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City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare Book Review

Updated: Jan 24, 2021

City of Heavenly Fire

by Cassandra Clare

Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books

Book 6 in the Mortal Instruments Series

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!


Violence Young Adult Exciting




City of Heavenly Fire is the final book in Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments Series. It centers around Clary, Jace, Izzy, Alec, Simon, and Magnus, all willing to do what it takes to take down Clary's brother once and for all.

Well, this is it. The end. Well, kind of. As the Shadowhunter world continues to grow to this day, it will be quite awhile before we see the actual end. Which is lucky for us, because Cassandra Clare has created a wonderful world, and it would be a shame to end it before her story is finished. If you have read the other reviews I have written on the Mortal Instrument series, you will know that I have read these books before, so these have all been rereads for me. This is the first time I have re-read City of Heavenly Fire though, as I have always had trouble getting through City of Fallen Angels. So I forgot a lot of the finger details of the story. I forgot how much I loved this conclusion, and how bittersweet it was. The final chapters - even knowing what happens - had me bawling. My poor husband had to leave the room. haha. City of Heavenly Fire brought back everything I first fell in love with in this series, and as it tied up loose ends, it loosened other storylines for the next books to be written in the series.

Were there some things I disliked? Yes. I kinda feel like Cassandra got lost in ideas, and with so many characters, there were things put to paper, that probably shouldn't have been there at all. Like Jordan and Maia. Their characters kind of went no where in this book, and I feel like useless filler was put in to tie up their storylines. Maia's change of heart bothered me a lot, and how Jordan's story ends was awful. Unless Cassandra threw it in there to make the reader cry, I just don't understand why. It was quite obvious -----------> that Maia and Bat would end up together, and I think its a good fit. I just hated how the Jordan storyline was handled. It would have been better for her to have forgiven him, but just be his friend. Not forgive him, give him hope by sleeping with him, and then decide that she doesn't really forgive him. Luckily, Cassandra did at least have a time gap before Bat and Maia getting together. <-------------

Otherwise, I loved how much our favorite characters have grown. I finally got that spark between Jace and Clary that has been missing the last few books back ---------->and it wasn't just because they have sex for the first time. ,--------------. Their growth as separate people to was wonderful. ------------> Clary being the one to end Sebastian felt right <----------- and Jace finally accepting his heritage, and liking the person he is. Its wonderful. Isabelle finally admitting her feelings for Simon, and not seeing it as a weakness, made me appreciate her character much more. Isabelle is fierce, and she loves fiercely. Simon matures, but still retains his humor, thankfully. Alec and Magnus .... oh my god, I love them, especially in these final chapters. Their love for one another is the most pure of these books. I know they have their own series of books, and I can't wait to read them for the first time. We can't forget the introduction of new (and old characters if you have read The Infernal Devices). I haven't reviewed The Infernal Devices yet - I've read them many times though, and I deeply love the books. So any moments with Jem & Tessa I could get I held onto. Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorn, and the Blackthorn siblings, added an interesting element to this book. I feel in love with their devotion to one another, and I can't wait to read their series of books as well. The end of Sebastian/Jonathon's story was equally triumphant, and heartbreaking. ------------> when the heavenly fire burned away the evil, and all the was left was Jonathon, her brother that never had a chance to be, in his final moments, was able to express regret. It was truly heartbreaking, because if Valentine didn't do what he did, Jonathon would have been a wonderful son and brother. <----------------

This is a very large series, and I will admit, I have only read half of it. In part, I am rereading these books as a refresher to pick up where I left off. (I cannot wait to read the Infernal Devices for what has to be the sixth or seventh time). I will also admit, that The Mortal Instruments is not my favorite of the ones that I have read, but I enjoy them. They are a good set up for the story as a whole. As for this book, its a great conclusion to Clary and Jace's story. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

Favorite Moments

  1. Emma trying to protect Julian during his interrogation with the mortal sword

  2. Clary receiving the Morganstern sword

  3. Jessamine's peace

  4. Lord Montgomery HAHA

  5. Heavenly Fire + Brother Zachariah = Epic Happiness.

  6. Simon drunk

  7. Mark Blackthorn sending a message to the Clave

  8. Maia winning the fight, saving Bat and becoming leader of the pack

  9. Clary saving Jace from the fire

  10. Simon saving Isabelle's life.

  11. Alec offering Simon his blood when he is starving

  12. The. Lake.

  13. Simon and Isabelle finally admitting their feelings for one another, and deciding to be with one another

  14. Alec finding Magnus

  15. Luke and Jocelyn being reunited

  16. Clary being the one to end Sebastian

  17. "You see the ghost of someone who could have been, that is all."

  18. Jace deciding he wants to be a Herondale

  19. Magnus and Alec getting back together

  20. Emma telling Jules he will help him with his siblings

  21. Magnus and Isabelle discovering that Simon does retain some memories, and Magnus helping him remember some.

  22. Clary meeting Tessa

  23. Tessa and Jem <3

  24. Tessa giving Clary her old codex, and the last Herondale family ring (her son's)

  25. Jem stealing Church

Where to Buy

Favorite Quotes

Jordan: "No killing. We're trying to make you feel peaceful. Blood, killing, war, those are all non-peaceful things. Isn't there anything else you like?"

Jace: "Weapons. I like weapons."

Jordan: "I'm beginning to think we have a problematic issue of personal philosophy here."

Clary: "He's stubborn. What he means is that he appreciates it."

Jace: "I don't, really."

Jordan snorted

Jordan: "Your boyfriend is crazy."

Clary: "Yeah, but he's hot. So there's that."

Jace: "You're pining."

Alec shrugged

Alec: "Look who's talking. 'Oh, I love hr. Oh, she's my sister. Oh why, why, why -' "

Jace threw a handful of dead leaves at Alec, making him splutter

Jace: "It smells like heartbreak in here."

Magnus: "That the Chinese food."

Magnus: "If I wanted to lie on a c ouch and complain to someone about my parents, I'd hire a psychiatrist."

Jace: "Ah, but my services are free."

Magnus: "I heard that about you."

Simon: "Jace told me once you'd walk all over my heard in high-heeled boots, and it hasn't stopped me."

Isabelle: "You don't mind having your heart stepped on?"

Simon: "I would consider it an honor."

Robert: "Are you sure you didn't miss the heart?"

Julian: "Emma doesn't miss."

Emma: "I know where the heart is. But I don't think you do."

Clary: "Your sword is beautiful."

Emma: "It was my father's. It's been passed down through the Carstairs family. It's a famous sword. It was made a long time ago."

Clary: " ' Of the same steel and temper as Joyeuse and Durendal.' Those are both famous swords. You know who owns famous swords?"

Emma: "Who?"

Clary: "Heroes.

Clary: "Heroes aren't always the ones who win. They're the ones who lose, sometimes. But they keep fighting, they keep coming back. They don't give up. That's what makes them heroes."

Clary: "I don't want it."

Diana: "If you flinch from it, you give it power over you. Take it, and cut your brother's throat with it, and take back the honor of your blood."

Isabelle: "Oh, Lord Montgomery, what do you mean to do with me in this bedroom when you have me all alone? An innocent maiden, and unprotected?

She unzipped her jacket and tossed it on the floor, revealing a white tank top. She gave him a sultry look.

Isabelle: "Is my virtue safe?"

Simon: "I, ah - what?"

Isabelle: "I know you are a dangerous man."

She unzipped her trousers and kicked them to the floor.

Isabelle: "Some call you a rake. Everybody knows you are a devil with the ladies with your poetically puffed shirt and irresistible pants."

She pounced onto the bed and crawled over to him, eyeing him like a cobra considering making a snack out of a mongoose.

Isabelle: "I pray you will consider my innocence, and my poor, vulnerable heart."

Simon: "Lord Montgomery considers nothing but his own desires. I'll tell you something else. Lord Montgomery has a very large estate ... and pretty extensive grounds, too."

Isabelle giggled, and Simon felt the bed shake under them.

Isabelle: "Okay, I didn't expect you to get quite so into this."

Simon: "Lord Montgomery seizes expectations."

he said, seizing Isabelle around the waist and rolling her over so she was beneath him, her black hair spread out onto the pillow.

Simon: "Mothers, lock up your daughters, then lock up your maidservants, then lock up yourselves. Lord Montgomery is on the prowl."

Isabelle: "My lord. I fear I can no longer withstand your manly charms and virile ways. Please do with me as you will."

Alec: "Izzy, are you -"

His eyes flew wide, and he backed up fast enough to smack his head into the wall behind him.

Alec: "What is he doing here?"

Isabelle: "You don't knock now?"

Alec: "It - It's my bedroom!"

Bat: "If he hadn't been dying, then yes, you should have told him the truth. But he died thinking he was loved and forgiven. There are much worse gifts you could give someone than that. What he did to you was terrible, and he knew it. But few people are all good and all bad. Think of it as a gift you gave to the good in him. Wherever Jordan's going - and I do believe we all go somewhere - think of it as the light that will bring him home."

Zachariah: "Jace Herondale. Once more a Herondale is the bringer of my deliverance. I should have anticipated."

Clary: "Holy - Simon. You're a vampire, in the middle of Idris. Maybe you shouldn't be shouting for attention."

Simon: "Isabelle! Let down your raven hair!"

Clary: "Oh, my God. There was something in that blood Raphael gave you, wasn't there? I'm going to kill him."

Simon: "He's already dead."

Clary: "He's undead. Obviously he can still die, you know, again. I'll re-kill him. Simon, come on. Let's head back, and you can lie down and put ice on your head -"

Simon: "Isabelle!"

One of the upper windows of the house swung open, an Isabelle leaned out. Her raven hair was unbound, tumbling around her face. She looked furious, though.

Isabelle: "Simon, shut up!"

Simon: "I won't! For you are my lady fair, and I shall win your favor."

Isabelle dropped her head in her hands.

Isabelle: "Is he drunk?"

Clary: "I don't know. I think he may have gotten some expired blood or something."

Simon: "I love you, Isabelle Lightwood! I love you, and I won't go away until you tell me you love me too!"

Helen: "Tell him you love him. He's scaring the whole street."

She waved at Clary

Helen: "Good to see you."

Clary: "You, too. I'm so sorry about what happened in Los Angeles, and if there's anything I can do to help -"

Something came fluttering down from the sky. Two things: a pair of leather pants, and a puffy white poet shirt. They landed at Simon's feet.

Isabelle: "Take your clothes and go!"

Above her another window opened, and Alec leaned out.

Alec: "What's going on? What is this? Early caroling?"

Simon: "I don't carol. I'm Jewish. I only know the dreidel song."

Aline: "Is he all right? Do vampires go crazy?"

Helen: "He's not crazy. He's drunk. He must have consumed the blood of someone who'd been drinking alcohol. It can give vampires a sort of - contact high."

Clary: "I hate Raphael."

Simon: "Simon! Stop throwing clothes at me! Just because you're a Shadowhunter and I'm a vampire doesn't mean we can never happen. Our love is forbidden like the love of a shark and a - and a shark hunter. But that's what makes it special."

Isabelle: "Oh? Which one of us is the shark, Simon? Which one of us is the shark?"

Sebastian: "It's ironic, isn't it, Clarissa? We were Valentine's blood children, and he hated us. You because you took our mother from him. And me because I was exactly what he created me to be."

Jace: "Let her go. Let her go and stop touching her, or I will burn you down to ashes."

Clary: "If my mom and Luke get here while I'm sleeping, wake me up."

Jace: "Oh, you'll be woken up. Your mother will think I'm trying to take advantage of you and chase me around the room with a fireplace poker."

Clary: "I'll protect you."

Isabelle: "Is that Brother Zachariah? When did he get hot?"

Alec: "Have some perspective."

Jace: "Alec, you've known me for seven years. When have I ever had perspective?"

Simon: "Now who's arguing?"

Alec: "Don't talk."

Alec gestured at him with an expression of vague disgust.

Alec: "Every time I look at you, I keep remembering coming in here and seeing you draped all over my sister."

Jace sat up

Jace: "I didn't hear about this."

Simon: "Oh, come on -"

Jace: "Simon, you're blushing. And you're a vampire and almost never blush, so this better be really juicy. And weird. Were bicycles involved in some kinky way? Vacuum cleaners? Umbrellas?"

Alec: "Big umbrellas, or the little kind you get with drinks?"

Jace: "Does it matter -"

Simon: "Isabelle, I love -"

She slapped his arm, but it wasn't an angry slap.

Isabelle: "Not now."

Emma: "Jules, being parabatai is a big deal. It's - it's forever."

Julian: "Aren't we forever?"

Alec: "I did not make pie. I did not make a pie 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.

Jace: "And three?"

Alec: "Because I am not your bitch."

Alec: "Oh, God, I'm a cliché. Why do I care? If Dad decides he hates me because I'm not straight, he's not worth the pain, right?"

Jace: "Don't look at me. My adoptive father was a mass murderer. And I still worried about what he thought. It's what we're programmed to do. Your dad always seemed pretty great by comparison."

Alec: "Sure, he likes you. You're heterosexual and have low expectations of father figures."

Jace: "I think they'll probably put that on my gravestone. 'He Was Heterosexual and Had Low Expectations.' "

Jace: "Who's there?"

he called, then he frowned.

Jace: "Of course, even I, as a Shadowhunter, have seen enough movies to know that anyone who yells 'Who's there?' is going to be instantly killed."

Sebastian: "This world is drained dry, yes. A bloodless corpse of a place. Oh, but your world is ripe for ruling. I dream about it during the days as well as the nights. Do I burn the world slowly, with plague and famine, or should the slaughter be quick and painless - all that life, extinguished so quickly, imagine how it would burn! Imagine the heights I could rise to, borne aloft on the screams of billions of people, raised up by the smoke of millions of burning hearts!"

He turned to her.

Sebastian: "Now. Tell me I got that from you. Tell me any of that is from you."

Jocelyn: "There are two thrones."

Sebastian: "What?"

Jocelyn: "Two thrones. And I'm not a fool; I know who you intend to have sit beside you. You need her there; you want her there. Your triumph means nothing if she isn't there to watch it. And that - that need for someone to love you - that does come from me."

Jace: "I told you to wait. Don't you ever do anything I tell you to?"

Clary: "Technically you didn't say anything. You just gestured."

Jace: "Gesturing counts. I gesture very expressively."

Jace: "Goddamn it. I hate it when Simon is right."

Alec: "I just want you to know, that I realize that to you vampires this feeding business sometimes equals sexy times."

Simon's eyes widened.

Alec: My sister may have told me more than I wanted to know. Anyway, my point is that I am not attracted to you in the slightest."

Simon: "Right. Well, you don't ring my bells either, so I guess we're even."

Jace: "Walk of shame, boys?"

Alec glowered.

Alec: "It wasn't sexy."

Simon: "It was a little sexy."

Alec: "It wasn't."

Simon: "I had some feelings."

Clary: "But you do care/"

Jace: "Not enough, maybe. Not all the time. Like the way I love you. 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."

Isabelle: "You saved my life."

Simon: "I didn't -"

He broke off as she narrowed her eyes.

Simon: "I am a brave heroic rescuer?"

Isabelle: "Mmm-hmm."

Simon: "No Lord Montgomery stuff. Anyone could walk in."

Isabelle: "Why do you tell me you love me only when you're drunk or dreaming?"

Simon: "I have awful timing. But it doesn't mean I don't mean it. There are things we want, down under what we know, under even what we feel. There are things our souls want, and mine wants you."

He felt her exhale.

Isabelle: "Say it. Say it sober."

Simon: "I love you. I don't want you to say it back unless you mean it, but I love you."

Isabelle: "I mean it."

Simon: "Are we officially boyfriend and girlfriend? Is there a Shadowhunter ritual? Should I change my facebook status from 'It's complicated' to 'in a relationship'?"

Isabelle screwed up her nose adorably

Isabelle: "You have a book that's also a face?"


Alec: "God, my head."

Jace: "Maybe you shouldn't have drunk so much last night."

Alec: "Maybe you should try looking a little less smug about what you did last night."

Jace: "I do not look smug. Well, no more than usual."

Alec: "Please. I can read your face like a very open, very pornographic book. I wish I couldn't."

Jace: "Is this your way of telling me to shut my face?"

Magnus: "Oh, my Alec. You've been so sad. I didn't know."

The door swung open, and the brick flew from her hand. The figure in the doorway ducked; the brick hit the wall, and Luke straightened up, and looked at her curiously.

Luke: "I hope when we're married, that's not the way you greet me every day when I come home."

Clary: "Valentine filled your veins with poison, and then he raised you to hate; you never had a choice. But the sword burned away all that. Maybe this is who you really are."

He took a ragged, impossible breath.

Jonathon: "That would be a beautiful lie to believe."

Incredibly, the ghost of a smile, bitter and sweet, passed over his face.

Jonathon: "The fire of Glorious burned away the demon's blood. All my life it has scorched my veins and cut at my heart like blades, and weighed me down like lead - all my life, and I never knew it. I never knew the difference. I've never felt so ... light."

He smiled, and closed his eyes, and died.

Magnus: "I've lived a long time. So many years, and no, it doesn't feel like enough. I won't lie and say it does. I want to live on - partly because of you, Alec. I have never wanted to live so much as I have these past few months, with you."

Clary: "Ave atque vale in perpetuum, frater. Hail and farewell forever, my brother."

Jace: "We might live here someday. Together."

She smiled, knowing he couldn't see her, but unable to help it

Clary: "Think you can win me over with a fancy house? Don't get ahead of yourself, Jace. Jace Herondale."

Alec: "So I'm your first Shadowhunter, huh?"

Magnus: "You're my first so many things, Alec Lightwood."

Emma: I-L-L-H-E-L-P-Y-O-U.

Julian: "I know you will."

Magnus: "It's your decision, Simon Lewis. Remain in the existence you have, go to college, study music, get married. Live your life. Or - you can have an uncertain life of shadows and dangers. You can have the joy of reading the stories of incredible happenings, or you can be a part of the story. The choice is up to you."

Clary: "Can I tell you a boring science fact?"

Jace: "If you're trying to distract me from talking about my feelings, you're not being very subtle about it. You know I make speeches. It's okay. You don't have to make them back. Just tell me you love me."

Clary: "I'm not trying to distract you. There are a hundred trillion cells in the human body. And every single one of the cells of my body loves you. We shed cells, and grow new ones, and my new cells love you more than the old ones, which is why I love you more every day than I did the day before. It's science. And when I die and they burn my body and I become ashes that mix with the air, and part of the ground and the trees and the stars, everyone who breathes that air or sees the flowers that grow out of the ground or looks up at the stars will remember you and love you, because I love you that much."

She smiled.

Clary: "How was that for a speech?"

Tessa: "I remember you said this war was a story of Lightwoods and Herondales and Fairchilds, and it is, and Blackthorns and Carstairs as well, and it's amazing to see them. But when I do, it's as if I see the past that stretches out behind them. I watch Jace Herondale play, and I see the ghosts that rise up in the music. Don't you?"

Jem: "Ghosts are memories, and we carry them because those we love so not leave the world."

Tessa: "Yes. I just wish he were here to see this with us, just here with us one more time."

She felt the rough silk of his black hair as he bent to kiss her fingers lightly - a courtly gesture from a bygone age.

Jem: "He is with us, Tessa. He can see us. I believe it. I feel it, the way I used to know sometimes if he was sad or angry or lonely or happy."

Tessa: "And what is he now? Happy or wistful or sad or lonely? Do not tell me he is lonely. For you must know. You always knew."

Jem: "He is happy, Tessa. It gives him joy to see us together, as it always gave me joy to see the two of you.

Simon: "Magnus tells me I was a hero. And I see it on your face when you're looking at me that you're searching for that guy. The guy you knew who was a hero, who did great things. I don't remember doing those things. I don't know if that makes me not a hero anymore. But I'd like to try to be that guy again. That guy who gets to kiss you because he earned it. If you'll be patient enough to let me try."

Isabelle: "I might let you. Try, that is. I can't promise anything."

Simon: "I wouldn't expect you to. You're a heartbreaker, Isabelle Lightwood. I remember that much, at least."

Tessa: "Jace Herondale plays the piano very well."

Clary: "And he knows it."

Tessa: "That sounds like a Herondale."

Tessa: "There will always be those who want to tell you who you are based on your name or the blood in your veins. Do not let other people decide who you are. Decide for yourself."

Jem: "You sound so grace, Tessa. Don't frighten her."

Tessa: "I'm not! I was just giving her some advice."

Jem: "Sounds terrifying."

Clary: "I remember once you told me that you had loved two people more than anything else in the world. Was Tessa one of them?"

Jem: "She is one of them. I have not stopped loving her, nor my parabatai; love does not stop when someone dies."

Clary: "Your parabatai? You lost your parabatai?"

Jem: "Not from my heart, for I have not forgotten. 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."

Simon was looking at Jace as if he were both fascinating and also a little alarming

Simon: "Did I - did we ever - did I bite you?"

Jace touched the scar on his throat

Jace: "I can't believe you remember that."

Simon: "Did we roll around on the bottom of a boat?"

Jace: "Yes, you bit me, yes, I kind of liked it, yes, let's not talking about it again."

Jace: "Every time. Every time I think I'm missing a piece of me, you give it back."

Jace: "Do you like the name Herondale?"

Clary: "It's your name, so I love it."

Jace: "There are some pretty bad Shadowhunter names I could have ended up with. Bloodstick. Ravenhaven."

Clary: "Bloodstick can't possibly be a name."

Jace: "It may have fallen out of favor. Herondale on the other hand, is melodic. Dulcet, one might say. Think of the sound of 'Clary Herondale'."

Clary: "Oh, my God, that sounds horrible."

Jace: "We all must sacrifice for love."


Check out the rest of The Mortal Instruments Series

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