The Clockwork Princess – Cassandra Clare
Firstly, a word of advice, do not, I repeat NOT decide to flick through to the family tree at the back before you start reading, you will spoil it for yourself. Also, probably best not to follow Cassandra Clare on any of her social networks because she will also spoil it for you. Anyway, on with the review!
For those that don’t know, this is the final instalment of The Infernal Devices trilogy, a prequel series to The Mortal Instruments series and as such I will try to be as spoiler free as possible, but I am going to assume you’ve at least read some of the books if you’re in any way interested in reading this.
So, here is the blurb for part three, Clockwork Princess:
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.
Right, before we start, I kind of want to address the Will/Jem/Tessa thing. There is a scene in this book between Will and Tessa….
that seems to have caused some controversy and a lot of reviews that I have seen for this series paint Tessa as a slut, not just for that scene but for the love triangle as a whole. Personally, I cannot abide slut shaming and slut isn’t a word commonly found in my vocabulary, so I’m not going to call her names but I do have some issues with the love triangle and they are all down to the way it’s written and the way I read it. Honestly, I was completely taken by surprise by Jem/Tessa being a thing. The first book details her falling for Will and him rejecting her, the second book is angsty because of that rejection and, to me at least, Tessa falling for Jem came out of nowhere. Maybe it’s because I was blinkered by shipping Wessa
but I was completely taken by surprise by Tessa and Jem getting together in book two. Having said that, book three did show them as being a rather lovely couple so I’m not ardently against it, I just never saw it coming. Either way, Tessa is a consenting adult and I don’t believe that she behaved in an outrageously promiscuous way given her circumstances. Like I said, maybe this feeling is down to my love of Will Herondale (he’s my special snow flake) and perhaps a lack of Jem POV across the trilogy. In fact, I could probably write an essay about how much I love Will Herondale. It would be entitled: Why I love Will Herondale but hate Jace Herondale even though they are the same character. Discuss. But there. Consider the love triangle addressed.
Now, this book felt very much like it had been written for the fans: the HMS Jessa and the HMS Wessa were both happy, there were several nods to events in the Mortal Instruments, in fact why Valentine was doing what he was doing at all seems to have stemmed directly from the events of TID and why he took such an interest in Jace also becomes apparent. There was enough heartbreak, anguish and suspense to keep your mind off of the fact that it isn’t the best written book in the world and I loved every second of it.
After the two book build up to the reveal of Mortmain’s plan and Tessa’s true identity, I thought there could have been slightly more made of both but over all I thought Clockwork Princess was a great way to end the story. Like Deathly Hallows, there is an epilogue and like Deathly Hallows I’m not entirely sure that I liked it or that it was all that necessary, but to be honest, by that point I was internally flailing and rocking back and forth so I guess it did it’s job, and I suppose it bought everything full circle for two characters at least and bought us up to the start of the Mortal Instruments.
A few niggles that I had were mostly about the Silent Brothers, like the becoming of and the opting out thing because if it was explained then I completely missed it. I also found a couple of typos in my copy, I’m assuming Jem Carstairs and Jem Corstairs are the same person and that when handed to a stable boy, Will’s horse doesn’t turn into a house but I could be wrong. Also, as lovely as it is to pay homage to Jem and Will’s heritage, having random sentences in their own languages and then a translation does distract from the story. I mean, I’m a bit Welsh (though none of the Welsh people I know can speak a word of it) and I was like, WTF DOES THAT MEAN!? every time Will and Cecily started conversing with each other. (Speaking of being a bit Welsh, my dad – the Welsh one- and I both have black hair and blue eyes, does this make us Herondales?)
But really, that was all I had on negative points, now I eagerly await the release of City of Heavenly Fire and the Bane Chronicles.
This gets a Nick Fury Seal of approval.
ps – for a six second visual review of this book, click here.