Review: Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices Series book 3)~ by Cassandra Clare
567 pages ~ Young Adult Fantasy
2013~ Simon & Schuster Teen
My Rating: 5/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
A net of shadows begins to tighten around the Shadowhunters of the London Institute. Mortmain plans to use his Infernal Devices, an army of pitiless automatons, to destroy the Shadowhunters. He needs only one last item to complete his plan: he needs Tessa Gray.
Charlotte Branwell, head of the London Institute, is desperate to find Mortmain before he strikes. But when Mortmain abducts Tessa, the boys who lay equal claim to her heart, Jem and Will, will do anything to save her. For though Tessa and Jem are now engaged, Will is as much in love with her as ever.
As those who love Tessa rally to rescue her from Mortmain’s clutches, Tessa realizes that the only person who can save her is herself. But can a single girl, even one who can command the power of angels, face down an entire army?
Danger and betrayal, secrets and enchantment, and the tangled threads of love and loss intertwine as the Shadowhunters are pushed to the very brink of destruction in the breathtaking conclusion to the Infernal Devices trilogy.
“Sometimes when you cannot decide what to do, you pretend you are a character in a book, because it is easier to decide what they would do”
Ok, now that I have finally finished the whole series, I can reflect back on how I felt going into it. I was honestly not expecting to love it this much. I had watched a few episodes of the Shadowhunter series on Freeform with my daughter and I honestly thought it looked super cheesy. However, I was complete attracted to the Victorian aesthetic and so many people had recommended it. So, I thought at the most it would be a fun fantasy. It was fun, there is tons of action, humor, and romance, but I did not expect to be so moved by these characters and to fall so in love with Cassandra Clare’s writing. She has not only managed to craft a beautiful love story between these characters, but she has thoroughly paid homage to the Victorian era and its literature. Below were some high points for me:
- My favorite thing about the final book in the series was way that Clare was able to clearly express the bond between Will, Jem, and Tessa, and the love they have for each other.
“They say you cannot love two people equally at once,” she said. “And perhaps for others that is so. But you and Will—you are not like two ordinary people, two people who might have been jealous of each other, or who would have imagined my love for one of them diminished by my love of the other. You merged your souls when you were both children. I could not have loved Will so much if I had not loved you as well. And I could not love you as I do if I had not loved Will as I did.”
- Clare is also so good with plot! Sometimes with fantasy the epicness of the plot can overshadow what is going on with the characters. Here, the dangers which the characters were up against (Mormain, the automatons, ect), mirrored their own internal struggles, questions, and shortcomings. Everything just melded together so well.
- I know I mentioned this in my Clockwork Angel review, but I just love the way Clare was able to make the novels feel so Victorian. This consistently kept me immersed in that era as I read.
- The parabatai connection between Will and Jem was so beautiful described in this book- the rune, the knife, glimpses of the ritual- I loved this element of their bond and the way Clare made it feel so scared and otherworldly.
- There are so many great minor characters here:
Magnus Bane – his need to protect Will and his desire to find true love despite his impossibly long and tedious existence
Woolsey Scott – the aesthete-werewolf – his snarky loathing of everything
Henry – his inability to make anything that works, but still be completely charming
Sophie- who is finally able to fight for herself and what she wants
- Lastly- I loved that the final message of the book was connected to human goodness and redemption. That although we are such flawed creatures, there is always the potential for goodness.
“There was human goodness in the world, she thought- all caught up with desires and dreams, regrets and bitterness, resentments and power, but it was there.”
There was so much tragic beauty in these novels and I won’t soon forget these characters. Ok, I’m obviously complete trash for these books and should probably end my rant now.