The Mortal Instruments #1: City of Bones

The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare is one of my favorite series of all time. It mixes together intrigue, badass women, fantasy, supernatural and romance in a smooth blend. The multiple perspective writing that Cassandra has integrated in these books lets you see the world from many angles and seamlessly comes together to create a whole and heart-pounding story about Shadowhunters and their constant battle against evil. 


City of Bones


Goodreads Link


Published February 19th, 2008


Page Count: 485

“When Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder. Much less a murder commited by three teenagers covered with odd markings. This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons–and keeping the odd werewolves and vampires in line. It’s also her first meeting with gorgeous, golden-haired Jace. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in an ordinary mundane like Clary? And how did she suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know….”

5 stars  ★ ★ ★ ★


City of Bones is essentially what kicks off the entire Shadowhunter Chronicles’ storyline for us and is an amazing way that Cassie has introduced us to this magical world of Shadowhunters.

The characters that Cassie has created for us just make my heart break over and over again, already in the first book.

Simon is just absolutely hilarious and we can see that he is extremely loyal to Clary and would go through fire for her although he has some serious issues being in love with her. Clary is just completely oblivious to it and it just makes my heart break to see him having to go through that and seeing her give her attention to Jace instead. I don’t blame her though, since they have been best friends for most of their lives and if you have a relationship like that, you tend to turn a blind eye to strange things that your friend does or says and you kind of shut yourself off completely to the possibility that your best friend would be in love with you.

Clary has been thrown into this completely new world, experienced a murder, her mother getting kidnapped and having to deal with the exposure to being able to see the world in New York in a completely different way shows just how brave and strong Clary is as a character. She is feisty, fierce and does not let anyone dictate her actions, even if they are sometimes a bit less well thought through.

One can also clearly see that Jace caries a lot of scars from his past. He saw his ‘dad’ getting murdered and that has shaped him his entire live. His hatred toward the Circle and Valentine is what drove Jace into being so responsible and loyal to Clary and her mission to save her mother. He also has to face an internal struggle, since we can see that he begins to develop some deep feelings for Clary, but he willingly suppresses them and covers up his feelings with well-timed sarcasm. After all, he was taught that ‘to love is to destroy’ and he has been living under this one simple sentence. This all breaks apart when he finds out that Valentine has been his father and that he did not die after all and that he still has a father. This conflicts him terribly since now he struggles between his hatred for what Valentine did and also affection toward his father. 

Alec is a very complicated character who is also suppressing his feelings toward Jace. Since he knows that in the Shadowhunter society his feelings would not be accepted, he tends to turn toward bitterness and his love for his sister Isabelle instead. We will definitely be seeing some character development from him in the later books.

Isabelle’s character is not really seen so clearly in the first book. We can see that since she is the only female Shadowhunter of her age to be living in the Institute she has a hard time accepting Clary and instead begins to feel a little jealous. However, at the end we can see that she begins to get over these feelings and befriend Clary


Favorite Quotes:

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“The boy never cried again, and he never forgot what he’d learned: that to love is to destroy, and that to be loved is to be the one destroyed.”

“Declarations of love amuse me. Especially when unrequited.”

“Where there is love, there is often also hate. They can exist side by side.”

“‘Shadowhunters: Looking Better in Black Than the Widows of our Enemies Since 1234’.”

“The Law is hard but it is the Law”

“You guessed? You must have been pretty sure, considering you could have killed me.”
“I was ninety percent sure.”
“I see,” Clary said. There must have been something in her voice, because he turned to look at her. Her hand cracked across his face, a slap that rocked him back on his heels. He put his hands on his cheek, more in surprise than pain.
“What the hell was that for?”
“The other ten percent.”

“It wouldn’t be my move,” Jace agreed. “First the candy and flowers, then the apology letters, then the ravenous demon hordes. In that order.”

“The most terrible things men do, they do in the name of love.”

“It’s your gift, to see the beauty and the horror in ordinary things. It doesn’t make you crazy, just different.”

“For Shadowhunters, the descent into hell is easy.”

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