Shockingly, it didn’t take me forever to start reading this book. Usually, when I purchase new releases, it takes me forever to get to them (or like in Scarlet and Cress’s case, I still have yet to read them). But this time around, Clare was next on my reading list once I finished the stack of books I had from the library. So, I’m warning you now, this review does contain spoilers – even though I tried to be vague with my updates on Goodreads – and I’ve split this review into parts based on the book. So you have been warned. Venture further at your own risk.
Part 1: Bring Forth a Fire
So this book begins with quite a prologue. Instead of going back to the usual setting for these books of the New York Institute, COHF starts at the Los Angeles Institute where we focus on Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorn – Helen’s brother – and what appears to be a normal training day turns deadly. Sebastian and his army of Endarkened Shadowhunters attack the Institute, and the kids are sent running for safety as all the adults are either killed or Turned. Emma, while trying to rescue the young Blackthorns from the nursery stumbles upon the scene and tries to stop Sebastian from killing Julian’s brother Mark. She throws a knife that sticks into Sebastian’s heart, but he doesn’t die. Emma and the other children escape to Idris and I wish I could say that that is as intense as it gets during the first part…but this is Cassandra Clare we’re talking about and it is the final book in an epic series.
So, a quick summary of the first 365 pages: Jace is still dealing with the heavenly fire inside of his veins. Alec is still recovering from Magnus breaking up with him – although there is that one scene that sends a lot of mixed signals – Simon is dealing with Maureen’s crazy obsession with him, Isabelle finally blows up at her father for cheating on her mother, and everyone ends up back in Idris because of these attacks on the Institutes. While there, Sebastian tries to attack the London Institute, but they are warned, and he attacks the Praetor. Jordan dies in Maia’s arms. Sebastian turns out to be in league with the Seelie Queen, which includes their representative on the Council. A dinner is planned for the other Downworlders, and you know something bad is going to happen at it and it does. Magnus, Luke, Raphael, and Jocelyn are kidnapped and the only way they will be returned is if the Clave hands over Jace and Clary to Sebastian. The Council decides to hold a vote, but while they are discussing the two’s fate, they figure out where Sebastian is hiding.
Favorite part: When Brother Zachariah is returned to his human form. I was literally screaming. Now the events at the end of Clockwork Princess make sense!
Part 2: That World Inverted
Clary, Simon, Jace, Alec, and Isabelle go to the demon realm of Edom – Lilith’s domain – and as usual, they are very subtle upon their entrance and as they try to make their way to Sebastian’s hideout. Jace is attacked by a demon and lets out the heavenly fire. Clary finally figures out what the rune that she’s been seeing does. Isabelle almost dies. Alec and Simon bond.
Meanwhile, the Clave is preparing for battle. Emma figures out that there was something strange about the way her parents were murdered. Magnus, Raphael, and Luke are trying to figure out where they are, although Magnus does have a clue because his father – who turns out to be a demon prince – is trying to get him to call on him. Sebastian comes and offers Raphael the chance to join his side, the only thing he has to do is kill Magnus. Because the warlock saved his life before, Raphael returns the favor and spares him, at the cost of his own undead life.
The ending killed me, multiple times. Whether it was Clary and Jace’s plan to finally get rid of Sebastian, the revelation that Jonathon actually existed, or the deal that was made to get the group out of Edom I was just an absolute mess. I won’t even get into the epilogue because I’ll just start crying over my keyboard.
"Should I change my Facebook status from 'it's complicated' to 'in a relationship'?""You have a book that's also a face?"
Died at this.
So I’ll admit that this book, originally, scared the crap out of me. As I state, a lot, I am not a fan of endings, and from what I was hearing about the finale from Cassandra Clare, I was scared out of my mind that my favorite characters were going to die. But I should have known better, especially considering what she did in Clockwork Princess, I should have known that these characters were in good hands. This book was perfect, it finished the story while also not only tying in the previous series, but setting up for The Dark Artifices and The Last Hours as well. I can’t wait to read more.
Final Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. There’s a reason Clare is one of my favorite authors and the way that she ends series is definitely one of them.
Bookshelf worthy? Obviously.