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.
I’ve actually started this review a couple of times, but didn’t get very far. Why the hesitation? Several reasons actually. The most powerful is that I know that no matter what I say here, how much I wax poetic about the writing, the characters and this amazing world created by Cassandra Clare, I know for a fact that I will never even come close to doing this book even the slightest bit of justice. *sigh*
Clockwork Princess begins pretty much where Clockwork Prince left off. Not much time has passed anyway. There’s a shadow hanging over everyone’s head because of Mortmain and his threat to everyone, especially Tessa, but life still goes on. Wedding plans are being made, name choices for Charlotte and Henry’s child are being tossed around and everyone is trying to get back to normal regardless of the tension they are surrounded by. I think I read the first few chapters of Clockwork Princess just waiting for the next bad thing to happen. In that way, I’m sure, I could sympathize with the characters. Heart break in this book was inevitable. If you’ve read the first two books in this series you already know that. Trust me though, you have no idea exactly how much heart break there is until you read it. The thing is though, there’s also hope despite the heartache. Cassandra Clare did an amazing job of making you feel every happy, sad and angry moment there was to feel. There is no possible way to walk away from this book without feeling something.
I think what makes this series for me is the characters – both the heroes and the villains. Mortmain was beyond evil, but he wasn’t the only one…. you’ll have to read the book to see what I’m talking about. Yet, even he had enough of a human side that you could relate to him in a way. Just enough to see how he became who he was. It didn’t excuse anything that he did, but just that little bit of insight gave his character a whole new dimension. As far as the other characters go? I don’t even know where to begin.
- Sophie was one of my favorite supporting characters. I loved her strength, her support and her wisdom. She was humble yet not afraid to put people in their place when they needed it.
- Gideon and Gabriel were the big surprises to me in Clockwork Princess. I don’t want to say too much because reading it all first hand was just too much to spoil.
- Cicely was another surprise. I originally thought that she was introduced just to add another layer to Will, but she turned out to be so much more than that. True, she was so much like Will at times it was scary, but she was also her own person too. She was witty, strong and determined and her character grew just as much as everyone else’s as the book progressed.
- Charlotte and Henry went through so much in this book, yet they were as strong as ever. I loved the exasperated way that Charlotte dealt with the Shadowhunters on the surface when it was sometimes painfully evident just how much she not only loved and cared for, but respected them all. I loved Henry even more in this book than in all the others. His creativeness and strength really came through in Clockwork Princess. In a way it felt like he finally got some of the respect he deserved.
- Magnus…. what can I say? He was perfect in Clockwork Princess, but isn’t he always. He puts up quite a wall around himself, but you could see bits of it crumble from time to time. I love how he is so different in this series, yet in so many ways just the same as he is in the Mortal Instruments.
- Tessa, Jem and Will… I know that these three characters are separate and deserve to be mentioned as individuals but really, they aren’t. They are who they are and especially who they have become because of each other. What was created in this series is so much more than a love triangle. There’s no animosity between the three. It might be hard to fathom, but they love each other as fiercely as is humanly possible. They have all grown so much as this series has progressed and that love has grown proportionately with them. They are all more than willing to give up everything in order to ensure that the other is okay. The love story between these three is amazingly beautiful and so are the characters behind those emotions.
I honestly had no idea what an amazing journey this series would be when I first asked my daughter if I could read her copy of Clockwork Angel. It was the first book of Cassandra Clare’s that I read and for that reason I still think that the Infernal Devices will always be my favorite. I’m still glad that I’ve read them all though. As amazing as this series is, knowing what happens in the Mortal Instruments adds so much dimension to both series. There are so many subtle references and side comments that you just wouldn’t get if you hadn’t read them both.
As for how the series was brought to a close…. wow… That pretty much sums it up. I couldn’t have picked a better ending. Even though I had a pretty good idea of how one scenario would go, I had no idea how things would finally end. There is absolutely no better word for it than amazing… honestly it was perfect and fans of this series couldn’t have asked for anything more.
I really could have picked quotes from just about every page of this book to share, but I chose this discussion between Magnus and Henry. One of the reasons was because of the humor that is evident, but the other was because of the banter between these two characters. I loved the respect that Magnus showed Henry in not just this scene but others as well. Just one of the many reasons I’ve fallen totally in love with his character.
“Impressive!” Magnus exclaimed, pleased. He lifted a construction of fabric with a large dead bird perched atop it.” And what is this?”
“The Lethal Bonnet,” Henry declared.
“Ah,” said Magnus. “In times of need a lady can produce weapons from it with which to slay her enemies.”
“Well, no,” Henry admitted. “That does sound like a rather better idea. I do wish you had been on the spot when I had the notion. Unfortunately this bonnet wraps about the head of one’s enemy and suffocates them, provided that they are wearing it at the time.”
“I imagine that it will not be easy to persuade Mortmain into a bonnet,” Magnus observed. “though the color would be fetching on him.”
Henry burst into laughter. “Very droll, Mr. Bane.”
If you haven’t read this series, you’re missing an amazing journey.