Thursday, June 12, 2014

City of Heavenly Fire - Review

City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, # 6)

By: Cassandra Clare

Published: May 27th 2014 by Margaret K. McElderry

725 pages

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Paranormal

Source: Own/Personal Library

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Goodreads description--ΕRCHOMAI, SEBASTIAN HAD SAID.

I am coming.

Darkness returns to the Shadowhunter world. As their society falls apart around them, Clary, Jace, Simon and their friends must band together to fight the greatest evil the Nephilim have ever faced: Clary’s own brother. Nothing in the world can defeat him — must they journey to another world to find the chance? Lives will be lost, love sacrificed, and the whole world changed in the sixth and last installment of the Mortal Instruments series!

Oh my goodness you guys! Now THAT is how you end a series. First let me just say that this book is MASSIVE! When it came in the mail I was so surprised at how large it was. Apparently, I knew at some point that it was over 700 pages because I’d featured it in a Waiting on Wednesday post before, but I guess that didn’t really sink in. I remember thinking that the beginning was slightly slow for me, but I was determined not to get bogged down so I pushed through and continued reading even when I might have found it easier to put the book down. The multiple narrators adds to the ease of putting this book down for me. While I like that Cassandra Clare writes from so many different perspectives within each book, I found myself getting frustrated with the narration swap at times. This is one of those books where not only are there mini-cliffhangers at chapter breaks but also within the chapter when the narration would change from one character to another. Things would be getting really good with one character, then there would be a mini-cliffhanger and she’d swap narration to a completely different character. I get the point. It’s designed to keep you coming back for more, but in reality sometimes I think that makes it easier to put the book down. When I’m reading from Clary and something major happens and then we swap to Simon, who’s not even with the other characters, I’m like “Meh, I don’t want to read about Simon right now. I want to know what happens with Clary. Oh well, maybe this is a good stopping point for the night.” But like I said, I was determined to blow through this book, and so I would keep reading regardless of those moments. But don’t be alarmed. That kind of pacing didn’t last too long. And as luck would have it, I was able to continue reading for large chunks of time—at one point I think I read 300 pages easily in one sitting.

At times I also worried about whether there were too many plot threads going at one time. I felt spread thin there for a bit and even wondered briefly if Cassie Clare could pull all the threads together by the end of the book, but I worried for nothing. I supposed with 725 pages there should be plenty of time to wrap up all the pieces of the puzzle. One of my favorite things about series and authors who do them well (Cassandra Clare being one of those authors), is when every single piece has purpose and how it all ties together from beginning to end. JK Rowling, Richelle Mead, and now Cassandra Clare are masters at this. It’s hard to say how much of the original three books was intended to tie in with these last three as well as the spin off series The Infernal Devices and the upcoming spin off series The Dark Artifices and how much she made fit after the fact, but either way the brilliance is to be applauded. It’s one thing for an author to foreshadow in book 1 events to come in book 6, but being able to reference the past and foreshadow the future as well as address the present in one singular moment takes this skill to a whole new level. Wow. Just wow you guys!

Speaking of The Dark Artifices, I absolutely adored the addition of Emma and Julian’s storyline. While I was worried about it taking too much of the focus, Cassandra Clare wowed me again. She proved to put in just enough of Emma and Julian so that I could feel like I know them, understand them, and am now invested in them. As if I wasn’t going to read their story anyway, now I know without a doubt that I’ll be all over Lady Midnight on release day of 2015. I loved seeing this piece of the puzzle now so that flashbacks won’t even be necessary when it comes time to start The Dark Artifices—though I’m sure there will still be flashbacks. I can already see conflict getting set up and plot points and I absolutely adored Emma and Julian’s relationship, and I am so excited about what’s to come with them.

In the same way, I absolutely loved all the tie-ins from The Infernal Devices as well. The references to the events of the past. The inclusion of Brother Zachariah. Seeing how Brother Zachariah is changed as it is happening. Finally seeing Tessa again. You guys know, that I wasn’t happy with the ending of Clockwork Princess. But now that I’ve had time to accept this ending, I was able to enjoy seeing more about Tessa and Jem than I though I would be. (Still Team Will though.)

One of my favorite things about this series and about Cassandra Clare’s writing in general is the wit. I love the sarcasm. I love the one-liners. And while Jace wasn’t as snarky in this installment of the series, the wit was still there. There was one scene fairly early on when Jace and Magnus were talking that had me cracking up. Both are typically funny and the combination was pretty good.

Favorite quotes (far too many of them, I'm aware):

”Friends don’t let friends keep calling their exes and hanging up.”

”It smells like heartbreak in here,” said Jace. “That’s the Chinese food.” [Magnus]

”Change yourself,” Alec said…

”Everyone should die with someone holding onto them,” Maia said…

”I only have two reactions to bad news. Uncontrollable rage and then a sharp left turn into boiling self-hatred.” [Jace]

”God knows we haven’t exactly been able to do all that much lately, but every time I kiss you, every time you touch me, it’s a victory, if you ask me. Sebastain, he did what he did because—because he doesn’t understand the difference between loving and having. Between giving yourself and taking. And he thought that if he could make me give myself, then he’d have me, I’d be his, and to him that’s love, because he doesn’t know anything else. But when I touch you, I do it because I want to, and that’s all the difference. And he doesn’t get to have that or take it away from me. He doesn’t,”… [Clary]

”Which body is that of young Longford? The one who killed his parabatai?” “There,” Jia pointed. “Why do you want to know?” “It is the worst thing I can imagine ever having to do. I would not have been brave enough. Since there is someone who was, I wish to pay my respects to him,” said Zachariah.

”We will stand bravely with you!” Malcolm announced. Catarina looked darkly at him, and he quailed. “Well, we will stand barely near you. Or at least within earshot.”

”Don’t look at me,” said Jace. “My adoptive father was a mass murderer. And I still worried about what he thought.”

”I loved you recklessly from the moment I knew you. I never cared about the consequences. I told myself I did, I told myself you wanted me to, and so I tried, but I never did. I wanted you more than I wanted to be good. I wanted you more than anything, ever.” [Jace]

”Sometimes it’s braver not to fight. Protect them, and save your vengeance for another day.” [Zachariah]

There was so much goodness to The Mortal Instruments series. The characters. The world. The storyline. The conflict. The resolution. The execution. The writing. All of it. Just extremely well done. I feel like I could go on and on talking about this series for quite some time, but this review has gotten long enough. Just know that this is the way you wrap up a series. I can’t wait to get my hands on the beginning of The Dark Artifices.

City of Heavenly Fire was a great ending to the series. The characters we love were all there in all the glory that caused us to fall in love with them in the first place. Cassandra Clare pulled all the puzzle pieces together and even set up the next series so perfectly. City of Heavenly Fire gets 4.5 Stars from me. Have you read City of Heavenly Fire? What did you think? Let me know!


  1. alibrarianslibraryJune 23, 2014 at 12:08 AM

    AGREED! Brilliant ending!

  2. :) Thanks for commenting! Glad to see you back around lately!