Saturday, April 6, 2013

Review: Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3)Book: Clockwork Princess
Author: Cassandra Clare
Series: The Infernal Devices
Publication Date:  March 19th, 2013
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Rating: 4.5 Stars

Danger and betrayal, secrets and enchantment in the breathtaking conclusion to the Infernal Devices trilogy.

Tessa Gray should be happy - aren't all brides happy?
Yet as she prepares for her wedding, a net of shadows begins to tighten around the Shadowhunters of the London Institute.
A new demon appears, one linked by blood and secrecy to Mortmain, the man who plans to use his army of pitiless automatons, the Infernal Devices, to destroy the Shadowhunters. Mortmain needs only one last item to complete his plan. He needs Tessa. And Jem and Will, the boys who lay equal claim to Tessa's heart, will do anything to save her.
You are not the last dream of my soul. You are the first dream, the only dream I ever was unable to stop myself from dreaming. You are the first dream of my soul, and from that dream I hope will come all other dreams, a lifetime’s worth.

"I had hope enough to take out those old dreams again, to dust them off and give them to you."

"...yours is not the kind of love that can be redeemed only through destruction."
Can I say that after reading A Tale of Two Cities, all of these references suddenly make so much sense to me now? My God, my AP Literature teacher should've just let me read Clockwork Princess instead of harping continuously about how Darnay was the better man (which he was not).

I think this book is the best of Clare's that I've read so far, in that it ends the way the final book of a trilogy should end. Not the way City of Glass did, with more space for more books and unresolved endings. The epilogue has been controversial, and it reminds me a bit of the epilogue for the Harry Potter series. I recall that when people were messaging Cassandra Clare and wailing about whether the ending would make them cry, she said somewhere that it was a bittersweet one. And that's exactly what it is. Something Cassandra Clare really specializes in is not giving people what they want. Most people wanted that happy ending, that assurance that all Tessa's problems would be solved with some miraculous magic. There is magic, but there's also the reality of Tessa's situation and of her immortality. Unlike with The Mortal Instruments, I didn't get the feeling that Clare was pushing the envelope with her plot or the powers that are unveiled.

People have already said things about the love triangle and how beautiful it is, and I'm inclined to agree. Of course, I was a Will/Tessa shipper all the way through (if you couldn't tell through all the Will quotes that I used), but the way that all three of them love each other equally is something that's powerfully expressed throughout the series. Their love for each other is equal parts burdensome and joyful, and no character was left without honor.

One thing about Clare's books that always gets me is how I never seem to predict what will happen. She throws in a lot of curveballs, some more convincing than others. I'm really sad to see The Infernal Devices trilogy end because I loved everything about it. I loved the characters, their humor, the setting of 19th century London. There is a certain subdued power behind the series that I didn't get with The Mortal Instruments, and I hope that Clare brings it back in her next Shadowhunters series rumored to be set in the 1900s which I just stumbled upon in a review O_O (thank you, Maja).

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  1. I think Clockwork Princess was the best Cassandra Clare book yet. The epilogue was PERFECT. I can't imagine any other ending for the series. I look forward to reading more books set in the Shadowhunter world. :)
    Excellent review!

    1. The epilogue tied off things really well, so I definitely think it was good for this story :)