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Monday, April 15, 2013

Review: Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices #3) by Cassandra Clare

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Published: March 19, 2013
Pages: 592
Source: Bought
Rating: 5 Stars

Danger intensifies for the Shadowhunters as the New York Timesbestselling Infernal Devices trilogy comes to a close.

If the only way to save the world was to destroy what you loved most, would you do it?

The clock is ticking. Everyone must choose.

Passion. Power. Secrets. Enchantment.

Danger closes in around the Shadowhunters in the final installment of the bestselling Infernal Devices trilogy.

This review is spoiler-free

In short: I felt that Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare was the perfect ending to an amazing series and its beloved characters.
Overpowering happiness and emotional devastation - is it possible to feel such entirely different emotions over the ending of a series? Because with Clockwork Princess, the final book in one of my most favourite and beloved series, I sure felt that way. Clockwork Princess was a mixed bag of thrills and laughs, anguish and dread. I felt much the same about Clockwork Angel and Clockwork Prince, but Clockwork Princess kicks it up a notch definitely. I could not think of a more perfect outcome and ending for this amazing series and its beloved characters.

The same thing that I have always said about Cassandra Clare's characters holds true: they are some of the most engaging, endearing, and interesting characters I have come across. Every character, whether main or side, has their own unique personality and backstory and I have SUCH fondness for them all! Which makes it all the worse when they inevitably have to deal with ALL THE CRAP as Cassandra Clare systematically goes through each and every one of them and bestows drama and anguish and shite on them all. Cassandra Clare has proven time and time again that she has no problem playing with her readers' emotions and I suspect she in fact enjoys seeing us fall madly and deeply in love with her characters only to reduce us to puddles of despair and heartbreak by torturing them. Damn her! Works. Every. Time.

"How could three people who cared for one another so much cause one another so much pain?" -pg.175

One of the main sources of this heartbreak is of course the love triangle. But it is a love triangle that actually WORKS. I am still kind of in awe of Cassandra Clare's ability to craft a love triangle that does NOT make me want to cut somebody. But there it is: a TRUE love triangle in which everyone involved feels an equal amount of affection and respect for each other and in which no one comes out of the affair looking bad. Something of a rarity for love triangles. And I love that Cassandra Clare gave Will and Jem's bromance as much emphasis as she gave to the main romantic relationships. For the first time ever, I feel as though a love triangle has been handled effectively and gracefully. And I am so thankful of that.

[Cassandra Clare wrote a really excellent (and completely spoilerish) blog post about the love triangle/epilogue that sums up my feelings perfectly, by the way]

I don't think Clockwork Princess was technically perfect; I had some minor, passing issues. But what do they matter when this finale affected me so profoundly and emotionally? I was very much saddened to have to say goodbye to this series and its cherished characters (though as we have come to expect from Cassandra Clare, this is not necessarily the case). I think Cassandra Clare came up with a practically perfect ending for The Infernal Devices that will hopefully satisfy the majority of readers - it did for me, anyways.

Previously, my reviews for Clockwork Angel and Clockwork Prince.

Other Reviews:
Escaping with Books
Paranormal Indulgence
Sweet Tidbits

Authors Links:


  1. I couldn't see any way it could end well - but it did! I really enjoyed this series, much more than the infernal devices. Thanks for the great review :)

  2. All these five-star reviews for Clockwork Princess is making my hands itch! I accidentally bought the second book for the series, and haven't been able to find the first one ANYWHERE. Anyway, it's great to hear that Clare wrapped up this series so perfectly - the last book tends to raise a lot of expectations, only to crush them when they aren't met. I'm also pleasantly surprised that the love triangle in this one worked for you. I've read a couple that were really good, and many more that SUCKED. This review's really promising, Aylee! Thanks!

  3. Why oh why haven't I read this yet. I am glad to hear it ended well and you're pleased.
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  4. I love, love LOVED this book - it has made me finally say that I love this series better than the original series! (Well, I say that until City of Heavenly fire comes out - then I'll no doubt change my mind back.....)

  5. I can't wait to read this Aylee! I still need to read Clockwork Prince, but I've been reading such great reviews for this one and I'm glad it's a fabulous end to the series. I've heard a few grumbles about the epilogue so that has me curious, but mostly I just want to know how everything works out between Will, Tessa, and Jem:)

  6. I think this book was the perfect ending, and I did have some issues with the Epilogue when I first read it but then as I thought about it more it made perfect sense. Cassandra Clare definitely wrote the one love triangle that I will always love, everything about it made sense. And all the side characters, I loved them in this book, I think they made this book even better.

  7. Aylee, I still haven't read any of Clare's books and I don't know but can't seem to motivate myself to do so either. I've heard how emotional this one made people and it seems like Clare ended this series on a high note as I've pretty much only seen 4 and 5 star reviews for this one.

  8. I read Clare's post about the epilogue and I agree with her in part. I think what bothered me about it was that we simply didn't have time to process it all. Things that happened in almost a hundred years for Tessa happened in no more than 20 pages, or rather 10 minutes for us. Being so invested in the story made it hard for me to absorb it all so fast, because it was huge, important and very emotional.
    With time, I'll probably feel differently. I already do to a certain extent.
    Lovely review, Aylee!

  9. Great review! I adored this book ad thought it was as you said - amazing and then very sad. The epilogue KILLED me.

  10. YAY, I am so happy you loved this one as much as everyone else seems to! It's the best feeling when a beloved series ends on a satisfying and altogether wonderful note like this...even though saying goodbye is SO hard! The intense emotions you mentioned along with a well done love-triangle and the mention of an awesome bromance have me thinking I'll be caving soon and starting this series (finally! sigh) Loved reading this review Aylee!! :)

  11. I don't think I could have hoped for a more perfect outcome either. I definitely had mixed feelings about the epilogue, but I loved the book as a whole. I completely agree about the love triangle! Not many authors (if any) have justified inserting a love triangle into their story quite the same way Cassandra Clare has managed to. Just thinking about all the characters again makes me want to tear up! ;) Beautiful review, Aylee!

  12. I think the best part of this book were the speeches that Will gave ... HEARTBREAKING. I think that's what brought tears to my eyes the most. :) I wasn't overly happy with the ending, mainly because she was trying to make EVERYONE happy, but I guess it was an alright ending to the series.

    Great review, Aylee!

  13. I pretty much felt the same way. I think writing ends to series is really hard for a lot of authors. And I think Clare handled this so well! I was super impressed by all her twists, suspense, and of course as you say, her characters! I really super loved this whole series and I'm so glad I can say I super loved her finale too.

  14. Lovely review, Aylee!!!
    It looks like it was a really good ending to the series :) and that's always awesome

    The cover looks like it could be really pretty in person.

  15. Haven't started this series yet. But on your recommendation I picked up the first book, Clockwork Angel. I wish I had some time to read it!

  16. Awesome review! I haven't read anything by Cassie Clare...I really need too though. I know, I know!! It sounds like this prequel series is awesome though so I need to get on it. :-)


  17. Emotional devastation is what I felt when I finished reading Clockwork Prince. I have Clockwork Princess waiting for me on my bookshelf. Hoping to get to it very soon. I know that I have to get ready because it's gonna tug on the heartstrings.

    Really awesome review. I hear you on the characters in these books. Sooo amazing. I love them all!

  18. 'drama and anguish and shite' Are you sure you're not Irish? You'd make a great Irish person! I really really really have to read this, once these accursed exams are over!

  19. WOW! What a lovely review! You really loved this series and it shows. :) I want to start with this series so bad especially since I've only been seeing great reviews for it. In spite of the book not being perfect, it's still so nice that you thoroughly enjoyed it. Gah! I'm so tempted to read this NOW!

    Sarika @ The Readdicts

  20. While I enjoyed Clockwork Princess more than you, I completely agree about the epilogue. I thought it undermined a lot of the romance between Will and Tessa. Perhaps it would have been better if we'd seen more of Tessa and Will together in the epilogue as well. I do think I would have been ok with Jem and Tessa getting together again, because Tessa is going to live as long as Magnus, and I understand that even in a mortal life you can have more than one love, so immortal life would naturally have more than one too. Just something about the presentation of it irked me though. Great review!

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