Oy. Book Three of the Mortal Instruments series. Only one more after this (but I suppose I’ll have to read the others when they come out, if only so I can continue to bag on them) but this one is a doozy, guys. We have fighting and torture and murder and PLOT TWISTS! But, you’ll probably see most of them coming from eleventy billion miles away. Since I’ve already wasted a bunch of words bitching, I should get started, yeah?
Okay, Clary is supposed to be heading to Idris with the Lightwoods (Alec, Isabelle, their parents and their little brother Max) and Jace. Jace tells Clary they’re not leaving until later because he thinks she needs to stay put, and asks Simon (the daywalking
sparkly vampire) over to back up the lie he tells his foster family about Clary changing her mind about going. Simon arrives at the Institute just as they’re attacked by Valentine’s minions. Magnus Bane holds the portal open for them, and Jace has no choice but to pull Simon through with him. Clary (of course) is furious and acts a twit, deciding to just open her own damn portal. Luke knows she’ll manage to mess it up somehow, so tags along with her. Werewolves aren’t exactly welcome in Alicante (the capitol city of Idris), so he realizes that going is a bad idea. He knows she’ll end up getting herself killed if she doesn’t have someone with her that knows the ropes, though.
This proves correct immediately, as Clary’s portal doesn’t open in Alicante. Rather, it opens over Lake Lyn, this cursed lake that the angel Raziel supposedly rose from to create the Shadowhunter race. Clary swallows the water and starts hallucinating. Luke drags her over hill and dale to his sister’s home in the city. His sister was once married to the son of
Umbridge the Inquisitor (his name was Stephen Herondale), but when Luke was attacked by a werewolf, Valentine demanded that Stephen divorce Amatis, as her family line was no longer pure. I know. It’s not like Luke and Stephen were going to be having babies together so the logic is specious at best, but…whatever. Anyway, Luke has pack business to take care of, so he leaves Clary with his sister.
The Lightwoods are staying with some friends in the city. We’re introduced to Aline and her cousin Sebastian. Jace gets all flirty with Aline (which pisses Simon off for some reason) and everyone thinks Sebastian is kind of a creep, even if he is super handsome. The new Inquisitor demands that Alec bring Simon to HQ, and Alec assures him that they’re just going to use the main portal to send Simon back to New York, since his kind aren’t really welcome there.
WRONG! The Inquisitor locks Simon up after he refuses to implicate the Lightwoods as current
Deatheaters members of the Circle. It’s not just any cell, no! (Actually, I’m going to go on a bit of a language rant here. The guy in the cell next to Simon tells him that they’re being held in an oubliette. Now, [and I just looked it up to make sure] an oubliette is usually a dungeon in a castle [which is kind of appropriate here] BUT it is accessible ONLY from a hatch in the ceiling. This cell that they’re being held in has barred windows AND a door. I’m sorry Ms Clare, but what you’ve described is most certainly NOT an oubliette. Moving on.)
Back with Clary, she sneaks out of Amatis’ house to go find her friends. She gets directions to where they’re staying and walks in on Jace making out with Aline. Clary gets all pissy and they have this huge fight that leads to her storming off. Sebastian follows her, and Clary tells him all about her mother in the coma and how she has to find this one warlock (Ragnor Fell, jeez warlock names are stupid) because he might know how to wake her. Alec and Jace fight about something stupid, and Jace yells at him, telling Alec that he knows Alec thinks he loves him, but it’s just because Jace is the safe choice.
Sebastian shows up to take Clary out to see Ragnor Fell the next day. Somehow, this kid that just showed up knows all the happening places, I guess. They get there, and Magnus walks out of the house. Sebastian is frozen in place (because Magnus thinks he’s skeezy) and he tells Clary about how Ragnor was dead when he got there, but the information he has for her indicates that she needs to head to Wayland Manor and look for a cookbook. The cookbook is a lie, it’s really a soopersekrit spell book that Magnus wants, and it will also help him wake her mother up. Sebastian kisses Clary, but she pushes him away (because he’s a creep).
Simon is visited by Raphael’s projected self. He’s told that he needs to run far far away, because as a sparkly vamp, he’s too dangerous to let live. He tries to escape from his cell, but since Simon’s got all this daywalker strength, they’ve taken the added precaution of inscribing the bars and and the door knob with Stars of David. Cos…you know, Jewish vampire and all.
Jace is at Amatis’ when Clary gets home. He goes with her to Wayland Manor (since he grew up there and knows where the cookbook is) and while there, they find an honest-to-goodness angel imprisoned in the basement. The angel shows them its memories, and they learn that
Voldemort Valentine was experimenting with Angel and Demon blood, feeding them both to Jocelyn during her pregnancies. This is apparently why Jace and Clary have super powers. She was fed dried Demon blood during her first pregnancy (Jace) and dried Angel blood during her second pregnancy (Clary). The angel uses Jace’s knife to kill himself and the manor implodes, but not before they escape. As they’re laying in the grass, recovering, there’s another (icky) make out session, but Clary finally stops him to tell him that she won’t allow herself to be used like that. Yay, she acts like she has a brain!
They get back to Alicante to find the city in flames. The wards that protect the city are no longer functioning and Max, the youngest Lightwood, is killed by Sebastian. We didn’t hear much about Max anyway, so there was little emotional impact, but this is where we learn that Sebastian is working with Valentine. They break Simon out of the prison, and discover that his cell-mate was Hodge. Hodge tells them that the third Mortal Instrument that Valentine seeks is the Mirror and that the Mirror is actually the cursed lake that Clary took a dunk in a few days ago. Sebastian kills Hodge, then runs off.
Valentine projects himself into the middle of the survivors and tells them that he will resume the attack on Hogwarts at midnight if they don’t send him Harry Potter. Wait. No, he will resume the attack on the CITY at midnight (the following day) if they don’t surrender. Some of the older members of the Clave are all “hell, yes, we’ll surrender, we don’t want to die!” but others agree to work with the Downworlders (an unprecedented move) in order to save themselves from Valentine and his demon hordes.
Clary and Jace spend the night together (nothing dirty, but they do hold hands all night) and she wakes up to find him gone. There’s a stupid sappy note left behind. She goes downstairs, and her mother walks in, because Magnus made good on his word to heal her once he had the book. We learn that the reason Simon can walk in the daylight is because he drank Jace’s super-enhanced blood, AND that Jace is actually the son of Stephen Herondale (grandson of the previous Inquisitor) and his second wife AND that SEBASTIAN is actually her brother. YOU STILL KISSED YOUR BROTHER YOU STUPID GIRL! UGH. So, to sum up: Sebastian was the one given demon blood in vitro, Jace got the angel blood. Clary also got the angel blood, but it was by accident as Valentine wasn’t aware Jocelyn was pregnant a second time. Clary comes up with a way to bind Shadowhunters and Downworlders together, giving each the fighting prowess of the other. She also puts the Mark of Cain on Simon’s forehead, so that he can’t be killed by the vampires who despise and envy his abilities.
Jace has run off to kill Sebastian and Valentine. Valentine leaves his little cave hideout to summon the Angel Raziel. The one who summons the angel gets one wish. His wish is to kill all of the Shadowhunters he doesn’t already have on his side, so he can start anew with his little master race. Sebastian and Jace fight, Jace wins and runs off to stop Valentine. Clary ‘ports herself to the lake to stop her father, but he binds her with spells to keep her silent and immobile. Jace shows up and Valentine kills him. Somehow Clary manages to change the runes on his summoning circle, so when the angel rises from the lake, he ends up getting pissed off at Valentine and kills him.
Clary is given the one wish, since she changed the runes to her name…and she wishes for Jace to be brought back to life. [sigh] Really? You get one wish. FOR ANYTHING! Bah.
The book ends at a big party with fireworks and whatnot…and Jace and Clary kissing, only this time we don’t have to be squicked out cos they’re not actually related.