City of Heavenly Fire

by Cassandra Clare
First sentence: “On the day Emma Carstairs’s parents were killed, the weather was perfect.”
Support your local independent bookstore: buy it there!
Others in the series: City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass, City of Fallen Angels, City of Lost Souls
Also helpful to read before picking up this one: Clockwork Angel, Clockwork Prince, Clockwork Princess
Content: There’s violence, some mild swearing, and some sexytimes. The sex is tasteful and protected (yay!), but it is depicted, to an extent. This entire series is in the Teen section (grades 9+).

I’m not even going to try and sum up what has happened up to this point, or even what happens in this book. Coming in at over 700 pages, to say a lot of stuff happens is a major understatement. But, everyone is here: Jace and Clary, Simon and Isabelle, Alec and Magnus, Jocelyn and Luke, as well as hangers on: Brother Zachariah (yay!) and Tessa each play a role, as do Maya and Raphael. And, of course, the big baddie, Sebastian.

It also introduces new characters in 12-year- old Emma Carstairs and her best friend Julian Blackthorn. They don’t really play a huge role in the story; mostly they just play small roles. But they — and their family — are involved enough that we get to know them. And — and this is a complaint I have — they serve as a linchpin for a start of a new series. At some point, one does have to wonder, I think, if Clare can write any stories in a different world. But then, why should she, when this one is so rich?

It was nice to hang out with Clary and crew again, to see how relationships have developed, and follow them as they try to thwart Sebastian’s evil plan. Like always, Magnus was the most interesting character, and I was thrilled to see the way he and Alec’s relationship went. There’s some heartbreaking moments, and Simon even gets to shine with his Dungeons & Dragons references.

It’s a good conclusion (of sorts) and a fun story, even for all its length.

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