City of Glass by Cassandra Clare | Rating: ★★★★★
“There is no pretending," Jace said with absolute clarity. "I love you, and I will love you until I die, and if there is life after that, I'll love you then.”
City of Glass was the original end to the then-planned-trilogy The Mortal Instruments. As action packed, mysterious and sexy as the previous two books, we find our favorite Shadowhunters and Downworlders battling it out with Valentine one last time in an effort to end his terror. But as always, things aren’t always what they seem; surprising plot twists, revelations and characters come about in unexpected ways. And tears will be shed at the loss of a character.
Clary has big plans at the start of City of Glass but she isn’t the only one with a thing or two up her sleeves. Strong, witty and intelligent as always Clary is on point and undeniably a teenager. Her actions all reflect that from the start. At the beginning of the novel, we see our favorite feisty redhead explore the options to save her mother as she prepares to go to the Shadowhunters home country, Idris, with the Lightwoods.
The first bump of the series? Her supposed brother and secret crush Jace is attempting to leave without her, to keep her safe. In these moments he calls the only person who would want to protect Clary as he would: Simon. In spite of the two teen boys’ differences, they both love Clary and want to keep her from harms way as much as they can.
But by doing this, Jace unknowingly puts this newly turned vampire in a whole world of danger. And his plan doesn’t exactly work; something he should have known from the start.
When threats arise, an attack is made on the Shadowhunters and Simon. Jace, in an effort to save Simon’s life, has to bring the so-called Daylighter with him through the portal to Idris. But because Idris holds many prejudices, because Shadowhunters and Downworlders are natural enemies, he could very well be putting a moving target on both his back and Simon’s.
Although the Lightwoods aren’t terrible to him, there’s danger lurking on every corner for our favorite vampire. Can he convince the Shadowhunters he won’t give them any trouble? Or that he came through the portal by accident?
Or is he doomed the second he sets foot in Idris?
Meanwhile Clary Fray takes things into her own hands and uses her power with runes to create a portal of her own to Idris. If Jace thinks she won’t find away there, he’s only deluded himself into believing that–Clary is as determined as ever and rather successfully takes her talent of making runes and runs with it straight through a portal through Idris.
Luke, though not her biological father, is furious with her putting herself in danger like a good dad should be. In spite of the dangers, he jumps after Clary and travels through the portal nonetheless and ultimately saves her life. Luke is very selfless when it comes to Clary and Jocelyn and City of Glass is no different.
It wasn’t an easy to trip to Idris and it leads us down the road of meeting Luke’s long lost sister. So let’s keep up a tab, shall we?
Characters in danger: EVERYONE
Double the danger: Simon and Luke
When Clary recovers, she wakes up to find Luke gone–feeling suddenly abandoned, she creates another plan in her mind now that she is in Idris. Yet again her determination and bravery lead her actions and it may not always be the best thing, but it’s admirable nonetheless.
In Idris, we meet a few more characters such as Sebastian Verlac and the Penhallows, in particular Aline Penhallow. Each of the two are around the gangs age and have had a bit of a difference in upbringing than Isabelle, Jace, Alex and Max.
And because the Lightwood family is residing with the Penhallow family, we get a glimpse of the contrasts between two very old Shadowhunter families and how they mesh together. It’s an interesting comparison. I love seeing the way things operate in Idris verses the way we've seen things go at the Institute in NYC.
Danger lingers in the distance as Clary makes her presence known, and Simon is tricked into thinking he is returning to NYC but really is held captive by some Shadowhunters, where he meets (or rather, speaks with) another prisoner with a surprisingly familiar identity.
Clary continues her quest to save her mother and find a very old and very valuable spell book. In the meantime, she befriends Sebastian but begins to feel unsettled–there’s something strangely familiar about the boy and his temper is a bit… well…
The plots just keep on turning! After finding the book of spells and handing it over to Magnus Bane, everyone’s favorite Warlock, Clary finds herself in one twist after another. Jocelyn’s mother returns just in time for a new battle to unfold and Clary finally gets her answers.
Revelations about who Sebastian really is, first, is the most important part of this novel. After he injures Isabelle and kills Max, our jaws hit the floor. We were given hints along the way that Sebastian is a bit more dangerous than we’d been led to believe and sure enough he is Clary’s brother, not Jace.
Jace was raised by Valentine, this is true–but he is actually a Herondale and doesn’t have the blood of a demon in him. Clace shippers rejoice! Except not really because even though this is out of the way, everyone is put at risk as the battle begins–and Jace goes on a search for Valentine.
Twists and turns, and turns and twists, continue about in the plots for us. But what can happen next? Who will survive… and who else won’t? My person favorite scenes are the moment we release who Sebastian is, the fight between Sebastian and Jace, Simon's mark, Valentine's defeat and Clary saving Jace.
Oh, and the beginning of Sizzy!
I’ve spoiled quite a lot from this story, I know, but because it was released all those years ago–I’m not all that bothered by it. Ultimately, City of Glass is just as fantastic as it was on its original release: all the danger, the suspense, the romance and the mystery keeps readers focused on the endgame. Out of all the books in the series, this one will always be the most beloved in my mind.