Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Mortal Instruments: City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

(In which we finally get answers.)


The bad thing about reading a series late (i.e., when the series already has five books and is already turned into a movie) is that you get the terrible feeling that everybody already knows it except you, which kind of justify the necessity of adding fomo (fear of missing out) to the Oxford Dictionary. The good thing (and believe me when I say it outweighs the bad) is that you don’t get to suffer from the more terrible feeling of waiting for the next book to come. You finished one book and move on to the next without further ado. Now, that’s addicting. And a convenient addiction at that.

At this point, I have to tell you that spoilers, albeit minor, are included in this blog post. Continue reading at your own risk.

When Clary receives an invisible-to-mundanes visitor in the City of Ashes, she realizes that the coma her mother is suffering from is self-induced and could be reversed by a warlock named Ragnor Fell. And she decides to go to Idris, the home of the Shadowhunters, to find the warlock and wake her mother up. The City of Glass opens with Jace, along with the Lightwoods preparing to go home to attend the Clave meeting especially now that they know that Valentine plans a large-scale war against the Clave. Clary intends to go with the Lightwoods but due a sudden attack of Forsaken, she is left behind and is forced to open up a Portal to Idris. Upon arriving there, she is welcomed by the poisoning waters of Lake Lyn, followed by a meeting with Luke’s sister, then a meeting with Sebastian Verlac (who eventually helps her find Ragnor Fell) and finally walking in on Jace and his new girlfriend in the Penhallow’s house.

Despite the awkwardness of things, Clary is determined to seek all necessary help from anyone who is willing to give it in order to save her mother, even if it means asking Jace to take her to the Wayland manor to retrieve a book that will reverse the coma-inducing spell Jocelyn puts on herself. In there they find the book, along with some of Valentine’s nastiest secrets. And in their final attempt to right the wrongs done by long-running philosophical feuds among Shadowhunters and Downworlders, Jace and Clary discover the truth about their powers, their families and the fact that they are not siblings. 

Among the first three installments, it is not unfair to say that City of Glass is the most exciting aside from the fact that it is the most action-packed; what with the rain of demons from Valentine’s army and the children of the Night, Moon, Lilith and Faerie all coming together against one common enemy in an epic warfare. But what really makes it exciting is the transformation of the characters. Clary is more determined and more powerful while Jace is more expressively passionate and aggressive. And Simon, the geeky, playing safe Simon, finally learns the value of true sacrifice. 

City of Glass is a complex tapestry of the grand battle against extinction and corruption, woven with lies, deception, confession and acceptance all in one thread. It is an opus with themes as fragile as glass itself. In an equally-fragile city inhabited with equally-fragile characters, Jace and Clary and all the major teenage Shadowhunters are forced to maturity, with the realization that the path to the truth is led by love. In the final pages, however, they discover that love might also be the cause of their downfall.

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