Tuesday, June 8, 2010

City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

Title: City of Glass (Mortal Instruments, #3)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: McElderry Books
Hardcover, 541 pages
Date Published: March 24, 2009

Description (Taken from Goodreads) 
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 Shadow-hunter Sebastian. With Valentine mustering the full force of his power to destroy all Shadow-hunters 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 new found 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 final installment of the New York Times bestselling trilogy The Mortal Instruments.
Clary Fray barely escaped with her life on a ship full of demons, but her mother’s life still hangs in the balance. When Madeleine, a Shadowhunter from her mother’s past, seeks Clary out with a cure for her mother, Clary is more than willing to travel to Alicante, the City of Glass, home to the Shadowhunters. Venturing there without permission is against the Law, but sometimes Laws are meant to be broken, even when Jace agrees that she shouldn’t be there.

With the mysterious Sebastian on her side, Clary searches out the warlock who can save her mother, but she also discovers the secrets that may unlock her past. Alicante is on the precipice of a war and Jace and Clary are at the tip of it. Simon is thrown due to mistrust at his ability to walk in the sunlight and tension is palpable throughout the city. Valentine’s threats to destroy the Shadowhunter race forces an unlikely partnership between Shadowhunters and Downworlders, but will it be enough? 

Jace and Clary are different from other Shadowhunters and their unique abilities may be the key, but will they be able to stop the man they call Father? Or will their fate be something much worse?

Cassandra Clare has done it once again with City of Glass. The story starts off a bit slower than the previous two, but once it picks up, it won’t let go. Clary’s journey into Alicante provides some of the most vivid and beautiful imagery in this series. It’s also such a different atmosphere that it makes the story that much more intriguing. The war that lingers just off in the distance can be felt all throughout the story and I was diligently turning page after page, anticipating the battle.
“Just as the rebellion of the angels ended the world as it was – it split heaven in half and created hell – this could mean the end of the Nephilim as they currently exist. This is our war in heaven, vampire, and only one side can win it. And my father means it to be his.” ~ pg. 60-61

The characters in The Mortal Instruments series are well crafted and developed bit by bit, detail by detail, throughout these books. Not everyone has a lot of dialogue or interaction with Jace or Clary, but they are still real. Their presence can be felt. The death of a minor character still lingers in my mind because it lingers in Jace or Clary’s mind. The love that these characters feel for one another is so palpable and honest. Clare does a wonderful job ensuring that her characters are human and have human emotions.

Clary and Simon are a bit more distant in this installment, which is understandable with Simon’s sudden, unexpected transformation. Their relationship is strained and I kind of loved that. It allows for Simon to grow even more as a character (as if I couldn’t love Simon any more) and grow up, really.
“Now I wonder all the time how you go back after something like that. Whether we can ever be friends again, or if what we had is broken into pieces.” ~ pg. 75
They both know things have changed, for better or worse, and they are just trying to live with it. To maintain who they are and what they had in the face of a whole new world.
She felt a sudden pain in her heart, and realized with a jolt what it was. She was missing him – missing Simon. Simon as he had been. ~ pg. 320

The true action in City of Glass happens closer to the end of the book, but it works well. The unveiling of these long-hidden secrets and suspense makes the ending all that much more gratifying. The relationships are what really shine here. In a way, I feel like The Mortal Instruments series is not about angels and demons and fighting and all that stuff, but really about family. Family, in the ways that count. Not blood or upbringing, but about those that love you.
It was the one thread that bound these two boys that she loves so much, she thought, their one commonality: They both believed in her even when she didn’t believe in herself. ~ pg. 377
Obviously, there’s more to it, but I like to believe that the family aspect plays a huge role too.

City of Glass serves as a perfect closer to an epic trilogy (though we now know there will be another installment with City of Fallen Angels). There is action, love, lust, betrayal, suspense, and enough jokes to lighten what could be a heavier read than the previous two. The characters have purpose and their actions carry weight behind them. Things happen for a reason and the previous loose threads are explained. Valentine’s role as a villain is explained and the back story on the Shadowhunter race left me content. The ending felt like an ending; albeit, an ending that only came after many twists and turns. I did find it somewhat predictable, but Clare makes up for it with her ability to create characters and a story that you will be completely invested in. In other words, I still loved it.

Opening line: The cold snap of the previous week was over; the sun was shining brightly as Clary hurried across Luke’s dusty front yard, the hood of her jacket up to keep her hair from blowing across her face. ~ pg. 1

Favorite lines: “I always thought love made you stupid. Made you weak. A bad Shadowhunter. To love is to destroy. I believed that…And then I saw how much you loved your mother, loved Simon, and how you’d walk into hell to save them…Love didn’t make you weak, it made you stronger than anyone I’d ever met.” ~ pg. 531-532
*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.

3 comments:

Natalie (Mindful Musings) said...

Love, love, LOVE this series! I can't wait to read Clare's next book, though I'll have to wait until August to get my hands on a copy! :)

brandileigh2003 said...

I love this series!

Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books) said...

Natalie - Now that I've finished this one, I am dying for both Clockwork Angel and City of Fallen Angels. August just seems way too far away.

brandileigh - I couldn't agree with you more :D

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