“Heroes aren’t always the ones who win,” she said. “They’re the ones who lose, sometimes. But they keep fighting, they keep coming back. They don’t give up. That’s what makes them heroes.”
Read in February 2020
FINALLY!! I had to go through each of the five first books in the Mortal Instrument series before liking one of them. I already knew approximately what would happen during this sixth and last instalment, one of my friends explained to me before I started The Dark Artifices a couple of years ago, and most of the events were thoroughly evoked in Lady Midnight’s firsts chapters anyway. So not much about the story itself surprised me, however, I didn’t expect Julian Blackthorn and his siblings as well as Emma Castair to hold such a central role in this book, or else I swear I would have read this book sooner. Around 1/3 of City of Heavenly Fire revolved around them so I had so many new details and information that made my experience TDA feeling more complete without even having recently re-read it.
Reading about my babies being just that, babies, five years younger, both warmed and broke my heart. I have always been curious about one particular scene (Julian killing his father to protect his brothers and sisters) that was mentioned several times in The Dark Artifices and it was even worse than I thought to actually read about it, making me feel the urge to protect them against the world. I keep wondering if I would have loved them as much if I read this book before TDA and I really want to think I would have because I feel in love with them a second time here. Storyline wise, this book was distinctly better, I also enjoyed the writing style way more than in Cassandra Clare’s previous books, and I could finally catch a glimpse of the greatness I noticed in her latest trilogy.
“Ghosts are memories, and we carry them because those we love do not leave the world.”
I now realize that I was so eager to talk about the characters of The Dark Artifices that I haven’t blurb City of Heavenly Fire yet. So here it goes. Clary is still trying to stop her evil brother, Sebastian Morgenstern, to destroy the world. At the beginning of this book, he simultaneously attacked several Institutes and the Shadowhunter that didn’t die fighting were captured and turned in Endarkened, supershadowhunters who obey and serve Sebastian, loyal enough that they could rip off their own friends and families. The younger Blackthorn siblings and Emma Castair survived the Los Angeles Institute attack but their parents were either killed or turned to join Sebastian’s army. After those attacks, Sebastian announces that he would stop targeting the Shadowhunters if Jace and Clary, who escaped him in City of Lost Souls, are handed back to him.
Speaking of Jace, he is currently trying to control the Heavenly Fire that was used to sever the string between him and Sebastian, hoping that it could be a useful tool to kill Sebastian at last. Clary and Jace stayed my least favourite characters in the Mortal Instrument, hands down, but they were more bearable since they weren’t the main focus of as many pages as they used to. I was a bit disappointed with how Maia and Jason were handled in this book but I kept loving Luke, Simon and Isabelle even though my whole focus and anticipation lay with the Blackthorn/Castair. I’m not even surprised that Simon saves the day in the end, that’s how selfless and kind he is. Magnus and Alec stayed enjoyable characters and I was more invested in their love story when the drama from the previous book was over.
“I don’t know why I ever helped you.”
“Because you like broken things.”
Overall, I’m kind of glad I stick up to the end because the last book was enjoyable and it made me love the next series even more. It especially gave me the feels for Mark, to whom I used to be a bit detached of because I didn’t know the fierce and loving brother he could be. The fact that we can see him in faerie still himself made my heart ache, realizing what he had suffered before being what we witnessed in Lady Midnight. Same goes for Helen and Aline, I really needed the backstory for them as well to like them more. I was already aware of the Jem/Brother Zachariah storyline, but I was happy to have him in this book nonetheless. However, I was super shocked by Raphael’s death, it came as a real surprise, and I felt so sad for him. I really liked him and I really hope we will see more of him in The Bane Chronicles. Last but not least, if you’ve already read this series but stopped before The Dark Artifices, please stick to the story, Emma and Julian will win your heart and I’m sure you’ll thank me for it.
Have you read or will you read this book?
What did you think about it?