City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare Book Review

Updated: Jan 24, 2021

City of Lost Souls

by Cassandra Clare

Published by Margaret K McElderry Books

Book 5 in the Mortal Instruments Series

What price is too high to pay, even for love?

When Jace and Clary meet again, Clary is horrified to discover that the demon Lilith’s magic has bound her beloved Jace together with her evil brother Sebastian, and that Jace has become a servant of evil. The Clave is out to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. As Alec, Magnus, Simon, and Isabelle wheedle and bargain with Seelies, demons, and the merciless Iron Sisters to try to save Jace, Clary plays a dangerous game of her own. The price of losing is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she still trust him? Or is he truly lost?

Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. Darkness threatens to claim the Shadowhunters in the harrowing fifth book of the Mortal Instruments series.


Violence Young Adult Exciting

Some Steamy Scenes Supernatural


City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare is the fifth book in the Mortal Instruments series, and centers around Clary Fray, her boyfriend Jace Herondale (Lightwood), her friends Isabelle and Alex Lightwood, Simon Lewis, Magnus Bane, Maia Roberts, and Jordan Kyle. There is also her family, her mother Jocelyn Fray, her stepfather, Luke Garroway, and her estranged and demonic brother "Sebastian", otherwise known as Jonathon Morganstern. City of Lost Souls starts off weeks after the end of City of Fallen Angels, with Jace missing, and the shadowhunters hunting for Sebastian. When it is discovered that Lilith's ritual bound Jace to Sebastian, Clary is willing to do anything to save Jace, and take Sebastian down once and for all.

Now this is much better. After the last book, I wasn't sure if I could power through this series (reminder, this is a re-read for me, so I know what is going to happen), but City of Lost Souls is much more exciting, and darker, and ages a bit with its readers. Whereas the past 4 books felt very young adult, we have now headed into upper YA territory, with a little more sexually charged moments, and even experimentation with drugs. It made this book much easier to read, and I felt, compared to the last book, we got more actual plot than filler. There were some things I didn't like, such as, Clary's sudden talent at fighting. As someone who has had barely any proper training, it seems a bit implausible.

One of the best things of this book has going for it is the characters growth (something I mentioned they were all lacking in the last book). Clary still jumps into situations, but she at least has the foresight of telling someone her plans, unlike in the past. Jace's revelation after his "possession" about his life, and the good in it, is the best character arc. Dark and broody can only be enticing for so long before it becomes boring. Simon and Isabelle's tiptoeing around each other felt very realistic. Alec and Magnus's problems regarding mortality is a very understandable issue, and something not frequently addressed in other books to this extent. I could have done without Jordan and Maia's storyline, but it was nice to see what came of it.

City of Lost Souls is a big save for this series, which tends to drag a bit in some books. It's obviously setting up for a big conclusion.