top of page

City Of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare book review

Updated: Jan 24, 2021

City of Fallen Angels

by Cassandra Clare

Published by McElderry Books

Book 4 in the Mortal Instruments Series

The Mortal War is over, and sixteen-year-old Clary Fray is back home in New York, excited about all the possibilities before her.

She’s training to become a Shadowhunter and to use her unique power. Her mother is getting married to the love of her life. Downworlders and Shadowhunters are at peace at last. And—most importantly of all—she can finally call Jace her boyfriend.

But nothing comes without a price.

Someone is murdering Shadowhunters, provoking tensions between Downworlders and Shadowhunters that could lead to a second, bloody war. Clary’s best friend, Simon, can’t help her—his mother just found out that he’s a vampire, and now he’s homeless. When Jace begins to pull away from her without explaining why, Clary is forced to delve into the heart of a mystery whose solution reveals her worst nightmare: she herself has set in motion a terrible chain of events that could lead to her losing everything she loves. Even Jace.


Violence Young Adult Meh.




City of Fallen Angels is the fourth book in Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments series, and centers around Clary Frey, Jace Herondale, Simon Lewis, Isabelle and Alec Lightwood, Magnus Bane, Jordan Kyle, Maia Roberts, Jocelyn Frey and Luke Garroway. When everything seems to be the way its supposed to be, suddenly shadowhunters are being murdered, and Jace starts avoiding Clary. When Clary decides to take action and figure out what is happening to Jace and who is killing shadowhunters, she ends up finding out her actions are the cause to what is happening.

So the first time I read this, I liked it. The second time I read this, I think I stopped halfway through. The third time I read this (and it's been 5+ years since my last readthrough) I had to push myself to finish it just for this review. City of Fallen Angels is consistent with the rest of the series. Unique in the way it combines teenage angst with the supernatural nature of these books. My problem was, it was boring. Most of it was filler to get to the end. There was hardly any character growth and everyone seemed to have hit a wall in development. And I feel like Clary and Jace went through a separation already ... we are just recycling plot at this point.

Clary is now training to be a Shadowhunter full time, and I would have loved to see more of her training. Otherwise, her character has stalled out. Jace is the same way. Still see's the worst of himself. Still tries dealing with it alone. Doesn't think he is good enough. By the fourth book, he should be moving past this. Simon's character grew a tiny bit. He is now starting to really think about what being a vampire means for him, and the impact on the future. I think the whole thing with Izzy and Mia was odd, because it isn't consistent with his character in the past. I do like that Izzy is starting to feel something for him. It shows a lot of growth with her character, which is sad that a side character gets the most development. I liked the arc with Mia and the newest addition to the series, Jordan. Their story works for them in the supernatural sense. Alec and Magnus's arc isn't unique amongst all books that involve a moral and immortal. There isn't an easy solution, and I am kind of glad it was left off unsolved, as it isn't meant to be easily solved.

City of Fallen Angels, in my opinion, wasn't needed. I think we could have cut 90% of this novel, added the 10% to the next one, and called it a day. But it is a part of this series, and while not my favorite book in it, don't skip out on it! :)

Favorite Moments

  1. Clary and Jace's make out in the park

  2. The dress shop

  3. Clary and Jace's hot make out in the alley

  4. and their hot make out in his room ....

  5. Isabelle realizing her feelings for Simon

  6. Clary cutting the mark on Jace, releasing him from his control

  7. Clary and Jace telling each other they love one another

Where to Buy

Favorite Quotes

Isabelle: "What is that?"

Simon: "That's Count Blintzula."

Isabelle: "Count Blintzula?"

Simon shrugged

Simon: "It's a Halloween decoration. Count Blintzula is for kids. It's like Count Chocula, or the Count on Sesame Street."

He grinned at her blank look

Simon: "You know. He teaches kids how to count."

Isabelle was shaking her head.

Isabelle: "There's a TV show where children are taught how to count by a vampire?"

Simon: "It would make sense if you'd seen it."

Isabelle: "There's some mythological basis for such a construction. Some legends do assert that vampires are obsessed with counting, and that if you spill grains of rice in front of them, they'll have to stop what they're going and count each one. There's no truth in it, of course, any more than that business about garlic. And vampires have no business teaching children. Vampires are terrifying."

Simon: "Thank you. It's a joke, Isabelle. He's the Count. He likes counting. You know. 'What did the Count eat today, children? One chocolate chip cookie, two chocolate chip cookies, three chocolate chip cookies ..."

Isabelle: "It's not realistic."

Simon: "What would you prefer? 'What did the Count eat today, children? One helpless villager, two helpless villagers, three helpless villagers ..."

Isabelle: "Vampire saliva has properties ... transformative properties."

Simon: "Yech."

Isabelle: "Don't 'yech' me. You're the one with the magical spit."

Clary: "You're dating two beautiful girls at once. Think about it. That's like ... rock-star problems."

Simon: "Having rock-star problems may be the closest I ever get to being an actual rock star."

Clary: "No one told you to call your band Salacious Mold, my friend."

Simon: "We're Millennium Lint now."

Jace: "Nice. As graceful as a falling snowflake."

Clary: "Was I screaming? You know, on the way down?"

He nodded

Jace: "Thankfully no one's home, or they would have assumed I was murdering you."

Jace: "I assumed his idea of a date would be making you watch him play World of Warcraft with his nerd friends."

Clary: "I am one of this nerd friends, thank you."

Jace grinned at her.

Clary: "I think that you should let him try out."

Simon: "Why?"

Clary: "Because he is superhot. And your band needs some sex appeal."

Simon: "Thank you. On behalf of us all, thank you very much."

Clary: "What were you dreaming about?"

Jace: "You. I always dream about you."

Clary: "You always find the right quote, or the right thing to say to make me believe you love me. If I can't convince you that I'll never leave you -"

Jace: "Just say it again."

Clary: "I'll never leave you."

Jace: "No matter what happens, what I do?"

Clary: "I'd never give up on you. Never. What I feel about you - It's the most important thing I've ever felt."

Jace: "L'amor che move il sole e l'altre stelle."

Clary: "Is that Latin?"

Jace: "Italian. Dante."

Clary: "I don't speak Italian."

Jace: "It means that love is the most powerful force in the world. That love can do anything."

Jace: "We came here to train, and we should train. If we just spend all the time we're supposed to be training making out instead, they'll quit letting me help train you all."

Clary: "Aren't they supposed to be hiring someone else to train me full-time anyway?"

Jace: "Yes, and I'm worried that if you get into the habit of making out with your instructors, you'll wind up making out with him, too."

Clary: "Don't be sexist. They could find me a female instructor."

Jace: "In that case you have my permission to make out with her, as long as I can watch."

Jace: "Everything is ... so white."

Simon: "Of course it's white. It's a wedding."

Luke: "White for shadowhunters is the color of funerals. But for mundanes, Jace, it's the color of weddings. Brides wear white to symbolize their purity."

Simon: "I thought Jocelyn said her dress wasn't white?"

Jace: "Well, I suppose that ship has sailed."

Luke choked on his coffee

Jace: "I can see why you like it here. There's a thin layer of nerd all over everything."

Simon: "You look lousy."

Jace: "Seems an odd time to start an insult contest, but if you insist, I could probably think up something good."

Simon: "No, I mean it. You don't look good."

Jace: "This coming from a guy who has all the sex appeal of a penguin."

Jace: "You can't have two fathers."

Simon: "Sure you can. Who says you can't? We can buy you one of those books they have for little kids. Timmy Has Two Dads. Except I don't think they have one called Timmy Has Two Dads and One of Them Was Evil. That part you're just going to have to work through on your own."

Simon: "So how did you end up auditioning for my crappy band, then?"

Kyle: "I didn't realize you knew it was crappy."

Kyle: "You, well, I guess I'll see you around. You're the first Shadowhunter I've ever met."

Jace: "That's too bad, since all the ones you meet from now on will be a terrible letdown.:"

Isabelle: "That new lead singer they have is hot. Is he single? I'd like to ride him around town like a bad, bad pony ..."

Simon: "I didn't lie. We never said we were exclusive!"

He turned to Isabelle

Simon: "Neither did we! And I know you were dating other people -"

Isabelle: "Not people you know. Not your friends. How would you feel if you found out I was dating Eric?"

Simon: "Stunned, frankly. He isn't really your type."

Isabelle: "Yes, she's bleeding to death upstairs. I thought I'd avoid telling you right away, because I like to draw the suspense out."

Isabelle: "I didn't think about how it might have changed me. But I watch my brothers give their hearts away and I think, Don't you know better? Hearts are breakable. And I think even when you heal, you're never what you were before."

Simon: "Maybe you're better. I know I'm better."

Isabelle: "You mean Clary. Because she broke your heart."

Simon; "Into little pieces. You know, when someone prefers their own brother over you, it isn't a confidence booster."

Jace: "I didn't know. I didn't know you needed me."

Clary: "I always need you."

Jace: "I swear on the Angel. The hell with that. I swear on us."

Clary: "Why us?"

Jace: "Because there isn't anything I believe in more."

Jace: "Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death."

Clary: "Ours is stronger than that."

Alec: "How many other people? Roughly."

Magnus shook his head

Magnus: "I can't count, and it doesn't matter. The only thing that matters us how I feel about you."

Alec: "More than a hundred?"

Magnus looked blank

Alec: "Two hundred?"

Magnus: "I can't believe we're having this conversation now."

Alec: "Why so many? Do you get bored with people fast?"

Magnus: "I live forever. But not everyone does."

Jace: "If we're going to the Silent City, you might want to get dressed. I mean, I appreciate the bra-and-panties look, but I don't know if the Silent Brothers will. There are only a few of them left, and I don't want them to die of excitement."

Zachariah: Would that I had been here, when you were growing up. I would have seen the truth in your face, Jace Lightwood, and known who you were.

Simon: "I guess you're coming as my date now."

Kyle: "I'm secure enough in my masculinity to accept that. We'd better get you something nice to wear, though. I want you to look pretty."

Isabelle: "Don't bother her, don't try to talk to her, don't even look at her, or I'll fold you in half so many times you'll look like a tiny little origami werewolf."

Magnus: "Alexander. You can't be rude to everyone who talks to me."

Alec: "And why not? Cramping your style, am I? I mean, maybe you were hoping to flirt with werewolf boy here. He's pretty attractive, if you like the messy-haired, broad-shouldered, chiseled-good-looks type."

Jordan: "Hey, now."

Magnus put his head in his hands.

Alec: "Or there are plenty of pretty girls here, since apparently your taste goes both ways. Is there anything you aren't into?"

Magnus: "Mermaids. They always smell like seaweed."

Maia: "Bat says I shouldn't be so hard on you. He says guys do stupid things when girls are involved. Especially geeky ones who previously haven't had much luck with women."

Simon: "It's like he can see into my soul."

Magnus: "Isabelle. Lovely, wonderful Isabelle. Could you please go away? Now is a really bad time."

Isabelle: "Then, you don't want me to tell you that Camille's just escaped from the Sanctuary and my mother is demanding that you come back to the Institute right now to help them find her?"

Magnus: "No. I don't want you to tell me that."

Isabelle: "Latent homosexual panic will do you in every time."

Clary: "You were dead, and I brought you back. I upset the balance, not you. I opened the door for Lilith and her stupid ritual. I could have asked for anything, and I asked for you. And I would do it again. I love you Jace Wayland - Herondale - Lightwood - whatever you want to call yourself. I don't care. I love you and I will always love you, and pretending it could be any other way is just a waste of time."


Check out the rest of the Mortal Instruments Series

124 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
bottom of page