“City of Heavenly Fire” by Cassandra Clare

imageOh. My. God.

Really, that was my response after finishing the final page of CoHF. What a wild ride. I found myself having to distance myself from the book at some points because I got too emotional. That being said, I also hugged my book whenever I was forced to put it down by that annoying thing called reality.

I don’t even know where to start. The plot is just so intense. But as I was reading, I kept thinking about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. That last book was all action. There were very few moment of peace, much like in CoHF. The resemblances of the plots between these two novels also reminded me that Cassandra Clare began her writer’s life as a Harry Potter fan fiction writer.  So of course ol’ HP would have an effect.

Something I want to talk about right off the bat is Jace. He’s going to be a legal

There is that Herondale jawline we know and love. And Jem!

Herondale! The line won’t end with Stephen! Hallelujah. I thought the scene where Jace says he wants to be a Herondale was just so beautiful. Will’s bloodline isn’t going to end. It will keep going and growing, starting with his and Clary’s kids.
(PS: what is wrong with “Clary Herondale”? I don’t get it. “Clarissa Herondale” just sounds so regal).
Specifically, I want to talk about the way Jace sees things in CoHF. It’s been a beef with me for the entire series that all of the characters seemed to see things the way Clary would: in art work. Constant comparisons to paintings and painters. But in this instalment, Jace finally had his own interests beyond fighting: his piano playing. He saw things in terms of music. Now, where was that in Jace’s POV throughout the series? Maybe Cassie only just figured this aspect of Jace out. But it was awesome and saddening at the same time. Saddening because it wasn’t until the last book that Cassie finally unearthed that last part of Jace’s voice.

One of the parts of the books where I had to put the book down so I wouldn’t start crying all over the pages in front of me was when [SPOILER] Simon had to forget everyone, and give up his immortality, in order for the crew to leave Edom. Magnus was going to do it, and then Simon took the fall. Having him forget Clary, forget Isabelle, and forget all of the wonderful things he had done was so much more than I could stand. But, now we all know he’s going to Ascend, just like Sophie, and we get to follow his journey through the Simon Stories, or whatever they’ll be called. Because, really, what else would those stories be about?

[SPOILER] Jordan’s death hit me hard. I was not expecting it. After seeing him and tumblr_n6w9deub3b1r3oy4vo2_1280Maia so happy in CoLS I felt like Jordan just couldn’t catch a break. I actually went a few chapters before I could finally admit to myself that Jordan was really dead; he wasn’t pulling a Valentine, he was really gone. And what cinched it for me was when Maia admitted that she was going to break up with him. If that were the case, then Jordan wouldn’t have had a happy life anyway. I don’t agree with what Maia said to Bat. I think Jordan truly loved her and was trying as hard as he could to make up for the horrible things he had done in the past for her sake and for her sake alone. He wanted to be forgiven so that he knew that Maia was OK. I never felt that there were any self-serving motives behind Jordan’s actions. He was just a lovely kid whose unfortunate transformation into a werewolf caused him to hurt the girl he loved most. At least he died believing that Maia still loved him. That was something.

Also, did anyone else think Maia was pregnant for a while there? Because I sure did.

Now for Malec. Did anyone else find it so annoying that Magnus FORGAVE Alec? I want Magnus to be happy, so it was cool that he had that chance again with Alec, but really, why did Alec get forgiven so easily? And not just by Magnus, but by everyone? Alec wanted to take Magnus’  life. Maybe not with a blade or a bow and arrow, but he wanted to cut Magnus’ life into a length that suited him. And Alec gets off scot-free because Magnus withheld some information about his past? Really? I mean, I get that people withholding info is bad. But it does not compare to taking someone’s life. I don’t care what Catarina thinks.
Sidebar: Magnus handing over The Bane Chronicles to Alec? That was totally adorable. And a stroke of sheer brilliance. I love that so much. Just one thing about TBC: we never find out why Magnus was banned from Peru, even Magnus doesn’t know, apparently. But Jace knows? What?

“As far as I’m concerned, this is the worst thing that’s happened since I found out why Magnus was banned from Peru.”

I hate not knowing this. Even though it doesn’t really matter, but it still annoys me.

Something else I loved was how Jem was introduced. Notice that Jem was never “Jem”, but always Zachariah? I thought that was genius. Jem was the name he had when he was a teenage boy with his parabatai and his fiancé. Now he’s over one hundred and forty years old, with the face of a young man, and far removed from that silver-haired saint. Cassie didn’t let TID intrude on the final chapter of TMI, and that was a good thing. Even if I really wanted Jem to be able to see Will’s ghost and for them to have a conversation.

I just want to say that during parts it felt a little like Cassie was writing fan fiction about her own work. You know when you read fan fiction and the author is chucking in quotes from the canon to show their “authority” in the fandom, even though the quotes don’t do anything for the actual storyline? Sometimes it felt a little like that. And sometimes I felt like everything was getting tied up too easily. I love having answers to everything, but no one gets the answers to everything in life. And seeing as we still have TDA to come (about 12 months from now, yeah?), it felt a little too much like Cassie was shutting and locking the door on these guys.

What do we think? The S.S. Blackstairs?

Speaking of TDA, how much do we already ship Emma and Julian? They are the cutest pair of kids since…well, I don’t really remember any other cute kids in this series. My absolute favourite scene in the entire book, yes that includes Jace and Clary having sex, was when Emma told Clary her sword sucked. And when the Blackthorns were having their stories “verified” by the Mortal Sword and Emma told the Consul to stop? Badass, right there. Of course, we all know that Emma is in love with Julian in TDA, right? I hope they get a happy ending like Clary and Jace did. (Plus, who thinks we’ll be invited to the Clace wedding during TDA?)

Sebastian is such an awesome villain. Seriously. He is so desperately evil but he “loves” Clary, even if he doesn’t understand what love is. He is human, in his own way. And that scene after [SPOILER] Clary stabbed him with her sword and he turns into a normal boy? Talk about ow. Poor Jocelyn and Clary. That was just harsh, Cassie. But it was totally awesome.

Also, the Clave sucks, right? The way they treated Helen? Just because she had faerie blood? Absolutely appalling. You’d think the bigoted Shadowhunters would have learned their lesson after the Uprising, but no. It won’t be until our guys and the generations after our guys are in power that the Nephilim might actually see some real equality. But that won’t be until the very end of TDA at least.

I could go on and on about CoHF. But that would be boring for you guys, right? So I’ll stop here. It feels wrong to give a star rating to the last instalment of my favourite series because I can’t be impartial. I love these characters and Cassie knows them so well that she can do no wrong in my eyes. So, no star rating. Just much, much fangirling happening over here.

P.S.: all of the artwork I pictured here is courtesy of the extremely talented Cassandra Jean





About Bec Graham

Bec Graham, 24, was born on the wrong continent. Everything from her burns-like-paper skin tone to her inability to cope with the slightest hint of a hot day suggests she should have been born under the gloomy skies and mild sun of the UK. She hopes writing will get her to her rightful home one day. Failing that, she scans the skies for a spinning blue police box, hoping to catch a lift back to the motherland.
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6 Responses to “City of Heavenly Fire” by Cassandra Clare

  1. I have so many things to say about this book, but I am not going to hijack your comments section 🙂 I’ll just leave one of my favorite bits.


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  4. Molly says:

    I just finished CoHF and am in a state of absolute shock, reading this has helped just a little bit as you have captured my feelings perfectly! It makes me feel less alone. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR WRITING THIS!!! If it wasn’t for this page I don’t think I would’ve made it through the day. It’s people like you that keep me alive! 😀

    • Bec Graham says:

      Oh wow! No worries at all! Thank you for stopping by! Glad to be of help.
      That book very nearly destroyed me. BUT if you would like some more Shadowhunter feels, I strongly recommend picking up The Infernal Devices. It is the prequel series to TMI 🙂

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