Book of the Week: Clockwork Princess

March 28, 2013 Book of the Week 1

Its been a really good month to be a Cassandra Clare fan, especially in my boat.

First, we had the release of the much anticipated final chapter in the Infernal Devices series, Clockwork Princess, which incidentally this blog post is about.

Then Cassie went on a CP2 tour, mostly West Coast dates, one of which includes this weekend’s WonderCon, where she will appear with Lily Collins (Clary Fray), Jamie Campbell Bower (Jace Wayland) and Kevin Zegers (Alec Lightwood) and the first official theatrical trailer appears. The trailer is slated to premiere on Monday for those who are unable to catch it at WonderCon, though there isn’t really an exact time.

Also, this last weekend, Cassandra Clare talked about the plans she has for the future when it comes to the Shadowhunter chronicles. As of right now, we have our Infernal Devices, which takes place during the late 1870s, and it is finished. The Mortal Instruments takes place in the more recent years, 2007 to 2009ish? The next series to be written is the Dark Artifices, which will follow the story of Emma Carstairs in Los Angeles, about five years after the events that take place in the last Mortal Instruments book, City of Heavenly Fire.

Well, she’s revealed that there will be TWO more Shadowhunter trilogies. The first one will take place in 1903, with the children of the Infernal Devices series as the protaganists. Clare has give us the acronym for the series, TLH, but that is as far as its gotten. There’s an outline to the series, the characters are going to be in the 16 to 17 years old range and we don’t really know when they will be released.

Also, there’s an additional fifth series that will eventually come out. It has no title, no name, NOTHING. We know that it will take place three years after the ending of the Dark Artifices series but that’s about it.

So its been a good week to be a Shadowhunter (I’ve always wondered what fans of Cassie were called and she said last Friday that she thinks of us as Shadowhunters, so there we go), and since I’ve read Clockwork Princess THREE times since it’s come out, I’m ready to discuss it in my blog

So this week’s book of the week:

Warning: MAJOR spoilers ahead. Don’t read if you haven’t read this book yet, I’d hate to have to ruin it for you.

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare 

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Genre:
young adult, fantasy, steampunk, historical, romance

Part of a Series?:
The third and last installment of the Infernal Devices trilogy

You May Like if You Like: 
The Mortal Instruments series, Tithe by Holly Black, The Gemma Doyle trilogy by Libba Bray

Plot Summary:

Its all been sort of leading up to this last installment. Tessa Gray is still struggling to figure out who she is, or better yet, what she is. It has been hinted that she definitely has part demon in her, though her brother claimed in Prince that she was half Shadowhunter. Tessa is engaged to Jem Carstairs, but is also in love with his parabatai, William Herondale, and of course, they both love her back. Charlotte, the head of the London Institute and sort of mother to all these people, is pregnant. Cecily Herondale, Will’s sister that he hasn’t seen in YEARS, has appeared on the doorstep of the Institute, ready to train as a Shadowhunter. The evil Magister is preparing for his revenge. The Lightwood boys, Gabriel and GIdeon, are suddenly helping out the Insitute, especially after we learned their father had demon pox. Everything comes to a catalyst here: the love triangles, the mysteries, the relationships that could be, Jem’s sickness, and everything gets solved, in good and bad ways.

The Bad:

I had something for the bad part. I did. But after I read the book a second time, and then again, for the third time, I really realized that it isn’t bad, and I really understand what happened, and why she did it.

I would say I thought it was a little bit cheesy that everyone kind of ended up together: Cecily and Gabriel, Henry and Charlotte, Gideon and Sophie, it was all pretty and wrapped up with a bow haha but I honestly didn’t mind it that much.

But I had an issue, at first, with the way Cassandra wrapped up the Tessa-Jem-Will triangle. Jem decides to become a Silent Brother, to avoid dying from his sickness. This prevents him from being able to marry so he breaks off his engagement to Tessa. Tessa and Will end up together, they eventually get married, have children and grandchildren. Of course, Tessa is immortal (and confirmed to be half-demon and half-Shadowhunter) so she outlives Will, and they talk about his death and its horrible and heartbreaking.

When Jem becomes a Silent Brother, he makes a pact with Tessa, to meet her once a year on Blackfriar’s Bridge, so that they can see each other, if only for a short while. The epilogue takes place in Tessa’s mind, where she explains her life with Will, and his death, while waiting to meet Jem, as Brother Zachariah, in 2008. When they go to meet up though, Jem is normal again, more normal than he was before, his original coloring coming back. Tessa and Jem end the book, finding their way together. I had a HUGE issue with it. Whether I’m Team Will or Team Jem, I didn’t think it was right that Tessa got both of them. It seemed too much a cookie cutter ending, an ending to please the fans. However, after reading it twice more, I really get it and I will now discuss it in the “good” section.

The Good:

Tessa marries William Herondale, they get to live together and have children together, all the way until Will’s old age in 1937, and then Tessa and Jem find their way back to each other in 2008. I really didn’t like this at first, but the more I thought about it, the more I broke it down, the more I really understood and the more I liked AND the more I realized that…its one of the most realistic endings I’ve ever read.

Let’s face it, we don’t love one person in our lifetime and its rare if we do. And its okay if we love more than one person in our lifetime. We lose people, we move on, we fall in and out of love. This is normal. We have different degrees of love, we have the same degrees of love but we love in different ways.

Tessa loved both Will and Jem, in equal but different ways. She was able to love Will, spend his life with him, have children and travel and do wonderful things with him. She experienced so much with him, including the journey that she took to find out who she is. She also took this journey with Jem, and she truly loved and cared about Jem. Seventy years after the death of her husband, Jem is able to live again. Now, at first I thought that was a little too good to be true but its been over a century since he became a Silent Brother and I believe that a cure for his affliction could be discovered. And it only makes logical sense that they’d find their way back to each other.

This was hard for me to understand and accept at first, but I did realize it, and I love that Cassie made that point. Most authors make the point, in a love triangle, that the girl (or boy, in rare cases) has to make a choice but Cassie makes the point that…there isn’t a choice. Sure, in real life, we can’t make someone wait while we love someone else but we are able to love more than one person in their lifetime. The circumstances in this book are obviously different because of immortality and all that. But she makes a great point, a point I haven’t seen made in a book in a long time, and I really enjoyed it. The last time I saw something like this was in the Song of the Lioness series by Tamora Pierce.

I love that Cecily Herondale is able to come into Will’s life. Now that Will is aware his curse isn’t real, and he can love freely, its still really hard for him to show it and I think Cecily coming in really helps him to become the person that he truly is and that is has been hiding for all these years. I love that Cecily also has an effect on Gabriel Lightwood, who still has a loyalty to his father, despite what his father has done that is against Shadowhunter law. I love that she comes to the Institute to bring Will back home but she stays because she loves training to be a Shadowhunter.

The ending of the Will and Jem friendship was absolutely heartbreaking. They had a wonderful friendship, a brotherhood. They were parabatai, a pair of warriors linked together for life and that makes them closer than blood. This is the first time that we see parabatai separated. We know that Luke and Valentine were separated in TMI but we don’t get it. We obviously don’t get it in the parabatai relationship of Jace and Alec. When Jem becomes a Silent Brother, and the way it effects Will…its just heartbreaking. The end of a friendship is one of the hardest things to deal with it, even worse than losing a relationship and it hurt that Jem and Will did not get to grow old together.

I also liked the way the story ended with the Magister. We find out that Tessa is half demon and half Shadowhunter, and that she was created for a purpose, to become the Magister’s father, in her shape shifting abilities, to find out how to harness demons into the clockwork army that the Magister has created. He does this and creates an almost impossible army to beat. The fact that an angel, angel Ithuriel (from City of Glass, yes), has been protecting her in her clockwork angel necklace her entire life was surprising and awesome, and the fact that she used the angel to defeat the Magister, was also surprising and awesome.

Oher awesome things: Charlotte having her baby, and becoming the Consul for the Shadowhunters, Sophie Collins Ascending and becoming a Shadowhunter, Magnus Bane just being badass, and loving and caring, and a friend to Tessa through all the years, Jessamine kind of redeeming herself from Prince.

Rating:

Five out of five Stars. Easily. Great ending to the trilogy and worth the wait.

Recommended or Not?: 

Yes. Definitely. Easily. Obviously you should read the Clockwork Angel and Prince first but I recommend it. Its a great book and a great ending to the series. Secrets are revealed, questions are answered. We find out the secret of the Clockwork Angel, and that Will Herondale really does have a tattoo (ON HIS BUTT!). We find out how the Herondales get their little star scars, that Jace Herondale and the rest of them all have. Its a great ending, worth the wait, and a book that I will always remember.

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Don’t forget! You have until April 1st to enter to win an autographed copy of Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare.

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I met Cassie a week ago, and had her sign my extra copy of Clockwork Princess for the fans! Its free to enter and you can enter here! Good luck!

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What did you think of Clockwork Princess? As always, share below in the comments!

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