Author: Cassandra Clare
Series: Mortal Instruments Series
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Publish Date: January 1st, 2014
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
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!
In all honesty, reading City of Heavenly Fire was more than slightly bittersweet – I was desperate to learn of the conclusion, but wasn’t ready for the series to come to an end. I eventually created an analogy that compared reading this final installment to ripping off a bandaid, which is best to be done quickly to minimize the resulting pain.
As the longest book in the Mortal Instruments series, City of Heavenly Fire is certainly dense at 725 pages. There were a number of particularly slow sections which were interspersed throughout the novel and nearly bored me to tears, which was my primary incentive for assigning this book four stars as opposed to five. Certain scenes were excessively unnecessary and could have easily been excluded, reducing the book to a more manageable size and emphasizing more of the action-packed, heart-pounding events.
I continue to be impressed by Clare’s world-building and character development, both of which stood out. While there were some aspects of the Shadowhunter world that I wish she would have elaborated upon further, Clare understandably didn’t have the time or the space to develop an in-depth description of each nuance.
Once again, I loved the playful banter and humorous exchanges between characters in light of their less than favorable experiences. It was certainly intriguing to watch each character grow and mature throughout the series, culminating in City of Heavenly Fire when their values were questioned and they chose to fight for that which they believed. All in all, there were some frightening, heart wrenching twists and turns for a variety of the characters, several of which made me bawl hysterically. Alec was a particular favorite of mine throughout the book, which took me by surprise due to how much I had disliked him in previous installments. He also happens to say my favorite line from the book in its entirety:
“I did not make a pie,” Alec repeated, gesturing expressively with one hand, “for three reasons. One, because I do not have any pie ingredients. Two, because I don’t actually know how to make a pie.” He paused, clearly waiting.
Removing his sword and leaning it against the cave wall, Jace said warily, “And three?”
“Because I am not your bitch,” Alec said, clearly pleased with himself.
I also enjoyed the characters’ balance between romance and action, which allowed readers to enjoy the best of both worlds. Clary and Jace reached an entirely new level of relationship goals, and Magnus and Alec were beyond adorable. Undoubtedly, I will forever ship Clace. And yes, my plan is to marry a Herondale.
Most likely my favorite component of the book were the tie-ins with the Infernal Devices series. I don’t want to elaborate any further for fear of spoiling either series, but I will say that it was too much, too soon (especially considering that I had just finished Clockwork Princess immediately prior to reading this). If you have yet to read the Infernal Devices series, I am absolutely begging you to do so – you won’t regret it! (and City of Heavenly Fire’s ending will make much more sense!)
Ultimately, City of Heavenly Fire held up to my expectations and effectively provided resolution for the characters and series as a whole. It certainly had its ups and downs (and evoked tears on more than one occasion), wreaking a significant amount of emotional havoc along the way. While I was certainly satisfied with the ending, I’m even more excited about Clare’s announcement of several additional Shadowhunter series in the works.