City of Glass — Cassandra Clare

City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

TITLE: City of Glass
AUTHOR: Cassandra Clare
SERIES: The Mortal Instruments, #3
RELEASED: March 24th, 2009; Margaret Ferguson Books
GENRE: Fantasy
AGE RANGE: YA

SYNOPSIS: 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 her best friend, 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?

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book 1 | book 2

A lot of people told me that the series picked up with book three, and I have to say that those people were absolutely right—this was an easy 4.5-star read and I almost rounded up to 5, even. The pacing was better than the first two books, the character development was delightful, and all of the delicious angst and romance and fighting that Cassie writes so well was present and accounted for.

“And now I’m looking at you,” he said, “and you’re asking me if I still want you, as if I could stop loving you. As if I would want to give up the thing that makes me stronger than anything else ever has.”

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First, we gotta talk about Jace and Clary. I won’t spoil in this review, but if you’ve read the book, you know about the big twist, and I was so freaking ready for it! I knew it was coming because I’d been spoiled for it back in Bones, but I think knowing it was coming was even better than if I hadn’t, because it was just this fantastic buildup that constantly left me tearing through the next chapter, waiting to get to the big reveal.

“I know it’s wrong—God, it’s all kinds of wrong—but I just want to lie down with you and wake up with you, just once, just once ever in my life.”

There are so many fantastic moments between the two of them, and even though I know they’re not a tremendously popular one as far as Cassie’s ships go, I’m a sucker for the bad-boy-gone-good, so Jace totally has my heart in this series. He made me cry, like, three times—and okay, yeah, I cry at books a lot anyways, BUT THAT’S BESIDE THE POINT. He’s precious.

“They didn’t,” Magnus said. “Your wards are down.”
“Really?” The Consul’s voice dripped sarcasm. “I hadn’t noticed.”
Magnus looked concerned. “That’s terrible. Someone should have told you.” He glanced at Luke. “Tell him the wards are down.”

The real MVP of this series, though, hands down, is Magnus Bane. My god, I know I rambled about him forever in my review for Ashes, too, but I just love this weird little fabulous warlock so much. He’s so damn funny—like, literally makes me laugh out loud in almost every scene he’s in—and he works his witchy little ass off to keep the Shadowhunters safe, even when the Nephilim treat him like garbage half the time. Plus, the development in his romance with a certain Shadowhunter? RIP me, because the cuteness is TOO MUCH.

“No,” Simon said. “If you hurt Clary, she’s quite capable of killing you herself. Possibly with a variety of weapons.”

Probably the most unexpected thing for me, though, was how much I grew to tolerate (okay, maybe even like, just a little…) Simon. I couldn’t stand him in either of the first two books, but he grows so much and really comes into his own in this one, and I respected his character development a lot. Something that fascinates me about reading this series is watching just how quickly Cassandra Clare’s writing evolved, between Simon’s shift from lovesick/kicked puppy to actually-not-totally-useless-dude-friend, and Clary/Isabelle’s growing understanding of one another and the way they move away from the trope-y girl-hate that happens a little in Bones.

Magnus looked at Alec as if he’d lost his mind. “Your city is under attack,” he said. “The wards have been broken, and the streets are full of demons. And you want to know why I haven’t called you?”

Overall, I know this series gets picked at a bit nowadays, because it does fall into some of the standard mid- to late-2000s paranormal fantasy tropes, but honestly, I encourage anyone who hasn’t ever read these books to give them a try. The writing is flawed (though, like I said, quickly improving as I continue reading), and the characters make some pretty idiotic choices every now and again (more like all the time, but it’s part of the charm, I swear), but this series has just been such a fun ride for me. The books are so fun and action-packed, full of angst and drama, and honestly, for the time in which they were published, they’re pretty remarkably well-stocked with diverse characters and representation. They’re not perfect, but they’re certainly worth your time.

“Good things come to those who wait.”
“I always thought that was ‘good things come to those who do the wave’,” said Simon. “No wonder I’ve been so confused all my life.”

(I don’t have anything else to say, I just really liked this quote.)

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Just a 25-year-old trying to juggle motherhood, grad school, blogging, gaming, and everyday life.

19 thoughts on “City of Glass — Cassandra Clare

  1. Ah, I am so torn on these and this author. Part of me feels it will be insta love (for me not the characters haha) and part of me has been convinced by friends who practically despise the series to avoid it. I will at some point just take the plunge and test the waters 💖 Your review is favorable and encouraging 😉

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    1. Okay, so I will not ever judge you for what you read or don’t read – EVER – so if you go, “You know what, Destiny, I’m just not here for the Cassie Clare books,” I’ll be like “okay!” and love you anyways. BUT. I would like to say that I know sooooo many people who literally wish this series had never been created, and while I respect their opinions, MOST of the arguments I’ve heard for why they hate these books just… feel very out of context to me. For example, I have one friend who hated the series with a passion and says it’s because they think Magnus Bane’s bi rep is very bad, because he’s very flamboyant and a party boy and a little wild – but I don’t agree with that, as a bi woman who, when I was single, lived a very flamboyant/partying/wild lifestyle haha! That’s just ONE example out of MANY when it comes to warnings I was given that have just… not turned out to be very accurate! That said, even if you read them and end up hating them, like I said, no judging 😀 ♥

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      1. Haha, as also a bi woman (who was once upon a time young 😉) I can relate to having a flamboyant side and accept that. So I probably will not have an issue with Magnus. I have one box set here already. So they will most definitely be receiving some attention (good or bad) at some point 💖

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  2. This is such a great review! Being such a massive fan of Cassie Clare I literally get so excited when I see people loving her books 😂 so glad you’re enjoying this series Destiny! ❤️

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  3. I have to say this one is one of my least favorite in the series, but it is also where Magnus shines a lot, which is the only reason why I gave it 3 starts xD It’s kinda ironic how Clary and Jace is the main ship in this series but they ended up being one of the least popular…

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    1. Aw, sorry to hear that! City of Ashes has been my least favorite so far. I do love Magnus’ bits in this one. And yeah, it always surprises me that Jace/Clary is so unpopular – a lot of people that I know seem to actually outright HATE their ship, and maybe I’ll see it differently when I finish the series, but as of right now, I don’t understand it at all lol! I think they’re cute.

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  4. This is also my favorite TMI book so far! I’m going to start Clockwork Princess soon! But I think it’s a fun series and I’m glad you’re enjoying it!

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