Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Review: Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3)
Picture source: Goodreads
Title: Clockwork Princess
Author: Cassandra Clare
Series: The Infernal Devices #3
Published: 2013
Where I got the book from: Borrowed from a friend

This is my first proper review! My style will probably still change as I gradually find out what kind of review-writing works for me.

Warning: This review contains spoilers for the first two books in the series and minor spoilers (mainly things one could guess) for this final book.

Synopsis from Goodreads

"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."

My Thoughts

I read the first two books in the Infernal Devices trilogy last September and had forgotten the complexity and wonder of the Shadowhunter world. I had to read online summaries of Clockwork Angel and Clockwork Prince because I felt it was too soon to reread them and  I didn’t want to dive into the third part of the trilogy with only an idea of the general plotline in the series and barely any memories of the details.
On the very first pages of Clockwork Princess Clare pulled me right into London of the late 1800s and amongst familiar friends who quickly became as beloved as they were the last time I greeted them. There is Tessa, strong in mind and good in heart, conflicted with her emotions towards the two young Shadowhunter men, Will and Jem, one of whom she is about to marry. They are like opposites, but linked closer than two brothers with their parabatai bond - Jem is the forgiving one, kind, quietly passionate and dying, and Will is the flighty one, fierce, quick-tempered and yet tender inside. The rest of Clare’s cast of characters are as varied and wonderfully three-dimensional as the three main protagonists – just and motherly Charlotte, sweet Henry, brave Sophie and the warlock Magnus Bane, as mysterious as ever. Clockwork Princess also deepens the reader’s insight into previously side-line characters such as Cecily Herondale, the impromptu newcomer at the London Shadowhunter Institute, and Gabriel Lightwood, who appears at the beginning of the novel to tell Charlotte and the rest that his father’s demon pox has turned him into a bloodthirsty demon worm.
Clockwork Princess starts with hints of secrets that immediately arouse questions and a desperate need to know the truth. Clare weaves with a talented hand an intricate, gripping plot filled with betrayal and battles, romance and revelations, demons and death and everything else that a fantasy novel like this is required to have. I especially liked the fact that the romance wasn’t limited to only the main characters and I think this must be one of my favourite books with third-person narrative. I felt invested in this novel, like I was present with the characters and had access to their emotions. My feelings were all over the place – the waterworks went on and off, I smiled and even laughed out loud, I sighed and frowned anxiously as I frantically read on to see what would happen next. I was definitely startled at times – I practically gaped when I read that one scene where the Shadowhunters were battling the automatons (I think, if you’ve read the book, you know what scene and what “revelation” I am talking about!). The uncovered truths were entirely plausible and satisfactory; I was impressed with how everything suddenly made sense. The story is tied up cleanly and cleverly together in a breath-taking, jaw-droppingly surprising and immensely gratifying conclusion. Truthfully, the only slightly negative thing I have to say about this book is that the “final” battle seemed to end a little too swiftly. I was expecting a proper war-like situation with many parts to the fighting, including casualties and losses and small victories before the final result.
Altogether I loved reading Clockwork Princess and think it is a very fitting end to The Infernal Devices. Clare’s writing is heartbreakingly beautiful, sometimes funny – mostly the things Will says, and the bantering between characters - and sometimes dramatic, but always true to her characters and the world they live in. I strongly recommend the entire series to anyone who loves fantasy and a historical setting.  



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