A Finale Not Worth Dying Over | Review of ‘City of Heavenly Fire’ (The Mortal Instruments, #6)

By Cynthia Ayala

City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare
Margaret K. McElderry

With the Infernal Cup, Sebastian Morgenstern, brother of Shadowhunter Clary Fray, is on the move, turning Shadowhunters into Endarkened, creatures of nightmare. Now the Shadowhunters must retreat to Idris and form a plan to defeat the insane son of Valentine, the boy poisoned by the demon queen Lilith. But with hope and fear, Clary, Jace, Simon, Isabelle and Alec must run towards traitors and set foot into the depths of hell to fight the only battle that matters. The battle to save the world, the battle that will cost them dearly.

City of Heavenly Fire is the sixth and final novel in The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare published on May 27, 2014 by Margaret K. McElderry. The novel follows young Shadowhunters in this young adult fantasy and paranormal friend as they battle the twisted forces of evil and save the worlds’ they love.

This was a wonderful conclusion to a wonderful series. Of course, it was longer than it needed to be with book 3, City of Glass, being the original stopping point, but who can fault an author for going back to writing what they love? Thankfully, Clare was able to recreate the solid ending she had built up before, tying up many loose ends.

However, while the novel was well written it seemed as though the plot and character focuses were not very direct on the overall plot line and at times it took away from the maturity of the novel. The world is on the verge of total destruction, people are dying all around them and sometimes these adolescent characters are only thinking about their love lives. Now, on the one hand, they are teenagers and the world around them is collapsing into chaos and given that love of any kind is the force that has been driving this series from the very beginning, So to stray away from that now would have made the novel lose some of it’s spark. However, the world is ending and these kids are thinking very much like kids and not at all like the heroes they are supposed to be.

On the bright side, Clare has not lost her spark, readers get to see who these characters are in the almost flawless construction of dialogue filled with emotion, humor, and sarcasm. These characters are so perfectly defined that even reading them as they focus on their love lives makes them enjoyable. It’s like watching a television show, That’s how vibrant these characters are and the intensity between them all is amazing.

There was something wrong with the novel though and that was Sebastian. He’s the villain but part of the charm of the first three novels is that readers got to know Valentine, he was a bad guy with a god complex who had one goal. Sebastian is all over the place. His one objection is to get Clary because he has this twisted incestuous desire to have control over her. He has no heart, no soul so love is a warped and foreign to him. That makes it a little easier to understand his character but he’s constantly shifting his plans in this novel, starting off one way than taking a left turn and deciding on this new plan. He’s not a good villain because of that. He’s a great mad man that readers want to be destroyed, but he’s not like Valentine, his father, he’s just twisted and psychotic.

That is the biggest flaw of this series because as good as it was, the first three novels were much better. This novel just tied up a lot of loses ends and gave the fans a final ending full of tears and laughter. But after book three, there really didn’t need to be more books about these characters so soon after the initial trilogy. These three novels could have been put on hold and no one would have been able to tell. What does that tell you? (★★★☆☆ | B+)

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