Clockwork Princess (Infernal Devices #3) by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3)
Title: Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices #3)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Release Date: March 19, 2013
Published by: Simon & Schuster Margaret K. McElderry
Tessa Gray should be happy — aren’t all brides happy? Yet as she prepares for her wedding to Jem Carstairs, 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 the Magister, the man who plans to use his army of pitiless automatons, the Infernal Devices, to destroy the Shadowhunters. He needs only one last item to complete his plan of destruction.

He needs Tessa.

Tessa knows Axel Mortmain, the Magister, is coming for her, but not where or when he will strike. Charlotte Branwell, the head of the London Institute, is desperate to find Mortmain first. And the boys who lay equal claim to Tessa’s heart, Jem and Will, will do anything to save her. For though Tessa and Jem are now engaged, and Will knows he should force himself to find someone else to care for, he is as much in love with her as ever.

In the last words of a dying Shadowhunter reside the clue that might lead Tessa and her friends to Mortmain. But the Shadowhunters of the London Institute cannot stand alone, and in their homeland of Idris, the ruling body of the Clave doubt their claims that Mortmain is coming. Deserted by those who should be their allies and with their enemies closing in, the Shadowhunters find themselves trapped when Mortmain seizes the medicine which is all that is keeping Jem alive. With his best friend at death’s door it is up to Will to risk everything to save the woman they both love.

To buy Will time, the warlock Magnus Bane joins with Henry Branwell to create a device that could help them to defeat the Magister. As those who love Tessa work to save her, and the future of the Shadowhunters that resides with her, Tessa realizes that the only person who can save her is herself —for in the discovery of her own true nature, Tessa begins to learn that she is more powerful than she ever dreamed possible. 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.

I can just hear the gasps of outrage and see the raised eyebrows of disbelief. "I thought you loved this series! How is it possible that you've only read this now, months and months after its release?" I know, I know. See, the reason is pretty simple - I was scared. Since I first cracked open Clockwork Angel one fateful day in August of 2011, I've grown to care so much about these characters. So yeah, even though I got myself a copy of Clockwork Princess the week it was released, I consciously avoided reading it because I couldn't stand the thought of either Will or Jem dying, or Tessa forever breaking the heart of the guy she doesn't choose. Oh wow, even an act as simple as typing out that last sentence is enough to make me want to curl up in a ball and start sobbing - what have you done to me, Cassandra Clare?

Anyway, to cut the long story short, over the weekend, I finally had the courage to pick up Clockwork Princess from my bookshelf, and I settled myself for a good, long read. I prepared myself mentally for what was to come, but really, how on earth do you prepare for something that you just know that will break your heart?

First of all, as always, I have to comment on how Clare's writing blew me away. It has always done so, since I first read City of Bones, but I am struck speechless at how exquisitely detailed the Infernal Devices series is. Everything about it screams 'different time', 'different place', and the amazing thing is, nothing felt forced, nothing felt fake. I never thought, "Oh! I'm reading a book set in Old England which was written by an American ." Nope, nothing like that. Everything was... real. Authentic. The words flowed with ease, and also, though we shift character POV a few times in Clockwork Princess, I had no problem discerning which sublplot belonged to which characters. It's mindblowingly amazing how Clare managed to highlight every character's individuality and at the same time retain that way of speaking that marks them as English. I don't know how she did it, but I sure as heck am not complaining! Despite the serious tones of this last novel, I also loved how Clare managed to keep both Will's and Jem's witty quips and retorts present. Even when smack middle in the dreariest of situations, the fact that Will's dry sarcasm always rears its head never failed to make me smile.

Also, though more than a year has passed since I last read Clockwork Prince, I was transported back to Tessa's England with no problem whatsoever. It's as if I read both the previous books in the series just days ago when it reality, it has been a long time. It was also easy to get back to where we were plot-wise - a war was slowly but surely brewing, and with it, the shadowhunters' were desparate to prevent chaos by keeping Tessa safe; and at the same time, they were hoping to slow down the timebomb that was Jem's life rapidly ticking away. Everything about this book excited me - like any other reader, I had my theories with how everything was going to play out, but not only did I enjoy the numerous and twists Clare had up her sleeve, I also enjoyed absolutely every scene, every interaction before and after we hit the climax. I also found myself caring about all of the main and secondary characters ( I don't think this has ever happened before!) - Will, Jem, Tessa, Charlotte, Henry, Gideon, Gabriel, Sophie, Cecily, Jessamine - every one of them I wanted to emerge unscathed; every one of them I wanted to have his or her happy ending.

This book made me appreciate (even more than I already do) the strong relationship between Will and Jem. Certain interactions (because wow these two have a way with words) actually had to make take a break from reading because I was too overwhelmed with emotions. I know that they're parabatai, and having a good camaraderie comes with the territory, but their brotherhood (or whatever you want to call it) is something else! I know that Jace and Alec are also parabatai, but the relationship between Will and Jem is just in a different level entirely. The way they are so attuned to each other's thoughts and feelings; the way they always put each other first - no one knows Will like Jem does, and no one knows Jem like Will does. I will forever be thankful to Clare for writing such a beautiful friendship that I will never forget.

Usually when I read series with a love triangle, I always end up picking a side to root for (Team Dimitri!Team Jace! Team Gale! Team Adam! Teem Alex!), but for this series... it's simply NOT possible. I love both Will and Jem, and I want them both to be happy. I also love Tessa, and I have never felt frustrated at her confusion between these two boys who love her so dearly. As a matter of fact, I wholeheartedly understand where she's coming from. Before finishing this book, I already knew that I will support and understand whatever decision Tessa makes, and that I did. Throughout the series, I have always admired Tessa's sheer strength of will, as well as her unwavering loyalty to all her friends, and I want her to be happy too. I started this series without rooting for a particular guy to win the heroine's heart, and I ended it just like that.

The ending was just breathtakingly beautiful. I cried at certain parts of the novel, but the tears fell non-stop when I started the epilogue. Everything about this book was wholly satisfying, but the last few chapters, as well as the epilogue, especially so. All loose ends were tied up, and in certain Cassandra Clare fashion, you can't help but have an sudden epiphany of how certain scenes, certain characters' actions, in some books of the Mortal Instruments series now make sense in your head. We were all given a look at how our beloved main characters' lives pan out after the battle with the Magister, and I truly can't ask for anything more.

I was crying my heart out when I finished the last page of Clockwork Princess, and it was for a number of reasons. I was crying because this book was such an emotional read; because the conclusion was just satisfying; and ultimately, because I love this series and these characters so much. There aren't even words in the dictionary to express just how much I'll miss them. I have nothing but the utmost gratitude for Cassandra Clare for creating these characters and this amazing trilogy.

Now I just have to figure out how to get over Clockwork Princess... ;)

Rating: 5 Stars