Monday, May 28, 2012

Review: City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare
Book Five of The Mortal Instruments
Published May 8, 2012

Review: 4.5 of 5

Cross reviewed on Goodreads

The demon Lilith has been destroyed and Jace has been freed from her captivity. But when the Shadowhunters arrive to rescue him, they find only blood and broken glass. Not only is the boy Clary loves missing–but so is the boy she hates, Sebastian, the son of her father Valentine: a son determined to succeed where their father failed, and bring the Shadowhunters to their knees.

No magic the Clave can summon can locate either boy, but Jace cannot stay away—not from Clary. When they meet again Clary discovers the horror Lilith’s dying magic has wrought—Jace is no longer the boy she loved. He and Sebastian are now bound to each other, and Jace has become what he most feared: a true servant of Valentine’s evil. The Clave is determined to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. Will the Shadowhunters hesitate to kill one of their own?

Only a small band of Clary and Jace’s friends and family believe that Jace can still be saved — and that the fate of the Shadowhunters’ future may hinge on that salvation. They must defy the Clave and strike out on their own. Alec, Magnus, Simon and Isabelle must work together to save Jace: bargaining with the sinister Faerie Queen, contemplating deals with demons, and turning at last to the Iron Sisters, the reclusive and merciless weapons makers for the Shadowhunters, who tell them that no weapon on this earth can sever the bond between Sebastian and Jace. Their only chance of cutting Jace free is to challenge Heaven and Hell — a risk that could claim any, or all, of their lives.

And they must do it without Clary. For Clary has gone into the heart of darkness, to play a dangerous game utterly alone. The price of losing the game is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she even still trust him? Or is he truly lost? What price is too high to pay, even for love?

City of Lost Souls! The fifth installment of The Mortal Instruments and truly one of the best yet. It combines treachery, crumbling relationships, and new and more deadly secrets unseen in previous TMI books. The blurb tells a lot about the book and what happens, so I'll skip over all this and get right to what I loved about City of Lost Souls. And also, what I didn't like (which wasn't much).

City of Lost Souls is a combination of stories, as most other TMI books are. Jace and Clary. Clary and Sebastian. Sebastian and Jace. Simon and Izzy. Alec and Magnus. And one of the newer stories created in City of Fallen Angels, Jordan and Maia. This book is proof that you can tell one story from many views, and as much as personally not caring for multiple points of view storytelling (in my writing), Clare has always made it work. I prefer, like many other writers, to tell the story from one protagonist. While Clary is most certainly the protagonist, Clare assures that she is not always the most important character to the story. There is a constant balance.

In this book, however, I didn't care for Jordan and Maia's story. It's more a love affair than anything. Unlike the other characters who we've known since City of Bones, Jordan and Maia have just entered into the game in City of Fallen Angels. There hasn't been enough time to develop them as being important, and yet Clare gives them equal face time through the book. I would have preferred that Jordan remains nothing more than Simon's roommate in the book, but it appears his involvement with a Downworlder group called the Praetor Lupus (a strange school-like system for Werewolves) may have more importance in City of Heavenly Fire.

That said, the conclusion of City of Lost Souls is phenomenal. Sebastian's end goal is revealed and without revealing much, devoted fans of this series will be both craving and hating Clare for making us wait until 2014 for the final installment of The Mortal Instruments. I expect City of Heavenly Fire to be emotionally compromising for all readers. I expect that, like in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, we'll see important people die. In my honest opinion, very important people. I don't want to think about it truthfully. I want to forget about TMI until City of Heavenly Fire and fall in love all over again with the final piece of the story.

There are even easter eggs that appear from The Infernal Devices series, such as this line: "...; a pendant in the shape of an angel whose wings were clockwork cogs and gears." (From Clary's point of view as she investigates a secret room in the Institute.) There is also a mention of Will Herondale in a letter in Magnus's possession.

Overall, City of Lost Souls satisfies greatly. It's sad, funny, and incredibly in depth. 

Peace and Writing Love,


Next up for review:

The Enchantress by Michael Scott


  1. Interesting. Thanks for your take on it.


  2. Clare really hit this one out of the park for me. I enjoyed this story and I cant wait for everyone to read it!

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