It has been a very long time since I first read this book. I have read it several times since then, but I have never written a review.
This book is captivating from the very start. Author Cassandra Clare does a fantastic job of world-building, not just the Shadow World, but also the world of London during this time period. I easily find myself transported there.
I love the characters. Tessa is lovable, interesting, and a complete mystery. She loves to read, and often displays her knowledge of great literature. Will is the handsome, brooding warrior… his heart inside a self-built fortress. He, also, is a voracious reader with a nearly photographic memory. He is often quoting lines from literature that fits the situation in which he finds himself. Jem is the Prince Charming who is flawed. He is kind, loving, and caring. He is also the most tragic of the three because of what he endures. These characters are complex, and I find myself easily attached to them. Even the ancillary characters are developing toward a complexity.
The story is full of action, friendship, and a different sort of family. It is also a testament to the politics at work in any organization, even one with a mandate. All of the elements, large and small, make this a story worth reading over and over. The little details draw me in, and make me want to stay with the Shadowhunters in their Institute. This book would make an excellent movie… if the movie follows the feel, facts, and circumstances of the book.
Excellent work. 5 stars