Book Review: ‘Clockwork Princess’ is a fitting end to an epic trilogy

CP2coverClockwork Princess

Author: Cassandra Clare

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Pages: 570

Release Date: March 19, 2013

Synopsis: 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.


Saying goodbye is hard to do. Especially when it comes to an epic trilogy with beautiful characters that have touched your heart and a story that has captivated you for the past three years.

I’ve never been scared to read a book before. Anxious and nervous, yes, but never scared. Leading up to Clockwork Princess, I found myself worried for the fates of my favorite characters in their final act in this Victorian London Shadowhunter tale.

But it wasn’t just worry for the characters, it was the sad realization that the series was coming to an end and this is the last time we would see these characters except in re-reads.

Clockwork Princess was all I was hoping for and more. There was so much hype and anticipation leading up to the final installment of The Infernal Devices, and I can say with complete and utter confidence that it did not disappoint. It far exceeded  my expectations as all of Cassandra Clare’s books tend to do.

I believe Clare has outdone herself with Clockwork Princess. It’s easily my favorite book of hers and provided everything a fan of this series would like to experience, even things they didn’t know they’d want to experience.

I’ve never cried more while reading a book than I did reading Clockwork Princess. Sad tears, happy tears, laugh-til-you’re-silly tears. I cried them all. It was the culmination of a truly special trilogy with truly unforgettable characters that feel so alive that sometimes you forget you’re reading their story instead of watching it unfold in front of you.

There were moments where I was crying on one page and laughing on the next. It’s that emotional journey that makes the end result of the book and the series so meaningful and so deserving.

This book had it all—action, adventure, love, sadness, surprise, tension, danger, enchantment and so much emotion.

Cassie has created such an incredible love triangle between Tessa, Will and Jem. Most of the time, love triangles come off as forced and don’t make much of an impact. But this triangle that Cassie has weaved has taken readers on the ultimate journey and it is wrapped up in such a touching way.

What I’ve grown to enjoy in Cassie’s books over the past few years is the crossover between series. It’s something that is always present but especially evident in Clockwork Princess. Questions about The Infernal Devices’ connection to The Mortal Instruments that hadn’t been answered yet are answered and it’s a satisfying moment when it clicks in your mind.

There were moments when the characters would reflect on past events that readers had read in Clockwork Angel and Clockwork Prince and it was something that really struck a chord with me. With Clockwork Princess being the final book in the series it was like those moments of reflection were paying homage to the previous books in a sort of montage throughout. A character would remember something and readers can go, “I remember that.” It was a great way to connect the readers to the story even more so than they already are and it definitely triggered an emotional reaction in me.

One of the things I really appreciated was that everything came full circle. The story, the characters, everything. The ending was the perfect way to wrap up the stories of this generation of Shadowhunter Chronicles characters.

Keeping with the ending—it was by far the best ending to a book I’ve ever read. It’s hard to explain without getting into spoilers, but I can’t imagine it ending another way. Everything was wrapped up perfectly and there was a definitive sense of closure for the series.

One of the concerns fans face heading into the final book of a series is whether or not they will be left asking questions or if they will feel satisfied with the ending.Clockwork Princess didn’t leave fans hanging, instead it wrapped up everything in the utmost perfect way.

When I finished Clockwork Princess, I placed my iPad to the side and just sat there for a moment letting everything sink in. It was a special moment that I feel all fans will experience, be it right after they finish the book or when they’re going about their day when the sudden realization that the series has come to a close hits them.  And it will likely happen more than once. Every now and again when the memories of this story and the characters come to mind, fans will be able to look back and smile. And it will be beautiful, heartbreaking and meaningful; everything that this trilogy was.

I feel extremely honored and thankful to Cassie for sharing this world and these characters with us. For the past three years these characters have touched me with their struggles and their overcoming of adversity. They have made me laugh, cry, yell and care beyond belief. I can’t imagine not knowing them.

The hardest thing for me is saying goodbye to these characters. But these characters will never truly be gone. They will live on in our memories. Whenever we see a duck, hear a violin, spot a copy of A Tale of Two Cities or hear a familiar name, we will be transported back into that world. While we won’t get to experience new adventures, this story and these characters will live on forever in our hearts. Because when you love something that is this special, it can never be forgotten.

Ave atque vale.

Grade: A


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