Review: City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments #3) – Cassandra Clare

Release Date: March 24th 2009
Published By: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Pages: 541
Goodreads: Add it to your reading list

Rating: 4 out of 5


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?

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.

Review: This review contains spoilers for City of Bone and City of Ashes.

City of Glass picks up where City of Ashes finishes. To save her mother, Clary must go the home of the Shadowhunters, the City of Glass - the world that she has never been a part of, even though she was born a Shadowhunter. Jace is adamant that she cannot go to the Alicante, but Clary manages to get to the Shadowhunters capital city anyway. While here, she will learn things about the history of Shadowhunters, her own history, and the history of friends and family. Even thought Clary’s world that has already been turned upside down, what she discovers is life-changing, and her world is going to be turned inside out.

A showdown with Valentine is imminent – every Shadowhunter knows it, as do the Downworlders. If Valentine succeeds, both Shadowhunters and Downworlders will be brought to extinction, but can these eons-old enemies find a way to work together to stop him? And what are Jace and Clary willing to risk to ensure that Valentine does not use The Mortal Instruments?

I am going to classify City of Glass as the final instalment of a trilogy. I know that there are 3 more books after this one, however this book was originally a trilogy, and it is clear that this is where this story ends (another one will begin in City of Fallen Angels). I found some things in this final instalment rather predictable (I actually predicted them at the end of City of Ashes) but other things were thrown in to the storyline that kept it interesting. One of the things that I respect about Cassandra Clare is that she weaves every detail into the storyline – everything that happens, or said, is for a purpose – and even if it is not immediately understood, you will later see that there is significance to everything. The over-arching storyline is intricate, and every aspect of the story eventually weaves together in this maze of characters, history, connections, deception, love, mystery and fate.

City of Glass shows various perspectives, which I really enjoyed. Rather than mainly following Clary, we got to see more of other characters such as Jace, Simon, Alec and Isabelle. A lot of these “secondary” characters start to come into themselves and come closer to the limelight… which I am sure will required in the next 3 books. And another thing I was extremely grateful for was more Magnus in this instalment. I love Magnus, I always have (as I read The Infernal Devices first).

I will admit, that at the beginning I found Clary a little annoying. She is a strong female character, as she will fight for something she believes in or for those she loves, but sometimes (and quite often in this book), she just doesn’t think things through before acting. She puts a lot of things, and people, at risk with her impulsiveness. But, at the end of the day, no matter what situation she finds herself in (or puts herself in) she steps up and does everything she can to do what is right.

City of Glass if jammed packed full of action, twists, suspense, deception and romance (including forbidden). For all of those you who find the situation between Clary and Jace, ummm… disturbing, then prepare yourself - there are lots more awkward moments in City of Glass. But whether you are shipping for them or not, there is enough going on to keep you intrigued in the various aspects of these characters lives. Once again, I found that humour in this book nicely complemented all the tension, angst or destruction. I like the banter from a lot of the characters - Jace, Simon and Magnus are my favourites. But I think that the relationship between Jace and Alec is one of my favourites - although there are so many secrets between them, the way they support each other and honestly understand each other shows quality character building and realism.

You also get to find the answers too many questions left unanswered in City of Bones and City of Ashes. You will find that so many things are woven together to complete a very complex story which leads to the climax of finding out if Valentine’s determination is stronger than family, if right is stronger than wrong and if enemy’s can ever be friends - where people will be lost, secrets will be revealed and life and love will be found… but is it all too late?

Although I see this as a trilogy, and I can see where the next storyline will lead, I am very interested to see where Cassandra will take this multifaceted world of Shadowhunters, Downworlders and demons.



“I love you, and I will love you until I die, and if there is life after that, I’ll love you then.”

“And I’m suppose to sit by while you date boys and fall in love with someone else, get married…?” His voice tightened. “And meanwhile, I’ll die a little bit more every day, watching.”

“I am a man” he told her, “and men do not consume pink beverages. Get thee gone woman, and bring me something brown.”

“Not everything is about you,” Clary said furiously.
“Possibly,” Jace said, “but you do have to admit that the majority of things are.”

“I have a fetish for damsels in distress.”
“Don’t be sexist.”
“Not at all. My services are also available to gentlemen in distress. It’s an equal opportunity fetish.”

“Waiting for a special occasion to kill me? Christmas is coming.”

What do you think?

  • I find the whole thing with Jace and Clary to be the creepiest relationship in the entire series. It just makes my skin crawl every time I read a scene with them! I actually stopped after CoA, because I’ve heard that CoG is the last good one before the next two kind of get worse. I want to hold on to the good times!

    And I’m so, so happy to hear that Alec, Isabelle, and Magnus become more developed. Those are my favorite three in the entire series, and probably 50% of the reason I actually read the books in the first place :D

    • Kristy says:

      Hi Kayla,. It certainly is awkward :) There are some mixed thoughts about the later books, but I do look forward to reading them a little later. And Magnus is certainly my favourite secondary character, so I hope he continues to develop as the series goes on.

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  • Alyssa says:

    As much as I adore The Mortal Instruments series and have been a hardcore fan for over 5 years, I definitely think that Cassandra Clare should have ended the trilogy at City of Glass. While I am excited for every new instalment, I think she dragged it out too long.

    • Kristy says:

      I don’t think you are alone in thinking this way Alyssa. I have heard the same comment from a few people. Although, I am still looking forward to reading the next 3 books - which I will do early next year. Hopefully since I had a break between the first 3 and the next 3, it won’t feel dragged out for me. I hope you enjoy the final instalment when it comes out!

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