The Mortal Instruments (3 books): City of Bones; City of Ashes; City of Glass

The Mortal Instruments (3 books): City of Bones; City of Ashes; City of Glass

by Cassandra Clare

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Don’t miss The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, soon to be a major motion picture in theaters August 2013.

The first three books in the #1 New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments series, available in an eBook collection.

Enter the secret world of the Shadowhunters with this eBook boxed set that includes City of Bones, City of Ashes, and City of Glass. The Mortal Instruments books have more than five million copies in print, and this eBook collection of the first three volumes makes a great gift for newcomers to the series and for loyal fans alike.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781442430044
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication date: 12/07/2010
Series: Mortal Instruments Series
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 1520
File size: 15 MB
Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Cassandra Clare is the #1 New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of The Red Scrolls of Magic, as well as the internationally bestselling Dark Artifices trilogy, Mortal Instruments series, and Infernal Devices trilogy. She is the coauthor of The Bane Chronicles with Sarah Rees Brennan and Maureen Johnson; Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy with Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson, and Robin Wasserman; and Ghosts of the Shadow Market with Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson, Kelly Link, and Robin Wasserman. Her books have more than 50 million copies in print worldwide and have been translated into more than thirty-five languages and made into a feature film and a TV show. Cassandra lives in western Massachusetts. Visit her at Learn more about the world of the Shadowhunters at

Reading Group Guide

A Reading Group Guide to

The Mortal Instruments Trilogy


Anyone who has visited New York City can tell you that it’s a magical place. But what if the magic that resides there is more than hectic energy and a bunch of tourist-friendly sites . . . what if it’s real? What if there’s another layer to this world that most people can’t see, a layer that’s full of faeries and vampires, werewolves and demon hunters, protective runes and evil overlords? In The Mortal Instruments trilogy, Cassandra Clare peels back the glamour to reveal the magic that is usually hidden from us.

In City of Bones, Clary can hardly believe her eyes when she sees a trio of teens slay a demon at her favorite nightclub. Little does she realize that it’s merely her first glimpse into a world that she was born into—a world that her mother, Jocelyn, has tried desperately to keep from her. But with her mother missing and Luke—her mother’s oldest friend and the second most important person in Clary’s life—pushing her away, Clary must turn to these same demon-slaying teens, known as Shadowhunters, for answers. Along with her best friend, Simon, Clary struggles to absorb all that she is learning. Demons attack her; Simon is turned into a rat at a warlock party and stolen by vampires; Valentine, an evil Shadowhunter long thought dead, is back and trying to find the Mortal Cup so that he can create a Nephilim army. Through it all, though, there is Clary’s intense attraction to Jace, the Shadowhunter who both drives her crazy and draws her to him. Can Valentine be right? Can Jace really be her brother?

The story continues in City of Ashes, with Clary attempting to forget her love for Jace by avoiding him and dating Simon. All that changes, though, when she hears that Jace has been imprisoned in the Silent City by the Clave’s Inquisitor, who refuses to believe that Jace isn’t working for Valentine. When Valentine chooses that night to kill the Silent Brothers and steal the Mortal Sword, it only makes Jace look more guilty. After figuring out that Valentine is killing Downworlders in order to perform a ritual that will turn the Mortal Sword into a powerful instrument of evil, the teens visit the Seelie Court to ask the Faerie Queen for her help. In short order, Clary’s love for Jace is revealed, Simon is turned into a vampire, and Jace confronts Valentine on a ship in the East River. Clary discovers that she has the ability to create new runes, which serves her well during the climactic battle on board Valentine’s ship, as the Nephilim fight a host of demons and Clary tries to keep Valentine from converting the Mortal Sword. Clary manages to destroy Valentine’s ship, but not before he escapes, many Nephilim are injured, and Simon finds that drinking Jace’s blood has made him impervious to sunlight. Things seem to be getting back to “normal” when Madeleine Bellefleur appears to tell Clary that she knows how to wake up Jocelyn, who had been captured by Valentine’s demons and into a deep sleep.

City of Glass takes place mostly in Idris, where Valentine is believed to be looking for the Mortal Glass so that he can complete his plan to overturn the Clave and eliminate all the Downworlders. Clary is in Idris too, hoping to find a way to wake up her mother. In the course of doing this, she discovers that, before they were born, Valentine infused Jace with the blood of a demon, and Clary with the blood of an angel. When demons attack the supposedly impenetrable city of Alicante, the revelations fly fast and furious. Simon has been imprisoned next to Hodge, Sebastian is a spy for Valentine, and Max Lightwood is killed. Luke offers the help of the werewolves as the Nephilim decide whether to fight Valentine, but it seems that there’s no way for the two groups to work together, and Valentine will be unopposed. . . . Until Clary creates a rune that binds a werewolf to a Shadowhunter, allowing them to fight together and share powers. Magnus Bane brings Jocelyn to Idris, and she and Clary make up while the rest of the Nephilim prepare to fight. Clary also marks Simon with the Mark of Cain so that he can fight with the rest and secure a place for the vampires in the new world that is being built. At a final showdown between Valentine, Jace, and Clary, Jace is killed, but not before finding out that he’s not really Valentine’s son. When Valentine raises Raziel from Lake Lyn, he doesn’t realize that Clary has changed the summoning runes just enough to control the angel. Valentine is killed by Raziel, who then brings Jace back to life at Clary’s request.

The Mortal Instruments series speaks to the outsider in all of us as we try to figure out who we are and how we fit into the world, without letting anyone know how scared we are. By finding a balance between the worlds of the mundane and the Shadowhunters, Clary defines what sort of adult she will be. She finds out who she loves, where she belongs, and what she’s willing to fight for.


· When Clary learns that Magnus Bane had erased her supernatural memories, she says that she had always felt like there was something wrong with her. How much of this is because she didn’t know her history, and how much is caused—as Magnus says—by the simple fact that she’s a teenager? Does she belong in the Shadowhunter world?

· How much of what mundanes see in this world is a glamour, constructed by those with magical powers? Why do these glamours exist? How do things change for Clary once she can see through them?

· Where did Nephilim, witches and warlocks, vampires, werewolves, and faeries come from? Do their origins justify the roles they play and the rivalries between them?

· Why did Valentine rebel against the Clave in the first place? What does he hope to accomplish by stealing the Mortal Instruments and fighting the Clave now? Whose best interests does he have in mind?

· At one point, Jace says he doesn’t believe in God (City of Bones, p. 256). Do you think this is true? Can someone be a Shadowhunter and not believe in God?

· What is it about the Silent Brothers that is so disturbing to Clary and the others? Do you think the Silent Brothers play up this aura of creepiness?

· Why was Jace, who rarely felt fear, so afraid when he was imprisoned in the Silent City?

· How do Jace’s feelings about danger and death differ from Alec’s and Isabelle’s? Why does Jace feel the way he does about putting himself in the line of danger? How does Clary change this?

· Shadowhunters are charged with protecting mundanes, but they seem to have very little respect for those they serve. Why do you think their feelings for normal humans are so complicated? Why do they continue to serve mundanes if they don’t like them?

· After Valentine takes the Mortal Cup and returns to Idris, why does the Clave find it difficult to trust Jace? What does Jace do to earn their trust? What should he have done? Does Maryse Lightwood really distrust him?

· What role does Luke play in Clary’s life? Does this role change as the story progresses? How does the Clave feel about Luke? Why does he inspire such strong feelings in others?

· When Simon becomes a daylighter, how will this keep him from finding his place in the world? In what ways is it helpful to him?

· Discuss the character of Hodge. Why did he betray his young charges? Was he just self-serving and bad, or did he do some good with his life? Was he right to fear Valentine more than the Clave?

· How did Jace and Clary get their special abilities? Why do you think they developed different skills? Will the other Shadowhunters view their abilities as a gift or a curse?

· What is the significance of Clary creating the binding rune? Does its origin tell us anything about how Shadowhunters and Downworlders should treat each other?

· What sacrifices does Simon make? Why is he willing to do these things? Does he gain anything by doing this?

· Valentine’s plotting and lies cause a lot of confusion about who his children are. How does Clary define family? Who had the greatest influence on the formation of Jace’s character? Where does Jace belong? Which of the three children—Clary, Jace, and Jonathan—was most affected by Valentine?

· Several people, including Jace and Luke, accuse Clary of rushing into situations without any regard to how her actions will affect others. Do you think this is a fair assessment? Do any other characters act like this? In the end, does this trait harm or help Clary?

· Why does Alec have such a hard time telling people about his relationship with Magnus Bane? What changes his mind?

· What does the phrase “Mene Mene Tekel Upharsin” mean? Where did it originally come from? How does it apply to the situation with Valentine? How does it compare to what Clary was thinking when she wrote it?

· Clary and her mother are both artists. How does this figure into their gifts as Shadowhunters? Overall, is Clary’s gift creative or destructive?

· Discuss the many biblical references in the book, particularly those that make up the chapter titles—East of Eden, All the Host of Hell, Where There is Sorrow, Sins of the Fathers, etc. Do these chapter headings add to the actions that take place in the chapters they begin? Why do you think the author chose so many quotes from the Bible? Is the Bible important in the lives of any of the characters?

· The author starts each book and each section within the books with a quotation. What do you know about the sources of these quotations? What sort of works are they from? Is there a common theme? Why do you think the author chose these quotes?


· Write a research paper on ancient runes. When were they used? By whom? What did they look like? Are they still used today? What is their connection to modern written language?

· Clary is able to identify a problem and create a rune that will solve that problem. Choose a problem that is currently being faced by you, your school, your community, or your government and create a rune that will help. What do the different lines in the rune stand for? What will the rune do? What were you thinking when you drew it? Write a story about how the rune is used to solve the problem you chose.

· Hodge knew many tricks for healing physical ailments using herbs, plants, and other natural remedies. Compare and contrast different branches of alternative medicine—homeopathy, herbal medicine, acupuncture, etc. How do they compare to the practice of medicine as we traditionally think of it?

· There is a rich mythology surrounding angels, Nephilim, demons, vampires, and other creatures in the book. Choose one of these magical creatures and find out more about them. Find other books and movies that cover the subject, and compare the world found there to the world of The Mortal Instruments. Write a short paper about the history of the creature you’ve chosen and the different ways it has shown up in literature throughout the years.

· Shadowhunters devote their lives to making the world a safer and better place for those around them. What can you do to make the world a better place? Choose a cause you believe in and then volunteer.

· Clary is a talented artist, and often uses art to make sense of the things that are happening in her world. Express yourself through some art form—drawing, painting, sculpting, or collage—and draw someone or something from the books.

· Shadowhunters have strong ties to their ancestors. Trace the family trees of the Shadowhunters and discover their connections to one another.

Customer Reviews

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The Mortal Instruments (3 books): City of Bones; City of Ashes; City of Glass 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 521 reviews.
JT_bksllr7 More than 1 year ago
I have never been the sort of girl who was ever been interested in teen vampire romance. Being a bookseller, however, forced my hand at having to read the Twilight series - and to my suprise it wasn't that bad. In fact, I read one a night. So I shouldnt be suprised that when I picked up the Mortal Instruments Series - which I felt I had to read before recommending it to customers - I not just liked, but loved this series. Is there still a lot of teen drama with love triangles and forbidden loves? oh ya. But there are so many redeeming qualities. For starters, Cassandra Clare does an excellent job of developing some pretty dynamic characters. Every character is developed to where you know them and maybe even identify with them. The characters are extremely diverse and so the story balances out well. There is also a much more complex plot line that is riddled with adventure and intrigue as opposed to other teen vampire romance books. What is so excellent about the series is the delicate balance that Clare constructs between the teen romance, the extreme action and fighting scenes (thats right, they actually fight the bad guys in this series...)and the magic/ underworld culture that is the series. I cannot think of a point in the series where I was not entertained. This series is also very "clean" so-to-speak... lets just say that unlike the Twilight saga, no one ever does enough to become pregnant... I'm just saying... and all romance scenes are short and clean. There is also little to none inappropriate language. This was an excellent seris that I have been recommending to teens and parents shopping for teens who loved Twilight. I hope you enjoy Cassandra Clares fantasy world as much as I did! Happy Reading!
theReader278 More than 1 year ago
I loved reading this set! Those books keep you entertained for hours.
grapeapeAS More than 1 year ago
I'm one of those people that reads the occasional Young Adult book, even though I haven't qualified as a young adult for some time. I picked up the first book in this series just to have a book to read on an airplane, but I quickly bought the remaining books and completed reading the trilogy very quickly. Its very easy to get hooked on the characters and before you know it you just have to find out how things are going to end. There are alot of fantasy elements here, so if that is not your thing you probably shouldn't bother with this series. Also, if you are easily offended by religious implications (i.e., angels, demons, God, Satan, etc.) you probably shouldn't bother. But, if you are pretty open minded and like a tale that keeps you guessing until the end, you should definitely check this one out. I promise you won't be able to stop after the first book.
Cheyenne_Catina More than 1 year ago
This book series was awesome! Honestly, I'm not much for paranormal- you know, vampires, werewolves, faeries and all that. it's just not my style. but in the teen reads book club I heard about them and Jace, and thuoght that it might actually be pretty good. I read the first book over the summer, then the other two a couple weeks ago. All of these are just terrific.I honestly can't do this series justice with words, at least in my opinion. All the characters are unique and 3-d in their own way. Jace is a great imaginary boyfriend(LOL) and, just omg read them! By the end of the first book, City of Bones, you have a vested interest in these characters...some you like, some you definitely don't, but all the same these reads are just great...I know I'm rambling, but I can't say how, for someone who doesn't like these types of books, by the third chapter in CoB, I was hooked. City of Ashes is emotional and deep, and Cassandra Clare does a great job in City of Glass in tying it all up, and adding new elements that you didn't expect...there are just great endings and everything works out( for the most part;). In all of the books, there are twists and turns that leave you guessing and trying to figure out what's going to happen. These are highly addictive and leave you wanting more in a good way...Jace also is a great character, he is, in his description, cute and he's witty, witty and just is awesome...( team Jace!)...there are also tons of quotes that are hilarious. This series, the Mortal Instuments, is a great mix of funny, emotional, deep and my opinion these are better than twilight, though I confess I have never read that series. I recomments this to all of my friends. It is also written in a manner that although you know that none of it could possible be true, you want to believe and you can picture it in your head. I can reread these for a long time to come, and it's a great story to discuss. So, in closing no matter your preferences: READ THIS SERIES!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can someone explain to me why this packaged set of the first three books is nearly thirty dollars, when individually purchased the first three ebooks are $4.99 apiece? Can we say underhanded sales scheme?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is the cure for the comon twilight! Up with Jace, down with Edward!
_-Karina-_ More than 1 year ago
if u ever read these following books---- Maximum Ride, Twilight, and shiver u will LOVE THIS. there will be another book u must buy seperate cuz it JUST came out consider urself lucky if u arent on barnes n nobles waiting for it to come out cuz that was me!! MUST READ THIS TO EXPIRENCE LIFE.???????
Pinche_Perros More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this series not once but twice. It's a wonderful story and lot's of fun. Enjoy:)
Morigami More than 1 year ago
There are no words to descride how amazing this series is! It brings you into the book and shows you a world but in a different view. It shows you the faeries, werewolves, vampires, and witches but it also shows you a new type of creature and a new type of world. It's a thrill ride you don't want to just forget about. I know i wont. The characters are fanstasic. It's like a roller coaster you never want to get off. Jace and Clary are my favorite characters and always will be. It truly is a world I would love to live in! There is so much drama but without drama there wont be any fun. When I was reading the last book I had 3 more chapters left and I still didn't know what was going to happen next. You have to read this series. It really is better then anything I have ever read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you can image a cross between Harry Potter, Twilight and Percy Jackson and the Olympians this is the story. I agree with the other review and I am mid 40's that this blows Twilight out of the water which I loved. Its age appropirate for 10/11+ years of age. Lots of action and adventure, love and friendship and acceptance. I read in 3 days because I couldn't get enough of it and will read them all again. Would love to see this come alive on the big screen too. Jace, Clary, Simon, Isabelle and Alec not to mention Magnus Bane. I love that it tells the story from several angles to - not just one perspective. Just when you are wondering what is going on with Clary or Jace the story Switches to them. Fabulous writing. I just love those that create such wonderful worlds for us to escape to. It is truly a gift. For the kids that want to ready Twilight that are too young, this story and Percy Jackson can fill that gap until they are old enough. It not as emtionally intense for those 10-13 year olds that are not ready for it. You will be capitvated with this series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I promise u this is the best book ever im 11 and i thought this was the best. The only wrong parts r in the last book. But it is amazing. I wanna be a shadow hunter!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great books can't wait to see the movie
LoveBooks84 More than 1 year ago
I completely fell in love with this took me three weeks to read these book I had to go out and immediately buy the other two that have already come. One of the things I did not like is Barnes and Nobles shipping I received the box set and the box was completely ruined. There was a big gash right across the front of the box. The books themselves weren't damaged though.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
malashe More than 1 year ago
I simply loved these boobs. i didnt think there was going to be any series as good as twilight series......I was wrong. this series was super great I can wait until the new series continue!!!!!!!!!!!
xxdance4lifexx24 More than 1 year ago
To those who are not sure if you want to read this series, DON'T HESITATE!!! This series has everything one could ask for, and actually doesn't have the main plot of romance. While there is the love triangle with Clary, Jace and Simon, which is an important contribute to the story, the main plot is about Clary's battle for her mother against the cold-hearted Shadowhunter, Valentine and Clary's discovery as to who she really is. This series will keep you aching for more and always guessing. And a little suggestion-get all three books when you go to get the first one, because when I finished the first book (in three days) I had to wait until the next day to get it and I couldn't stop thinking about it in class! I got so distracted because of daydreaming and geussing what would happen next. I also don't know how I'm gonna be able to wait until the release date of CIty Of Fallen Angels, (March 30, 2010!) I hope this review helps!
bolgai on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
There's plenty of controversy surrounding these books. They've been criticized for the apparent incestuousness of the relationship between the two main characters for about 2 books out of 3, for two secondary characters being gay and another a rather promiscuous lady. There's blood and gore and cold-hearted twistedness and frankly I don't think these are YA books. The characters are teenagers, but to me that's not enough to make a book suitable for teen reading. Then of course there was the scandal of Cassandra Clare allegedly plagiarizing everything fantasy from TV to books in her Harry Potter fanfiction. I haven't seen or read the allegedly plagiarized works or the said fanfic so am not qualified to have an opinion on this, I can say though that there are elements in MI that are common to other stories. The extremely powerful and charismatic villain with a group of supporters he gathered while they were all in school and the orphan courageous enough to stand up to him come to mind immediately and I think we all know what they're reminiscent of. Here's what makes that not matter to me: anything after the folk tales, myths and legends is a repeat, anything written now has been done before in one way or another and the important thing is not to create something absolutely original (that I think would be next to impossible) but to make something familiar your own and different. I think Cassandra Clare does that beautifully. I really enjoyed these books, could hardly put them down really. Ms. Clare's writing is witty, the characters are realistic enough with all their flaws and fine qualities, there's plenty of action and lovelorn adolescent angst to satisfy both types of readers. Even mild character continuity problems, like the bookish Clary who regularly skipped PE in the first book all of a sudden becoming strong and agile in the second, didn't ruin the experience. I loved how developed the world is with plenty of fantastical creatures, their intricate dynamics and how the fantasy world coexists with the regular world with the 'mundie' humans suspecting not a thing. If you are the kind of reader who can manage to not let the things I talked about in the first paragraph make these books unpalatable I think you're in for a treat and you should put them on your To Read list. They've made it to my To Buy list.
MoonlightGleam on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This series is definitely a page turner. I won't be describing the plot much as I do not wish to accidentally spoil anything for those who plan on reading it sometime soon.This is all you need to know, the story introduces all creatures, from vampires to werewolves and even evil faeries! There is adventure and romance, as well as twists and turns, but you will enjoy every minute of it!Be warned¿ each book has a major cliffhanger so if you don¿t own all three before beginning to read the first book, you will regret it because you will definitely want to know what happens next!In case you are not aware of it, there is a fourth book coming out in which continues the series titled ¿City of Fallen Angels¿, as well as another book in relation to this series titled ¿Clockwork Angel¿.
MelGabel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love this series. It's fast paced and extremely in depth. The wild twists are mind teasers and although there is a lot of story line to keep up with it isn't hard. These books are complete page turners! It puts the magical worlds that most people know about and stands them on their heads. Sexy, sinful, and smart. I'd recommend these books to anyone however, just a warning, they are a little hot and heavy at times.
footystar27 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It was a great introduction to one of my favorite series. I really liked the characters and how they interact with each other. I think it was really well written and it flowed well. Plus I love the fact that it doesn't take a long time to get into the action like some books do. Within the first chapter there was already action and it really kept me interested till the end.
christiesbookreviews on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
awesome series. I got sucked in and loved the characters and the plot twists were crazy at times. It is easy to fall in love with Clary and Jace. This is one of my favorite series and I highly recommend it!.
maidenveil on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I took interest in this series because a lot of the other members I belonged to in a forum (for a certain book) have were currently reading the last in the series, which is City of Glass. So I thought might as well read the books since I was in the mood.I never thought I could feel again the feeling I had when I read the Harry Potter series and even when I first watched the Lord of the Rings (FOTR). I knew by the time I was in the middle chapter that I was in love with the story. I think if not for the need to feed and sleep, I could have been finished with the three books in less than three days. So I think it took me roughly four days instead. My sisters were blaming the books for making me unusually mental. I can¿t give you the reasons why I love the books. Nor I am still speechless on how to describe the books to you. All I can say is that there are three book series that I love (that if God will allow me to live in either one of the stories these are my choices): Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter series, and the Mortal Instruments.If they will make a movie out of this story (which I pray that they won¿t) the studio better make it as GOOD as HP and LOTR, because the book doesn¿t deserve any less. And lastly. It¿s Alex Pettyfer as Jace Wayland or to hell with the movie.
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