Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare (Infernal Devices #3)
Margaret McElderry Books, 2013
Finishing a book and finishing a series can come with mixed emotions sometimes. On the one hand, you finally know, but on the other, it's over. I have always loved Cassandra Clare's Infernal Devices series, even more so than her original Mortal Instruments books where readers are first introduced to the fascinating and sometimes frightening world of Shadowhunters, so I have been waiting on pins and needles for this final installment.
It was nothing like I was expecting, and I loved it. And I will try to be as vague as possible here so as to not spoil this story for anyone.
Clockwork Princess picks up shortly after where book two left off, and those of the London Institute are plagued with questions. What is Tessa and why is she being hunted? How much time does Jem have left and is there anything that can be done? What will happen to Will as the girl he loves is engaged to his best friend? Has Tessa, who loves both boys deeply, really chosen, and will it even matter in the end?
All of these questions and plenty of others are answered in this monster of a book, coming in at 568 pages which I read in about 6 hours because putting this novel down was simply not an option. Clare continues in her signature style of popping into the minds of almost all her characters, letting readers take in events from a variety of points of view and giving us deeper insights to these complex people. There are fantastic tie ins to the Mortal Instruments, some more obvious than others, and there's a lyricism to the dialogue that is so incredibly Victorian that I loved. There's action, adventure, magic, huge choices, life and death at stake. Plus secondary characters such as Magnus Bane, Sophie, the Lightwoods, the Branwells, and even Bridget the melancholy kitchen maid all get chances to shine, making this a well rounded story from start to finish.
And perhaps the biggest question on people's mind, Team Will or Team Jem, also is handled in a way that blew me away. Personally, I loved it. I thought it was brilliant. And while I'm sure there will be plenty of people unhappy with how it turns out, I can't imagine a better way for this truly equilateral love triangle, one of the best I've ever read, to be resolved.
If you like historical fiction with plenty of romance, action, and the supernatural, then The Infernal Devices series is one you want to pick up if you haven't yet.
Comments welcome, and, as always, happy reading!