Modern Fantasy · Review · Young Adult

City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

City of Heavenly Fire CoverLet me start with stating that this book made me fall in love with real, physical books again. I tried reading this on my e-reader, but I just can’t. This is a book that I have to have in my hands.

Also, there is the question of whether or not you need to read The Infernal Devices (TID) before reading CoHF. Coming from a reader who has not read TID, here is my answer: No, you do not have to read TID before CoHF. I want to read TID now, but it is not a prerequisite.

Now on to the Review

In Cassandra Clare’s conclusion to The Mortal Instruments series, City of Heavenly Fire, we find danger, betrayal, darkness and demons. Some themes I found are nature versus nurture, the complicated bonds of family, and fighting for what you believe in.

We start, in the prologue, in the L.A. Institute where we are reintroduced to the evil that is Sebastian.

The Clave is run by idiots (shocking, I know). Once again, the teenagers are left to solve the world’s problems. The plot is well developed on taking the Shadowhunters into Edom.

As they were entering Edom, I had to cry for Mark, especially when Jace gave him witch light.

We see betrayal of many kinds, but the largest betrayal, as far as the Shadow World goes, is when we discover the Faeries true political allegiance. I was personally creeped out by Sebastian and the Faerie Queen’s relationship.

It was great to see some strategizing. There are a lot of scary demons (in more than one sense of the word). It’s great to watch the characters deal with and fight against said demons.

Character Development

Sebastian (if read as a stand-alone) was almost a flat character, but his saving graces were his interactions with Jocelyn and his time in the throne room. I love him more now.

As for Magnus, I loved seeing him develop more as a character. I was able to guess who his father was about 150 pages before it is revealed, but that does not mean Clare wrote a predictable novel.

I was surprised to meet Emma. She is a very interesting child. My heart goes out to her. She’s a smart and clever.

For other characters, I saw quite a bit of development with Clary, but not so much with Jace. Alec develops his own strength through his worry and grief. I’ve never really seen Izzy so vulnerable where it involves Simon. We actually learn more about Robert Lightwood. Maia learns her own strength in the face of loss. Most of the vampires had little development; same with the faeries. And Brother Zachariah. A lot of freaky stuff happens with him.


What a hell of a novel. This was an emotional rollercoaster. As some of my friends would say, too many feels! The novel is intricate and cleverly crafted.

City of Heavenly Fire is permanently on my favorites shelf. The entire Mortal Instruments series haunts me.

I recommend this novel to fans of Clare and those who have a particular interest in the supernatural and biblical lore. I would also recommend this to those who want to see a lot of character development without taking away from the plot, it in fact drives the plot.

5 Out of 5 Stars

7 thoughts on “City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

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