To save her mother’s life, Clary must travel to the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters—never mind that entering the city without permission is against the Law, and breaking the Law could mean death. To make things worse, she learns that Jace does not want her there, and Simon has been thrown in prison by the Shadowhunters, who are deeply suspicious of a vampire who can withstand sunlight.
As Clary uncovers more about her family’s past, she finds an ally in mysterious Shadowhunter Sebastian. With Valentine mustering the full force of his power to destroy all Shadowhunters forever, their only chance to defeat him is to fight alongside their eternal enemies. But can Downworlders and Shadowhunters put aside their hatred to work together? While Jace realizes exactly how much he’s willing to risk for Clary, can she harness her newfound powers to help save the Glass City—whatever the cost?
Love is a mortal sin and the secrets of the past prove deadly as Clary and Jace face down Valentine in the third installment of bestselling series the Mortal Instruments.
Executive Summary: series is getting better
The book begins with Clary excited to go to Idris (the land of the Nephilium) despite knowing that Jace does not want her to go (Jace is a little controlling, isn’t he). Simon leaves her to secretly meet with Jace where he finds that Jace is lying to Clary about their departure time so that she will not be able to go in the portal that Magnus is creating for them. The group gets attacked by demons (and Madeleine dies) and to escape, Jace takes Simon with them to Idris (which is not allowed and obviously leads to problems).
Clary and Luke arrive at the Institute and find Magnus who explains what happens. Clary realizes that she was given incorrect information by Jace and is furious. So she draws a portal of her own and transports through it. Luke goes with her which is a good thing because she ends up falling into Lake Lyn and losing her stele. Lake Lyn is the legendary lake where the angel Raziel rose from and gave Jonathan Shadowhunter the Mortal Instruments making him the first of the Nephilium. It also causes hallucinations driving them to madness. Luke rescues her from the water and takes her to his sister Amatis’s house to help cure the hallucinations (and also because technically Luke isn’t allowed in Alicante).
Meanwhile Simon meets the rest of the Lightwoods as well as Aline Penhallow and her cousin Sebastian Verlac. Alec (the only one over 18) is allowed to participate in The Gard, the official meeting of the Clave. The Gard decides to send Simon back to New York and Alec escorts him to the Consul Malachi (the adviser to the inquisitor) and to meet Inquisitor Aldertree (worse than the previous inquisitor). Alec leaves believing that Simon will be portaled back to New York and everything will be A-OK. (such an optimist.) The Inquisitor proceeds to grill Simon about how he became a vampire and finding his answers insufficient, throws him in jail.
Amatis gives Clary some of her old clothes to wear, and Clary finds Amatis’s old shadowhunter outfit which she puts on and then sneaks out to go find Jace. She finds him undressing Aline. Aside from that drama, there’s also drama about Clary creating an unauthorized Portal and sneaking into Idris. Blahblahblah. Once Jace pisses off Clary and she leaves, Alec tells the others that Simon is actually in prison and didn’t go back to New York after all. As Clary is finding her way back to Amatis’s, she “runs into” Sebastian. He walks her home where she stupidly tells him that she is in Idris to find the warlock named Ragnor Fell who will save her mother.
Simon is summoned again for Aldertree where he finds out that Aldertree (and possibly the Clave) want to blame the Lightwoods (and Simon) for being in league with Valentine. Simon gets returned to jail where he meets the man in the cell beside him, Samuel, who is a Nephilium who is in jail for being in cahoots with Valentine. Jace visits Simon and plans to break him out of jail. Simon disagrees because he doesn’t want to put everyone in danger with Aldertree, and Jace agrees to bring him fresh blood regularly.
Clary awakes to Sebastian throwing pebbles at her window. He tells her that he knows where Ragnor Fell lives. He takes her there on his horse. When they arrive, they find Magnus. Magnus freezes Sebastian and tells Clary that Fell sent him a message to meet him but when Magnus arrived, Ragnor was dead. Before Ragnor was attacked by demons, he sent a message to Magnus letting him know that the Book of the White (which has the spell to wake Jocelyn) was hidden at the Wayland Manor in a copy of Simple Recipes for Housewives. Magnus exchanges the information for the copy of the book and unfreezes Sebastian. Sebastian kisses Clary (who doesn’t at this point), has a dramatic outburst, and then tells her that Simon is in Idris and Jace knows about it but didn’t tell her.
She returns to Amatis’s and Jace is there. They fight over Simon, and eventually convinces Jace to take her to the Wayland manor via a portal she creates. There they find the Book of the White as well as a cellar where they find years worth of Valentine’s “experiments” with angels. One angel, Ithuriel, is still (barely) alive and shows Clary a vision of Valentine and her mother in younger years and finds out that Jonathan is a monster and was experimented on as a baby with demon blood. Clary reverses the runes so Ithuriel can leave, but he kills himself with Jace’s stele. The manor having been tied to the angel collapses and they just escape. Because the stele was lost, they walk back to Amatis’s. Just as they are nearing Alicante, they realize that something is very wrong.
Meanwhile at the Penhallows, Max claims he has seen someone climbing the demon tower but is quickly dismissed. Then Aline gets attacked by a demon. This means that something has happened to the demon towers! Alec leaves to go to the Gard, leaving Isabelle and Max with weirdo Sebastian…who hits Isabelle over the head with a hammer knocking her unconscious.
Luke and Magnus plead with the Consul to let the downworlders help with the massive demon war going on but Malachi has no interest. Clary gives Magnus the book that she retrieved from the Wayland’s. Sebastian witnesses this and is irate that she would give this spell book to a downworlder. He also lies to Jace and Alec that Isabelle and Max are on their way. Clary and Jace go to break Simon out of jail. They end up breaking out Samuel too who turns out to be Hodge! Hodge tells them that he thinks that he has figured out where the Mortal Glass (the last of the mortal instruments that Valentine is looking for) is. The mirror is Lake Lyn. As he tells this, he is killed by Sebastian for being a “traitor”. Sebastian says some intentionally provocative things and gets into a fight with them but he has incredible strength and speed, injuring them and then escaping. Clary, Simon, Alec and Jace return to the hall and find out that Max is dead. 😦
It turns out that Sebastian Verlac is a fake. The real Sebastian was thought to have been killed by the fake one. Valentine appears as a projection in the Hall of the Gard. He came to try to sway the other Nephilium to his side, but no one goes. He somehow (completely unexplained) kills Aldertree despite being a projection. Jace figures out how to track down fake Sebastian using a tracking spell from some blood he left on Clary’s clothes. He leaves on his own thinking it’s his mission in life for being a demon blood experiment. Clary awakes and realizes this and goes to tell Isabelle. As she is doing this, her mother appears!
Clary lashes out at her mother for withholding her entire background (the Nephilium, her father and brother, etc.) from her (kind of understandable reaction honestly). She goes to the roof (apparently her thing) where Simon finds her. They discuss how Jace’s blood is the likely reason for Simon’s “daylighter” condition, and they see that the Clave has decided to reject the help of the Downworlders and turn themselves over to Valentine. *eyeroll* They race to the hall where Clary shows off her rune-making skills and pleads to reconsider. She offers a rune that will bind one Nephilium to one Downworlder to allow them to share their powers making them both stronger. The adults decide to consider it.
Jocelyn comes out to talk to Clary during the meeting and tells her how Valentine infused Jonathan with demon blood in utero and how he was such an evil baby, she couldn’t stand it. Because of Jocelyn’s assumed post-partum depression, Valentine gave her injections of angel blood to improve her mood (and she was pregnant with Clary at the time). Therefore the dichotomy of one child being part demon and one being part angel. She also tells Clary that Valentine was trying a mixture on Stephen’s baby as well…and reveals that Jace is not Jonathan. Jonathan is actually Sebastian, and Jace is actually Stephen’s son who was also experimented on with angel’s blood. (Surprise!! Jace and Clary aren’t related! Phew! That incest thing was getting a little gross!)
The Gard decides to side with Clary and she teaches them how to do the rune and downworlders and Nephilium start pairing off. Alec and Magnus pair off and start kissing in public (hubba hubba). Raphael’s projection offers the support of the vampires if they give him Simon. Jocelyn refuses. Simon, feeling bad that the help of the vampires isn’t providing help because of him, asks Clary to promise him something and goes off to find Raphael. Raphael goes to kill him because he is “unnatural”, but he finds out that Simon has the Mark of Cain on him, which means any punishment done to him will be done to the doer 7x. Because the promise to Luke was made in good faith, Raphael agrees to help fight.
Jace finds Sebastian who is with Valentine and is confused why Valentine keeps calling him Jonathan. We find out that Malachi is the informant who lets Valentine know that Clary has a plan for the Nephilium. Valentine leaves and Sebastian/Jonathan tells Jace to come out. They have a huge epic battle where they find that they are both Valentine’s sons (in that they were both raised by him). It takes Jace forever to figure it out but he finally realizes that Jonathan is the one with the demon blood and he instead has angel blood (and isn’t related to Clary!). Suddenly Isabelle appears and severs Jonathan’s hand. Apparently she also tracked “Sebastian” and arrived just in time to distract him so Jace can live. Jace stabs Jonathan in the back in the spot where you can “pierce his heart and sever his spine.”
The battle with the demons and the Nephilium/Downworlder pairs is happening and Clary (who isn’t allowed to fight) overhears Malachi communicating with Valentine. Valentine’s raven attacks and kills Malachi after he threatens Clary (who is after all Valentine’s daughter). She follows Valentine through the portal to Lake Lyn. Valentine is about to cut (kill?) Clary with the Mortal Sword when suddenly Jace appears (convenient!). Jace tries to kill Valentine but he evades the sword and uses it to kill Jace. He summons the angel Raziel and as he’s distracted, Clary changes the runes he has drawn, so that when he granted his one wish, it goes to Clary, who uses it to save Jace. And Raziel kills Valentine just because he can.
The book ends with Jace and Clary getting together, Jocelyn and Luke getting together, Simon being the ladies’ man courting Maia and Isabelle and Magnus and Alec being happy. In the end, everyone has the warm fuzzies…except Jonathan’s body was never found…(dunh dunh dunhhhh)
3.5 stars. I liked this one a lot better than the others. The story was had a lot more depth than the previous ones along with having more details about how everything “works”. (I think I really need that info of how stuff works in books. Otherwise it’s hard for me to believe the story. I’m an engineer; what can I say?) Of course it still had a lot of convenient situations (people appearing at just the right time) but at the end of the day, it’s a young adult novel and you have to take it as it is.