Series: The Mortal Instruments #3
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books on March 2009
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Paranormal Romance, Romance, Urban, Young Adult
Source: My copy
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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?
Flicking through other reviews on Goodreads, it appears that one either must really love this book, or hate it with a burning passion. Sorry haters, but I’ve come out on the loving side – despite a few things that bothered me about the story, this was the best of the series so far.
As with the previous books, there was plenty of fast-paced action, but here there was quite a lot of soul-searching chatter among the characters that slowed things down from time to time. That didn’t stop me from being unable to put it down, though. The story itself was reasonably predictable – nothing was a big surprise, apart from random character deaths (which I won’t spoil, but didn’t think was at all necessary). We also didn’t get to see a lot of the major action in Alicante – the big battle itself seems to have only gone for a few minutes but we miss it completely in favour of Valentine’s shenanigans. In any case, I thought the story was well-finished in this one, the ending of the original trilogy.
Clary and Jace’s relationship, despite supposedly being over as of the end of City of Ashes, doesn’t really go away or get any less awkward through this book. There wasn’t really any doubt as to what the nature of their relationship would become – it was kind of annoying that it took so long to come out, actually. Jace is still whiny and sulky but he redeems himself in this book by being suitably badass and also rather surprisingly romantic. I did think the romantic lines were kind of out of character… if someone like Jace said them to me I’d probably just laugh in his face rather than swoon, but I suppose they were suitably swoony in context!
I found myself pretty disappointed with Clary’s reaction to her Mum’s reappearance. I’m pretty sure even at the age of sixteen that if I had been trying to find a cure for my mum for the last few weeks (I think that’s how long has passed by this stage…?), I’d be pretty happy to see her. Instead Clary blames her mum for everything. She also doesn’t seem to have learned much from what’s happened previously, continuing to run straight into danger at every opportunity. She does step up and use her unique skills when the time is right, although it was a bit sad when she used her one wish at the end for herself rather than making some kind of a “I wish everyone was alive again” type of wish.
As in previous books, Simon steals the show from the character development side. He makes a major sacrifice to save everyone and it’ll be interesting to see where the consequences take him in the future. I was also really happy with Magnus and Alec sorting themselves out!
I think I’ll be classing these books as chicken soup for my reading soul – something exciting and romantically fluffy to read when I need a fix.
– A fast-paced and satisfying conclusion to the first trilogy of this series, despite its predictability.
The Mortal Instruments