First Published: January 1st 2013
Disclaimer: This review will contain MAJOR spoilers from the Infernal Devices trilogy and the Mortal Instruments series (even the synopsis). There will also be spoilers in the comment section too. Read at your own discretion. All opinions are my honest and my own. To know how I rate my books, please go here.
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.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
My goodness was this the hardest review I’ve ever had to write. I finished this book for well over a week now and it took me this long to write this review. I had to reflect on the events that had happened in Clockwork Princess because major events happened in this book that revealed many ties to the Mortal Instruments series too.
How on earth do I start off this review? Let’s just all take a deep breath now…Okay, I think I’ve got this. Let’s just first begin with Cassandra Clare’s stupendous writing. The way that she is able to connect everything together from The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices trilogy is truly amazing. Her writing just improves with every book that she writes with. Let’s not forget about Lady Midnight that takes place after The Mortal Instruments series! I’m exceptionally excited for her newest series because of course it has to deal with James Carstairs family line. After finishing the Infernal Devices trilogy, I am absolutely excited to continue on with the Mortal Instruments series. I honestly have never been invested in a series like this before. Okay, that’s a lie because there’s the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling of course.
Anyways, let’s just move onward to the actual review now. Actually, it’s going to be more of a discussion rather than a review because there are just so many things I want to discuss about!
Clockwork Princess begins with Aloysius Starkweather and his granddaughter, Adele, sitting in bed and discussing about retrieving her first Marks as a Shadowhunter. Immediately, I’m questioning this scene. Why is this so important? We learn later on that Tessa is a descendant from the Starkweather’s family line. WHAT? Again, Cassandra Clare does a fantastic job of creating the bigger picture for us. I actually didn’t see this coming.
Aloysius Starkweather later on pays a visit to Charlotte to discuss about Tessa’s situation. Aloysius has explained that Adele, his supposed granddaughter at the time, was not actually his granddaughter because the faeries and other Downworlders sought revenge against the Starkweathers for what they have done. The Downworlders have switched his biological granddaughter, Elizabeth, which grew up with a mundane family and married a mundane man, Richard Gray. Therefore, Tessa’s mother, Elizabeth Gray, is an unmarked Shadowhunter because Elizabeth did not know that she was a Shadowhunter to begin with. However, Mortmain had knowledge of Elizabeth’s husband and granted him a position in his company. Mortmain later on sent Eidolon, a demon, disguised as Elizabeth’s husband and made an offspring (Tessa).
This also answers our question about Tessa’s gift and about Tessa being a warlock. I’m going to skip a big chunk of the book and directly address the epic battle scene between Mortmain versus the Shadowhunters and Tessa. Now, we all know about Tessa’s ability. We also know that Tessa is the key to the Shadowhunter’s future as Mortmain has mentioned. However, he did not foreshadow that his plan would debunk his certainty of destroying the Shadowhunters for good. Instead, it was the opposite of destroying the Shadowhunters. Although Tessa may have assisted Mortmain with possessing the automatons with demon souls, she has successfully defeated Mortmain at his own inventions when she changed into Ithuriel. At the beginning of the trilogy where we were first introduced to the clockwork angel necklace that Tessa’s brother gave to her, I had no idea why this necklace was so important. However, we later discovered that Ithuriel has been trapped inside the necklace by a guy named Shade. I forgot his full name, but it’s something along the lines like that. Ithuriel has helped saved Tessa’s life many times, but when Tessa changed into Ithuriel, Tessa has helped Ithuriel by letting the angel escape. However, it makes me question Ithuriel for a second. Because in City of Glass, Jace and Clary found Ithuriel trapped in Valentine’s basement. And I’m thinking to myself, how on earth can you get trapped again? Aren’t you supposed to be an angel here?
Now let’s go back to this whole family line business here. Since Tessa is a descendant from the Starkweather family line and later marries Will Herondale, doesn’t that mean that Jace is a descendant of the Starkweathers too? In City of Ashes, the Inquisitor (Imogen Herondale) has basically revealed that Jace is from the Herondale family line. WHAT? Yeah, there’s going to be a lot of ‘Whats’ in this discussion. Anyways, since Jace is a descendant from the Starkweather and the Herondale family line, does that explain Jace’s gift from City of Glass because Tessa does have that shape shifting ability? Since Tessa is part demon and part Shadowhunter, would that affect the rest of the family line too?
After the scene with Aloysius and his granddaughter, Adele, we go a little further in time to Charlotte introducing Jem to Will for the first time. I’d like to discuss these two wonderful gentlemen next. In the first book and part of the second book, I did not like Will because I thought he was just like all of the other young adult bad boy/arrogant type of character, but he’s actually not. Now, I have to admit that I’ve always been a Jem girl. I love Jem no matter what, but by the end of Clockwork Princess, I couldn’t decide who I loved the most. Even with that epilogue where Jem and Tessa decided to venture off together, no matter how much I love Jem, I still felt as if Will was there. The love and loyalty that Jem and Will has for each other cannot be compared to any other friendships that I have read in the young adult genre. It could not even be compared to Jace’s and Alec’s relationship in The Mortal Instruments series. Even if a girl came in between Jem and Will, they are still loyal to each other no matter what. That is most likely the reason why I admire them so much, and why I don’t even mind the love triangle in The Infernal Devices trilogy.
If there is anything any YA author should take from take away from this series is a proper love triangle. I believe I may have mentioned this on my booktube channel or my previous blog, but I have to mention it again on this website: I absolutely hate YA love triangles. They are irritating, predictable, and just plain irritating. But this trilogy is the only exception. Even with a love triangle, I could feel the love that Will, Jem, and Tessa had each other. No one loved each other more than the other. There was unity between all three of them, and I do not think I have read anything like it before. This reminds me of an interaction between Woolsey and Tessa. Woolsey said, “Most people are lucky to have even one great love in their life. You have found two.” (page 119)
Since we are discussing about this part where Woolsey tells Tessa this, I would like to discuss about Jem and his situation. At this point, Will and everyone else has permission from Jem to find a cure for him. And considering I’m a Jem girl, you guys could probably imagine how excited I am when he finally allowed them to find a cure. But just when I felt like everything was turning right side up, it just fell flat back down again when Jem told everyone to cease finding him a cure. WHY JEM, WHY MUST YOU DO THIS TO US? Since Jem has made this decision, the Silent Brothers have taken him to the Silent City. And I thought for a split second that he was definitely going to die. However, now looking back at it, I recalled that Jem had a conversation with someone that if they could not find a cure, then the only way for Jem not to die is to become a Silent Brother. So in the end, everything did come together. At the final battle scene, there were three Silent Brothers summoned to fight with the shadowhunters of the London Institute. One of the Silent Brothers was Brother Zachariah. While Brother Zachariah was fighting, an amazing moment just happened. Brother Zachariah’s hood fell and revealed Jem! And he was fighting! I was honestly the happiest girl in the whole world at the moment. Now that I’m writing this review, another question popped up: Did Jem ask the Silent Brothers to help fight among the other Shadowhunters? I remembered in the scene with Tessa at the end where she asks Jem why he was there at the fighting scene even though he could not be near them during his training? And Jem responds back by saying that was the only exception which could possibly mean that he may have asked the Silent Brothers to ask them to help with the fighting.
As much as I would love to go further in depth with this discussion, I cannot make this discussion too long. However, do not fret because I am going to be having a liveshow discussion on my booktube channel. I do not exactly know when the liveshow discussion would be, but it will happen instead of a book talk on my channel since there’s just so much I want to discuss about. Overall, this book was an emotional roller coaster ride with memorable characters and a love that never ceases.
If you guys have anything more to discuss about the Infernal Devices trilogy or the Mortal Instruments series, please comment down below. I would love to discuss this entire series with all of you!