A review of Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Reviewed by Emily McDonnell

Clockwork Princess (3) (The Infernal Devices)
by Cassandra Clare
Margaret K. McElderry Books
Paperback: 656 pages, Sept 2015,ISBN-13: 978-1481456036

Clockwork Princess is the final book in Cassandra Clare’s The Infernal Devices trilogy. Words are hard to find to describe how spectacular this story was. Loose ends from the series were tied up (mostly) and throughout the novel I was often in hysterics over even the slightest things. Jem, Tessa and Will all have stunning character development across the duration of this series and other characters also have milestones and sweet moments.

The book effectively uses the cliff-hanger from Clockwork Prince to lead into other engaging plot lines and characterisation. Additionally, this finale has several climatic scenes which are all equally exquisite in their writing style and expression. Many moments in this book, similarly to its predecessor, had me close to tears or squealing quite frequently. I didn’t expect certain elements of this story, with particular moments and dialogue between characters often surprising or enlightening to me. We do get to experience more of the relationships between the Lightwood family, Sophie and Will’s family – which we did see in some scenes in Clockwork Prince.

With the news of Will’s curse, the severity of Jem’s condition and the ever frightening danger that surrounds Tessa and the other inhabitants of the London Institute, Clockwork Princess’s plot is ripe with action, romance and excitement. The threat of Mortmain, the Clave and Consul and the loyalty of those closest to them is testing on our main characters, additionally even what should be the happiest times are seemingly melancholy with the worry of Jem leaving them forever. The relationship, particularly those between our main characters – Will, Tessa and Jem – strengthens and grows even more through the course of Clockwork Princess, with the conclusion of this book to be one of the best I’ve read. The final scenes and chapters of this book were truly astonishing and absolutely wonderful.

As always, matters of love are a major theme in all of the Shadowhunter Chronicles, often provided with a unique perspective, however this trilogy focuses strongly on such concepts. Despite the heavy romance, the series is also fantasy and specific climaxes of this book were amazing to read. The author is incredibly talented is all of her works, but has an expertise, when writing such epic battles or wrapping up a series. As well as this, the characters Cassandra Clare has created are beautifully complex and real, in sense of emotive language. You’ll fall in love with these characters, and this aspect is something I’ve treasured in Clare’s books, overall.

More connections are made in this book between Clare’s two series (The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices) making it an unforgettable read. The Infernal Devices series is my favourite of Cassandra Clare’s novels. These books will stick with me forever and have influenced and shaped me, in the way only an excellent book can. Do I need to say how much I recommend them?

I adored reading every minute of this final book, the ending broke my heart and somehow simultaneously made me happy all at once. I found this book to be a quick read, considering its length, but once you are immersed in the text, I found it to be only a short time before I’d finished it! For those who may not have been keen on Clare’s other books, I definitely recommend this trilogy as a very good introduction to this universe, its quite easy to be encaptivated by these books only a few pages in! Additionally, Clockwork Princess has made me hyped for the upcoming release of The Last Hours trilogy, a series which is centred around the children of certain characters in The Infernal Devices. The first book comes out in March 2020, and I will definitely be writing about it.

About the reviewer: Emily McDonell was first prize winner in the Hunter Writers’ Centre/Compulsive Reader book review competition. She is a high school student, an avid reader and has a passion for books. It was clear from a very early age that books would play a large part in her life. Emily has participated in the Premier’s Reading Challenge since starting her schooling and her favourite subject is English. Emily has also been a Girl Guide for the past nine years and is currently working to complete her Queen’s Guide Award. Emily also loves animals especially her dog Jersey.