Thursday, 19 March 2009

City of Glass / Cassandra Clare

Summary - With two of the Mortal Instruments now in Valentine's hands, the world of the Shadowhunters teeters on the brink of civil war. Jace and the Lightwoods are recalled to Idris, the Shadowhunters' remote and hidden home country, where a search has began for the last of the Instruments, the Mortal Glass. Clary finds herself caught up in the chaos as the delicate social order of the Nephilim begins to shatter, pitting Downworlders and Shadowhunters against each other. When the City of Glass falls under attack, can Downworlders and Nephilim fight together to defeat Valentine, or will their longstanding hatred destroy them all? And when Clary discovers the unbelievable truth about her past, can she find Jace before it's too late?

Review - I will attempt not to spoil any developments for readers so forgive me if I am terribly vague. The third in the Mortal Instruments, City of Glass, was a fitting conclusion to a series of books that took me on a wild ride. I have met vampires, werewolves, shadowhunters, warlocks and elves and all of them have been well crafted and important to the story. Ultimately though, the story centres around the dynamic duo - the Luke and Leia - Jace and Clary.

I never really sympathised with the Jace character all that much. He flipped and flopped more than a fish gasping it's last breath on a dock but it was all understandable. I just didn't sympathise. In this book I did, I joined the legions of readers who felt for the boy raised by Valentine in horrid circumstances. I felt like I made a breakthrough.

The story chiefly occurs in the city of Idris where the Nephilium are meeting to make some important decisions in regard to Valentine's return. We meet the mysterious and charming Sebastian (he who's featured on the cover) and many favourites return. Jace and Clary are thrown together to stop Valentine before he can find the third mortal instrument and to save Jocelyn from her self-imposed slumber.

Simon has a very important role to play in this book. Though it is plain to see this is The Jace Book, I cannot help but feel that, for me, this is the Simon book. I have always been more partial to him and he's gone from beyond ordinary geek to extraordinary sun-walking vampire. His character is tested so much in this novel and he's never found wanting. He's had such an enormous arc and his willingness to be selfless will take your breath away. As does his ingenuity. Although his precarious situation for most of the first half of the book annoyed me as it occurred mainly due to the gullibility of the main characters. They are better and smarter than that and it takes them way too long to rectify the situation.

Clary has always been strong but here we see her break free from the expectations that have crowded her. She shakes off Jace's (and Jocelyn's) protectiveness and becomes her own person. There are many moments, of which I dare not, elaborate that show how cunning, resourceful and courageous this girl is. Of course she kisses a few boys too, if you are more interested in that.
Alec. My dear Alec. This boy is dear to my heart and his development continues as does Isobel. Both confront who they truly are when a major event forces them to focus on the things in life that truly matter. Magnus obviously comes into play here too and we see the softer, caring side to our flamboyant, warlock friend.

Luke - my favourite character who has far too little page time - goes above and beyond in his need to protect Clary. He's presence is felt throughout and there is a scene that happens in offpageville at the story's conclusion that I sorely wanted to see and am devastated that I couldn't.

The story concludes with many of the plotlines resolved. Some might argue that they are too neatly tied, I would say it is just right. It is my favourite of the three novels, the concluding action scenes alone are breathtaking, nauseating, frustrating, nail biting and exhilarating. Clare has written a novel that will leave the majority (there's always a few downers) of fans satisfied and happy. It's pace is fantastic, you never feel like you are sweating the small stuff although some characters may not have been necessary. The inclusion of more societal hierarchy issues proved to be interesting, specifically Clary's solution to it.

I am going to finish off my frustratingly vague review by saying that any novel that mentioned Spinal Tap's rotation of drummers, gets the P.Snark seal of approval. That and it's a jolly good read.

Published: 24 March, 2009
Format: Paperback,
Publisher: Walker Books, Aust.
Origin: USA

Cassandra Clare's Video to Australian fans on the release of City of Glass - look at all those pretty cats, achooo.


H said...

Luke's my favourite character too =)

prophecygirl said...

This review has made me very excited. I can't wait!

Anonymous said...

i absolutely love jace i knew that jace and clary weren't 'siblings!!!
anyway you have to read the book...
jace is my favourite character all the way

Rhiannon said...

ahh, the hubby just couldn't dig Jace either. Though he had me in stitches most of the time. Boys who make me laugh are winners!
I've linked to your review here: