We delve into the captivating world of The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. In this blog, we'll explore each book in this enthralling urban fantasy saga, offering insightful reviews and analysis. Join us as we follow Clary Fray, a young Shadowhunter, through her adventures in a hidden, supernatural world existing alongside our own. From unexpected discoveries to battling dark forces, we'll examine the intricate narrative, relatable characters, and the imaginative universe Clare has masterfully crafted. Stay tuned as we embark on this fantastical journey together!
Goodreads has a collection of excerpts from the series, including "If I feel the urge to burst into flames, I'll let you know" and "Have you fallen in love with the wrong person yet?". Another quote from the series is, "To love is to destroy, and that to be loved is to be the one destroyed."
Delving into the Enigmatic Realm
The Mortal Instruments series, authored by renowned writer Cassandra Clare, is an enthralling young adult fantasy odyssey that whisks readers away into a concealed universe brimming with shadowhunters, demons, werewolves, vampires, and other supernatural entities. At the heart of the narrative is Clary Fray, an ostensibly ordinary adolescent, whose life takes an unexpected turn as she uncovers her authentic lineage as a shadowhunter—a half-human, half-angel combatant responsible for safeguarding humanity from demonic adversaries.
Comprising six mesmerizing books —
- City of Bones
- City of Ashes
- City of Glass
- City of Fallen Angels
- City of Lost Souls
- City of Heavenly Fire
The series deftly interlaces intricate characters, elaborate storylines, and exhilarating action. As the tale unfolds, readers accompany Clary on her treacherous odyssey through the enigmatic Shadow World, where she disentangles family mysteries, forges new alliances, and confronts inconceivable perils.
A hallmark of The Mortal Instruments series lies in its memorable ensemble of characters. Beyond Clary, readers encounter Jace Wayland, an accomplished and enigmatic shadowhunter with an obscure history; Simon Lewis, Clary's steadfast confidant unexpectedly entwined in the supernatural sphere; Isabelle and Alec Lightwood, siblings and fellow shadowhunters who become indispensable to Clary's quest; and Magnus Bane, an age-old warlock with an affinity for glitter and panache.
Cassandra Clare's world-building prowess is extraordinary, seamlessly melding urban fantasy elements with time-honored folklore and mythology. Set against the backdrop of a parallel version of contemporary New York City, the Shadow World remains veiled from human perception, generating a striking dichotomy between the ordinary and the mystical. Clare's prose is vibrant and absorbing, enabling readers to lose themselves in this fantastical realm.
The Mortal Instruments series has garnered a devoted following and inspired a myriad of spin-offs, prequels, and sequels set within the same universe, collectively referred to as The Shadowhunter Chronicles. Furthermore, the series has been adapted into a motion picture and television series, amplifying its influence and appeal.
In summary, The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare is a must-read for aficionados of young adult fantasy. Boasting compelling characters, riveting plotlines, and an imaginatively crafted world, this enthralling saga will leave readers yearning to unearth the many secrets concealed within the Shadow World.
Another popular quote is "We are all the pieces of what we remember. We hold in ourselves the hopes and fears of those who love us. As long as there is love and memory, there is no true loss".
Fans of the series have also selected their top Shadowhunters quotes from each book. One of the top quotes is "I love you, and I will love you until I die, and if there's a life after that, I'll love you then".
Most rational readers might quit on a series with as many flaws as The Mortal Instruments. Still, I was compelled to keep reading because of my obsessive-compulsive condition to finish every series I started. As a result, this review covers the entire series and its conclusion rather than only the City of Heavenly Fire.
Forcing Shadowhunters to drink from the Infernal Cup and turn into Endarkened Shadowhunters—evil Shadowhunters with a steadfast dedication to him—Sebastian is extending his influence wherever he can in this book (who else thinks of Ariel's under-the-sea companion?). So naturally, Clary and the group must travel to the Mystery Machine (oops, wrong franchise!) to stop this for themselves.
The rest of the story is lost in pointless love scenes, villainous monologues, and lavish descriptions of Jace, which also reveal Clare's feelings towards the color gold, in case we hadn't already deduced this from his GOLDEN eyes, GOLDEN hair, GOLDEN skin, or other GOLDEN assets he may or may not exhibit!
My first complaint is that I do not see why Clarissa Morgenstern/Fray/Fairchild is regarded as the most recent literary heroine who serves as a role model for young women. She has been described as "strong," "brave," and "genuine," yet I disagree entirely with all of those adjectives. Why?
In the City of Heavenly Fire, Clary is locked in a loop for much of the book. Jace would become agitated after she had been obsessing over him for a while, and things would sour. Then, generally, after finding anything pertinent, she would run into a fight that she would have no part in, but she would somehow manage to pass out and wake up being treated like a wounded soldier. The loop would then continue after that.
And that's only when Jace isn't being described in excruciating detail, such as how he had the "golden eyes of a lion," how his gorgeous blonde hair floated around his head like a halo, how his golden skin rippled as emotions chased themselves across his face, how the marks were like glorious tattoos of scripture, or how he was so stunning that Clary's ovaries would frequently disintegrate into dust at the sight of him. Also, they were thus close to "doing it" in City of Lost Souls, and poor Clarissa was so intensely aroused that she fainted. sniggers
But on a more serious note, I find it upsetting that some young women of my generation regard Clarissa as a robust role model and the newest feminist idol. Every time something happens that would be harmful to her health, she deftly avoids getting hurt by passing out or being knocked out by the demon. She was about to channel her inner Lara Croft, and I missed all the excitement! I suppose that monster was too sophisticated for me. Except for JACE, I hope everyone else is fine. I speak of JACE. But seriously: JACE.
This makes it abundantly evident that Clary is a wish-fulfillment type of character. Jace, after reading all these tedious explanations of how and why he is completely faultless (but wait - he has a chipped tooth, proving that, like everyone else, Jace is human too!), is unmistakably Cassandra Clare's dream man, and she wants him to be everyone else's as well. Although I don't profess to be an expert, I believe that a real heroine takes control of her life and refuses to let the presence or absence of a handsome guy in her life determine her level of happiness.
Yet, I find it difficult to tolerate how conceited Clary, Jace, and the other characters are. Jordan Kyle, Clary, and Simon's friend, ally, and protector, recently passed away. Are they crying? Sit side by side in glum silence? Speak inanely about how Jordan would have preferred them to be powerful. But, no. They joke about Clary's small pajamas, and Jordan is hardly ever brought up after that.
This brings me to another point: Clare is portrayed as an author who takes a lot of chances. In fact, during the countdown to the release of COHF, I witnessed a lot of internet users freaking out about who would live and who would die.
In actuality, no one the readers care about is lost or even remotely in danger of becoming lost. However, near the conclusion, Simon experiences a near-fatal incident in which he loses all recollection of Clary, his vampirism, and the Shadowhunter universe (and, inexplicably, his family and "mundane" companions as well). I thought Clare had outdone herself once and uncorked some sadness and realism from the sack (I detect narrative conveniences). Yet, that was too much to expect, and I shouldn't ever be that naive again. Indeed, there is a way to restore Simon's memory. Stop being such a downer, Bronte! Don't you know about the Shadowhunter world's practical and age-old magic?
Simon had potential, so I was disappointed. In other words, Simon falls between Marina from The Lorien Legacies and Minho from The Maze Runner on the broad scale of character quality. Take what you will from that.
I might find this series slightly more than passable, as it is now, if Cassandra Clare had learned from her mistakes. I will grant that by the sixth volume, the writing quality (somewhat) increases, but not enough for me to describe it as quality work. For example, even though we no longer hear similes stating that dead leaves "rumble like dried bones across the sidewalk," Tess Gray's eyes are still expected to be "the color of raindrops." Please let me know if you know what color rainwater is.
If a book doesn't engage me, doesn't leave me thinking or feeling for at least a few minutes after I flip the last page, or doesn't do any of those things, then it wasn't worth it to me. But, thank God, for that was my first thinking after putting down COHF. I haven't given it a second thought since!
The Mortal Instruments series has become a cultural phenomenon, with over 50 million copies sold worldwide. The series has inspired a TV show, a movie, and a graphic novel adaptation. The series is known for its complex characters, intricate world-building, and unforgettable quotes.