City of Heavenly Fire: 5 out of 5 stars

The Mortal Instruments book 6

**MAJOR SPOILERS – read with caution**

Grab a snack and settle in guys, it’s going to be a long review because…


Lives will be lost, love sacrificed, and the whole world changed in the sixth and last instalment of the internationally bestselling The Mortal Instruments series.

Erchomai, Sebastian had said. I am coming.

Darkness returns to the Shadowhunter world. As their society falls apart around them, Clary, Jace, Simon and their friends must band together to fight the greatest evil the Nephilim have ever faced: Clary’s own brother. Nothing in this world can defeat him – must they journey to another world to find the chance?


This book clearly shows the evolution of Cassandra Clare’s writing. 

Okay, so from the time I started reading this on the train to when I got to work, I was only 100 pages in…and so much had already happened!

The book opens in the LA institute where we are introduced to Emma and Julian – who I now know are featured in Lady Midnight – and their world gets turned upside down when our old friend Sebastian turns up and forces the adult Shadowhunters to drink from his mortal cup. Luckily the kids manage to escape from Idris but not before we learn that Sebastian is basically indestructible thanks to Lilith’s blood and that they have been attacking every institute across the world and are forming an army of demon warriors: The Endarkened Ones.

Magnus: “I need you to live.”

Poor Alec is still dealing with the aftermath of his breakup with Magnus and apparently our team has no boundaries – shock horror – because one by one they’ve been going to see Magnus to try and get them back together. I’ve always loved how Magnus interacts with Jace and his obvious disdain for Jace’s ego always provides great banter between the two. We’ve all known since their first meeting that Alec and Magnus were made for each other but it isn’t until shit goes down later on in the book that they both realise that they are each other’s soulmates and all this nonsense with them breaking up was ridiculous – not to mention heartbreaking for us poor Malec fans.

Simon: “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 – shark hunter. But that’s what makes it special.”

There are some great Sizzy moments in this and it was really cute to see them both avoiding the dreaded DTR (define the relationship). It’s always been obvious that they have a deeper connection and it was great to see both Izzy and Simon smile each other when Iz asks him not to date other people while she is in Idris. Once Simon makes it to Idris himself – after Raphael helps him escape being kidnapped by Maureen – the two make out…in Alec’s room. Their Southern Belle roll play had me cracking up and I found it even funnier when Alec walked in on them. It was even funnier when it happened again later on in the book.

Side note: I’m starting to think this portalling thing might be the optimum way to get around – no traffic, no petrol, no expensive airfares and no stranger sleeping on your shoulder or knocking against your knee.

In other news, the Seelie Court invites all the Downworlder reps over to their Idris home for a lovely dinner full of fancy food and wine. Faeries being nice without wanting anything in return? – hello massive trap alert! Turns out it is all a ruse so that Meliorn could drug the leaders and hand them over to the ever lovely Sebastian. There is so much uncovered about the Faeries in this book and I love that their bullshit was bough to light: Meliorn is actually half Fae so he can lie, the Seelie Queen is in league with Sebastian and everyone in their Kingdom is tricky as fuck.

There are some epic battle scenes in this.

“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.”

The Clave piss me off so much I mean, if a bunch of people tell you that the big bad is running around with an army of super evil Shadowhunters who kick ass and can’t be saved, surely someone would be all, hmmm…these guys barely survived a fight with Sebastian and know what he is like, maybe we should listen to him? But no, that would be too easy and probably an insult to what is clearly an instiution run by ego. So what happens of course is Sebastian tricks the Clave in to sending some of its Shadowhunters out into a battle field where they are trying to take the Citadel (where the weapons are) and the Iron Sisters. The very naive Shadowhunters have been lead to believe that they can change the Endarked Ones back in to the people they loved and so embark on a type of rescue mission…unfortunately, this leads to most of them dying by the hands of their Turned friends and family. It really is rather sad.

The cool part of the battle though is when Sebastian thinks he can take out Jace and the Heavenly Fire enacts vengence on him and leaves him with a nice wee burn to run home with – ha! Serves you right, asshole!

Mad props to Brother Zachariah who is a total basass by the way – and sounds pretty hot, just saying! When he tries to save Jace from some pretty nasty war wounds, he his hit with the Heavenly Fire and jumps back screaming. Jump forward a few hours to Idris where Jace finds him in the hospital and we learn that somehow, he has reverted from a Silent Brother back in to your run of the mill Shadowhunter. The powers in this universe can sometimes get confusing.

Speaking of badasses, Maia was shocking me left right and center. After Jordan is killed (RIP) by Sebastian when he attacks the Praetor Lupus headquarters and word gets out that Luke is missing from Idris, one power hungry wolf sees fit to take his place by challenging Bat to a fight to the death. Well that just won’t work for subdued Maia and it is then that we see her take her rage out – she literally tears Rufus’ eyes out. Don’t approach her in a dark alley guys. It is also Maia, with the help of vampire Lily, that ends Maureen’s reign of terror and the two downworlders forge an alliance to help.

Magnus: “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”

Through a series of events, our heroes end up in Edom one of the demon realms where Sebastian has been hiding out and where the Downworlder reps are being held. Turns out that Edom is basically a darker mirror image of Alicante.

The face off with Sebastian was smart rather than bloody. Clary finds a way to extract the Heavenly Fire from Jace and is able to place it in to her sword. She pretends to agree to be his Queen and once he seals off the borders stopping them from getting out of Edom and securing the rest of the world from Sebastian’s evil rule, she stabs him in the heart and essentially burns the demonic blood out of him. For a brief moment, we get to see what the real Jonathan could have been like if Valentine hadn’t experimented on him.

“Freely we serve because we freely love, as in our will. To love or not; in this we stand or fall.”

Then something really sad happens…I mean really sad. Now the borders are closed, the only way for them to escape is by calling on the hell prince Asmodeous – who is Magnus’s dad – and the only way he will help is if Magnus gives him his immortality. Essentially being 400 years old means that he would die instantly, so sweet Simon takes it upon himself to offer up his immortality and in turn he ends up giving him his memories too.

After confessing his love for Izzy and knowing how close he is with Clary, this was a really hard thing to read about but I felt that it was the kind of sacrifice that served his character so well; putting others a head of himself is very true to form.

In the end though, we find that Simon does have memories niggling in the back of his mind – his new band name being The Mortal Instruments – and when Magnus is able to give him back a few of his memories, he is able to join the group at Jocelyn and Luke’s wedding.

The ending was sad but in the happiest way possible. All our favourites lived, they all were able to love and they were still a family. What more can you ask for in a final book?

Final note: I am really enjoying the TV show Shadowhunters and it is in large part why I started reading this series. While I didn’t enjoy the movie one bit, I really hope that the show gets a long run so we can watch the cast reenact some of the best parts The Mortal Instruments has to offer.


Find other reviews on Goodreads.

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4 thoughts on “City of Heavenly Fire: 5 out of 5 stars

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