Book Review – City of Glass

Ahead of my first post joining in with Read To Ramble and Fi’s Bibliofiles for Shadowhunter Saturday next week, I need to review book three in the reading order we’re following, which is the third Mortal Instruments book, City of Glass. They’ve already read the three Infernal Devices (the three ‘Clockwork’ books) which I’m catching up with via audio at my own pace, as they’re set in a different timeline. But we’re planning on reading the rest of the books together, following Cassandra Clare’s recommended reading order, which you can find here along with other options.

I’ve already reviewed City of Bones and City of Ashes, and book two particularly was really exciting. I always try not to judge a whole series based on the first book as it is responsible for too much world building, and although I did enjoy City of Bones, I was far more excited about City of Ashes, which, naturally, left me more excited for City of Glass.

I always try and avoid spoilers in my reviews but with this being book three in a series, I’m sure you’ll understand that there are certain things that can’t be avoided either in the synopsis or my review.

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?

As with the previous books, City of Glass is action packed – if not a little bit too much. I struggled with the first part of the book, finding the whole thing a bit convoluted and melodramatic. It was certainly all building up to something, and you could feel that in the pages that were covered in about the first two thirds of the book. I was almost reluctant to carry on at one point. However, I’m glad I did, as it did end up being worthwhile.

There’s a lot of character development that goes on within the book, and certainly a lot of more awareness that develops too, both between the characters, and between reader and characters. You know what Jace is going to do at a certain point because of how he’s feeling. You know how Clary will handle the situation laid out before her because of who she is. It just goes to show that a few books can really help you form a connection with who you’re reading about, making them almost as real as… well, real people.

What really appealed to me about this book was how much to rely on your gut instinct as a reader, which probably links in to what I’ve said above. There were people and situations I had immediate reactions too, suspicions that I trusted and turned out to be right, and that is a real credit to the author where it comes to having created a reliable world, full of characters we’ve not only come to know well, but an author who we know well too.

It becomes very clear why the reading order pauses in the Mortal Instruments at the end of this book to go in other directions for a while as there is a real – temporary – finality about the ending that allows for us to step back. Maybe not a happily ever after, but certainly a stop. It was a very intense book, with so much packed into the pages. I’m excited to step away for a bit but also excited to come back to it after, as I can’t help but wonder what comes next, now that certain things are clarified, and secrets revealed.

Stop by next Saturday when Read To Ramble, Fi’s Bibliofiles and I will all be posting about The Red Scrolls of Magic, which focuses on one of my favourite characters of the series – Magnus Bane.


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