Review: City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments #6) - Cassandra Clare

Release Date: May 27th 2014
Published By: Margaret K. McElderry Book
Pages: 725
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Rating: 3 out of 5

Synopsis: In this dazzling and long-awaited conclusion to the acclaimed Mortal Instruments series, Clary and her friends fight the greatest evil they have ever faced: Clary’s own brother.

Sebastian Morgenstern is on the move, systematically turning Shadowhunter against Shadowhunter. Bearing the Infernal Cup, he transforms Shadowhunters into creatures out of nightmare, tearing apart families and lovers as the ranks of his Endarkened army swell.

The embattled Shadowhunters withdraw to Idris - but not even the famed demon towers of Alicante can keep Sebastian at bay. And with the Nephilim trapped in Idris, who will guard the world against demons?

When one of the greatest betrayals the Nephilim have ever known is revealed, Clary, Jace, Isabelle, Simon, and Alec must flee - even if their journey takes them deep into the demon realms, where no Shadowhunter has set foot before, and from which no human being has ever returned…

Love will be sacrificed and lives lost in the terrible battle for the fate of the word in the thrilling final installment of the classic urban fantasy series The Mortal Instruments!

Review: This review contains spoilers for the previous books in ‘The Mortal Instruments’ series.

The dramatic conclusion for The Mortal Instruments has arrived. We left City of Lost Souls with Sebastian planning on destroying the world with the help of his newly made Endarkened ones. Sebastian left the Nephilim with a message “ΕRCHOMAI” - I am coming. But now, another has been received - I have come. Sebastian is out to destroy the world that does not love him, to burn down the world that rejects him and nothing in this world can stop him.

Shadowhunters are being turned to Endarkened ones by The Infernal Cup. Shadowhunters are turning against Shadowhunters. Downworlders turning against Downworlders. Downworlds turning against Shadowhunters. The only chance there is to stop the world from being destroyed may mean that Jace, Clary, Simon, Isabelle and Alec have to find something from another world to defeat him. But is it possible, and who will survive?

I will admit, I am struggling with rating this one. There were many things I liked about the conclusion to The Mortal Instruments series, but sadly, there were things that I equally didn’t like about it!

Let me start by saying there are deaths - that is no secret. Cassandra Clare already announced that 6 characters we know by name will die - and I know a lot of people were scared about this. Understandably, we have had 5 books to of getting to know and love certain characters. I am not going to tell you who came to their demise in City of Heavenly Fire, but I will say that something about who did or didn’t die actually disappointed me. Some felt completely unnecessary, while other deaths that did not happen felt like a cop-out.

I felt that there was some great character development in this book as well - Alec and Izzy in particular. Alec came into his own - he started to open himself up to much more and in the process learnt more about himself. And Izzy finally comes into her own, letting go of things from her past that has stopped her from trusting and loving those around her. Clary finally comes into her own, and by that I means she stops working on her own. She stops making so many impulsive decisions and going off on her own, and she starts working as a team, particularly with Jace. And Jace, well he does grow, but he will always remain the cocky hero with an over inflated ego (which of course results in many funny lines). He just now knows to love is to not necessarily to destroy.

Some other interesting characters also come into more play in this book. Like Maureen. She isn’t new, we were introduced to her in the previous book, but wow, Maureen is one cray-cray little lollipop. As far as crazy little-girl vampires go, she even puts Charity from the Evernight series to shame. And we also see more of Raphael and Maia. Maia becomes a much stronger character throughout this story - however there was on aspect of her story that I found that kind of came out of nowhere. Maybe it is because we didn’t see what happened between City of Lost Souls and the beginning of this book, but it just seemed kind of random.

In City of Heavenly Fire, we did finally get some answers to some long standing questions - how certain people came to know each other, the family connection between certain characters and I was more than happy to finally get some answers regarding Magnus - although there is still a lot more to be told there.

Links between The Infernal Devices and The Mortal Instruments were also prominent, and wrapped up nicely. These links are one thing I have always enjoyed about The Mortal Instruments, as I had read The Infernal Devices first - and I give Cassandra Clare credit for linking these up so well and thoughtfully. There were also more seeds planted regarding links for Clare’s upcoming series, The Dark Artifices, which makes me feel that a certain character will appear in that series as well (which could prove interesting).

Now, speaking of Clare’s other series - the one thing that I didn’t really like about City of Heavenly Fire was the prominent link that was inserted into this storyline between this series and her next one. I understand that Clare may have wanted to introduce the characters of the next series to The Mortal Instruments series, and I have no problem with that, but I felt it took up too much of the storyline. Right from the very beginning, we were introduced to Emma Carstairs and her situation - and I mean right from the beginning - it was the prologue! And while I don’t deny that she, and other characters, needed to be included, nor do I begrudge the fact that Clare wanted readers to get to know Emma and Julian - to me, it felt like too much - it felt like this whole storyline was there just to get the hooks into the reader to drag them into the next series. Sure, interweave this storyline, but don’t smack people in the face with it. Normally I admire Clare’s ability to subtly entwine stories together, but it felt like she lost the desire to do be clever and tantalising about linking these various Shadowhunter worlds. I hadn’t read the the synopsis for Lady Midnight before reading City of Heavenly Fire - but let me tell you, you don’t need to - it was so clear throughout this book what the next book/series was going to be about. Afterwards I did read the synopsis, and nothing in it surprised me… it was all in COHF! I would have preferred a little more mystery around the next series - to me the inclusion of Emma and Co didn’t make me intrigued, it actually pushed me away from that series.

I have always said that I love the humour in The Mortal Instruments, and this last instalment doesn’t disappoint. Jace, Simon, Magnus, Alec, Izzy - they all come out with some amazing lines, sometimes laugh out loud funny. Oh, and there are some seriously hot scenes in this one for all you Jace and Clary shippers! Between all the stress and action, there are some pretty intense moments :) And for all the other shippers out there - there are some interesting moments for Simon and Izzy and Alec and Magnus - I won’t say if they are good or bad, but they are certainly interesting.

Now, I know that there are some people out there that like Sebastian - but I personally never got it. Yes, there are a few moments throughout the series that you see a somewhat vulnerable side to him, but it was always twisted. He confuses love with control, respect with intimidation, his desire with actual capacity. He is one twisted character - and I give Clare credit for creating a good villain - he is certainly crazy - he even beats Valentine in the cray-cray factor. I have never felt he has the capacity to love and I have never felt he could be redeemed. So was I right or was I proven right? Well, you will have to read it to find out :)

Overall, the pacing of this massive conclusion (725 pages) was well done, much better than the previous two books. And all the pieces between The Infernal Devices and The Mortal Instruments were masterfully put together - however, I was disappointed by the end. For me, it felt like that Clare pulled things out of nowhere just to make the storyline work to the way she wanted it to, and I felt that there was many parts of it that were unrealistic considering the circumstances. In parts, it was like someone waived a magic wand (and no, it wasn’t Magnus) just to ensure everything fell into place nicely.

Sacrifices will be made. Love will be lost. Families will be broken. Lovers will be torn apart. Parabatai will have their bonds broken. Everyone’s world will change, but the question is who will survive to see if the world will survive.



“When did Brother Zachariah get hot?”

“Guys don’t let other guys keep calling other guys. Okay, that came out wrong. Friends don’t let friends keep calling their exes and hanging up. Seriously. You have to stop.”

“Your boyfriend’s dead. Thought you should know.”

“Did Brother Zachariah just steal our cat?”

“I think they’ll probably put that on my gravestone. ‘He Was Heterosexual and Had Low Expectations.”

“Simon, you’re blushing,” observed Jace. “And you’re a vampire and almost never blush, so this better be really juicy. And weird. Were bicycles involved in some kinky way? Vacuum cleaners? Umbrellas?”

“I see that even as the world plunges into darkness and peril, you two stand around discussing your love lives. Teenagers.”

“There are memories that time does not erase… Forever does not make loss forgettable, only bearable.”

“I was going to kill someone today. I just wasn’t sure who when I woke up this morning. I do love mornings. So full of possibilities.”

“Straight people,” Alec declared. “Why can’t they control themselves?”

“Usually when you’re in love, you’re miserable.”

“I can read your face like a very open, very pornographic book. I wish I couldn’t.”

“Hope is all that keeps us going sometimes, biscuit”

“Everyone gets the time they get together, and no more.”

“Walk of shame, boys?”

“I realise that to you vampires this feeding business sometimes equals sexy times”


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