REVIEW + DISCUSSION: clockwork princess by cassandra clare

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Published by: Simon & Schuster on March 19th, 2013

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 568

Format: Hardcover

Series: The Infernal Devices Book 3

Amazon // 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.

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?


i’m speechless.

I’ve read many amazing books in my life, but I can’t think of one that was as beautiful as Clockwork Princess. Cassandra Clare was born to write; her words fly off the page like magic and settle into the depths of your soul where you know you will never forget them. These characters and this world she has built is simply magical. I had heard from so many people that the Infernal Devices was so much better than the Mortal Instruments, and you can now add me to that list of people. I have only read the first 3 books of the Mortal Instruments, but Cassie’s talent is so much more evident in the Infernal Devices. I love these books.

Clockwork Princess takes place shortly after the events of Clockwork Prince. Cecily has begun to train with the Shadowhunters, and Tessa is preparing for her wedding to Jem. Of course, Will is still in love with Tessa, who is still torn apart by her feelings for the two boys. Unfortunately, things don’t exactly go as planned, because before they know it, Tessa has been kidnapped by the Magister, who wants to use her as the leader of the army, to kill all of the Shadowhunters, who once destroyed his family.

multiple perspectives

Usually, I hate books with multiple perspectives, because it gets old very fast for me, but this book was a clear exception. It was so interesting to read from all of the different character’s perspectives: Charlotte, Will, Jem, Tessa, Sophie, Cecily, even Gideon and Gabriel. Gideon and Gabriel were great additions to this book, because even though they were introduced in Clockwork Prince, I feel like I got to know them and grew to like them so much more in this book.

what’s happening with jem?

The Magister, being the ultimate villain, has collected all of the yin fen in England, and made sure that every single dose coming into the country goes straight to him. Without the yin fen, Jem will die, and this is part of his tactic to get Tessa to come work with him.

I always knew Jem was dying, but that really came to a head in this book. Without the yin fen, he only had a matter of days left. After Tessa got kidnapped, and Will felt the bond break in his heart, I really thought that was it: Jem had died. That was why I was so shocked when we found out he was one of the Silent Brothers that I literally almost dropped the book. WHAT A PLOT TWIST! I’m so glad he’s alive, because even though I was never Team Jem, I loved him so much. He was so sweet and kind.

When Jem found out that Will was in love with Tessa, his reaction proved to me why this is the best love triangle ever written in YA. There was no petty jealousy, that, frankly, would have been quite unrealistic, given the dire circumstances Jem was in. Instead, Jem told Will to go after her, and he gave him permission to be with Tessa when he died, without them having to feel guilty about it. This just made me love him even more, since I am the biggest Team Will fan.

“You endure what is unbearable, and you bear it. That is all.”

questions were finally answered

And there were definitely a lot of questions. Where did Tessa come from? Was she really half Shadowhunter, half demon? What was going to happen with the Magister? Thankfully, Cassandra Clare tied everything up very nicely, and left no loose ends. The twist about how Tessa’s mother had been switched at birth, and she was really Aloysius Starkweather’s great granddaughter had me SHOOK. Tessa’s mother never had any runes marking her as a Shadowhunter, which was why Tessa wasn’t stillborn. And the clockwork angel necklace her mother gave her was actually made by the Magister to control her, because HE FREAKING CREATED HER. Talk about killer twists. I was all for this.

I thought the pacing in this novel was fantastic, something I feel like Cassandra Clare has struggled with in her past novels. The buildup was great, and that final moment when Tessa transformed into her angel and defeated the Magister was beautiful. I have seen some people saying that they don’t like Tessa, and they think that she’s weak, but I actually feel the complete opposite. She has gone through so much, and she ended the series so strong. Plus, we have to take into account the time period, so she obviously can’t be the same as a modern heroine.

“Men may be stronger, but it is women who endure.”

will and tessa

What can I say about Will and Tessa without bursting into tears? They have officially joined Feyre and Rhysand, Juliette and Warner, Ron and Hermione, and Blue and Gansey as my favorite book couples of all time. Will freaking Herondale….I mean, I’m speechless. I’m still in awe. Him and Tessa live in a world of books and literature, and it was so beautiful to read about, because I could relate so much.

“Life is a book, and there are a thousand pages I have not yet read.”

Every single development in the Will and Tessa relationship was lovely, but then came the letter. Guys, I actually sobbed. I SOBBED. And I never cry in books! I will be reading that letter over and over again for the rest of my life. Why can’t I find my Will Herondale? When will a boy write me a love letter? It’s fictional characters like Will Herondale that have ruined boys for me, because my expectations will forever be too high.

But in all seriousness, that letter was beautiful. It was one of the most, if not the most, romantic pieces of literature I have ever read. Cassandra Clare really reminded me of Jane Austen, or one of the Bronte sisters. My heart was so full when I read the words, and I literally had tears streaming down my cheeks, no joke.

“You are not the last dream of my soul.

You are the first dream, the only dream I ever was unable to stop myself from dreaming. You are the first dream of my soul, and from that dream I hope will come all other dreams, a lifetime’s worth.

With hope at last,

Will Herondale”

Try reading that and not crying. I dare you.

in conclusion…

I thought I was done crying, and then came the epilogue. My tears were like, “Ha, you really thought you were gone?” I almost forgot that Tessa was immortal, and would have to watch everyone she loved die–INCLUDING WILL. But then she found Jem!!! That was such a risky, uncommon choice for Cassandra Clare to make, but it worked so well. And those final words were so, so, effective.

“At last, the wheel comes full circle.”

So that’s it for Clockwork Princess. I’m still in awe over this book, and I know that it will be one I will be rereading for years to come. Or at least I will be rereading Will’s letter. I literally want to print that out and hang it in my room, no joke. This was definitely one of my favorite books, not just of the year, but of all time.

Have you read Clockwork Princess? If so, what did you think of it? I’d love to hear your thoughts, so let me know in the comments, and I’ll see you next time!



2 thoughts on “REVIEW + DISCUSSION: clockwork princess by cassandra clare

  1. […] I just finished Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare a few days ago, and it definitely messed with my emotions. It had that signature Cassandra Clare humor, but it was also SO HEARTBREAKING. Just thinking about it makes me want to cry all over again, but also smile so hard because FEELS. (You can find my book talk for Clockwork Princess here). […]


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