Published on: 27th May 2014
Published by: Simon and Schuster
Series: The Mortal Instruments #6
Genre: YA Fantasy
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City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1)
City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments #2)
City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments #3)
City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments #4)
City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments #5)
City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments #6)
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!
I feel like I have been waiting on this book for YEARS and I was SO excited when it was finally released that I stayed up until midnight to get it and then stayed awake reading until about 4am. Normally I would have stayed up until I had finished it, but as I was in work the next day I forced myself to close the book and get some sleep! Four hours later I was awake again and back to reading and thankfully I finished this book before I went to work, otherwise I don’t think I would have been able to do any work at all!
So I’m going to try and do this with no spoilers (for City of Heavenly Fire, but there will be mention of things from previous books) at all because I know that other people aren’t as nerdy as me and don’t finish a book in 6 hours so I don’t want to ruin it for everyone. Next week I will be doing a series review of the entire mortal instruments series so hopefully you will have all finished reading the final book by then and can check it out!
“There are memories that time does not erase… Forever does not make loss forgettable, only bearable.”
So, no spoilers. Here we go …
I think my favourite thing about this book was that it took us back to where we began the series: with Jace, Alec, Isabelle, Clary and Simon. In the first book, City of Bones, there were no parents to help out and it was very much just up to the five of them to save everything. In this book everyone splits up, the Downworlders are in New York, the Shadowhunters are in Alicante and our favourite group of five are… well they are somewhere else (no spoilers I promised!). Seeing them working together in this book and thinking back to City of Bones when they first started out you can see how much they have grown not just as individuals but as a group and how close they have become because of it. This book is split between a number of POVs, but I really loved coming back to this group every time because they really showed us how far we have come in this series.
“Okayyyyy,” Isabelle said in a low voice, “When did Brother Zachariah get hot?”
In the first trilogy of this series the book felt very centred around Clary, with the occasional insight into other characters stories. But in the second half of the story (City of Fallen Angels, City of Lost Souls, City of Heavenly Fire) Clare has really opened it up and we spend just as much time with the other characters as we do with Clary. In this final showdown, it’s all about survival, and that basic human instinct brings together even the most unlikely of allies, and past grudges are put aside as they realise that they are all going to need each other if they wish to survive.
“Heroes aren’t always the ones who win,” she said. “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.”
When I first heard that there was a second trilogy, following on from City of Glass I wondered how Clare was going to get another bad guy into the series with a good enough reason to hate our main characters. Bringing Sebastian back was a work of genius, and if possible I think she managed to make him even more evil then Valentine had been. But at the same time I felt more sympathetic towards Sebastian then I did towards Valentine. I think it’s because underneath all the evil and the demon blood, you can see that Sebastian is lonely and through his eyes Clary & Jace are his last chance at family.
“Your boyfriend’s crazy,” he said to Clary.
“Yeah, but he’s hot,” said Clary. “So there’s that.”
As with any book series like this, there are going to be casualties and as we get to the end of the series we know they are coming and just cross our fingers that our favourites survive. I’m not going to say much on this topic, but I couldn’t not mention it. Character death never really worried me through the majority of this series. A main character would get hurt and I would be thinking, “they have to survive there’s another 2/3/4/5 books left that they can’t not be in.” But when main characters got hurt in this last book it really scared me because at this point there is no next book that they need to stay around for, and their death might end up being the thing that gives someone else that push to save everyone. I was seriously worried everyone someone got hurt! But I do feel that the characters who do die in this last book, died in a way that was true to their character and in a way that made it that little bit easier to say goodbye.
“Temper us in fire, and we grow stronger. When we suffer, we survive.”
One last thing I like about this book is the way that it doesn’t just have like an ending chapter. The whole book is an ending to the entire series and it is done in a very clever way. We are introduced to some new characters at the beginning of this book one of which a young twelve year old Shadowhunter. When we first meet her she is very much just a child in training, but her experiences through this book and her time spent with Clary who takes her under her wing makes this young girl grow up in a very short space of time. This young girl may have the training but Clary, in a very short space of time has realised the most important things about being a Shadowhunter and she is able to pass on this little bit of wisdom to this young girl.
“Did Brother Zachariah just steal our cat?”
I think in a way it’s Clare’s way of telling us that this chapter of the story is over. Clary, Jace, Izzy, Alec, Simon etc have all grown up. They have faced their demons, both literally and psychologically and they have learnt what it is they needed to learn to make them stronger, both as people and shadowhunters. Now it’s time for us all to say goodbye, let them go and to make way for the next generation. (And if you are anything like me there will also be some crying in there somewhere around the ‘say goodbye’ and ‘let them go’ moments!)
“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.”
I would recommend this book to fans of: The Mortal instruments series, Cassandra Clare, stories with supernatural beings, great friendship groups, characters who save the world