Pre-warning: there are NO City of Heavenly Fire spoilers in this post!
This past Tuesday, shop May 27th was the day that City of Heavenly Fire hit bookshelves. It is the very last book of The Mortal Instruments series. While we are going to be in the world of Shadowhunters for years to come, what with The Dark Artifices and The Last Hours series coming to bookshelves, this series is the one that started it all. I will get to read more of Shadowhunters and the Shadow World but it was bittersweet to say goodbye to Clary, Jace and the rest in this series. If you haven’t had a chance, you can check out my spoiler free review here, or my spoiler filled vlog here.
I haven’t been this sad of a series ending since the day that I finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and that’s because I think the Mortal Instruments come in at a close second to the Harry Potter series, in what they mean to me and what they have done for me. The Mortal Instruments will NEVER touch Harry Potter for me, but Harry Potter has been in my life since I was 10 years old so…I highly doubt anything will ever be as important as that book series.
But the Mortal Instruments. I first picked up the books about four years ago. Four years ago, my life was….difficult. Not really hard. I have always been fairly lucky in the life that I’ve had, even during the hard times, even during the struggles. But four years ago, I went through something that was pretty hard for me. My boyfriend and I both went through something hard, and instead of turning to each other, we turned against each other. We stopped showing affection to each other, we were fighting all the time, it was awful. We broke up. And what was the worst about it was…I not only had the task of dealing with the heartbreak but no one understood, really, why it was more than just a normal heartbreak. I was dealing with so many emotions. My boyfriend had gone on tour with his band, so he was well distracted but I was at home, stuck in my own thoughts, miserable.
So what do I do when I’m miserable?
Head to a bookstore, of course. I went on a trip to Borders. (Oh Borders, how I miss you). I needed to get out of the house, I needed a distraction, to get out of my own head. Back then, I wasn’t a blogger so I wasn’t as involved with the book world as I am now. Now I go into a bookstore and I recognize so many titles that I despair that I can only purchase one or two. Back then, I had to rely on just looking on titles and things like that. I was wandering the Young adult section and the title “City of Bones” jumped out at me. I read the back, decided that I liked it well enough and purchased it. I went home that night, and dove into it for the first time.
The next time, I was at the bookstore and purchasing City of Ashes. I went back the VERY next day to purchase City of Glass. I read the snippet of Clockwork Angel at the end, and waiting eagerly for it to come out a couple months later. I waited patiently for the release of Fallen Angels the next year, and met her for the very first time. The speed in which this books came crashing into my life and stayed there permanently is incredible and it still kind of blows my mind. Only one book series had done that since then, and still not with the way that this series did.
I loved the story, I loved how it weaved the familiar world that we know with this beautiful fantasy world. I wanted to be a Shadowhunter. I love tattoos and the fact that they could bring you strength and agility and things like that blew my mind. I loved the weapons and the Institute. I loved Idris and this country tucked away from everything else. Everything about this world was fantastic to me. There was romance and action and lots of humor and sarcasm. I fell in love with all the characters.
But I especially fell in love with two.
First off, I love Alec Lightwood. The person that Alec Lightwood is…unsure and scared, afraid to be the person that he is, afraid to share the emotions buried deep within him…it all felt so familiar. He felt like the most real character in the books. I know people didn’t like him at first, because of the way he treated Clary, and the obsession he had with Jace but I thought he was real and raw and genuine. His story reached out to me and watching him grow and change over the course of six books.
And then there was Jace Wayland Morgenstern Herondale Lightwood, whatever you want to call him. I don’t know if I would have fallen in love with as much as I did as a fictional boyfriend and a fictional character if I wasn’t in the middle of a breakup with my boyfriend. But I loved everything about him. I loved that he was this badass warrior, and that he was raised to not believe in love and Clary was changing that in him, and that he said the sweetest things and that was also kind of crazy. Come on, let’s think about…going into Hunter’s Moon and picking fights with werewolves? That’s kind of crazy. He’s been one of my absolute favorite characters since then, and definitely my number one fictional crush.
But he was also kind of my escape, from the misery that I was feeling at the time. It made me think that boys could say still say cute things, even when they mess up, and I lost myself in the romance of Jace and Clary. It kept me sane. I devoured those books and they kept me from wallowing in even more misery that I already was. I wouldn’t say they saved my life, because I had never considered that my life was over, but they saved my emotions, my sanity, my well-being. I was a wreck and these books helped to put me back together.
And they still do that.
When I’m having a really bad time, a tough time, there are two book series that I turn to: Harry Potter and the Mortal Instruments. They both can make me feel better even on the darkest of days. Even when I feel the worst.
But the books did more than just be books that will sit on my shelves forever, and stories that I’ll dive into again and again. They inspire me to be a better write, they inspire me to write beautiful books. I want to write books that have characters that are loved like these, and have stories that are addicting and stories that make people cry the way I cried while reading City of Heavenly Fire. I am inspired every day by Cassandra Clare.
She also taught me so much about fear, about accepting your fears, in order to overcome them. This is a huge part of the first trilogy in this series. Clary’s fear of fitting into the Shadowhunter world. Isabelle’s fear of love. Jace’s fear of letting anyone. Valentine’s fear (and jealousy) of the Downworlders. Jocelyn’s fear for Clary’s safety. Alec’s fear for being himself. Simon’s fear of being left behind. SO much fear, but by the time we reach the end of City of Glass, they have either accepted those fears, are working on them or have conquered them. She shows us that we don’t need a Fearless rune to do this but that courage and bravery come from inside of us, to overcome those things that make us so afraid. This is why I have a fearless rune tattoo, to remind myself that I can strong enough and brave enough to over come anything.
They have also brought me into a world I never expected. I had been blogging for nearly a year when I met Cassandra Clare for the second time. I was able to interview her (you can check out that video here), and it opened a lot of doors for me as a blogger. Then I met her about three weeks later, at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, and put together a Shadowhunter meet-up, where I met some new friends, most importantly, my fangirl bestie, Sylvia from Fangirl Feeels.
Not only did her books bring me to some amazing friends BUT they in turn introduced me to a world bigger than the one I had known. I showed them the beauty of all the book events and they introduced me to movie premieres. Without that meetup, and meeting all those friends, I would have never even thought to go to premieres like City of Bones, Catching Fire, Vampire Academy and Divergent. These books have given me a community of friends all over the world. I’ve been messaging online and texting on my phone nonstop for the last 48+ hours about the release of City of Heavenly Fire, and I love this community and what it has given to me, and what I hope I have given back. I have met so many amazing friends because of it.
So some people think I’m crazy and some people probably look at me and think “its just a book”. But its so much more than that, so much more. I loved the finale of the series, though I admit I did have some beef with the ending, but whatever I feel for this book, it is so sad and bittersweet to see it end. I know that we will continue into the lives of Lucie and James Herondale in The Last Hours and the lives of Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorn in The Dark Artifices. I know that we have not yet left the Shadowhunter world but leaving behind the world of Clary, Jace, Alec, Magnus, Isabelle, Simon, Jocelyn, Luke, Maia, Jordan, and so many many more is heartbreaking. I will miss them and their romances and their antics and their adventures. Its hard to say good bye because of how much this series meant to me.
Check out some pictures from my TMI adventures over the last couple years, including meeting Cassie, the cast of the movie, the red carpet premiere of the movie, hanging out with TMI friends, and my tattoo.
And don’t forget to share what The Mortal Instruments mean to you in the comments!
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