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Review: City of Heavenly Fire

 

 

Cassandra_Clare_City_of_Heavenly_Fire_book_cover.jpg

 

Title:City of Heavenly Fire

Author:Cassandra Clare

Series: Book 6, Final

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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Synopsis

Whoo, well how to sum this up. Well, to start off, this book takes off where the previous one left off: Sebastian Morgenstern is dead set on destroying the Shadowhunters and getting his hands on Clary. With the Infernal Cup, he divides families and friends, turning Shadowhunters into less than human soldiers–Endarkened-who follow his orders without question. And with his new army, Sebastian orchestrates a series of attacks on Institutes until Shadowhunters are forced to take refuge in Idris. Jace holds a powerful weapon in his veins: the heavenly fire. One that could destroy Sebastian… if only he could learn how to control it. Jace and the others follow Sebastian, determined to take the battle to him, but the journey will prove to be more than they expected. 

divider-51Favorite Characters

Okay, this isn’t even fair at this point because I love too many in this series. Jace and Clary are both stuck at the top for me. I can’t really express how much I love them. With Clary, it’s about what she says and how she sees the world. She’s not a great fighter (learning, for sure), but she’s grown so much from the quiet girl with great ideas to the more outspoken, confident young woman with a brilliant mind. She knows how to see things in a different way and take something twisted and broken, and turn it into something beautiful. With Jace, it’s more about his jokes and the way he’s sassy. But I also really appreciated all the moments where he really let his guard down and he bared his soul to Clary about all his insecurities and doubts. It’s so different from him being guarded all the time.

With Jace, it’s more about his jokes and the way he’s sassy. But I also really appreciated all the moments where he really let his guard down and he bared his soul to Clary about all his insecurities and doubts. It’s so different from him being guarded all the time.

Aside from this, I’d probably have to say Simon comes in next for this book (even though I really, really love Magnus in general). Simon has grown so much over the series. He’s more confident and open, and much loved by the whole group. They’ve stopped seeing him as a mundane, a human, Clary’s Friend–he’s their friend now, their family. And his relationship with Izzy was just… priceless. I think sometimes I loved it a little more than Jace and Clary because theirs felt so new and they were just starting to find their footing in it. Izzy isn’t one to give her heart easily, and Simon knows that. To everyone else she’s strong and incredible, a fighter–but Simon knows just how fragile she can be.

And for a newbie: Malcolm. Just because he was so random and funny throughout the few scenes he was in. He felt more eccentric than Magnus because his ideas and comments were just all over the place and it really made me laugh. I’d definitely want to see more from him.

divider-51Favorite Scenes

► This works out for a nice example on Malcolm. Plus I love cats so I had to 100% agree.

“Help? of course we can help,” Malcolm said, turning around to face them. “You need to get a message through? There’s always carrier kittens.”

“You mean pigeons,” said Bat. “Carrier pigeons.”

Malcolm shook his head. “Carrier kittens. They’re so cute, no one can deny them. Fix your mouse problem too.”

► Okay, okay, one more Malcolm ❤

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

► This is one of those moments that I can point to and say: this, this is why I love Clary. So I don’t spoil too much: Clary and the others go to a place towards the end of the book, and while they’re there each of them sees a vision intended to trap them. These visions were different for everyone but it was basically supposed to show you what you wanted most in the world. For the longest time, Jace hid what he was from everyone. And when he finally tells Clary he’s so sure she’s going to hate him for it because what he saw was something Sebastian has always said he wanted. She picks her words carefully, and… well, it’s beautiful.

“The demon showed us what it thought we wanted,” she said finally. “Not what we actually want. It got things wrong; that’s how we all managed to break free. By the time we found you, you’d already broken free on your own. So what it showed you, that wasn’t what you want. When Valentine raised you, he controlled everything–nothing was ever safe, and nothing you loved was safe. So the demon looked inside you and saw that, that child’s fantasy of completely controlling the world so nothing bad can happen to the people he loves, and it tried to give you that, but it wasn’t what you want, not really. So you worke up.” She touched his cheek. “Some part of you is still that little boy who thinks to love is to destroy, but you’re learning. You’re learning every day.” 

► I think this is a good way to describe Simon, but also I love the way that Magnus worded this.

“Yes,” Magnus said. “Clary was born special. Simon here had specialness thrust upon him. He adapted. Because the world isn’t divided into the special and the ordinary. Everyone has the potential to be extraordinary. As long as you have a soul and free will, you can be anything, do anything, choose anything. Simon should get to choose.”

► And just to share an Izzy and Simon moment.

“Okay, I didn’t expect you to get quite so into this.” 

“Lord Montgomery always surpasses expectations,” Simon said, seizing Isabelle around the waist and rolling her over so she was beneath him, her black hair spread out onto the pillow. “Mothers, lock up your daughters, then lock up your maidservants, then lock up yourselves. Lord Montgomery is on the prowl.”

divider-51Review

I really could go on with favorite scenes (I nearly used up all my sticky flags haha) but let’s get down to business~

I’m probably a bit biased because I love this series so much, but I really do think Cassandra Clare is a great writer. I loved this book so much and just enjoyed being able to come back to these characters. It’s sad to see them go, but I am going to love reading the Infernal Devices. I just know it. Anyways–as I was saying–her writing is amazing. She had so many little descriptions for things that people would just brush past but that she illuminated and made it all the more special in the moment. She is great at describing emotions in ways I wouldn’t think of at first but that are so perfect.

As for the story, I think it progressed fairly well. It was hard to see so much hopelessness and kind of see Shadowhunters be flipped around and turned into (almost) cowards. They went to hide out in the city and most of the decisions they made broke them apart rather than unify them because they were made out of fear.

One part of the book that I thought was particularly powerful–and I put a small reference to it in my Favorite Scenes–was when Clary and the others made their way to the place where Sebastian was hiding. When they arrived there each of them was trapped in a vision that was supposed to be “perfect” and what they most desired in their hearts. It was interesting reading through them all and then having the characters …. grow right before your eyes. And they did, a lot. They were stuck there in what was supposed to be everything they could ever want and still they were able to see past it and learn about themselves. They realized that it wasn’t what they wanted at all, not really. They were able to discover what truly mattered to them, and it was beautiful as a reader to see them go through it.

I also liked the amount of tension between Clary and Jace since they couldn’t be together. I mean, who doesn’t like a little romance? But it was also great in that they shared so many raw moments that showed they could go beyond the physical. As for Simon and Izzy, they got to grow as well, and discover just how much they meant to one another. And though I won’t give spoilers I will say that this made it all the more heartbreaking to read the ending. Of course, it didn’t end as terrible and sad as I thought–there was hope–but I did tear up a little reading it nonetheless.

I think maybe the book was a bit slow about two-thirds of the way in. Though I’m thinking it was more to do with me wanting to reach the end and see how these characters were going to succeed and not wanting to read about what was going on to everyone else.

The ending I think was particularly powerful. In a way it was disappointing to see how Shadowhunters were repeating history, making the same mistakes. But I think it was a good way to open the door for future books in the series (which was probably what she intended). Although things didn’t end perfectly, it was a perfect ending. It had hope, it had love, and it had unity between the characters so I was happy enough with it.

All in all, I think this book had a great storyline, was well-paced, and the characters grew so much. Cassandra Clare did an excellent job of revealing the deepest, most precious things about the characters, and really making them feel real. She challenged them time and time again, and even though there was a little heartbreak and pain here and there she kept me hopefully throughout it all that things would be alright. I highly recommend this series and just this writer in general. I’m glad I could be a part of this journey ❤

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