In Retrospect: The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

Hey guys! Happy Monday! I don’t usually post today, just because I don’t like posting two days in a row, but I’m making an exception just for now. There’s something very important coming up, and it’s the premiere for the Shadowhunters TV show!

Although I’m still sceptical about the changes that have been made to the TV show, I still have faith. Anyway, this isn’t the point.

In preparation for the TV show, I reread the original three Mortal Instrument books! Honestly, it was so good diving back into the Shadowhunter world, with just the original cast of characters. It was really refreshing, and also satisfied my need for more Shadowhunters. There was so much I picked up on just rereading, whether it was about the plot, world or characters. It really reminded me of just how much I love this series, and why it’s one of my favourite series of all time.

I’m just going to say right now, that there will be spoilers in the section below for all of the books. If you haven’t read it and don’t want to be spoiled (I don’t know why you wouldn’t have read this amazing series), then I suggest you go read the books first, then come back so we can discuss this series.


Book 1: City of Bones

City of Bones. It seems so long ago that the movie for this book was made, and I was disappointed with how it turned out. However, reading about the preliminary relationships between Clary, Simon and the rest of the Shadowhunters was enjoyable. It was like taking a trip down memory lane, back when the world of Shadowhunters was a foreign concept.

Nowadays, I always associate Jace as a Herondale (I always have, after reading City of Glass for the first time), so it was strange seeing Jace go by Wayland as his last name. It was also strange seeing Alec so hostile towards Clary, just because she waltzed into their lives in the blink of an eye.

It was also to see all the events unfold again. I picked up on many hints and foreshadowing that I hadn’t before, especially with certain character’s actions.

I’d also forgotten that there were the two portals: the one at Dorethea’s, and the one at Renwicks. I’m so used to having either a warlock or Clary just portalling themselves to wherever they want. There’s also the vampire motorbikes that I’d completely forgotten about – I forgot that Jace and Clary escaped from Hotel Dumort by vampire motorbikes.

There was quite a lot of things I’d forgotten about this book, and it was nice reliving all the events, especially since it’s nearly the premiere for the TV show. Seeing Clary and Jace interact in the early stages of their relationship was entertaining, because I’d forgotten how annoying Jace could be.

It was just nice reading City of Bones again because it reminded me of why I loved it so much – the attention to small details such as plot, worldbuilding and characters was brilliant. And that’s what you subconsciously look out for when you read a fantasy novel.

Book 2: City of Ashes

Reading about Clary and Jace’s relationship in this book was a little stressful for me, because I know their not siblings, so the entire time I’m screaming at them internally for not knowing. Clearly, their mutual attraction towards each other wouldn’t have happened if they were actually siblings. I can understand why they were trying to suppress their feelings, because they truly believed they were siblings.

Also, Simon’s relationship with Clary didn’t really sit well with me. They were trying, but I feel like Clary wasn’t giving everything in relationship – it was mostly just Simon. But I guess that those complications are all part of the character’s growth and development.

I also appreciated the scene in the Seelie Court, where there is ‘creative truth-telling’. The faeries were actually telling the truth about their relationship, but in a twisted way. It’s also crazy to think that the faeries are one of the main antagonists of the Dark Artifices. I’m not sure that antagonist is the right word, but that’s not the point.

Although I remembered the main plot, there were so many elements that I’d inevitably forgotten until I read these again. They were small details, like Simon being buried in a Jewish cemetery, and the little joke about having a round table meeting. There’s so much more, but I think I’d be here forever if I named all the little details that I really enjoyed.

Book 3: City of Glass

City of glass.jpg

Sebastian first appears in this book. I was waiting for him to appear, and he doesn’t until halfway through. Jace was very cynical of him when we’re introduced, and I can see why now. I don’t think I picked up on Jace’s attitude towards Sebastian until I read it this time.

I’m also really sad that Sebastian killed Max! He was basically the baby of the Lightwood family, who was the baby of the family. I really liked him because he was a nerd, just like me, and he was also so bubbly. It’s always tragic when a character dies when they’re only 9, but what can you do?

I feel like there wasn’t very much action in the climax. Although the main focus was Jace, Clary and Valentine, I feel like more page time could’ve been devoted to the ten minute battle against all the demons. I also feel like Jace dying at the end then coming back to life courtesy of Raziel wasn’t very realistic, but it does explain some events in the later books.

The epilogue in this book is quite conclusive, even though there’s a sequel. I did really enjoy the finality of the ending, because it was so sweet and cute, and I think Cassandra Clare did a really good job of wrapping it up.

I also broke the spine of my copy of City of Glass when I read it this time around, so I’m a little sad, but it’s a sign that the book is well-loved and read.


So there are some of my thoughts as I was re-reading the original Mortal Instruments trilogy! Have you read them in anticipation for the release of the first Shadowhunters episode/Lady Midnight? I would love to know!

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One thought on “In Retrospect: The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

  1. Pingback: Top Ten Tuesday: Books Read Because of Recommendations | Kaleidoscope of Books

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