The third book in Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series, `City of Glass` is possible the best yet. Despite the ease to which I read the previous books, I was looking forward to seeing where this next one took the adventure… and it was certainly no disappointment.
Clary finds herself travelling to the city of Alicante, the central home for all of the Shadowhunters. But it is desperation that forces her hand and things only seem to go from bad to worse as the danger is revealed to be far more complicated and deadly than anyone saw coming as Valentine attacks the Clave itself with an army of demons.
Despite the excitement of the constant threats, it is Clare’s ability to weave twists and turns into her narration that the reader does not see coming that keeps the story quite so gripping. There is simply no way of knowing what is coming next, and the book reveals that Clare is not afraid to shy away from the grimy details involving war; especially the fact that innocents are hurt just as much as the guilty.
Even the twists don’t truly give enough credit to the amount of different subplots that are woven throughout this story. I’m not sure it is possible to truly describe what has happened to someone and actually do it credit. There is a battle on the surface, but underneath there is so much more than that. Forbidden love, issues of guilt and desire and the past raising its ugly head threaten to consume and destroy the characters far more than any demon could manage.
This complexity has made me realise I was wrong to think that the books were aimed at a younger audience. The amount of times I flinched, gasped and completely lost myself in the book revealed that it is just as engaging as anything else that I have read. The characters are deep and complex, with flaws and irritations that make them human; a trap that so many authors fall into by trying to make their character too good. The switch between the different narrators also helps to keep the narration fresh and flowing because it enables you to see the bigger picture; both from the perspective of those who know the world and those who are discovering it along with us.
It was this third book that helped me to realise that I had got to the stage where I cared what happened with the characters. How it was left has made more than intrigued as to where the story is going next due to a change in circumstances that I didn’t see coming. In a way, I’m glad. It will stop a fight from becoming tedious and allow the characters to truly move on now that events unfolded the way they did.
I’m thoroughly looking forward to the next book, more so than before, now I’ve realised just how involved with this world I have found myself becoming. A thoroughly enjoyable story from beginning to end.