions and diving into the actual topic, which is Book Three, City of Glass. Now, this time the book was very action packed and the cadence of the writing did not leave any dull or slow moments. Everything happened fast and hard, which made the situation of a race at the brink of war believable. We also start having character casualties, which also adds to the realism. It is impossible for all the good guys to make it till the end if they are at war. Overall, the timeline of this book helped solidify the series for me.
I thought it very interesting the introduction to a second villain, that is probably going to link the second part of the series with the first. If you have yet to read these books, there is a spoiler ahead, you can scroll down until you see the next bolded text. 😉
Sebastian is an interesting and complex character and I loved that he is even more twisted and dark than Valentine, which I think is a good factor to carry on with the last three books, making the tension increase until the characters can reach the “ultimate fight.” I think Clare really knows how to build her villains, since they seem human enough to feel real. Valentine is wrong in his views but he believes he is doing the right thing, something every villain believes in his side of the story. Sebastian has also a motivation behind his actions but it is fascinating to see just how corrupted his entire being is, to the point where even the one person he feels respect or even affection for is slightly scared of him. I can’t wait to see how Sebastian’s story evolves and where did the author decide to take him.
On the other hand, Jace and Clary’s relationship has taken an interesting turn. Finding out in the end that they aren’t blood related is a great thing because while I don’t shy away from themes such as incest, I think it would have caused unnecessary drama that would not have contributed at all to the story and world building. I think this book also helped me truly start rooting for them, since I saw no indications in the previous books that this was something more than simple attraction. City of Glass helps understand just how much more their bond is and makes the feelings more real.
END OF SPOILER
I also really love how the other relationships are developing, namely Alec and Magnus’. They still have a long way to go and I can sense their drama is far from over but I think both have grown quite a lot in these three books. Of course, I greatly dislike that they are background noise to the lives and tries of Jace and Clary so all their little moments happen off-screen and even the big ones seem to only take up a little bit of time in the grand scheme of things. But nevertheless, I love that they exist and have to go through their journeys to find out not only what they want from each other, but what they want for themselves.
I am now following some of the bookstagrammer and bookbloggers’ advice and going over Clockwork Angel, the first book in The Infernal Devices trilogy and prequel to TMI. The difference in writing style, character building and overall storyline is enormous and I am very happily surprised. My plan is to carry on reading the books in their publication order and see how Clare devised the two trilogies to complement one another, even if their settings could not be farther apart.
What do you think of the first trilogy that conforms The Mortal Instruments? Which is your favorite TMI book? Do you prefer TMI or TID? Let me know! I’d love to read your thoughts and opinions!