City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

Synopsis

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…

City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments #6)
Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication: May 2014
Genre: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Angels
Personally purchased title
Locate: amazon | b&n | worldcat
Rated: ★★★★★

City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

If you’ve read the previous five books in the installment, then I will go ahead and assume that you care enough about the series to pick the final book up to read. If you’ve read the previous five books, hated each book, and still picked this one up, then I suggest you get a life and spend it reading literature you actually like instead of spite reading books to point out how much you hate them.

With that out of the way, I am a fan of the Mortal Instruments series and the final book was absolute perfection. It had everything I wanted and more. Every character gets an ending that is proper and in line with the way their character has been developed through the five previous books (well, save one or two …)

The story begins by introducing us to a new set of characters that will be the main protagonists of Clare’s new Dark Artifices series (which I’m already looking forward to). While the jumble of new/strange names and characters did throw me off a bit at the start, I grew to begin forming my own thoughts and stories about what they would be like in the new series and found myself growing more and more excited to finally meet them. The end of the book also seems to set up what could be the main source of conflict in the new series, which is a great way to bring the new characters back to the forefront, as well as foreshadow the new series.

As for the story already at hand, Sebastian is moving his pieces and poised for war, attacking Claves around the world with ease, baffling those in charge in Alicante as to how he’s actually doing it. Things get bleak and begin to look desperate the further on we go as we see just how deep Sebastian’s schemes have gone. But then, just when things seem bleakest, the light begins to seep in and we see hope forming. When it finally arrives, it feels like a long awaited exhale when you hadn’t even realised you were holding your breath. Sadly, the hope comes too late for some, which did make me teary eyed, which is quite the feat*(spoiler behind cut).

While there are parts (at least one very “are you kidding me”) that seem ridiculous given the situation, it is still a great finish to the series and possible my favourite of the six.

If you’ve stuck with it this long, buy it, read it, and you’ll be happy you did.

Quotes & Excerpts

*Sebastian’s death filled me with such sadness because you saw the person he could have been had he been given a chance and not so thoroughly poisoned and destroyed by Valentine’s madness. We were finally able to see why he was so intent of having Clary and Jocelyn by his side the entire time, even though he didn’t know the first thing about love. It was because Jonathan did and that was all Jonathan wanted. The demon blood in him twisted that desire, that love, and made it an unhealthy obsession to possess at all costs.

“It was my fault, what happened. But it was your fault too. I could have learned not to care that you’re immortal and I’m mortal. Everyone gets the time they get together, and no more. Maybe we’re not so different that way. But you know what I can’t get past? That you never tell me anything. I don’t know when you were born. I don’t know anything about your life — what your real name is, or about your family, or what the first face you ever loved was, or the first time your heart was broken. You know everything about me, and I know nothing about you. That’s the real problem.”
-Chapter 2: Stand or Fall

“I can’t change,” Magnus said. “It’s been too long. We petrify, you know, immortals, like fossils turn to stone. I thought when I met you that you had all this wonder and all this joy and everything was new to you, and I thought it would change me, but–”
“Change yourself, ” Alec said.
-Chapter 2: Stand or Fall

Widow’s clothes for someone who had not been able to call herself a widow.
-Chapter 3: Birds to the Mountain

“She never did get over Stephen, did she?” asked Clary.
“Sometimes people don’t […] And Nephilim — we do tend to love very overwhelmingly. To fall in love only once, to die of grief over love — my old tutor used to say that the hearts of Nephilim were like the hearts of angels. They felt every human pain, and never healed.”
-Chapter 3: Birds to the Mountain

“Heroes aren’t always the ones who win,” she said. “They’re the ones who lose, sometimes. But they keep fighting, they keep coming back. They don’t give up. That’s what makes them heroes.”
-Chapter 3: Birds to the Mountain

“[…] when Emma saw you, she acted like you were her celebrity crush. Like you were on the cover of Shadowhunters Weekly every month.”
-Chapter 4: Darker than Gold

Emma had never loved him so much as she did in that moment, for reflecting back to her even the darkest feelings in the depths of her own heart.
-Chapter 6: Brother Lead and Sister Steel

“But I have made a study of Shadowhunters now, over the past century, and let me tell you that we are more human than most human beings. When our hearts break, they break into shards that cannot be easily fit back together. I envy mundanes their resilience sometimes.”
-Chapter 9: The Arms You Bear

“Weapons, when they break and are mended, can be stronger at the mended places,” said Jace. “Perhaps hearts are the same.”
-Chapter 9: The Arms You Bear

“We Shadowhunters, we put ourselves in danger, every hour, every day. I think sometimes we are reckless with our hearts the way we are with our lives. When we give them away, we give every piece. And if we do not get what we so desperately need, how do we live?”
-Chapter 12: The Formal Nightmare

“Sure, he likes you,” said Alec. “You’re heterosexual and have low expectations of father figures.”
“I think they’ll probably put that on my gravestone. ‘He Was Hetersexual and Had Low Expectations.’”
-Chapter 16: The Terrors of the Earth

Fire tests gold. In this fire we will be tested, and we will shine out.
-Chapter 21: The Keys of Death and Hell

“I never existed at all. Heavenly fire burns away that which is evil. Jace survived Glorious because he is good. There was enough of him left to live. But I was born to be all corruption. There is not enough left of me to survive. You see the ghost of someone who could have been, that is all.”
-Chapter 23: Judas Kiss

“Valentine filled your veins with poison, and then he raised you to hate; you never had a choice. But the sword burned away all that. Maybe this is who you really are.”
“The fire of Glorious burned away the demon’s blood. All my life it has scorched my veins and cut at my heart like blades, and weighed me down like lead — all my life, and I never knew it. I never knew the difference. I’ve never felt so … light,” he said softly, and then he smiled, and closed his eyes, and died.
-Chapter 23: Judas Kiss

There will always be those who want to tell you who you are based on your name or the blood in your veins. Do not let other people decide who you are. Decide for yourself.
-Epilogue: The Beauty of a Thousand Stars

“We are all the pieces of what we remember. We hold in ourselves the hopes and fears of those who love us. As long as there is love and memory, there is no true loss.”
-Epilogue: The Beauty of a Thousand Stars

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About Lulu

Thirty-something year old educator based in New York, Lulu loves books, blogging, gaming, and the three cats with whom she shares her life. Book reviews specialize in all kinds of fantasy, some YA, some romance, and some contemporary, especially in the gothic genre.