We’ve seen action, we’ve seen battles, but we have not yet seen war. In this third book of The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare, the shadowhunter’s fight against Valentine has reached its peak. War is coming, but it’s not coming to New York.
(Spoiler) After the battle on Valentine’s ship, things are more messed up than ever. Jace and the Lightwoods are wanted back in Idris, the City of Glass, home of the shadowhunters. Accidentally, they bring our favorite vampire, Simon, who is now the talk of the town (more like the world) as he becomes The Daylighter, with them. Simon, the only vampire who can walk in sunlight. When hot-head Clary wants in, she finds her own way of getting there. That’s when everything starts to go wrong. As Clary and Jace rediscover their pasts, what they get isn’t exactly what they hoped for. Things turn from bad to worse, with everyone now under suspicion. Idris, in it’s worse condition, has no choice but to prepare for war.
In the last book, we saw the characters develop and become more complex as their “other side” was revealed. but, in this book, we see more of the characters dealing with love whether it’s friendship, family or relationship love. This opens up a different view of the characters on the topic of love. In the first two books the aspect of love was more simple, because in this book there’s hatred, jealousy, guilt, denial, pity, sacrifice, blame and regret. New characters are introduced (and some aren’t that trustable) for instance, the Penhallows, Inquisitor Aldertree, Amatis, and Sebastian. Jace is doing his best to distract himself from facing the fact that he and Clary are siblings, by turning to Aline. On the other hand, Clary seems to be leaning towards Sebastian as he helps her learn about her past. Jace and Clary then stumble upon secrets about the Circle, secrets about their parents and themselves. These secrets shape the thoughts of the characters and their decisions. (Spoiler) For example, after the angel showed Jace and Clary what really happened 17 years ago, Jace was ready to give up his life by fighting for the greater good without realizing that he wasn’t the demon baby the angel showed him.
Personally, I think that this book has the best plot so far. The story builds up brilliantly as we get closer to the climax and the big reveal. This book’s climax had less close-up fight scenes compared to the second book, but that didn’t bore me. The climax was full of intensity, as the stakes were much higher and every character was playing his/her own part in the war. Many of the foreshadowings from the very first book up to this book’s climax leads to this big reveal of Jace, Clary and one other shadowhunter’s past in relation to the Circle, a real angel, and one important demon. This book’s story also has lots of cause and effect as it explains why certain events happen or why some people are who they are now, which was hinted at in previous books. In this book, the main characters are in Idris, a completely new setting. This creates the element of unexpectedness and draws in the reader as new fantasy locations are introduced.
Throughout the story, we see how far each person is willing to go to get what he or she wants. What they are willing to do, to sacrifice and to put at risk, also relates to the cause and effect aspect because all those actions must have a consequence. (Spoiler) Valentine was willing to experiment on his own children, and Jace, who is actually a Herondale. He is also willing to sacrifice the whole generation of shadowhunters to create a new race of soldiers. The Clave is willing to agree with Clary and to ask for help from downworlders, a kind that they despise. Clary also brings Jace back from the dead, accepting whatever the consequence may be, because Jace is all she wants.
Overall, this fast-paced storyline is engaging and full of surprise twists that left me with my mouth wide open. Apart from these turn of events, there are scenes that are breathtakingly emotional and heartbreaking. With Idris as the mesmerizing backdrop for this story, the scenes take on a more captivating quality.
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