City of Glass is the third instalment in Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments series. It was originally the last in a trilogy, but she’s since written, not only a prequel trilogy, but two more books following on from City of Glass. You can read my review of the first book, City of Bones, and the second book, City of Ashes at their respective links.
While I enjoyed City of Ashes, it was mostly for the continuation of story and more of the same enjoyable writing rather than something specific that grabbed me. Conversely, I found I had a stronger and more specific reaction to City of Glass.
My favourite aspect was the characters and their development. Over the past three books, all the central characters have grown and matured. The most obvious is Clary coming to terms with the world of Shadowhunters and miscellaneous supernatural beings and coming into her abilities. There’s also Jace coming to terms with who he is and who he wants to be (ambiguous to avoid spoilers) which is itself an interesting storyline. As a character brought up in the supernatural world, I liked that his place in the world wasn’t as clear cut as it first seemed or as a parallel character’s in a different book might have been.
My feelings changed the most over the three books towards Simon. I greatly disliked him in the first book, but by the third he was kind of endearing. His is also one of the most dramatic character journeys (for reasons which are spoilery). Personally, I went from hoping he would die in a demon attack to hoping he’d stick around for book four, so yay Simon. (Clary, Luke and Jace are still my favourites though.)
Being originally a trilogy book three, City of Glass has a lot of action and a climax worthy of an entire trilogy. Despite all the running around fighting, there’s still quite a bit of plot and character development, which was a nice balance. Overall, I enjoyed it very much.
I recommend The Mortal Instruments series to lovers of urban fantasy or YA fantasy. So far it’s been consistently well-written and engaging. However, I definitely don’t suggest starting with City of Glass. There’s a lot of continuity and it’s best to start with the first book, City of Bones.
4.5 / 5 stars