Sunday, November 4, 2018

Shelf Candy Saturday No. 266: City of Heavenly Fire, by Cassandra Clare

Welcome to Shelf Candy Saturday!

***Late Edition***
This is my weekly feature
showcasing beautiful covers!
It also provides information, 
if available, on their 
very talented creators!

Here's my choice for this week!

City of Heavenly Fire
(The Mortal Instruments, Book 6) 
Cassandra Clare
Hardcover, 725 pages
Margaret K. McElderry Books
May 27, 2014
Paranormal Romance,  Urban Fantasy
Young Adult Fiction

My Thoughts About This Cover

I really should feature the covers of this entire series, because they're ALL GORGEOUS! I'm referring to the original hardback covers, though. The newer ones, for the paperback edition, are not quite as nice. And the thing is, I happen to own all six books of this series, too -- the original hardbacks!! (I've only read the first one.....)

I featured the very first cover of this series -- City of Bones -- in a previous SCS post. And it's been much TOO long! That post is dated September 29, 2012!! OMG!! I was still "a baby blogger".....LOL. You can access that post HERE.

As you will see, if you compare that post with the one you're reading now, I've changed quite a few things in this meme format. One of the most important changes is the font color. I no longer color-code my post text to a color from the cover I'm discussing in the post. I think this change now makes these posts much easier to read, lol. 

But on to this LUSCIOUS cover! The composition is a simple one. What really stands out is the strange, glowing tattoos on the young woman pictured on the cover. She is Clary, the female protagonist of this series. When the series starts out, she doesn't seem all that important, but, as it progresses, it turns out that she is a very powerful person. This really shows in this incredibly BEAUTIFUL illustration! The tattoos allude to this power, and this is emphasized by her clenched left fist, as well as the dagger she firmly holds in her right hand. Her bright red hair, billowing out before her, also seems to allude to her power. 

I think that her male companion is Jace, her love interest in these novels. He is a Nephilim, one of the winged descendants of angels who fight the villains in the series. Interestingly, he is portrayed in shadow, and is staring intently at Clary. I think this is a veiled reference to the fact that he is a Shadowhunter. (However, so is Clary.) The contrast between the two is very marked. His attention is focused on her, as if to see what she's going to do next. She, however, is staring out at the city -- New York, in the novels -- and her mind seems to be focused on how to beat back the evil that has taken over, or is threatening to take over, the city. 

The dominant colors on this cover are the bright red and the soft lavender and purple. What a striking combination! This presents a very dynamic contrast, as well. 

The font is a classic one, but has been slightly enhanced. It fits in very well with the rest of the cover, and does not distract the viewer from the large image. 

I do have a slight quibble, though. I wish the line, "Prepare to be hooked", had not been placed on the cover. It just makes the cover a bit too busy.

The absolutely BRILLIANT cover artist is the AMAZING Cliff Nielsen! I LOVE this guy's art for book covers!! His command of a realistic, yet fantastical, style is nothing short of awe-inspiring. His characters seem alive and vibrant, and his compositions are dominated by very dynamic colors and contrasts.

Nielsen is not only a book illustrator (he specializes in digital art), but a comic book artist, as well. According to the Internet Speculative Fiction Database, he has created cover art for more than 500 covers for books and magazines published since 1994. Nielsen is best known for his work on Star Wars, The X-Files, and The Chronicles of Narnia. (Source: Wikipedia)

A 1994 graduate of the ArtCenter College of Design, in Pasadena, California, Nielsen is now a teacher there. The courses at this school are geared to fine artists and graphic designers.

Nielsen's work has been acclaimed by the Society of Illustrators, as well as Print and Spectrum magazines. Nielsen himself has served as a judge for the Society of Illustrators. He is currently based in Los Angeles, California.

Online Links

What do you think of 
this week's cover?
Please leave a comment
and let me know!


  1. This book and all books that are connected to the Shadowhunter world have ended me. I love them, though. And all the covers are all amazing, especially this one! ♥

    1. Hi, Steph!

      I've only read the first book, "City of Bones", and did not like it all that much. Maybe I should give it a second chance, though. I could have been too influenced by the Twilight series.....LOL.

      As far as the covers go (the ones for the hardbacks), they're all AWESOME!!! All of them were done by Nielsen. The guy is just INCREDIBLE!!!

      Thanks for the nice comment!! HUGS!!! <3 <3 <3 :) :) :)

  2. This is a striking cover. I find the fact that the image of the woman is so colorful and what is being her devoid of color to be striking. As you mention, the effect of the tattoos is also very well done. It seems creative and different. I agree that "prepare to be hooked" is too much. I would prefer all such blurbs be kept off front covers.

    1. Hi, Brian!

      Oh, most DEFINITELY!!

      There's a very marked difference between the man and the woman. The spotlight is very much on the woman. And those tattoos! Just AWESOME.

      Yes, this is a VERY creative, unique cover. Nielsen is just an AMAZING artist!

      So glad you agree that the phrase "Prepare to be hooked" should not have been added to this cover. I know that publishers want to stimulate book sales, but this is really TOO much! Sheesh!!!

      Thanks for the great comment!! <3 :)

  3. It's great, I love all the covers of Clare's books (I think my favorites would be the ones for her latest trilogy). The one negative is that they make my hair envy rise like woah, heh (lots of pretty, long and luscious hair on the covers)

    1. Hi, Reese!

      Yes, all of the hardback covers are just AWESOME!! This guy Nielsen is such an AMAZING artist!! I own all of these books, although I've only read the first one -- "City of Bones". Lol.

      I haven't seen the covers for Clare's latest trilogy. Gotta check those out! Thanks for letting me know!! <3 <3

      I hear you on the hair! I feel the same way! Lol.

      Thanks for the great comment!! <3 :)

  4. As ever, you have found the most beautiful cover! Thank you so much for featuring this fabulous piece of artwork... I love it:). Have a wonderful week, Maria:))x

    1. Hi, Sarah!

      Awwww....thank you SO much for the compliment!! <3 <3

      You're very welcome for the feature! Be sure to check out the rest of the covers for this series on Goodreads. ALL of them are GORGEOUS!! I will be featuring them in future "Shelf Candy Saturday" posts!

      Thanks for the great comment!! HUGS!!! <3 <3 <3 :) :) :)


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