It’s been 14 years since the release of City of Bones by Cassandra Clare, the first book in what would go on to become one of the most popular fantasy series ever. This is when fans were first introduced to the world of half-human/half-angel warriors who fought evil across multiple spin-offs and even different time periods. As we eagerly anticipate what’s next in the Shadowhunter Chronicles after Chain of Iron (how are we supposed to wait a year after THAT ending?!), let’s take a moment to appreciate the book that started it all.
1. It laid the groundwork
Based on a few reviews and rankings I’ve seen, I feel City of Bones tends to be a lot of peoples’ least favorite in the series, since it does contain a lot of worldbuilding. Yes, later books are much more exciting to read, as they have more going on in terms of plot, action sequences, and character interactions, but that’s because the groundwork had already been set. Looking back, we have to know it was well worth it for where we have ended up and how much the series has grown after our initial introduction into the shadow world. It now encompasses 5 different novel series and 3 novella collections, with much more to come before the series reaches its conclusion. If that doesn’t give you a little more appreciation for this book, then just think how we probably wouldn’t have The Infernal Devices trilogy without it, which a lot of fans (myself included) consider to be one of the greatest of all time. If we didn’t have City of Bones, then we wouldn’t be blessed by the existence of Will Herondale, and I don’t know about you, but that’s not a world I want to live in.
2. introduction to Clace, malec, and sizzy
A trend in most of the books in the Shadowhunter Chronicles is very shippable couples. Time after time, Cassie has consistently made us fall in love with all these new characters and relationships, from Will/Tessa/Jem to Emma/Julian (I know there are A LOT more, but these are just a few). But the OG ships that came before all the other ones were Clace, Malec, and Sizzy. All of these iconic couples got their start in City of Bones, and while some didn’t fully develop until later, the potential was certainly there. Now that we know where these couples end up and who’s engaged and/or married, it’s fun to look back to the beginning to really appreciate how far each of them has come. All three of these couples had their own journey to go on, and we fans were along for the ride the entire time. (This is also the book that made us all very concerned that we shipped incest – props to Cassie for that!)
One of my favorite things about this series and Cassie’s writing in general is the sarcasm present throughout. If a book has dialogue that has me openly cackling, then it automatically becomes one of my favorites. You wouldn’t think it, but it’s hard to find books that have genuinely witty lines, and I’ve never found another series that does it quite like this one. Now, let’s highlight a few of my favorite sassy lines from City of Bones.
1.” ‘Have you fallen in love with the wrong person yet?’ Jace said, ‘Unfortunately, Lady of the Haven, my one true love remains myself.’… ‘At least,’ she said, ‘You don’t have to worry about rejection, Jace Wayland.’ ‘Not necessarily. I turn myself down occasionally, just to keep it interesting.”
2. “‘Don’t order any of the faerie food,’ said Jace, looking at her over the top of his menu. ‘It tends to make humans a little crazy. One minute you’re munching a faerie plum, the next minute you’re running naked down Madison Avenue with antlers on your head. Not,’ he added hastily, ‘that this has ever happened to me.’ “
3. “It means ‘Shadowhunters: Looking Better in Black Than the Widows of our Enemies Since 1234.’ “
Well, there you have it! I hope you have a newfound appreciation for the first book in not only The Mortal Instruments series, but in the Shadowhunter Chronicles as a whole. What is your favorite book/series in the Shadowhunter Chronicles? Let us know in the comments down below!
Featured image via amazon