A new group of characters were introduced in the beginning of the book which was a surprise. Frankly, it was slightly annoying as I simply wanted to follow the main characters more. Though it seems the next series, The Dark Artifacts, will follow them five years after the final The Mortal Instruments book. The characters soon grew on me, especially Emma Cairstair and Julian Blackthorn, two young best friends who have just lost their parents and have Julian's four younger siblings to look after. One of the eldest of the Blackthorns, Helen, did feature in the previous books which was a nice tie-in. It's good to learn more about her and her family.I found their perspective an interesting take on the war; a group of young kids who have lost their parents and are trying to look after each other. I'm very keen to learn more about these young heroes.
Clary and her friends again take a key role in the war. Desired by Sebastian, Clary and Jace are seen as potential bargaining chips and have a very personal perspective on the war.Their relationship grows stronger as they not only face Sebastian but the Clave and other unseen enemies. Isabelle and Simon grow closer with Simon finding his inner strength while Isabelle displayed her vulnerability. At the end of the previous book, Alec and Mangus had an abrupt break up leaving both of them depressed and missing the other terribly.
Turning Shadowhunters evil added an extra layer of adversity and potential emotional upset. The Blackthorns' father was one such unlucky soul to have been Turned. The question that is a large part of the novel is can they been turned back? This mystery, as well as a few other side mysteries that arise, give the story a sense of having multi-layers and perspectives.
This was a great book that literally takes love to hell and back. It had some great twists in the end. I loved this series and am really getting into all the other Shadowhunter books. I can't wait to get stuck into the other Shadowhunter series!