Series: The Mortal Instruments #6
Publisher: Margaret K. Elderry Books
Publication Date: May 28th 2014
REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS
The end of The Moral Instruments series is something I’ve been dreading for the past two years. When I picked up City of Bones for the first time, I flew through it and found myself getting lost in the Shadowhunter world. And ever since then it’s been one of my all-time favourite series.
Obviously I was dreading the end (especially after the soul crushing ending of Clockwork Princess).
When I first started reading City of Heavenly Fire I was extremely hesitant. I was dreading all of the deaths we’d been teased about because I didn’t want any of my beloved characters to die, but most of all, I just didn’t want this series to end.
City of Heavenly Fire is a long book. It’s 200 pages longer than any of the other books in the series, but that’s because there’s so much going on in the final book. We’re introduced to new characters; We said goodbye to some old ones; Old characters make re-appearances; Some characters went through major changes, and obviously, the biggest focus of this book was the Shadowhunter war with Sebastian.
The war with Sebastian and his Endarkened finally comes to a head in this one after the Clave pulled their heads out of their asses and realised what was actually going on. Sebastian has been attacking the Institutes all over the world and changing Shadowhunters into his Endarkened. He’s also kidnapped the Downworlder representatives (Magnus, Luke, Raphael & Jocelyn) to try and get the Downworlders on his side. It’s up to Jace, Clary, Isabelle, Alec and Simon to figure out how to save their friends and stop Sebastian once and for all.
I absolutely adored being introduced to the Blackthorn family and Emma Carstairs. Emma is already competing with Tessa to be my favourite female in the Shadowhunter world, and Emma’s only been in one book so far! She reminds me a lot of both Jace and Clary – She’s headstrong, determined, fiercely loyal, and intelligent, and she’s only like 12 years old! She was such a bad-ass 12 year old and I honestly can’t wait to see her in The Dark Artifices series. Julian Blackthorn is an intelligent, sweet young boy who had so much pressure put on his shoulders very early on in the book, and he was so determined to do his best for everyone. I also adored Helen and Ty, and I loved that we got to get a glimpse of the new generation and it’s just made me even more excited to read about them.
We also got to see Brother Zachariah’s transformation back to Jem – which was totally awesome and left me with tears in my eyes. As soon and Jace’s Heavenly Fire transferred to Zachariah I just knew that was how Jem was going to get his life back. I do wish that Jem had taken his name back instead of referring to himself (and getting everyone else to refer to him) as Zachariah. I understand why he wasn’t ready, but it’s just something would have loved.
Jace, Clary, Isabelle, Alec and Simon go on a massive journey in City of Heavenly Fire which all of them might not return from. Each of them has their own motive for travelling to Edom to stop Sebastian, and during the journey, all five of the main character grow and learn a lot about themselves and each other. While the friendship bond binding these five characters isn’t as strong as the bond in The Infernal Devices, it’s still the main thing I loved about CoHF. Jace, Clary, Isabelle, Alec and Simon have been through so much since the start of this series and it’s formed a bond between them all that will never be broken. Their friendship has been growing through the whole series and it finally bloomed in CoHF. Alec and Simon’s friendship was the main one that I loved seeing develop. They haven’t really been all that close, but due to a serious circumstance, both boys start to become friends.
The war with the Endarkened was a dark and bloody one. Sebastian was taking no prisoners and he wanted to reunite with Clary and make her his Queen. He’d been taking risks and attacking the Institutes to try and draw Jace and Clary out so that they could all be together again. Sebastian is such a horrible and deluded character, but I can’t help but feel sorry for him. Being brought up by Valentine and having no one to love him really affected him, and it’s not all his fault that he ended up this way.
The six deaths that we’d been teased about (and that I was dreading) weren’t actually that sad. I think I actually only cried at one of them – and I cheered at another.
Characters that died: Jordan, Maureen, Amatis, Raphael and Andrew Blackthorn & Jonathan. Honestly, the only death that kicked me in the feels was Jonathan – and that was a major surprise. Jordan’s death was just so sudden and it was kind of just brushed under the rug. It turned out that Maia didn’t really love Jordan and then she started making a move on a different character. Maureen deserved to die – she was a complete psycho and I was extremely happy with the way it went down. I didn’t particularly care about either Amatis of Andrew Blackthorn’s deaths. The only bit that did sort of make me tear up was that it was Julian that killed his father – which was pretty horrible for him. Raphael was really the only surprise death. However, the death of Jonathan Morgenstern was the only one that truly killed me. I’m well aware that Jonathan is the evil Sebastian, but they’re two completely different characters and anyone who’s read this book knows how soul destroying his death was. I wanted Sebastian dead, but Jonathan was a different matter. Green eyed Jonathan never got a chance to live, and Clary and Jocelyn had to witness the death of a son/brother that they never got to know – which was the main thing that made me cry.
But the main soul crushing moment of this book was Simon’s sacrifice. It was bad enough when Magnus was going to sacrifice his immortality, but then Simon had to go and open his mouth. When Magnus’s dad was taking Simon’s memories, I could barely even read what was on my kindle because I was sobbing. Having Simon not remember anything about the Shadowhunter world, and worst of all, not remember Clary was just unthinkable. I couldn’t wrap my head around why Simon was getting the raw end of the deal and I didn’t want Simon not to be part of the world. He’s been a majorly important character from the very first book and seeing him as a mundane again honestly ripped my heart out – but thankfully the epilogue was still to come.
The epilogue was possibly my favourite part of the whole book. Seeing Simon unable to remember Clary or Izzy tore my heart out, but I loved what Magnus had up his sleeve after he and Izzy read the flyer with Simon’s band name on it – The Mortal Instruments. I also loved seeing Robert finally tell Alec that he’ll love him no matter what, and it was nice to see Robert open up for once. The Malec reunion had me cheering because I just love those two together so much. Honestly, they were like my main ship throughout the whole series and I was so happy to see them together again. But the main thing I loved about the epilogue was Tessa and Zachariah (Jem).I had happy tears rolling down my cheeks throughout Tessa’s whole conversation with Clary, and then when Zachariah joined and started speaking about his parabati, the tears just poured from my eyes. And then he stole Church and I couldn’t stop laughing. The ending was just such a perfect ending and it just completed the series so well.
For me, the epilogue wasn’t the end of the book. There’s a comic strip at the back of some of the UK editions (which I came across later) that shows Jem and Tessa’s wedding, with Will and Jessamine showing up as ghosts. Obviously the whole comic strip reduced me tears because of my Wessa feels, but mainly because of how happy Will was for Tessa and Jem. It warmed my heart and just solidified how close the bond of friendship between Tessa, Will and Jem is, and always will be.
The Mortal Instruments is obviously one of my all time favourites series. I've loved the journey that Cassandra Clare has taken me on with these characters and I'm really upset that it's all over. But it's was such a fantastic ending and Cassandra Clare definitely did an amazing job. I just wish I had The Dark Artifices like right now!