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City of Glass by Cassandra Clare Book Review

Updated: Jan 24, 2021

City of Glass

by Cassandra Clare

Published by McElderry Books

Book 3 in the Mortal Instruments Series

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?

Love is a mortal sin and the secrets of the past prove deadly as Clary and Jace face down Valentine in the third installment of the New York Times bestselling series The Mortal Instruments.


Violence Young Adult Exciting

Some Steamy Scenes Supernatural



City of Glass is the third book in Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments series, and centers around Clary and Jace, with shifting POV's between the two, and their friends/family: Simon, Isabelle, and Alec. City of Glass is very much a conclusion of one arc in this series, and the start of another.

If you have read the other reviews I have done of this series, you know this is a re-read for me. City of Glass has always been my favorite of the series, and still is. It's action packed, dramatic, intriguing ... We get fighting and an up close look at the Clave, romance, and best of all, long awaited answers. Among the genre, Cassandra Clare does her best to keep it fresh and interesting, and you can't deny that this series is unique.

We are exposed to a whole lot more characters in City of Glass, and we get quite a bit of growth with the ones we have gotten to know over the last two books. Clary seems to have accepted her heritage, and wants to be involved in what is going on around her. Cassandra does a good job at showing her age though in her, admittedly, reckless actions. Don't get me wrong, it pays off, but its a good reminder that gifted or not, she is still only sixteen. Jace's character, while tough on the outside, is probably the most vulnerable of the whole cast. He takes everything to heart, including the blood he thinks runs in his veins, and it affects everything in his life. Jace, despite his maturity in other areas, needs some work on loving and accepting himself, despite who raised him. Spoiler time (and thoughts on a new character) ---------> When I read this the first time, I just KNEW Clary and Jace were not brother and sister, and the third time reading these books, I still get giddy as all hell when they both find out. This leads us to a new character ... Clary's actual brother. Sebastian/Jonathon. I wasn't expecting that at all my first read through. I was sucked in and liked him ... right up until he got angry with her for pushing him away when he kissed her (which ... ew.) He is obviously the most dangerous of the Valentine/Jonathon duo. Insanely strong, able to act and be charming when needed, but has no empathy or compassion, and is truly demonic at heart. <----------

Another character I was impressed with in City of Glass is Alec, who -------> admits his feelings for Magnus, and comes out by kissing him in front of everyone. I loved it, and I love the two of them together. <--------. And while we don't get a whole lot of Magnus, we do get some, and what we do get is awesome, as usual. I loved when he froze Sebastian to have a private chat with Clary. We get a lot more Simon in this book, who is slowly adjusting to being a vampire, but they don't accept him. He grows up quite a bit in this book. He continues to be a wonderful friend to Clary, and is loyal not only to her, but to the other Shadowhunters he knows as well.

One of the best parts of the book ... and its a spoiler ----------> Luke confessing his feelings to Jocelyn, and when he thinks she doesn't feel the same way, he leaves ... only to have her go after him, and admit she loves him too. I wish Cassandra wrote a POV for this. Luke is one of my favorite characters, and to have this happen is so wonderful. <----------

City of Glass is a crazy ride from start to finish. There is rarely a moment of peace for these characters, and yet when the story beats them down, they get right back up. The series keeps getting better and better, and I am excited to read the last half the series.

Favorite Moments

  1. Luke saving Clary's life after her portal dropped them in a lake that poisons Shadowhunters

  2. As heart wrenching as it is, Jace and Clary's reunion, where they get into a massive fight.

  3. Magnus pretending to be Ragnor Fell

  4. Clary throwing a plate at Jace when she found out he brought Simon to Alicante

  5. Clary encouraging Jace to throw all of Valentine's journals on the floor, after telling her he was beaten once for touching them,

  6. Clary and Jace freeing the angel, and that make out sesh outside

  7. Alec saving Magnus

  8. Rescuing Simon, and the reveal with Sebastian

  9. A werewolf bringing Simon a live cat for blood

  10. Jace and Clary sleeping with one another

  11. Jocelyn's return, Clary confronting her, and her story, but best of all, finally confirmation that Jace and Clary are NOT related

  12. Clary's rune

  13. Alec kissing Magnus in front of everyone

  14. Jocelyn and Luke finally admitting their feelings for one another

  15. Isabelle saving Jace, and Jace saving Isabelle by killing Sebastian

  16. Clary taking over Valentine's summoning, and the angel bringing Jace back

  17. Amatis giving Jace a box of his real father's things

  18. Clary and Jace together in the end

Where to Buy

Favorite Quotes

Simon: "Look, did you ask me to come all the way uptown just so you could stare at me like I was something in a petri dish? Next time I'll send you a photo."

Jace: "And I'll frame it and put it on my nightstand."

Jace: "Clary. You know: short, redheaded, bad temper."

Simon: "Even if you thought it would help the Clave, you'd never let them have her."

Jace: "What makes you say that, vampire?"

Simon: "Because no one can have her but you."

Jace: "But you've never drunk fresh blood. Have you?"

Simon raised his own eyebrows in response.

Jace: "Well, aside from mine, of course. And I'm sure my blood is fan-tastic."

Simon: "There's something very wrong with you."

Sebastian: "I have a fetish for damsels in distress."

Clary: "Don't be sexist."

Sabastian: "Not at all. My services are also available to gentlemen in distress. It's an equal opportunity fetish."

Sebastian: "Are you - Ragnor Fell? The warlock."

Magnus: "Well, I'm certainly not Ragnor Fell the exotic dancer."

Clary: "He's nice, I promise."

Magnus: "Nice, bah. He's gorgeous. You should leave him here. I could hang hats on him and things."

Clary: "No, you can't have him."

Magnus: "I saw him going for your hand out there like a squirrel diving for a peanut."

Clary: "You said you just wanted to be my brother for now on."

Jace: "I lied. Demons lie, Clary. You know, there are some kinds of wounds you can get when you're a Shadowhunter - internal injuries from demon poison. You don't even know what's wrong with you, but you're bleeding to death slowly inside. That's what it's like, just being your brother."

Clary: "But Alice -"

Jace: "I had to try. And I did. But God knows, I don't want anyone but you. I don't even want to want anyone but you. Now at least I know why."

Clary: "I don't want anyone but you, either."

Alec: "You never called me back. I called you so many times, and you never called me back."

Magnus looked at Alec like he'd lost his mind

Magnus: "Your city is under attack. The wards have broken, and the streets are full on demons. And you want to know why I haven't called you?"

Alec: "I want to know why you didn't call me back."

Magnus threw his hands up in the air in a gesture of utter exasperation.

Magnus: "You're an idiot."

Alec: "Is that why you didn't call me back? Because I'm an idiot?"

Jace: "I wish I had time to train you for this. Of course, by all rights, no one with as little training as you should be able to use a seraph blade at all. It surprised me before, but now that we know what Valentine did-"

Clary: "Or maybe you were just worried that if you did train me properly, I'd turn out to be better than you."

Malachi: "I don't remember the Clave inviting you into the Glass City, Magnus Bane."

Magnus: "They didn't. Your wards are down."

Malachi: "Really? I hadn't noticed."

Magnus: "That's terrible. Someone should have told you."

He glanced at Luke

Magnus: "Tell him the wards are down."

Jace: "You had to make a crazy jail friend, didn't you? You just couldn't count ceiling tiles or tame a pet mouse like normal prisoners do?"

Simon: "Have you tried talking to her?"

Jace: "No, we've been punching her repeatedly in the face instead. Why, do you think that won't work?"

Jace: "After what happened on the boat, he's interested in you. Which means you need to be careful. Very careful. In fact, it wouldn't hurt if you just spent the next few days inside. You can lock yourself in your room like Isabelle."

Clary: "I'm not going to do that."

Jace: "Of course you're not, because you love to torture me, don't you?"

Jace: "And then to find out that the reason I felt like that - like you were some part of me I'd lost and never even knew I was missing until I saw you again - that reason was that you were my sister, it felt like some sort of cosmic joke. Like god was spitting on me. I don't even know for what - for thinking that I'd actually get to have you, that I would deserve something like that, to be that happy. I couldn't imagine what it was i'd done that I was being punished for -"

Clary: "If you're being punished, then so am I. Because all those things you felt, I felt them, too, but we can't - we have to stop feeling this way, because it's our only chance."

Jace: "Our only chance for what?"

Clary: "To be together at all. Because otherwise we can't ever be around each other, not even just in the same room, and I can't stand that. I'd rather have you in my life even as a brother than not at all -"

Jace: "And I'm supposed to sit by while you date boys, fall in love with someone else, get married ...? And meanwhile, I'll die a little bit more every day, watching."

Clary: "No. You won't care by then. Please. If we don't say anything - if we just pretend -"

Jace: "There is no pretending. I love you, and I will love you until I die, and if there's a life after that, I'll love you then."

Jace: "Look at me. Look at me and tell me I'm an ordinary seventeen-year-old."

Luke: "There's nothing ordinary about you."

Isabelle: "You thought it was amazing that you could see us, and it was, but what was amazing to me was that Jace could see you, too."

Clary: "You stole my memories. You took them away from me. You took away who I was."

Jocelyn: "That's not who you are! I never wanted it to be who you were -"

Clary: "It doesn't matter what you wanted! It is who I am! You took all that away from me and it didn't belong to you!"

Simon: "I could tell how much you liked him, and I thought he was using you, that you were just some stupid mundane girl he could impress with his Shadowhunter tricks. First I told myself that you'd never fall for it, and then that even if you did, he'd get tired of you eventually and you'd come back to me. I'm not proud of that, but when you're desperate, you'll believe anything, I guess. And then when he turned out to be your brother, it seemed like a last minute reprieve - and I was glad. I was even glad to see how much he seemed to be suffering, until that night in the Seelie Court when you kissed him. I could see ..."

Clary: "See what?"

Simon: "The way he looked at you. I got it then. He was never using you. He loved you, and it was killing him."

Simon: "I don't regret daring you. I'm glad we tried. And I love you for trying, even if it was never going to work."

Clary: "I wanted it to work so much. I never wanted to hurt you."

Simon: "I wouldn't change it. I wouldn't give up loving you. Not for anything. You know what Raphael told me? That I didn't know how to be a good vampire, that vampires accept that they're dead. But as long as I remember what it was like to love you, I'll always feel like I'm alive."

Simon: "So, technically, even though Jace isn't actually related to you, you have kissed your brother."

Clary: "Simon! Shut UP. Don't make me sorry I ever told you any of this, Simon. Besides. He was a horrible kisser."

Simon: "Or maybe it was just gross, because he was, you know, your brother."

Clary: "Doing the right thing because you love someone sucks sometimes."

Magnus: "It does, at that."

Isabelle: "Are you going to ask him to be your partner? It's like a cotillion, this partners business, except with killing."

Simon: "So, exactly like a cotillion."

Jocelyn: "If you lay one hand on Simon, vampire, I'll have you chopped up into tiny pieces and fed to my cat. Understand?"

Valentine: "It wasn't a son I needed. It was a soldier. I had thought Jonathan might be that soldier, but he had too much of that demon nature in him. He was too savage, too sudden, not subtle enough. I feared even then, when he was barely out of infancy, that he would never have the patience or the compassion to follow me, to lead the Clave in my footsteps. So I tried again with you. And with you I had the opposite trouble. You were too gentle. Too empathic. You felt others' pain as if it were your own; you couldn't even bear the death of your pets. Understand this, my son - I loved you for those things. But the very things I loved about you made you no use to me."

Jace: "So you thought I was soft and useless. I suppose it will be surprising for you, then, when your soft and useless son cuts your throat."

Jace: "You could have had anything else in the world, and you asked for me."

Clary: "But I don't want anything else in the world."

Jace: "She said something to me. While she was dying. She said, 'Your father would be proud of you.' I thought she was being cruel. I thought she meant Valentine ..."

Amatis: "She meant Stephen. And she was right. He would have been."

Amatis: "All Lucian wants is you. You and Clary. That's all he ever wanted."

Clary: "If you don't go after Luke, I, personally, will kill you."

Jocelyn: "Well, if you put it like that."

Clary: "Poor you, you have two cute girls vying for your love. Your life is hard."

Simon: "I mean that I would never date a girl who insisted that I cut you out of my life. It's non-negotiable. You want a piece of all this fabulousness?"

He gestured at himself

Simon: "Well, my best friend comes along with it. I wouldn't cut you out of my life, Clary, any more than I would cut off my right hand and give it to someone as a Valentine's Day gift."

Clary: "Gross. Must you?"

Simon: "I must."

Jace: "I always thought love made you stupid. Made you weak. A bad Shadowhunter. To love is to destroy. I believed that. I used to think being a good warrior meant not caring. About anything, myself especially. I took every risk I could. I flung myself in the path of demons. I think I gave Alec a complex about what kind of fighter he was, just because he wanted to live. And then I met you. You were a mundane. Weak. Not a fighter. Never trained. And then I saw how much you loved your mother, loved Simon, and how you'd walk into hell to save them. You did walk into that vampire hotel. Shadowhunters with a decade of experience wouldn't have tried that. Love didn't make you weak, it made you stronger than anyone I'd ever met. And I realized I was the one who was weak."

Jace: "Clary, since the first time I saw you, I have belonged to you completely. I still do. If you want me."

Jace: "Is this the part where you tell me that if I hurt her, you'll kill me?"

Simon: "No. If you hurt Clary, she's quite capable of killing you herself. Possibly with a variety of weapons."

Jace looked pleased by the thought


City of Glass Extra Scenes: Becoming Sebastian

Check out the rest of the Mortal Instruments Series below

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