Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Heap of Ashes That I Am

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Release Date: March 19, 2013
Pages: 570
Genre: Fantasy/Supernatural
Series: The Infernal Devices #3
-Clockwork Angel (2010)
-Clockwork Prince (2011)
-Clockwork Princess (2013)
Source and Format: Library; Hardcover

Summary (From Goodreads)
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.

As those who love Tessa rally to rescue her from Mortmain’s clutches, Tessa realizes that the only person who can save her is herself. But can a single girl, even one who can command the power of angels, face down an entire army?

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.

Thoughts on Clockwork Princess
Honestly, I was so scared to start this book. I knew I was in for a heartbreaking read, and wasn't sure if I was ready for it. This series is loosely based on A Tale of Two Cities, and we all know how tragically that story ends. Basically, my feelings going in to this book can be summarized by this one quote:

"You know that feeling...when you are reading a book, and you know that it is going to be a tragedy; you can feel the cold and darkness coming, see the net drawing close around the characters who live and breathe on the pages. But you are tied to the story as if being dragged behind a carriage, and you cannot let go or turn the course aside." 
It's almost as if Cassandra Clare knew what she was doing to her readers and wanted to express her sympathy. Being dragged behind a carriage perfectly describes how I felt while reading this book. I know that probably makes Clockwork Princess sound like the worst book ever, but it actually has been my favorite read of the year so far. All in all, this was the best conclusion to a series I've read in a long, long time.

At the heart of the story is the love triangle between Jem, Will, and Tessa. For me, one of the things that makes this love triangle so tricky is the relationship between Jem and Will. I have never seen a friendship portrayed in a more beautiful, symbolic way. Jem and Will are not just best friends, they are parabatai, and I love the connection Clare makes between parabatai and the covenant made by Jonathan and David in the Bible. This story wouldn't be nearly as heartbreaking without Jem's selfless love for Will, and Will's selfless love for Jem in return.

The whole time I was reading this series, it wasn't blatantly obvious to me where Tessa's heart lied...until this book. Clockwork Princess basically centers around two of the main characters, while also giving us a glimpse into the relationships developing among the secondary characters. Beyond the love story is a breathtaking adventure in which the characters face many life and death situations. The pacing of this book was relentless. Additionally, all of the big questions were answered and loose ends tied up.  

Which brings me to the epilogue. I can't write this review without mentioning the ever-controversial epilogue! I have to admit it jerked me back to reality a little too soon, but overall I am glad Clare included it. I think my feelings for this series would be completely different if it wasn't there. There needed to be a little more closure for one character in particular, and that's exactly what we got. I saw in Rachel's review that Clare wrote a post explaining why she included it, and I think it would be a good read for anyone who has read this series and feels kind of meh about the epilogue (you can find it here -  DON'T READ if you haven't finished Clockwork Princess, though!).

Overall, just wow. I absolutely loved this series. Well-written, fantastic story. These characters will stay with me for a long time to come.

Memorable Quotes
"Life is a book and there are a thousand pages I have not yet read. I would read them together with you, as many as I can, before I die-"

"And now I need you to do for me what I cannot do for myself. For you to be my eyes when I do not have them. For you to be my hands when I cannot use my own. For you to be my heart when mine is done beating."

"Our hearts, they need a mirror, Tessa. We see our better selves in the eyes of those who love us. And there is a beauty that brevity alone provides."

1 comment:

  1. Oh man, I'm so happy to hear you loved this entire series + this conclusion to it! Like I've mentioned before, I've only read the first book but own the other two. I've been meaning to finish reading them, but I keep letting other books get in the way. Sounds like I definitely need to get to them soon, especially since they are some of your favorite reads of the year.

    And I LOVE those quotes you included!



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