Review: City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

City Of Heavenly Fire Cassandra Clare The Mortal Instruments
City Of Heavenly Fire Cassandra Clare cover The Mortal Instruments
Title: City Of Heavenly Fire 
Author: Cassandra Clare 
Series: The Mortal Instruments #6 
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, YA 
Publication date: May 27, 2014
Rating: ★★★★ 

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...

I think I hit the third star three times before I eventually decided on four anyway. I don’t know. I just couldn’t help it. I’ve given every other book in this series a three star rating and I don’t regret that. Yet it would be foolish of me to pretend the series hasn’t grown on me over the years. You can’t just read six books and not feel anything. I never would have gotten this far if that was the case. So the fourth star is out of nostalgia more than anything. I put off reading this book telling myself I wasn’t going to like it that much anyway and now I’m even a little sad it’s over.

Temper us in fire, and we grow stronger. When we suffer, we survive.

The book is a conclusion in every sense of the word. The storyline obviously picks up where the last book left off, with Sebastian (Jonathan) Morgenstern and his quest for power - the big bad evil that needs to be defeated. A bit of the same old one might rightly say. But I didn’t care. I’ve always felt stronger towards Sebastian than Valentine. I liked him better. He’s the sort of bad guy you love to hate. And the twisted relationship he has with Clary and Jace keeps it interesting, whereas the whole Valentine story couldn’t really keep my attention. And since this was the ending of the series, this time there was no new evil waiting at the door and that made the story ten times more believable.

What can I say? The same things that have always bothered me still bothered me. Like the infinite mentions of how beautiful Jace is and how golden his hair looks. Or characters having a pity party. Or the ridiculous descriptions of Jace smelling like black pepper and tasting like chocolate and salt. Or Clary blowing kisses at him (blowing, really?). I rolled my eyes at that. But if I’m being honest none of that really mattered. I guess I’d forgotten how much I liked other things. The sarcasm for one. I’m the first one to admit it wasn’t always spot on and sometimes a little out of place, but other parts made me literally laugh at loud. More than once. Alec walking in on Simon and Izzy for instance. And a dozen other moments I can’t even recall but that were honestly funny at the time. I suppose I’d forgotten how much I’d grown to love certain characters. Ah, who am I kidding. I started loving all of them although I couldn’t say when that exactly happened. I remember there was a time I didn’t like Clary too much. But she changed over the years and I found myself admiring her now. There was a lot of strength in the way she helped Jace control the Heavenly Fire raging inside of him. And Simon. I’ve always said him becoming a vampire was the best thing that could have happened because it’s what eventually turned him from a crybaby into a decent character, but I liked him even better this time. The way he and Izzy made a great team together was touching. And Jace, well, Jace. No need to pretend I’ve ever not liked him. He was always my favourite, and I didn’t need Clare’s constant reminders of hotness for that. It was his bravery, struggling and strength more than anything. I think he’s both the lover and the best friend you would want and if I could choose either one, I’m not exactly sure what I’d go for. But I’ve grown as fond of Alec and Magnus. God, I love them together. They’re probably the best part of this entire series. They’re just perfect. And Isabelle, tough as nails and yet so vulnerable. See what I mean? I just loved everyone. Jocelyn and Luke being adorable, the Blackthorn children taking care of each other, Raphael admitting to having a soul etc. Like I said. This book is a conclusion in every possible way. Every character got his ending. Not all as happy as I would have liked perhaps, but overall good enough to have a warm feeling in my heart.

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.

The end was beautiful. Would it be a huge spoiler to say we end with Luke and Jocelyn’s wedding? Ah well, I suppose not. They were always going to end up together anyway. I seriously feared things would get cheesy but they didn’t. No. It was beautiful. There’s really no other way to say it. The characters have changed so much since the first book. It’s hard to imagine there was a time Alec used to hate Clary. Now they acted all so casually around each other. It felt like a real friendship, one to be envious of. And that’s exactly the way it should have ended. A perfect dose of love and friendship to make me remember this series with fondness.

Because the world isn't divided into the special and the ordinary. Everyone has the potential to be extraordinary.

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