The Mortal Instruments Series (Books I-III) by Cassandra Clare

**Note: Review does contain some spoilers...read with caution!**

Book I: City of Bones
Clarissa "Clary" Fray thought her life was ordinary. Living in New York City with her overprotective mother, her father having died in a car crash before she was born, Clary never could have imagined how unordinary her life truly is. When she heads out to the Pandemonium Club for a night out with her friend, Simon, Clary never foresaw being a witness to the slaying of a demon by three teenagers covered in strange tattoos.

When her mother is kidnapped and Clary herself is attacked by a demon, she learns that she is not a mundane (human), but the daughter of Shadowhunters, trained warriors who defend the world against demons. Clary finds herself in the hands of the Institute, a safehaven for Shadowhunters, and Jace, a young Shadowhunter who both infuriates and intrigues Clary. As Clary sets out to find her mother, she will become more and more immersed in the Shadow World and begin to learn things about her past and herself that she never could have dreamed of.


Book II: City of Ashes
Clary wants nothing more than for her life to return back to normal, but now that she has been introduced to the Shadow World, nothing will ever be the same for her. Her mother is in a coma, Luke is a werewolf, and she finds herself confused over her feelings for Jace, who turns out to be her brother. But nothing compares to the fact that Valentine, Clary and Jace's father, is determined to bring the Clave to its knees.

Downworlder children are being murdered and Jace knows that Valentine is behind it all, even if no one will believe him. When the Soul-Sword, the second of the Mortal Instruments, is stolen, Jace becomes the lead suspect in the investigation led by the Inquisitor, whose prejudices won't allow her to see reason. Jace and Clary are determined to stop Valentine, even if the Clave refuses to send aid. As Valentine harnesses more dark power, the threat to the Shadow World grows and no one that Clary loves is safe from it.


Book III: City of Glass
After discovering that the key to curing her mother is in the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters, Clary is determined to get there. Jace is determined that Clary will not go to the city, fearing that if the Clave discovers the power of Clary's gift, she will be placed in danger. When Clary gets left behind while everyone else travels to the City of Glass, she takes matters into her own hands and makes her way there, even risking breaking the law.

Clary finds an ally in Sebastian, a fellow Shadowhunter, as she sets out to find the cure for her mother, but he isn't everything that he appears to be. Along the way, she begins to learn more about her family's past. When Valentine launches an attack on the City of Glass, Shadowhunters and Downworlders will be forced to unite in order to defend themselves and Clary finds herself at the center of this fragile union. Meanwhile, Jace will facedown Valentine and finally learn the secrets of his past. In the midst of war, Clary and Jace come face to face with truths that will change everything.


This series was originally supposed to be a trilogy, but I'm so glad that Cassandra decided to keep going with these characters, especially since there is soooooo much more to explore! Cassandra Clare is an amazing author of young adult fiction and the thing that I love most about her writing is the emotional journey that she takes you on. Sure there is plenty of adventure, mystery and action in this series, but for me, it's the characters that really connect me to her writing. I first fell in love with her writing when I read the prequel series to The Mortal Instruments named The Infernal Devices, which if you haven't read, I highly recommend. The characters that Cassandra creates are so dynamic and you really feel what it is that they are feeling. Her characters become your friends.

I found this to be especially true with Jace and Clary. Living their story had me laughing, crying, screaming, swearing, and basically feeling like a crazy person! Clary is so relatable and it was so exciting to watch her discover this world created by Cassandra and discover her role and aspects about herself that she never had the opportunity to explore before. Jace definitely makes the list of my book boyfriends, and not just because he looks like an angel. He is an extremely complex character - on one hand he is this arrogant, cocky, snarky, kick-ass warrior, but on the other he is lost and vulnerable and his feelings for Clary just lay him bare. It was heart wrenching to watch him finally open up to someone and be vulnerable, only to find out that the one person he wants is the one person he can't be with.

I had to admit that the whole brother thing threw me for a loop and I was surprised to find myself looking for ways to justify insest because I wanted these two characters to end up together so badly. As I read through the books, I kept hoping and hoping that there would be a way to a happy ending for these two characters. I am most definitely Team Jace, although I know there are many out there who are Team Simon. I just feel that Jace is the better match. He challenges Clary and you just know that he would do anything for her and give anything just to be near her. Cassandra Clare is an expert on setting up torturous love triangles. While I really like Simon and enjoyed how his character developed throughout the books, for me there's no question that Clary belongs with Jace. However there are still three more books left in this series, so who knows what will happen! I do hope that these two characters stay together.

I'm excited to see how the series translates to film and will be going to see the movie on Wednesday with my fabulous book club. Fingers crossed that they don't make too many changes. Until then, it's on to book four - City of Fallen Angels!

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