Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices #3) by Cassandra Clare - 5/5 stars
Heartbreaking. Epic. Lingering. Emotive. Lovely.
***Warning: If you have not read both Clockwork Angel and Clockwork Prince, there will be spoilers.***
"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 asmuch in love with her as ever.
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."
Let me just start off by saying that I'm still not sure how I feel about parts of this, admittedly incredible, conclusion. There were aspects that were beautiful, heartbreaking, and frustrating. Cassie once again did a wonderful job of answering all of the questions she presented us with, so nothing felt unresolved. We finally found out how Alec looks like Will, which was probably one of the questions that bugged me most throughout the series. We even learned the origin of the Herondale birthmark, even if it was still a little inexplicable. The characters' stories came full circle and all of them had grown immeasurably by the end.
The story picks up a few of months after Clockwork Prince ended. In the time between the two books, Mortmain has been quiet and all of the characters have been dealing with their personal lives while also basically waiting for the other shoe to drop. We see the progression of Tessa and Jem’s engagement and the fallout from Will’s ill-fated declaration of love. Everyone is happy on the surface, but there’s obvious tension within the trio, despite the fact that Jem remains seemingly oblivious to it all. There’s also the addition of Cecily Herondale and Gideon Lightwood as permanent fixtures at the Institute, with Gabriel comoing to his senses and following Gideon eventually.
Probably my favorite part of this book, and the series in general, was how flawlessly it meshed with the Mortal Instruments canon. The two series are inter-locked in such a way that both become more interesting and immersing. It certainly doesn't hurt that the projection of the world over such a long time period not only in reference but in continued stories helps make it feel even more real, in my opinion. Clare's attention to detail location-wise also helps to this end, with a portrayal of old time London that is well-researched and easily explained using aspects of the Shadowhunter world.
Overall, I loved this book. It gave a fantastic conclusion to a wonderful and intriguing series, doing all of the characters justice and, in as many ways as possible, giving them a happy ending after all that they went through. There were so many laughs, especially surrounding Will with his lighter spirits and wonderfully awkward-big-brother interactions with Cecily. I was proud and excited and enthralled many times over. And I cried. Quite a lot. My family was more than little concerned at times. It's an absolute must-read for any fans of with the first two Infernal Devices or Mortal Instruments series. Now we just need an explanation for the epilogue, but hopefully that will come with the conclusion of the Mortal Instruments!