Thursday, May 17, 2012

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare
Release Date –  May 8, 2012
Publisher Website –  Simon and Schuster
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 536 pages
My Rating- 4.5/5

***************SPOILERS FOR THE FIRST 4 BOOKS IN THE SERIES****************

Here is the Goodreads synopsis

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?

Darkness threatens to claim the Shadowhunters in the harrowing fifth book of the Mortal Instruments series.
The Mortal Instruments series (and the Infernal Devices series too) are one of my favourite series. Cassandra Clare manages to capture humour, heartbreak, pulse pounding action and endearing characters. It's the characters that we really grow attached to. City of Lost Souls, the second to last book in this series, has us fearful and apprehensive about the fate of some of the characters. Cassandra Clare is a master at the heartbreaking scene that makes you cry and this instalment was no exception.

I love how involved Cassandra's plot is. Clues, reveals and twists are plotted well in advance and dropped when neeeded. Clare's writing really shines when you factor in that the two series compliment and shed light on the other. I have a theory that ties into both books about some of the characters and I was delighted to have more 'hints' that suggest I am correct. An author that can expand a complex plot and weave the whole story through what will total nine novels is impressive.

My favourite part of the book was the amount of time we got to spend at Magnus's apartment. This meant we got to see much more of Magnus than usual, and his relationship with Alec is given a fair share of the plot as well. I adore Magnus, he is my favourite character in this world Clare has created and I wish for more of him each book.

Simon was another highlight. I found myself liking Simon well enough in the first cycle of books, but this new set of three has really made me LOVE him. He's grown and changed. He is more weary after having been through so much, still fiercely loyal to Clary and his blossoming relationship with Izzy is wonderful to see develop. I hope Cassandra explores the relationship between Simon and Magnus. When the dust has finally settled for these characters and they've lived their lives conceivably he and Magnus will be the last two left (baring anything awful happening in the last novel). I would like to explore that and see if they could become friends.

Clary, while brave and capable, makes the worst possible decisions in this novel. I realize she does them out of fear and love, but it doesn't take away from the fact that it was infuriating to "watch" her make them. It was disappointing because I've always liked the character and felt myself really disliking her this time around. Going in I knew Jace was not going to be himself, but I was not prepared for how different Jace actually was. Fans of Jace may especially dislike this version of him.

I spent most of the book wanting to smack Alec Lightwood upside the head. He gives Clary competition in the "who makes the worst decisions" contest that is for sure. I felt awful for Magnus and was glad he stood up for himself. You get the impression that he has been around way too long to put up with much. This outcome has been building steadily in the last few books and while I was anguished over it, the outcome is realistic. Magnus has often voiced his reluctant to be the 'go to warlock' for our gang and it is really evident in this novel how much of what Magnus does is out of his love for Alec, and not out a true desire to assist the others.

Much of the plot revolves around trying to determine what Sebastian's plan is and what his motivations are. Clare has developed a villain that is anything but one dimensional and is captivating in his own right. There are glaring differences between what Sebastian wants and what Valentine wanted so it does not feel like a rehash.. Sebastian is determined and is willing to go to great lengths to obtain his goals. I found myself fearing for our beloved characters because I truly believe Sebastian when he says he wants to "burn down the world".

When Sebastian's plan is revealed and the dust from this battle has settled we are left with a sense of foreboding and unease. War is coming and it is easy to see that not all our beloved characters will make it out alive. City of Lost Souls, to me, felt like a set up of the epic showdown we are going to see in City of Heavenly Fire. A necessary step to the finale that provided the usual heartbreak, laughs and excitement I have come to expect from a Cassandra Clare novel. Saying goodbye to this series with the sixth and final book will be bittersweet.


  1. The book was fantastic. I've said it about all her books, but it's true every time. This book dealt more with magic and the history of shadowhunters than actual demon fighting like the previous books. I found this welcoming and enlightening-I've had a lot of questions. It made this book all the more intriguing. I've seen lots of comments about how people were upset that the author continued the books past the third. I was very skeptical at first. Even as I read the fourth book, which I did like, I still felt skeptical. But honestly, after reading this one, I'm really glad that continued. I didn't know how she was going to continue with the series and come up with more plot-but she did.
    Romance. There was a lot of it in this book. Like I said, this book took somewhat of a break from the violence. That gave her plenty of time to focus on the love aspect. And I'm not just talking about Jase and Clary. She didn't great on theirs. I'm one of those people that tends to get bored with romance after a couple is finally together. But I'm still interested. There was romance between Simon and Isabelle, which I definitely want to keep my eye on-I have high hopes for them. Maia and Jordan probably had the most romantic development in the book. And of course Magnus and Alec. I like this aspect of romance, they seem more serious and in a way more realistic, if you will.

  2. This is one of my favourite series too and I can't wait to start CoLS !! I'm planning to re-read he first four books in the series before though .. :)


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