|City of Glass|
|Cover artist||Cliff Nielsen|
|Release Date||March 24, 2009|
|Cover|| Simon Lewis (paperback)|
Jonathan as Sebastian (hardcover)
|Series||The Mortal Instruments|
| Preceded by|
City of Ashes
| Followed by|
City of Fallen Angels
| Released after|
City of Ashes
| Released before|
To save her mother's life, Clary must travel to the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters—never mind that entering the city without permission is against the Law, and breaking the Law could mean death. To make things worse, she learns that Jace does not want her there, and her best friend, Simon, has been thrown in prison by the Shadowhunters, who are deeply suspicious of a vampire who can withstand sunlight.
As Clary uncovers more about her family's past, she finds an ally in mysterious Shadowhunter Sebastian. With Valentine mustering the full force of his power to destroy all Shadowhunters forever, their only chance to defeat him is to fight alongside their eternal enemies. But can Downworlders and Shadowhunters put aside their hatred to work together? While Jace realizes exactly how much he's willing to risk for Clary, can she harness her newfound powers to help save the Glass City — whatever the cost?
Love is a mortal sin and the secrets of the past prove deadly as Clary and Jace face down Valentine in the third installment of the New York Times bestselling The Mortal Instruments.
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Picking up from City of Ashes, City of Glass begins a few days after Clary and Simon's awkward break-up. With the permission of the Clave and Alicante, Magnus Bane creates a portal to send the Lightwoods, Jace, Clary and Madeleine to Alicante. Desperate to keep Clary safe, Jace lures Simon to the institute and asks him to lie to the Lightwoods about Clary not wanting to go to Idris. Simon refuses, but their argument over the issue is interrupted when the Institute is attacked by Forsaken. During the attack Madeleine is killed. Simon is seriously injured, which leaves Jace with no choice but to bring him through the portal as well or risk the Forsaken killing him.
Clary arrives at the Institute to find it deserted. Magnus explains to her what has happened. Using her powers Clary creates a portal. Luke attempts to stop her, but instead both are dragged through to Idris. Since none will enter the city who are not authorized, they are thrown outside of the city into the surrounding fields, mountains blocking their path to Alicante. They land in a strange lake, with odd reflective powers. Luke explains that they landed in Lake Lyn, which is the very lake that Raziel emerged from with the Mortal Cup and Sword, offering the instruments to Jonathon Shadowhunter (the first of the Shadowhunters). Lake Lyn has been cursed for all Shadowhunters since; the water is incredibly toxic and if ingested, causes intense hallucinations and fever, that could be followed by madness.
They travel to Alicante, passing through one of the Shadowhunter's graveyards where Clary has a vision of her own grave and Luke realizes the effects of the lake water have taken over. Luke and Clary use a hidden alley and slip into the city, only for her to collapse into a heap. Luke carries her to the home of a Shadowhunter known as Amatis whom we later learn is Luke's sister. Amatis nurses Clary back to health and she remains behind with Amatis in the city while the others are introduced to Aline Penhallow and her cousin Sebastian Verlac. Some members of the Clave want Simon to lie and say that the Lightwood family are Valentine's spies, but Simon refuses, which leads to his imprisonment.
Clary sneaks away from Luke's sister's house to find the others, only to find Jace and Aline kissing each other. Jace yells harshly at Clary to drive her away and cause her to return home. Clary leaves, heartbroken and Sebastian offers to take her home, only to find an angry Amatis waiting for her. Clary sorts things out with Amatis, and Sebastian later catches up with her to help her with her plan to help her mother. The two go to Ragnor Fell's house the next day, where Clary is shocked to discover that Ragnor has been killed and that Magnus was there in his place. Magnus freezes Sebastian and informs Clary that she must gain a spellbook in the Wayland country home in order to save her mother. After unfreezing Sebastian, Clary and Sebastian leave and travel to the ruins of Fairchild manor, where she and Sebastian share a kiss that she breaks due to it not feeling right. She thinks about Jace throughout the whole kiss. Sebastian informs Clary that Simon is in jail.
Clary returns to Amatis's house where Jace is waiting for her. He apologizes to her for his harsh words, only for the two to fight once again about him not telling her about Simon being in jail. After they calm down they travel through a portal Clary made in Amatis's kitchen to the Wayland manor, and got the spell book only to discover the remains of an experiment Valentine had been running on a half-dead angel. They then learn through the angel that Jace has demon blood. Jace, after the angel shows them the visions, pulls out a dagger and hands it to the angel. The angel kills himself. The two barely make it out of the house alive when it begins to explode and while lying on the ground they share a brief moment of passionate romance. Clary stops the two of them when things begin to go too far, accusing Jace of using her so he can hate himself when he says he blames his demon blood for his incestuous feelings for her. The two return to Alicante and find it in flames. Meanwhile Isabelle just saves Aline from being grabbed by a demon and Aline then runs off. Alec goes after her only to find Magnus, where they resolve their relationship. Clary gives the spellbook to Magnus so he can wake up her mother.
Jace, Clary, and Alec leave to break Simon out of jail where Simon is kept and breaks both him and Samuel, Simon's roommate, out, only to discover that Samuel is actually Hodge. He informs them that the mirror, the last of the Mortal Instruments, is actually the Lake Lyn. Hodge is then killed by Sebastian, who claims that he did it to keep them out of danger. This causes the four to realize that Sebastian is a spy for Valentine, who flees after a difficult battle with them. They return to the Hall, only to discover that Sebastian has killed Max. After Max's funeral, Jace sneaks into Clary's bedroom and tells her he loves her and always will. The two then fall asleep holding hands. The following morning, Jace leaves a note behind and sneaks off to find Sebastian.
Clary manages to convince the Clave to fight with the Downworlders and teaches them a binding rune that the dying angel showed her. Alec and Magnus share an alliance, and a kiss. It is during this time that she discovers after talking with her mother, who had finally awaken from her coma by Magnus through the spell book, that she had received angel’s blood while in the womb and that Jace is actually the son of Stephen Herondale, son of the last Inquisitor, who had also received angel's blood during his own experiment while he was in his mother's womb. This means that Jace and Clary are not siblings, Jace does not have demon blood but rather more angel blood and further reveals that Sebastian is actually Clary's brother. Clary then marks Simon with the Mark of Cain, a powerful protection spell, with the intent of saving him from Raphael, who says that vampires will only fight with Shadowhunters against Valentine if they give him Simon. The exchange causes the vampires to fight with the Clave. Meanwhile, Jace finds Sebastian talking to Valentine, who intends to use Lake Lyn to summon Raziel to destroy all the Shadowhunters that have not drank from the Mortal Cup. After Valentine leaves, Jace battles Sebastian, who informs him the actual familial bonds that Jocelyn told Clary.
Clary portals to Lake Lyn to stop Valentine from summoning Raziel, but he uses runes to paralyze her body and voice. He then reveals to her his intent of using her as a sacrifice. When Jace arrives to rescue her Valentine uses Jace's blood for the sacrifice by stabbing him in the chest, and successfully summons Raziel. However, Raziel sees through Valentine's schemes and kills him. When Raziel offers to grant Clary one wish, Clary asks for Jace. Once he is brought back, the town celebrates their victory over Valentine's army.
The Seelie Queen asks Clary for a favor but she turns the Queen down stating she has everything she wants.
Part One: Sparks Fly Upward
Part Two: Stars Shine Darkly
Part Three: The Way to Heaven
Epilogue: Across the Sky in Stars
- Clary Fray - the main protagonist of the series, Clary's gift is crucial to their victory against her father, Valentine.
- Jace Morgenstern - a very skilled Shadowhunters who, upon realizing that his father is alive and is the evil Valentine Morgenstern, is having problems figuring out who he wants to be.
- Alec Lightwood - the eldest Lightwood and Jace's parabatai; Alec's sexuality, which is frowned upon in the Nephilim society, and relationship with Magnus Bane bring up issues for himself and his family.
- Isabelle Lightwood - Alec's beautiful younger sister, Isabelle is a strong and fierce Shadowhunter, as well as a rebellious daughter.
- Valentine Morgenstern - the notorious leader of the Circle, father of Clary and Jace, and husband of Jocelyn. With the Mortal Instruments now at his disposal, Valentine puts his plans for the downfall of Shadowhunters and Downworlders in action.
- Jocelyn Fray - Clary's mother who put herself in a coma to prevent Valentine from getting answers from her.
- Maryse & Robert Lightwood - parents of the Lightwood children and heads of the New York Institute.
- Max Lightwood - the youngest Lightwood child at nine years old.
- Sebastian Verlac - a mysterious new player who meets Clary and the Lightwoods in Alicante.
- Aline Penhallow - a friend of the Lightwoods and the cousin of Sebastian Verlac.
- Amatis Herondale - Luke's sister who lives in isolation in Idris.
- Inquisitor Aldertree - the Inquisitor who replaced the recently deceased Inquisitor Herondale, Aldertree, contrary to his job, is not above blackmailing, lying, and pointing fingers at innocents to close a case.
- Madeleine Bellefleur - a friend of Jocelyn who claims to know how to help Jocelyn awake from her coma.
- Simon Lewis - Clary's best friend who was Turned into a vampire after being drawn into the Shadow World.
- Magnus Bane - the High Warlock of Brooklyn who decides to help the Conclave for Alec.
- Luke Garroway - a former Shadowhunter and now a werewolf, Luke is a close friend of Jocelyn who helped raise Clary.
- Maia Roberts - a member of Luke's New York werewolf pack.
- Raphael Santiago - leader of the New York vampire clan.
- Seelie Queen - the queen of the Seelie Court of the Fair Folk.
- Meliorn - the queen's personal knight and confidante.
- Raziel - the patron Angel of the Nephilim.
- Ithuriel - an angel imprisoned by Valentine whose blood he used on his experiments.
- The original (now hardbound) cover features Jonathan Morgenstern while in the guise of Sebastian Verlac. The repackaged (paperback) cover features Simon Lewis scarred and sitting on the ground with chains around him, signifying his imprisonment in the book, with , and the Agony rune behind him.
- Cassandra Clare had wanted the cover to feature Jace and Sebastian.
- The title refers to Alicante, which is often referred to as "the City of Glass".
- City of Glass was originally set to be the last book in The Mortal Instruments series, but the trilogy was later expanded to include three more books.
- The book is told from several points of views, namely: Clary, Jace, Simon, Isabelle, and Alec's.