Rated Reads

City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, Book Six)

by Cassandra Clare

Rated: High

This is, apparently, truly the end of the series. City of Glass seemed to be the end, but then Cassandra Clare resurrected a character and made him a meanie to end all meanies. “Sebastian” is back in this conclusion and brings all kinds of chaos to the world of Shadowhunters and Downworlders. He’s seemingly indestructible and has all kinds of might and demon support on his side. But we know that somehow he will be defeated by our beloved little group of teen Shadowhunters and their vampire pal Simon. How could he not be?

Clary is now a real Shadowhunter herself, training to do what Jace, Isabelle and Alec have been doing since they were much younger. They step in to fight Sebastian even when the adults are determined for them to be kept out of the fray; that is their pattern, after all, and one that’s well established in these kinds of stories. And, of course, they know Sebastian better thanks to their curious bonds with him, and are able to do more to fight him.

What I’ve loved about Clare’s books aren’t just the action and interesting plotlines; what I enjoy best are the characters and their interaction with each other, the swoon-worthy romance and the laugh-out-loud wit. This book at least was far less annoying than the fifth in the series (I had many issues with City of Lost Souls), but it still wasn’t as full of wit and laughing moments for me; perhaps that has to do mostly with the intensity of the storyline, perhaps not. It’s not the best in the series, but it wraps things up nicely, nonetheless. I particularly loved how the characters and story I enjoyed so much from Clare’s Infernal Devices series got to appear here and reprise their poignant roles; I was a bit interested in the new Los Angeles institute characters who were introduced, but their roles here were so prominent that it was a bit too obvious they’re the stars of the next series (this seemed like a too-long commercial, honestly, for upcoming The Dark Artifices). All around, pretty good and enjoyable, but quite long and not quite up to the standards of some of the earlier books.

Rated: High, for lots and lots of violence and gore and intensity, but very little language. Teen sexual behavior is increased and further along, though there aren’t many details, and it’s treated fairly casually throughout, including several homosexual relationships. (I honestly wasn’t thrilled that a goal of the series was to see Jace and Clary finally get to have sex.)

— Reviewed by Cathy Carmode Lim

Cathy Carmode Lim has been reviewing books for newspapers for more than 20 years, two of which she was a book page editor. She founded Rated Reads in January 2008.

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  • City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, Book Six)
  • by Cassandra Clare
  • Rated: High
  • Genre: Young adult
  • Reviewer: