The three books, City of Bones, City of Ashes and City of Glass make up the Mortal Instruments trilogy and I think they really warrant reading all three fairly close together and immerse yourself in the world that Cassandra Clare has created.
The world itself is the world we know, but there is a hidden side to it. Our way into the story is through Clary, and New York teenager and her best friend Simon, who after witnessing a murder, suddenly find out about the world of demons, angels, vampires and werewolves. The mundanes (humans) in the story are oblivious to this hidden world that exists all around them, but for some reason, Clary starts to be able to see through the glamour, and is drawn to the mysterious Jace.
I enjoyed reading these books, there were interesting characters and the secrecy of the Shadowhunters in the mundane society made the adventure seem all the more exciting. The epic nature of their quest makes for a thrilling adventure, and I loved that each of the characters has their own part to play and their own story which contributes to making them feel real and alive.
I loved the relationship between Jace and Clary, and had sort of guessed how it would be resolved, just not sure of the exact details, and I lost my heart to Simon with all the things that happened to him throughout the story.
However, I did find the concept of Idris and Alicante a bit confusing – was it part of our world or a different one altogether? Maybe I missed something in the explanation of it, but I didn’t really understand how it worked.
Now, this is a very strange observation I know, but there was an episode of a Victoria Wood television series about 20 years ago called “We’d Quite Like To Apologise…” about getting stuck in an airport waiting for a flight for a holiday to Alicante in Spain, and the association with that was so strong for me, that I couldn’t help but smirk at the reference each time Alicante was mentioned. Was the Alicante in Idris supposed to be the same Alicante in the real world of Spain? I’m sure this wouldn’t bother anyone else who read the books, but unfortunately, it just took me out of the story occasionally.
On the whole though, a very satisfying series of books, and I’ve recently heard that another two books have been commissioned by the publishers, but I haven’t seen any more details, so it will be interesting to see where she takes the story. I’m also looking forward to the prequels, the first one due out in a few weeks time, called Clockwork Angels.