Review: City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

city-of-heavenly-fire-coverTitle: City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments #6)

Author: Cassandra Clare

Genre: YA, Romance, Paranormal, Fantasy

Published: May 27th 2014

Pages: 725

My Rating: 5/5 Stars


Synopsis from Goodreads:

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…

First line: “On the day Emma Carstairs’s parents were killed, the weather was perfect.”


My Thoughts (contains spoilers) 

I feel like I need to leave a little warning right here for anyone who is going to read this review because it is going to be long. Like really, really long. I’ve tried to include quite a lot of pictures to break up the text, I hope that helps! This also may be a bit all over the place because so much happened in this wonderful book.

Okay, ahhhh! The Mortal Instruments series is finished but it doesn’t feel like an end because Cassie is bringing out other series which include the characters from TMI and TID. My initial thoughts about this book is that it was so kick ass, hilarious, an amazing end to this series and beginning of the next.

The story starts with a prologue from a new character’s perspective, Emma Carstairs. Oh my god, I didn’t even realise Emma would be in this book! I knew she was the protagonist for The Dark Artifices, which is coming out next month, but I genuinely didn’t know we would be introduced to her and get a little bit of background about her in this book.

Emma has the making of such an awesome character as well. She’s actually described as the female version of Jace, which is so cool because we’re actually going to have a kick ass female lead, who knows what she’s doing, in the next trilogy. I loved Emma’s relationship with Jules and how they know each other inside out and will always stick together but oh lord, they totally should not become parabati! This is clearly going to be a problem in TDA’s because they’re going to fall in love and it’s forbidden and it is going to be so freaking crazy and interesting to read about. I am so excited for this series, I almost can’t contain myself. I’m also super interested in how Emma’s parents died, which is probably going to be one of the main plot lines for TDA as well as the whole parabati forbidden love situation.

What to talk about next, there is so much!

Right, I’ll try to talk about the book sequentially.

In the prologue we are not only introduced to Emma Carstairs, but the whole Blackthorn family. The Blackthorns run the LA institute and in the first few pages of this book we see quite a lot of the Blackthorn children and Emma training up in the weapons room. Then they start hearing a lot of commotion from downstairs. I WAS NOT EXPECTING IT TO BE SEBASTIAN. But alas, it was. He was there with some of his faery allies turning the Shadowhunters into Endarkend warriors. This whole scene was crazy! I didn’t even know if the children were going to be able to escape or what would happen to Mark Blackthorn after Sebastian decided not to kill him/ turn him into one of his evil servants. But thank god that most of the children escaped through a portal and made it to Alicante, even though it was upsetting to see that their dad, Andrew Blackthorn, had drank from the Infernal Cup.

After that action packed epilogue, the perspective switches back to the main characters of TMI. They’re in a park watching Jordan attempt to teach Jace how to control his Heavenly Fire with meditation – this whole scene made me laugh so hard. Jace’s sarcasm and snarky comments always bring me so much joy. We also witness in this scene that Jace and Clary still can’t be very intimate because of the Heavenly Fire which is funny, but also such a shame – these two have had to deal with so much shit in the months they’ve known each other.

Anyway, not long after this, everyone is called back to the Institute because something big has happened. AND WE ALREADY KNOW WHAT IT IS! Sebastian is back. Not only is he back, but he’s been attacking Institutes all over the globe and converting their residents to Endarkened warriors.

After finding out about Sebastian everyone is freaking out and all Shadowhunters return to Idris for meetings and blah, blah on how to deal with this threat. Obviously though, because Simon is a vampire, he can’t go to Idris. I wish they had just gotten permission to take him with them because he was in so much danger already, even if he had Jordan there to protect him.

Back in Idris the kids who escaped from the LA institute are living in the attic of the Penhallow house. This is when Emma finds out that her parents have been killed and oh my god, that was such a heartbreaking scene to witness. Can you imagine, after everything else that had just happened to her, finding out that both of her parents – her only relatives (cough, cough, that she knows of) – are dead?

Once everyone has arrived in Idris, a council meeting is held where Julian Blackthorn is questioned whilst holding the Mortal Sword. In this scene we really get to see how close Jules and Emma are which I thought was sweet and brave, making me love Emma ridiculously much. Emma actually runs away after being questioned and Clary is the one to go after her, talk her down and comfort her – this really shows how much Clary has matured over the months. Because of the connections Emma has made in this book to the TMI kids, I have hope that they’re going to crop up quite a bit in TDA. Sigh, a girl can dream.

At around this time in New York, Simon and Jordan end up getting attacked by an Endarkened warrior. When Simon tries to flee, he gets captured by some of Maureen’s clan. I actually cannot express enough how much I laughed when Simon woke up in those leather trousers in that cage. Then Maureen came in, all psychopath, saying they were going to be together forever. Ok Maureen, just you simmer your thirteen year old self down.

While the Shadowhunters are trying to figure out how to deal with Sebastian, and Simon is being held captive by Maureen, Sebastian is in Faery getting all freaky with the Seelie Queen! I really should have seen this alliance coming, especially since the Fae are very unpredictable and side with whoever is winning at the time. I found Sebastian and the Queen’s relationship to be so weird, gross and creepy, particularly when the Queen was describing how peculiar and beautiful Sebastian is. Like ew, no. There is a seriously possibility that the Queen could be preggers and can you imagine if that actually happens! That baby would probably be wayyyyyy more lethal than Sebastian and Valentine put together. Plus, time moves at different speeds in Faery so if the Queen is pregnant, by TDA her child could be fully grown and ready to wreak havoc. 

After this, Jordan is completely freaking out because he’s lost Simon and he’s his responsibility (sorry about all this jumping around to different storylines but I’m trying to talk about the events of this book in the same sequence which they happened). So, yeah, naturally Jordan would drive up to the Praetor house to go get help but when they get there the whole place has been burned down and everyone is dead. What in the holy hell, I totally did not call that! Then, when Sebastian killed Jordan I was literally in a state of shock. I genuinely never thought he would die in this book but I’m glad it was him instead of one of my favourite characters, so I guess I wasn’t too upset about his death. The way Sebastian said to Maia, “Oh, by the way, your boyfriend’s dead.” with absolutely no emotion made me hate him even more. He really is completely evil.

Back to Simon in the cage – When Raphael walked in and offered to get him out of his current predicament I was quite surprised, especially since Raphael had basically sworn to kill him in previous books. But yay, Simon got away from Maureen and ended up in Idris! But when they got there, they were in the midst of chaos. Magnus also ends up in Idris to take over the Warlock representative on the Council from Catarina Loss (obvs so he can see Alec and they can get back together #Malec).

All of the Shadowhunters in Idris began racing up to the Gard because the wards were going crazy and turning different colours. When they got there they were informed that Sebastian was attacking the Adamant Citadel and they needed Shadowhunters to go through and fight back. Obviously, Jace and Clary go through and Jace completely kicks ass with his Heavenly Fire. When he burned Sebastian I actually fist pumped (I know, I’m lame). But then, BUT THEN… BROTHER ZACHARIAH. I was wondering how Jem was going to un-become a silent brother, and well, having the Heavenly Fire burn it out of you is certainly an interesting way to do it. I was so excited to see Jem help in the war and how he wanted to wait until he felt more like himself to see Tessa again. AW THE FEELS MAN.

Once everyone’s back in Idris and have been healed Meliorn throws a council members party. I was so freaking mad when he drugged the food but I totally saw it coming because of the alliance with Sebastian. Once the council members were in the demon realm, I genuinely though Sebastian would have killed Jocelyn and that Magnus would die before he was rescued since his dad was making him sick. It wouldn’t have been the end of the world if Jocelyn died, but if Magnus had I would have cried so hard.

So, as a distraction from what was happening at the council members party, SEBASTIAN SHOWS UP AT AMATIS’ HOUSE. Sometimes I think I feel bad for Sebastian because he keeps giving Clary and Jace more chances, thinking that one of these days they’re going to accept him but it’s so bloody obvious that they never will. It was actually scary when Sebastian had Clary up against that wall though, I genuinely thought he was going to rape her! But of course Jace shows up and saves her. 

While all of this craziness is going on in Alicante, back in New York Maia and Bat are kind of becoming a thing? Ok, so, earlier in the book we found out that there was something Maia wanted to tell Jordan, but never got the chance to. When she finally admits that it was that she wanted to break up with him I felt really weird and disappointed. I guess I just didn’t get it, I thought they were fine now and were working their way through the problems of the past but apparently not? I understand that Maia was going to break up with Jordan but I still feel like she moved on with Bat a bit quickly. I still don’t know how I feel about that whole situation. BUT THEN SHE BECOMES PACK LEADER – which was very awesome.

Back in Idris, our main characters – Jace, Clary, Alec, Isabelle and Simon – figure out that Sebastian is probably in Edom and the only way for them to get there is through the Seelie Court. So, naturally, they all portaled there without telling anyone in the hopes of saving the council members who are being held hostage by Sebastian. When they get to the Court they overhear the Queen and Meliorn discuss all of their plans and how they are allies with Sebastian which, as you can probably tell, didn’t go down too well with the Shadowhunters. Alec kills Meliorn and then they make the Queen show them the passage to the demon realm. Obviously they make her swear not to tell Sebastian they were there, but the Queen is sneaky and found her way around that.

On the road to Hell, they meet Mark Blackthorn and find out that he’s been made part of the Wild Hunt. I wasn’t exactly shocked when I found this out but it definitely left me with a lot of questions which will hopefully be answered in TDA. Anyway, Mark manages to get a message back to the Clave telling them that they can’t trust the faeries which then gives them the upper hand. Aw yeah.

I’m going to call Clary, Jace, Simon, Izzy and Alec Team Good from now on because I really can’t be bothered continuously typing out all of their names. When Team Good step through into Edom a memory demon is there and they all start seeing visions. I won’t go into them in too much detail but I really felt for Clary – her vision of the life she could have had, if Valentine wasn’t such a major asshole experimentalist, was so perfect. She was marrying Jace and Sebastian had green eyes and it was all just too much!

So, Team Good finds a cave in Edom which is covered in runes – only Shadowhunters can draw runes so what is going on??! Finding out that Edom is an alternate earth dimension made me actually say, out loud, “wow.” Like, this is what the real world – in the books, obviously – will turn into if Shadowhunters are not there to protect it. This really proves how much the world needs demon fighters, and also how creepy Edom actually is.

While Jace is keeping watch he sees something out in the desert like land. When he goes out to check what it is, it’s a demon that has taken on the appearance of the Iron Sister who Jace killed in CoLS. This demon antagonises him until the Heavenly Fire is pouring out of Jace and is consuming the whole land. It’s almost hard to read this section because we see how guilty Jace feels and how close he is to giving up. This was also such a scary time because I didn’t know whether or not Jace would actually be engulfed and destroyed by the fire. But low and behold! Clary had imagined up a rune to bind the Heavenly Fire to her Morganstern sword instead of Jace. You know what this means right? Jace and Clary can touch *wiggles eyebrows*. But on a serious note, it took Clary’s immense love and bravery to charge through that fire to Jace and save his life, just like he has for her on multiple occasions. It was really great to see Clary and Jace acting like a team in this book, with no real communication issues.

The next day, Team Good go searching the landscape and come across alternate Alicante which is so freaking creepy. While they’re searching, Jace sees a weapon attached to a statue of Jonathan Shadowhunter which he wants – of course – but when he goes to grab it, it’s a trap. Demons starts reigning down on them and Izzy gets mortally wounded. This part of the story genuinely gave me the fear because I love Izzy so damn much and I genuinely thought this might be the end for her.

Then Clary makes a portal and Team Good end up back at the cave they had been staying in. They try healing Izzy and discover that runes aren’t working on her and LITERALLY EVERYONE THINKS SHE’S GOING TO DIE. But then, Simon comes to the rescue and uses his blood to heal her. Yes Simon!

Later that night Jace and Clary sneak off to have some private time. Things get a little steamy and they both end up having sex which I found so rewarding – I mean, we have been waiting six freaking books for this one scene. The thing that I found so funny about this whole scenario was that Jace had a condom with him. WHY ON EARTH WOULD YOU THINK TO BRING A CONDOM WITH YOU TO HELL, WHEN YOU LITERALLY ONLY HAD 10 MINUTES TO PACK EVERYTHING YOU NEEDED (AND YOU COULDN’T TOUCH YOUR GIRLFRIEND BECAUSE YOU HAD HEAVENLY FIRE IN YOUR VEINS). Whoah, but yeah, you see my point. Only Jace, only Jace.

In another part of the cave Simon and Izzy are making out and Alec walks in on them. I warmed so much to Alec in this book because of how funny he is when he keeps walking in on people by accident. Absolute comedy gold.

Back in New York, Maia is the new pack leader and she’s decided that it’s finally time for the werewolves and the vampires to put aside their differences and come together and stand off against Sebastian. To do this, psycho Maureen needs to be taken care of. When Maureen died I was nearly jumping with joy! I still can’t believe the clan accepted her as their leader after she supposedly killed Camille – I seriously doubt that actually happened, I mean, Camille is hundreds of years old and much stronger than Maureen.

Anyway, the next day, basically everything happens. Team Good devise a plan to get into the Dark Gard – where Sebastian and his prisoners are. Back in the real Alicante at this point, Endarkened warriors and the Fae are attacking the city and, by the looks of things, are going to win. 

Everything pretty much goes to plan with Team Good and they all work together to break the prisoners out – realising Raphael is dead and Magnus is dying because the realm is making him ill. 

Clary and Jace end up following Sebastian and he proposes them a deal. If Clary will agree to stay in Edom and rule with him then he will close off the way back to the real world, which will, in turn, make the Endarkened weaker and allow the Shadowhunters to be able to defeat them. This will, effectively, save the whole world. Clary agrees. At this point I literally had no clue what the hell was going to happen. If the portal to the other world was closed there would be no way for Team Good to return home and this would make Sebastian so much more powerful. I knew that Clary and Jace had a plan but I was still freaking out. I even chewed all of my nails down with anticipation and worry!

Sebastian ends up closing the only way back to the real world and because of this, he can control and manipulate the whole of Edom. He starts making the walls of the Gard move and warp to force Team Good into the one room where he is with Clary and Jace. Sebastian is such a complex character and I find him so ridiculously interesting. He thinks love means to control someone which is absolutely mad, but he also loves Clary in his own twisted way no matter what she does. He basically needs her by his side.

This is when shit really hits the fan.

So, Sebastian being the creepy weirdo he is, asks Clary to kiss him, on the lips, in front of Team Good and the council members, to prove that she’s on his side and would stand by him. Then, when she leans in, she whips out her Morganstern sword and stabs him! Sebastian is clearly so hurt by this like, seriously, every chance Clary has got she has betrayed him. Why wouldn’t she do it again now? 

AHHHH, then the Heavenly Fire starts to consume Sebastian and everyone in the room is in shock because they didn’t know about Jace and Clary’s plan. I actually thought this was going to be the end of Sebastian, how in the holy hell was I supposed know that green eyed Jonathan would suddenly rise up from Sebastian’s body?! This proper threw me. I actually thought that maybe Clary’s vision from before of the perfect family would come true, that there was enough good in Sebastian for Jonathan to survive. At the end of the day though, there wasn’t, and I actually found this probably the most heartbreaking death in the whole book. Weird, I know.

Before Jonathan dies, he tells Clary how to destroy the Endarkened but also tells her that there is no way to open up the portal to get home. Oh great, the bad guy is dead and Team Good is still not safe.

I kind of had a feeling that Magnus would end up needing to call upon his dad at some point and he ended up needing to. Although his dad is one of the princes of hell, I thought he would have be scarier. His dad tells them that, sure, he’ll return them to their world but he wants Magnus’ immortality as a price. I had tears streaming down my face this whole time because I genuinely thought Magnus was going to die. But then Simon, acting the complete hero, tells Magnus’ dad that he can take his immortality and I was like yeah! Yeah, that will work! Take Simon’s! 

Turns out it isn’t all that simple.

Magnus’ dad doesn’t only want Simon’s immortality, he also wants his memories of the Shadow World. I couldn’t stop crying. SIMON FORGETS EVERYTHING. This is almost worse than him actually being killed. After everyone ends up back in the real world and Clary calls Simon to see if he remembers her, it was so heartbreaking. I never would have guessed this. Never would I have thought, in a million years, that Cassie would do something like this to Simon.

In the epilogue we see Magnus, Izzy and Clary standing outside Simon’s school, a good few months after he lost his memories. Clary tries to talk to him but of course he doesn’t remember her. Can you guess? Yeah, I was crying. Continuously. Because it was just so god damn sad. 

But not all is lost! When Izzy and Magnus see that Simon’s new band name is ‘The Mortal Instruments’ I began completely freaking out – as per. Simon remembers some stuff! And because he remembers, Magnus suggests that he ascends. SIMON IS GOING TO BE A SHADOWHUNTER! I can’t even tell you how much joy knowing this brought me. Even though he can’t remember much about everything that happened, once he becomes a Shadowhunter he will get all of his memories back and then him and Clary can become parabati and I will be happy in life.

We also finally see Jocelyn and Luke’s wedding in the epilogue, which is sweet. Even Jem and Tessa make an appearance! This is when Clary finds out that Tessa and Jem and the ones who performed the Shadowhunter rituals on her when she was a baby – I had already guessed this but it was still nice hearing it. Tessa also gives Clary her own Shadowhunter Codex and the Herondale ring which she can give to Jace. BECAUSE JACE HAS DECIDED TO TAKE ON THE HERONDALE NAME. So many tears, I can’t even tell you how many tears there were when Jace told Clary that one day they would be living in the Herondale mansion is Idris. Ahh, I’m getting so emotional.

Magnus and Alec sort out their differences as well which makes me happy because Malec are just too good together. Maia and Bat are hinted at being in a relationship as well (still don’t know how I feel about this). Who else gets a happy ending? Oh yeah, it’s also hinted that Isabelle and Simon will get through this whole mmory loss issue as well. 

This whole series ended on such a high note, I was completely satisfied and my love for Cassie Clare absolutely shot through the roof (thank you so much for not killing off my favourite characters).

I’m overly excited for the other series’ and novellas which will come out set in this world – I need more Shadowhunters right away! Ave etque vale, TMI.

Characters: 5/5 Stars

Plot: 5/5 Stars

Ending: 5/5 Stars

Originality: 5/5 Stars

Cover: 5/5 Stars

Thanks for reading,

S xo

6 thoughts on “Review: City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

  1. I loved your review and I really appreciate the depth you gave the book. It was more than warranted. I am a big fan of this series. I teach Theology and I am continually impressed with Cassandra Clare’s knowledge and use of theology and mythological themes/ideas. She’s such a talented author. PLUS, it’s impossible to put her books down!!! They’re so much FUN.

    Liked by 1 person

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