Book Review: Clockwork Princess


Hardcover, 568 pages
Published March 19th 2013 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
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.

Contains Mild Spoilers

My tweet this morning summed it up… “The Epilogue made it worth it”

It’s been a tumultuous ride. My feelings about the last two books have been made clear and I have ranted quite a bit and there were moments that infuriated me whilst reading this instalment but I think in the end, I’m happy…

I’ve complained about the characterisation at length so there’s no need for me to flog a dead horse but I do think that finally TID has provided a book that is on par with TMI. I really felt like I both knew and cared for ALL the characters not just Jem who will hold my heart in his pale fragile hands for eternity. You know I’m a Tessa/Jem shipper and have never really felt that Will and Tessa was anything other an abundance of passion however I will admit I warmed to them in this book and willed their happiness (DESPITE one incident later on which I’ll touch on – It will be my one rant which considering my feelings on CA and CP to a lesser extent is growth!)

I think the reason why I have never been a Will/Tessa shipper from the get go is because I have always felt in a way that Jem is what anchored them to each other. He was always the link and so it was almost like their love was filtered through him. He was pivotal to their happiness and peace of mind at all times throughout the series and because of this I was always so torn about their relationship.

Like I said however…The epilogue made it all worth it. I’m going to try and just simply write about my feelings about this series as a whole as I do want to keep it as spoiler free since it’s still such a new book and I’ve wailed on twitter and goodreads.

The most enjoyable part of this book for me was the secondary characters. As I had been spoiled for the conclusion of the love triangle and knew how it all panned out I knew that in order to enjoy this book properly I had to focus on the journey rather than the ending. While everyone else seemed to be caught up in WHO WILL TESSA CHOOSE??? (BTW I think a post on love triangles and why women holding all the power in them and what an insult that is will be forthcoming) I was more interested in Sophie, Cecily & co. I felt like they had become my literary friends and while in Clockwork Angel, I felt like tearing my hair out at these stereotypical one dimensional characters who could have pitched off a cliff and I wouldn’t have cared, every time I clicked my kindle on and settled down with a cup of tea, I really felt like I was catching up with people I cared about.

The politics and perils of running an institute in a time when women really didn’t have any respect (has that changed?) really gave me another perspective on Charlotte and I saw her strength and loyalty and love that she had for all her charges and the job as a whole. Sophie was by far my favourite female character, her journey from outcast to a true Boadicea was amazing and her relationship with Gideon was a joy to behold. Scones anyone?

Gabriel was the character I most saw in Alec now that I look back. That reserved nature interspersed with misguided outbursts of passion. His kindness and loyalty once the barriers had been chipped reminded me of Alec and Magnus. Gabriel who after the events of the book felt so bereft and lost needed a Magnus type character to pull him from the mire and behold the Welsh dragon herself, Cecily!

Cecily was everything I had wished Jessamine to be and boy did she live up to those hopes. I loved how she “handled” Will, challenged Gabriel and added a solid voice to the group and I believe really completed the circle nicely.

Magnus’s chat with Woolsey about his feelings for Will was a nice touch and made me love him more. For an immortal to take such a pure interest in a boy so embedded in his own misguided beliefs about himself and his worth was beautiful and while the initial result didn’t please me, in the end I was happy that Will found his peace.

As I said Will and Tessa was never the couple I rooted for but on reflection, the way things turned out I am glad they found each other. I think all the hand wringing and introspection, the constant re-hashing over and over again was tiresome and was my main reason for not being so sympathetic but like I said I heart Will and Tessa now due to the reasons stated above.

My only gripe was I believe that the incident in Wales late in the book was badly mistimed, disrespectful and far too soon. Yes you can argue that time *may* have been running out and grief can lead to passion but No, I think it could have happened later. That’s my ONE gripe so I think I can be forgiven.

Jem…Jem…Jem…Is there another character aside from Atticus Finch who is just SO good. So beautiful, selfless, moral and did I say beautiful? At any time he could have been cruel, allowed anger at his situation to creep in, not been so understanding but never not once and the most amazing thing, at no time did it feel contrived or unrealistic or false. This is who Jem is. Good.

The true love story will always be Jem and Will and I don’t think bromance can ever be enough of a word to truly encompass what their friendship, brotherhood and love really was. Their scenes were heart-breaking and I loved them so very much.

Again this has been a very character driven review.

Plot wise, the reveal of Tessa, the BIG BAD finally revealing his dark purpose, the showdown, Consul Wayland being a dick was all great, enjoyable, <insert more adjectives here> but for me, what was truly important were the characters.

They started out in Clockwork Angel as simply words on a page that I could have smudged away with little care and became real friends whose lives and stories I will treasure for many many years to come. Isn’t that all I could possibly want?

Rating: ★★★★

The Mortal Instruments hold my heart still but perhaps now that TID isn’t on a pedestal anymore a re-read may be in order and the end result may be different but for now it’s

TMI 2- 1 TID


6 thoughts on “Book Review: Clockwork Princess

  1. I finished Clockwork Princess last night and was an absolute wreck. I managed to go through the whole book without crying but then I reached the epilogue and just crumpled on the ground into a sobering mess. Really I couldn’t control the tears as they fell…THE FEELS!
    From the start I was opposite than you and was a completle Will/Tessa shipper but your right in saying the real romance in this book is between Jem and Will. There brotherhood definetly dominated the book in itself. Overall I felt this was such a good conclusion to this series and really did it all justice. This is the first 2013 last book in a series where I havent been disapointed.

    • I really wished I hadn’t been spoiled. The fact that I knew it was all going to be okay meant that I missed out on a lot of the emotion. It still made me cry in public but I would have died at the part with the reveal of the silent brother if I hadn’t already known. I agree that this was a much better ending than Requiem for instance!

  2. The relationship between Will and Jem did rise above everything else. I loved it and I loved them as best friends. My heart went out for them, even though I cared deeply about the love triangle. Great review!

  3. Pingback: Clockwork Princess (Infernal Devices #3) By Cassandra Clare | Book Obsessed Shan in San Fran

  4. I finished Clockwork Princess this past weekend, and like Lily above, I was rooting for Will and Tessa the entire time. I didn’t have any spoilers outside of the family tree in the cover, so the silent brother bit totally caught me by surprise. I actually saw Jem as just a brotherly distraction and was upset about what happened at the very very end. I wanted Tessa to just be with Will, and for most of the series, I was waiting for Tessa to realize her feelings for Jem were just brotherly/sisterly (which, through Clare’s writing style, was what I saw, though it wasn’t explicitly stated).

    I will concede that the brotherhood between Will and Jem was really the focus of the novel. Overall, I feel this trilogy is pretty strong and has shown us how she is continuing to grow as a writer. Great review!

    • Thanks. 🙂 I think this trilogy truly made me realise how tiresome love triangles are. Like you said they’re a distraction when it’s not your ship!

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