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.City of Lost Souls is the fifth book in The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. These books are definitely not standalone novels so if you haven’t read the first four books you should pick those up before reading this one. If you don’t, you will be completely lost.
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.
City of Lost Souls starts off a little slow which was surprising to me considering how City of Fallen Angels ended. Part of this could simply be the absent of Jace. He is absent for most of the beginning and once he finally does appear you’re not sure how much of it is the Jace that we have all come to know and love.
I did love all of the secondary characters (and when I say secondary characters I mean pretty much anyone besides Jace and Clary). I really enjoyed seeing Isabelle and Simon’s relationship and also Alec and Magnus. I felt there was a lot more Alec/Magnus in this book which I loved. Alec’s insecurities about his relationship with Magnus are clearly evident. While I wanted to tell him to get over it, I couldn’t help but think that if I were in his place I would probably feel the same way.
Isabelle and Simon’s relationship developed in this book a great deal. It is clear that Isabelle has feelings for him which scares her to death. She’s like a fish out of water and has no idea how to act. Simon clearly has feelings for Isabelle but he’s still intimidated by her and doesn’t see how she could possibly have feelings for him.
As I stated earlier, Jace, the real Jace, is absent almost the entire book which was depressing. There were a couple of moments where the real Jace made an appearance which I thoroughly enjoyed. Through it all, Jace and Clary’s love for one another is undeniable. Even the not Jace, can’t stay away from her.
Sebastian was an interesting character in this book. I spent most of the book going back and forth between hating him and feeling sorry for him. At times he seems as if he really cares about Jace and Clary and just wants someone to care about him. Even Clary struggles with whether or not she should trust him.
I love Clare’s writing style and this book is no exception. She is a master at explaining the most unusual things in a way that makes it seem like it is the most natural thing in the world. The characters she creates are ones that you easily fall in love with and are immediately concerned about their well being.
However, there was one thing about this book that kept me from giving it a 5 bird rating. The main storyline seemed forced. I know that this is an unpopular opinion for some but I really feel that there wasn’t a need for three more books in this series. Don’t get me wrong I’m happy that there are I just don’t think that they were necessary. Sebastian could have stayed dead and everyone could have gone happily along with their lives.
In the end, I felt that this was yet another great book by Cassandra Clare. Her story telling ability never ceases to amaze me. I love the characters and can’t wait to (hopefully) see them get a happy ending in the final book, City of Heavenly Fire.
Find Cassandra Clare Website
*Thank you to Simon & Schuster Audio for the audio copy for review!