The thing about The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices series is that I know that they’re super, super, super, um, how do I say this without making it sound like I’m disparaging the series that I love? Well, they’re kind of lame. But they’re lame in all of the ways that I absolutely love.
There are demons, and teenagers who are in love with the wrong people, and vampires, and werewolves and fairies, and in this, the finale, a mirror hell dimension. (Also, not actually the finale. Hooray!)
I should note that if you haven’t read The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices, you will likely be lost in this review, because I’m not recapping. OK, I’ll recap a little, Shadowhunters, also known as Nephilium, are angel descended humans who fight demons. Downworlders are demon human hybrids, ie, Vampires, Werewolves, Fairies and Warlocks. Clary Fray (Fairchild, Morgenstern, everyone has like 10 names, it’s just how it goes.) lived the first 16 years of her life thinking that she was a normal girl. Turns out, she’s not. She’s a Shadowhunter. She learns this when she meets Jace Wayland (Morgenstern, Lightwood, Herondale) and they fall in love. Then they find out that they’re brother and sister. But actually they’re not! Then he gets brainwashed by her actual brother Jonathan who goes by Sebastian and wants to destroy the world (and hook up with Clary, this series is lousy with weird incest stuff.) Also, Jason was raised alongside the Lightwoods, Alec and Isabelle. Clary’s best friend Simon got turned into a vampire, and then drank Jace’s blood so now he’s a daylighter. Also, he’s dating Isabelle, kind of. But she’s pissed at him because he was cheating on her with Maia, a werewolf. Oh, also Clary’s mom, Jocelyn is engaged to Luke, a former shadowhunter, who is now a werewolf. Alec is in an on again off again relationship with Magnus Bane, a powerful Warlock who is the main link between the two series.
That’s basically all you need to know.
Last year when I read Clockwork Princess, I was blown away by how well everything was wrapped up in the end. While I appreciate ambiguous endings for their, whatever, ballsyness? I like clean endings. I like to know that everyone is going to be OK. (Think Harry Potter. I defend the epilogue, the same for The Hunger Games.) Cassandra Clare is a master of clean endings. The end of City of Heavenly Fire, brings together the heroes from the two series together. (Jem Carstairs aka Brother Zachariah was a huge part of this book, and I found myself crying every time he spoke. The fact that the epilogue brought Tessa Gray in and that she bestowed a Herondale family heirloom on her descendant Jace, without him knowing her relationship to him, was lovely.
The main plot of the book was exciting, interesting and of course, mired in the mythology of this world, so any attempt to explain it would be, futile, but basically, Sebastian has been making “dark Shadowhunters” and sleeping with the Fairy Queen, which is kind of weird. In order to protect themselves, the Shadowhunters have retreated to Alicante, their homeland and capital city. They have lots of meetings, Jace gets angry. Isabelle is sad because she misses Simon. Simon comes, they all go to the hell dimension to fight Sebastian, after he kidnaps, Luke, Jocelyn and Magnus. In the end, they get home, but to do it, Simon has to sacrifice his immortality and his knowledge of the shadow world.
I don’t think I’ve cried as hard as I did at the “death” of Simon Lewis. As I’ve established when talking about the series in the past, Simon is my favorite character. Luckily, in the end, they find a way to get Simon his memories back and turn him into a Shadhunter! Hooray!
Romance is at the heart of The Mortal Instruments, and I was absolutely giddy about how it was handled in this book. Clary and Jace’s first time having sex was in a stream, in a cave, in a hell dimension. I’m sorry, that’s the single greatest sentence I’ve ever written. Magnus and Alec’s angst at their separation is fantastic, and Isabelle and Simon’s tragic, and then not, romance is just lovely. And then whole thing ends with a wedding! Jocelyn and Luke’s, not any of our mains. In the end it’s love and purity and kindness that win the day. (Also burning Heavenly Fire, but I mean, obviously), and it looks like for next series (Beginning Fall 2015! EEEH!) a war with the fairies is ahead.
I’m not going to keep going, because I could, for pages and days about how much I liked this, but it would be repetitive and boring. So, I’m signing off! See you tomorrow!