January 13, 2017
Warning! Contains Spoilers for pretty much the whole series!
“People aren’t born good or bad. Maybe they’re born with tendencies either way, but it’s the way you live your life that matters.” ― Cassandra Clare, City of Glass
Demon or Angel?
That seems to be a big theme in book three of “The Mortal Instruments” series: “City of Glass” by Cassandra Clare. Book three is my favourite of the six, with “City of Heavenly Fire” as a close second. I think the main reason I love it so much is because it deals with the struggle between light and dark whether it’s internal or external. There is of course the physical dark vs. light with the Clave, Downworlders, etc versus Valentine and the demons and then there is the emotional struggle within our characters.
Clary and Jace are both struggling with their feelings for each other as they believe it is wrong. Then, there is Simon who has become the ultimate outcast. He doesn’t belong with the Mundanes, the Nephilim, and now the vampires have turned their backs on him because he is now a daylighter and that causes him to constantly fight within himself and to keep himself grounded. Finally, there is Alec. We see a bit of his inner turmoil in book two: “City of Ashes” when it comes to Magnus and just his sexuality in general.
Throughout the novel, these struggles get resolved in a sense. Some in the more obvious manners like Clary and Jace. Simon has a lot farther to go, but Alec seems to get over his in the end and takes charge which by the way is my favourite scene. However, we all know that Alec doesn’t stay drama free for long. *cough* City of Lost Souls. When we are talking about evil, we have to acknowledge Valentine. When I first read the books, I hated Valentine, but now I am starting to like him. He is just a very well written villain and really helped ease the reader into the darkness of the Shadow World. Notice how I said, ease? That’s because we get the biggest bad introduced in book three, that’s right, SEBASTIAN MORGENSTERN, also known as Jonathan Christopher Morgenstern.
Now we all did it, don’t lie, we all shipped Sebastian and Clary for at least three pages. We may act like it never happened now, but there was a moment. Sebastian is definitely a favourite character of mine throughout the rest of the books and I don’t know if it’s his charm or that he actually loves Clary and wants to protect her…even if it’s in a very creepy and sadistic way. I really like the dynamic between Sebastian and Jace as well, makes the story even that much more interesting.
Taking a break from our favourite psychopaths, I want to talk about Isabelle. For the past two books we have seen her as this strong, badass warrior, and we never really saw her vulnerable side. We’ve seen it with Jace, Alec, Clary, Magnus, even Luke, but Izzy has always been able to shove her feelings down for the most part, that is until her little brother dies. Max’s death…I wasn’t expecting it the first time around and even though I knew it was coming, it still broke my heart.
When Max dies, I think it is the main trigger for the separation of Robert and Maryse. I know they always fought, but I really believe it was the lost of their youngest that sent them over the edge. Robert had the more severe, hard reaction as he left the family and eventually became the new Inquisitor for the Clave. When it comes to Maryse, I think it thawed her a bit more. I think it made them realize how quickly their children can be taken away from them. There is a scene in the end of the book in which Clary notices Maryse and Robert shaking hands with Magnus and it just always makes me smile.
Another component I would like to focus on is the government of the Shadow World. The Clave is really focused on throughout book three and it always reminds me of “Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix.” The Clave won’t listen to Luke or Clary and especially Jace. It all becomes a big mess and I love that in the end, Luke becomes this big hot shot in Idris.
I could go on and on about “City of Glass” but then this post would be pages long. I also have been working on this review for about six days, so I am going to end it here! Overall, this book is a solid 5/5 stars. It’s funny, heart-wrenching, dark, action packed, and I can guarantee I will be reading this again in the future!