City of Heavenly Fire (#6) by Cassandra Clare
I have done it!! I have finally finished this series!! Huzzah!!! And yes, I am sticking with my 4-star rating. At the end of reading both The Infernal Devices trilogy and The Mortal Instruments series, I have decided that I really did like both of these series and I will continue to read Cassandra Clares’ books.
I definitely stand by the crowd favorite opinion that The Infernal Devices trilogy is loads better and this final installment in The Mortal Instruments series is also one of her better novels.
Two of the things that I really enjoy about Cassandra Clares’ books are:
- Her characters: While most of her sub-plots are pretty sub-par, her characters are absolutely wonderful!! 🙂 You fall in love with her characters and she writes an incredibly wide cast. Given how wide the cast is, you would think that some would be more underdeveloped than others, but Cassandra Clare fully develops out most of her characters which is truly impressive.
- Her world creation: I truly fell in love with this world – it was fascinating, fun, action-packed, and super interesting to put together as you read through the series. I particularly loved how she wove in her trilogy into her series – that made the series so much more fun to read to know how the trilogy fits into place.
Overall, I really enjoyed this last book and definitely found it to be a great finish to this series. It would’ve gotten a much higher rating, if the beginning wasn’t so gosh darn slow!! That is one thing that I find Cassandra Clare does that bugs me: she fills her books with so much filler stuff, that it can be very hard to stay engaged. I am about to get into some major spoilers for not only this book, but also the entirety of the two series. I am definitely pretty stoked to pick up Lady Midnight next! 😉
Let me start with the prologue!! Oh. My. Goodness!! Way to be Cassandra Clare for not only integrating all of TID into this book, but also previewing us to her new The Dark Artifaces trilogy!!! I loved being introduced to Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorn, along with the rest of the Blackthorn children. This was an incredibly tragic way to begin the book, but I think did a great job setting the tone for the rest of the book and really solidified how incredible of a villain Sebastian really is.
I cannot say this enough, the whole Clace (Clary/Jace) romance continues to bug me and that did not change in this book. I think if I could change anything, it would be this romance. They are the height of the angsty YA romance trope, especially with Jace being consumed with the heavenly fire which means he can’t really touch her without burning her. Commence head banging against the wall out of pure frustration. Both characters as individuals also continued to bug me throughout the book. Clary, with her rashness and over the top thinking just frustrated me endlessly. Thankfully, by the end of the book she had grown and I was much happier with her character at the end. Jace, with his mega angst which leads to so many self-destructive behaviors. Le sigh…I just wish that Cassandra Clare wrote protagonists that I actually felt attached to…le sigh.
As mentioned earlier, I really loved reading about Emma Carstairs, Julian Blackthorn, and the rest of the Blackthorn children as they are the ones that her newest trilogy is based off of. This is definitely what Cassandra Clare is best at – this whole world creation and connecting all of her characters and stories together. I loved Emma’s character – she is spunky, strong, and really puts the interests of those she loves before her own. I also love Julian’s character – being part of such a huge family seems to make him more nurturing and a fierce defender of those he loves. I think they’re a great pair and cannot wait to read more about their parabatai relationship and adventures!! 🙂
There were two main battles in this book: the first one in the Adament Citadel and then, of course, the last ultimate battle. The first one was okay – it was action packed, but a little overwhelming. It was hard to follow and honestly, I skimmed through it. The most exciting part about this battle was when Brother Zachariah (ahem, Jem, ahem) sucked some of the heavenly fire out of Jace when he was hurt. Which means – JEM IS BACK!! 😀 I’ll get to that a little bit later though 😉 So, all in all, just okay…maybe slightly unnecessary? Now – the second battle, the big climax…was actually quite good. I was very impressed, for the first time, with Clary’s character. They had to go through the hell demon dimension to get to Sebastian and once they did, Sebastian demanded that Clary join him and rule that dimension beside him. If she didn’t, then he would destroy the rest of the world. She agrees making Sebastian think that she has agreed to his terms. What he doesn’t know is that earlier, Clary found a way to take the remaining heavenly fire out of Jace and place it into her sword, which she then used to burn out the evil within Sebastian. The backstabbing nature of this act was truly surprising and actually, very out of character for Clary. It was a very well-thought plan and it had none of her prior recklessness which I very much appreciated. Very good – very emotional, and definitely the best way to wrap up the series.
Speaking of Sebastian, way to be Cassandra Clare for creating the scariest villain ever!! Sebastian is literally the manifestation of all evil, which is truly terrifying and you can’t get scarier than that. He embodies what it means to be evil and there is literally nothing good inside of him because that is how he was created by Valentine. It isn’t until the end of the book that that makes you realize how terrible this is for him and how heartbreaking a life like that really is. After Clary stabbed him and burned all of the evil energy out of him, there was truly nothing left and for a moment, Sebastian became Jonathan – which was who he was meant to be, had Valentine not experimented on him. The moment when Jonathan reached out for Jocelyn and Clary in the most sincere way was heartbreaking and really made me believe in his redemptive story, even if it was too late. Cassandra Clare did an incredible job highlighting the story that one can be redeemed and that one is not too far from that. Honestly, Sebastian was one of my favorite characters in the whole series!
Now – I have to talk about the most emotional part of the book…the final encounter with Magnus’ father, Asmodeus. Once they defeated Sebastian, they realized that they were stuck in this hell demon dimension, so Magnus summons his father. Asmodeus is one of the Nine Princes of Hell and is actually one of the scarier Greater Demons. Asmodeus initially demands Magnus as payment in order for them to get back to their own world. This is the initial heartbreaking part of this ending, as we see Magnus willing to give himself up for Alec and the rest of the crew, which shows just how much Magnus loves Alec!! 😥 And then…OUT OF NOWHERE! Simon volunteers himself as tribute?!?! Haha – but really though!!! Sebastian sacrifices his immortality and then Asmodeus also demands his memories of all of them and this world. Yes, Izzy’s reaction was heartbreaking…but it was his relationship with Clary that literally made me sob while I read this. Simon and Clary’s relationship was one of my favorites to read because it was so pure and there was so much love in their best friendship, that to see Simon ripped away from her broke my heart. Of course, reading the epilogue where Simon didn’t know her just broke me. This was an incredible ending and really brought it all together.
Hey oh! Cassandra Clare definitely knows how to write an epilogue!!! I loved it!!! I wanted more!!! It was heartbreaking and heartwarming all at the same time. So many nuggets of goodness. We get to finally see Jocelyn and Luke tie the knot, which way way delayed. Simon’s scene with Clary were heartbreaking, but then…we find out that if there is a glimmer of memory in Simon that he could do something?!?! YAAASS!!! Simon is coming back!! And not only that – but Simon is ASCENDING!!! Simon is going to be a Shadowhunter!!!! 😀 YAASS!!!
And of course, the BEST part about the epilogue…Tessa and Jem!!!! Oh my goodness…the tears were a flowing for sure!! Tessa and Jem come to the wedding and Tessa takes Clary aside for a little heart-to-heart, which was so wonderful!!! I loved Tessa in The Infernal Devices and clearly, time has been hard to Tessa and so it was lovely to see her happy in the end. I loved hearing about Tessas’ life post TID as she secluded herself in the Spiral Labyrinth and watched her beloved families from afar. This epilogue really shows how incredible Cassandra Clare really is because this connected with the epilogue in Clockwork Princess, which was so fascinating to read. And then, of course…how Tessa affectionally spoke of Jace was the most heart shattering!! Tessa is his ancestor!!! I would’ve loved to have seen Tessa and Jace interact – a small part of me hopes that that happens, maybe?? Especially since Tess and Jem are going to LOS ANGELES!!! Are they going to be TDA?!?! Oh please, oh please!!!
All in all, I was very impressed with this final installation. I definitely say that you need to press on through her TMI series, in order to get to the good stuff and her TID trilogy is outstanding! I will definitely continue to read Cassandra Clares’ works and I am very happy to do it 🙂