Wednesday, July 21, 2010

City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

Published: March 24th 2009 by Margaret K. McElderry
Word Count: 150,516
Series: The Mortal Instruments, book three
Source: audio book

My Grade: A+

[WARNING: IF YOU HAVE NOT READ BOOKS ONE AND TWO OF THIS SERIES, THEN THIS REVIEW WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS]

Synopsis 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.

Like the first two books, this book never dragged, never lost my interest. We meet new characters who competent the existing characters beautifully. Each established character has their own fully-fleshed story, and they all contribute to the central conflict, which is a difficult thing for a writer to pull off.

Below is a prime example of how Clare’s character complexities come to play in her story – Jocelyn and Clary might be taking about the same person here, and they might not. The fact that Clare has created such deep and layered characters allows her to play so adeptly with these intricacies:

 “With Jonathan, Valentine wanted to create some kind of super warrior. Stronger and faster and better than other Shadowhunters…[Jonathan] really was all those things, but…he was also cruel and immoral, and strangely empty. Jonathan was loyal enough to Valentine, but I supposed Valentine realized that somewhere along the way, in trying to create a child who was superior to others, he’d created a son who could never really love him”…”No.” Clary said… “Jace is not like that. He does love Valentine. He shouldn’t, but he does. And he isn’t empty. He’s the opposite of everything you’re saying.” (Disc 10, track 8, mins 4:03-54)

The possible incestuous relationship between Jace and Clary is certainly one of the most intriguing aspects of this book. It’s such a taboo subject that it immediately raises the stakes and makes the book more exciting. And yet it is done so well that it never feels dirty or gross, like you’d think it would. Yet that is only one aspect of this fascinating world Clare has created for her readers. I’ve never read anything like what Clare has created, and I think that is why her books are such a success. They are a novelty. But beyond that, her writing skills are solid and her storytelling skills are superb. This third installment takes us further away from the regular ‘mundane’ world we know than the first two books, but that’s fine, because like Clary, by this point we readers are ready to dive head-first into the mythical city of Idris. Stunning, imaginative, intriguing, suspenseful, and heart-wrenching; Clare has it all in the shining City of Glass.


Visit the author’s website: www.cassandraclare.com/

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