“I can tell you that the end of a life is the sum of the love that was lived in it…”
Friends, you were all right; not only was the ending of this trilogy not predictable, but it was also perfection. I actually think the epilogue in this book is now my favorite of all time. All time. Out of any book I’ve ever read. Like, that is some praise, friends. This book made me so happy, and so sad, all at the same time. But I think the ending was perfect, absolutely perfect. This is also the first Cassandra Clare book that I’ve given five stars.
Love is really the focal point of this entire book. Love can be messy, and complicated, and even cause you hurt and pain, but it is always worth it, and it is never wrong. Seeing Will, Tessa, and Jem love each other, so unconditionally, is something that moves to me to tears just writing this paragraph. And even though I think they totally should have been in a polyamorous relationship, I think that the depiction of their messy, complicated, and even hurtful and painful love was so expertly done.
“Most people are lucky to have even one great love in their life. You have found two.”
I also think that Cassie Clare really excels at writing not just romance, but more specifically romantic one-liners. Some of the quotes in this book are some of the most romantic and beautiful things I’ve ever read. I might have been weeping, but I was also swooning, my friends.
The only family tree in literature I’m really invested in is for ASOIAF, but Cassie Clare has made me completely addicted to figuring out how this lineage goes and plays out. I am so scared to see spoilers, so I haven’t looked up anything, but the reading experience is so unique and so much greater seeing these people’s familial lines become more and more.
The only three minor complaints about this book! One being, that the letters, between Charlotte and the Consul (AKA: Josiah Wayland, the dick) were just boring to read. I know they were very important, I just never really got enjoyment from reading them. And then, I honestly wish we could have seen Tessa’s power in action more. I feel like we honestly only really got to see it a lot in Clockwork Angel, and it’s such an amazing ability, I just wish it was showcased a bit more. Lastly, people always complain about this with other YA authors, but Cassie Clare also literally pairs everyone off together in her books. And I know a lot of times friends do fall in love with each other, but friendship is not a “lesser” relationship, and I would have really enjoyed just seeing some of these people be happy being friends with one another. Especially since this series really focuses so much on themes of the importance of found families.
But, I loved this book so much if you couldn’t guess by the perfect rating. But the rest of my review is going to touch on a couple key things that happened in this book and things that have happened in previous books, so please use caution reading the rest of this review if you have not read this book and its predecessors! And as always, I’m going to do a little mini character breakdown on my thoughts and feelings on all the main characters in this book. Spoilers ahead!
(Beautiful fanart by DREI SJ!) 💕
➽ Tessa Gray – I actually think I’m most heartbroken for Tessa. Her and Magnus both just tug at every heartstring I have. But I love her character, I loved her growth, and I even loved her struggle to be enough, to be loved, and to be happy. And I just don’t want her to be alone.
“I will make you a promise. Every year, Tessa, on one day, I will meet you on that bridge. I will come from the Silent City and I will meet you, and we will be together, if only for an hour. But you must tell no one.”
➽ Jem Carstairs – Oh, my sweet boy. One of the most beautiful things I’ve ever read is when Tessa heard Jem though his music. Music means so much to me, and the power, healing, and love that it creates really does transcend everything. It broke me, but I loved what happened to Jem in this novel, and I’m begging Cassie to give me more glimpses of his life. My sweet, kind, unconditionally loving, boy.
“And in the shadows they’d whispered, reminding each other of the stories only they knew. Of the girl who had hit over the head with a water jug the boy who had come to rescue her, and how he had fallen in love with her in that instant.”
➽ Will Herondale – I will be real with you all, I was very much Team Will during this book. Again, I know, I will say that the three of them should have just been in a relationship together if it were possible, without Jem’s condition, but even in Clockwork Angel I believed that Will and Tessa were true soulmates. And not to make light of the situation, and I do think it is important to see some beloved characters move on, but I would have so gotten bit by a vampire. Like, these shadowhunters are wild.
➽ Charlotte Branwell – Charlotte is always a delight to read, and she really ties in wonderful feminist storylines and messages throughout this entire trilogy. Her heart is so big, and she always finds even more room to love others. Such a great character.
➽ Henry Branwell – Why did the Fairchild surprise me so much? Did it surprise you all? I mean… I knew Henry had red hair. I mean, I should have guessed. But how perfect is that lineage marker?
➽ Sophie Collins – I loved this character since the very first page that she was mentioned on in Clockwork Angel and I loved her throughout the epilogue of this book. Easily one of my favorites of this trilogy.
➽ Gideon Lightwood – And I can’t wait to follow Sophie and Gideon’s family tree…
➽ Gabriel Lightwood – …Even though I bet Izzy and Alec came from Gabriel, because…
➽ Cecily Herondale – …Cecily is Will’s sister, and everyone says how much Izzy and Alec resemble Will. Ahhh, my heart. I’m still not okay. But I really did love the addition of Cecily, even though I see many of my friends did not.
“You endure what is unbearable, and you bear it. That is all.”
➽ Magnus Bane – 40% into this book was when I first started tearing up, and it was because of Magnus. Magnus really is my favorite from this entire world, and he proves over and over how selfless he is time and time again. When he told Tessa it didn’t get easier, I legit couldn’t even blink away the tears. And it truly makes the perfect connection to everything him and Alec are going through in The Mortal Instruments.
➽ Jessamine Lovelace – I legit was like “WHY is she coming back to the institute, end her!” and then she died and I was like “Oh my gosh, I was just joking, this poor girl!” So, I don’t even know how I feel. But I’m here for ghostly activities, always.
➽ Axel Mortmain – I legit didn’t always believe his motivations. Like, it is the same of Valentine, with the grudges being REAL. But I think he did a good job at showing us how abusive people will do anything to get their way; even lulling you into a false sense of security. But yeah, dude was evil, and I’m glad he’s gone. Nothing really else to say.
Overall, I loved this book with my entire heart and soul. I wouldn’t be surprised if it ends up being my favorite thing that Cassie Clare has created. Yet, I will say that I think she gets better and better as a writer, and everyone promises me more fae in The Dark Artifices so we will see! But I can’t wait to start City of Heavenly Fire. I actually think I’m going to start it tonight, because I have no chill and I’m so enthralled with his world. And I’m so thankful you all convinced me to read all of Cassandra’s backlist. Okay, I’m off to read After the Bridge: The Full Story forever! Happy reading!
“Life is a book, and there are a thousand pages I have not yet read. I would read them together with you…”