Study Guide

City of Bones Tough-o-Meter

By Cassandra Clare


(2) Sea Level

Maybe if we had Clary's Sight, we'd discover that City of Bones has insanely complex two-hundred word sentences, tongue-twisting wordplay, and metaphors so dense they'd make black holes look like water balloons. As we know from reading the book, nothing in Clary Fray's world is what it seems. The book's accessible language, zippy dialogue, and fast-moving plot could all be a trick. If so, kudos to the warlock who cast that spell. Strictly speaking though, this book's mostly a walk in Central Park.

To be fair, Cassandra Clare does reference dozens of creatures from various mythologies, and she also throws in a little Latin for good measure (don't worry, it's all translated into English within a few lines). You say you skipped Mythology 101? Boy, did you miss out. Shmoop's Mythology section, though, can totally bring you up to speed, and you shouldn't let that scare you away from this read. You don't need to know real-world references to enjoy the book. Just as the Pandemonium Club serves as a gateway for Clary into a world she never knew existed, the novel's rich references might do the same for you.