inspirethoughts

Book Critique: Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices #3)

For review of all books in this series: Go here.

Stars: 5 / 5

Recommendation: A splendid and powerful conclusion to this saga of Shadowhunter Chronicles testing them in every which way possible - love, romance, friendship - in the process finding themselves, fighting demons inside & outside; and working towards saving the world in the process.

Clockwork Princess is the third and final book in The Infernal Devices Trilogy by Cassandra Clare, first published in March of 2013. The plot begins two months after the events in the previous book Clockwork Prince

The antagonist Mortmain and his mechanical automatons have been silent for two months. Just as the shadowhunters are coming to believe that perhaps Mortmain will not resurface, peril after peril fall in their path. The biggest of them all is the need for Mortmain to acquire Tessa Gray. And Jem Carstairs and Will Herondale put everything on line to save her and defeat Mortmain. 

If you're following the timeline the Shadowhunter Chronicles are set, then this would be the third book to read. However, if the reading order suggested on goodreads is followed (by publishing date), this book is put after City of Lost Souls, the fifth book in The Mortal Instruments Series.

Clare continues with her "rinse, recycle, repeat" recipe in this third and final book in The Infernal Devices series. Yet knowing what to expect, it still gave us surprises in how her characters moved; adventure and politics; the love triangle and it's final results; salvation and redemption; sacrifices and battles; and above all she gave me tears in several of her scenes with this book.

I believe we had met Brother Zachariah first in the fourth book in The Mortal Instruments Series, City of Fallen Angels, which was released in 2011. Clare had made him very mysterious in both of her two earlier series - The Mortal Instruments and The Dark Artifices. But we get an eye treat about him in this book. Although painful at times, I liked the way she pulled the tale around him.

The entire series is not centered on just one person or a couple but three people - Will, Jem and Tessa. We cannot complete the tale without reading about all three of them for they are so inter-twined within each other. It was a fitting closure to their characters and such noble indeed.

Interesting that just like the Mortal Instruments Series, Clare set her plot for Infernal Devices also around Fairchilds, Herondales and Lightwoods; and in this case she adds Carstairs too. A connection I failed to recognize it until this book. 

Pasts of several other events that already occurred in the Mortal Instruments Series or The Dark Artifices are shown - Where did Cortana sword that Jem gifts Emma Carstairs in Lady Midnight, Dark Artifices Book 1, comes from; Answer to the connection between Will Herondale and Jace Herondale in Mortal Instruments; how the old ties come to happen between Herondales and Silent Brothers.

Being that Tessa, Jem and Will are just but 16-17 year old teenagers, their penchant to feel immortal, arrogant, take quick actions, is so similar to every person that goes through that phase in their lives, be in 1800s or in 2020s. Clare brought out that part of their character really well. She does bring words, fashion, food and places from the 1800s into the script wherever possible. 

I absolutely loved this book. Despite her reputation to bully other writers, and plagiarize others' plots, I still love the universe she creates her stories in and the complexities she builds surrounding her characters. It always is hard for me to get out of her world and move to another one. 

As like her other books, the plots are really intense, complex and well-written, even if they were copied, adds to the pull and intrigue. A very splendid and powerful ending to this saga of Shadowhunter Chronicles testing them in every which way possible - love, romance, friendship - in the process finding themselves, fighting demons inside & outside; and working towards saving the world in the process.

Now I am eager to move on to the final book in The Dark Artifices series that I put it on hold to read this series. Cant wait to read it.

Spoiler Alerts:

1. Plot Reveals:

a. Gideon Lightwood marries Sophie Collins aka Sophia Shadowhunter, after she completes her ascension to a shadow hunter; while Gabriel Lightwood marries Cecily Herondale.

b. Charlotte Branwell is appointed The Consul and gives birth to a boy, Charles Buford Fairchild; Henry gets injured in the battle with Mortmain and loses his ability to use his feet. 

c. Tessa marries Will Herondale while Jem becomes a Silent Brother, Brother Zachariah. Will is trained by Charlotte to become the head of the London Institute.

d. Magnus gives a necklace to Will for protection and Will gives it to his sister Cecily. I wonder if it ever gets into Clare's future books; or if it has already got in I might have missed.

2. Sub-Plots: 

a. From The Mortal Instruments Series:

i. Curious to see how Kit and Jace Herondale will be connected. He becomes more mysterious in the Dark Artifices series.

ii. In City of Souls, the angel Raziel, calls Simon as Simon Maccabees, an ancestor of Simon. A story behind it?

iii. In City of Heavenly Fire, no closure to Lilith is shown. Also what consequences will Magnus and Isabelle face for using spell to get Simon's memories back at the end of the book. Sparks fly between Maia and Bartholomew "Bat" Velasquez, her second-in command.

iv. At the end of the series The Fair Folk - fairies - are punished severely by The Clave for their role in the war waged by Sebastian Morgenstern. The consequences of that punishment and the fate of Seelie Queen get woven into The Dark Artifices books.

v. Where the character are as of Lord of Shadows book - Jace Herondale and Clary Fairchild set out to find the weapon with both the Courts of Faerie left by Sebastian. Jace proposes to Clary, but Clary asks for more time. Alec Lightwood and Magnus Bane adopt a second son - Rafael - an orphan shadowhunter from Argentina, they have an adopted warlock child, Max since Lady Midnight book; also head the Shadowhunter-Downworlder Alliance along with Maia Roberts (head of Werewolves) and Lily Chen (head of the Vampire Clan). Alec becomes temporary head of London Institute after his father Robert's murder.

b. From The Dark Artifices Series up until the second book that I read:

i. Main Characters  - Emma Cordelia Carstairs; Julian Blackthorn and his siblings - the twins Livvy and Tiberus "Ty", Mark Antony and Helen (step-siblings), Octavius "Tavvy", Drusilla "Dru".

ii. Why does Ty not want to join the Scholomance? Why does Ty's hair look different than the rest of Blackthorns? Livvy is killed in this book, so Ty cannot have her as parabatai. What will be his fate?

iii. Sparks fly between Drusilla "Dru" and Jaime, Diego's brother.

iv. James "Jem" Carstairs and Theresa "Tessa" Gray need Emma and Julian's help. And have been looking for a cure for the sickness all the warlocks are facing. 

v. Diana Wrayburn, tutor to the kids at the Los Angeles Institute, dates Gwyn ap Nudd, leader of the Wild Hunt.

vi. Julian throws a false trail to Anselm Nightshade, head of vampires of LA, and gets him under the wrath of the Inquisitor, in order to save Julian's family.

vii. Annabel Blackthorn after being risen from dead, kills Malcolm and takes the Black Volume of Dead. She also kills Robert Lightwood and Livvy in a frenzy to escape The Council, but is abducted by the King of Unseelie Court.

viii. Shade, a hooded warlock, helps the Blackthorns read the aletheia crystal - a memory-holder. Who is Shade?

ix. Mark and Cristina finally form a couple, although Kieran says Cristina is his something. Kieran also goes to Scholomance with Diego.

x. Dru meets a faerie named Ash with green eyes in the faerie land.

xi. Emma and Julian decide to go on exile while Magnus and his friends try to find a way to break their parabatai bond without harming them or other parabatai and overcome the curse.

xii. The Riders of Mannan -  Karn, Etarlam, Eochaid, Delan, Airmed, Fal, and Ethna (the only female member) - attack the Blackthorns for the Black Volume of Dead. Emma kills Fal in the ensuing battle.

c. From the Infernal Devices Series:

i. Shadowhunters from the time this book is set - Charlotte Mary Branwell nee Fairchild, head of the London Institute, & her husband Henry Jocelyn Branwell; Tatiana Blackthorn nee Lightwood; Gideon Lightwood; Gabriel Lightwood; Frederick Ashdown; George Penhallow; Lilian Highsmith; Callida Fairchild, Charlotte's Aunt; Consul Josiah Wayland; Inquisitor Victor Whitelaw; Aloysius Starkweather; Cecily Herondale, Will's sister; Edmund and Linette Herondale, Will & Cecily's parents; Roderick Fairchild, Charlotte's great-uncle; Sora Kaidou; Vijay Malhotra; Japheth Pangborn; Amalia Morgenstern; Elias Carstairs, Jem's uncle; 

ii. Servants in the London Institute - Sophie Collins; their horses Balios & Xanthos; Cyril Tanner; Bridget Daly, the cook; 

iii. Silent Brothers & Iron Sisters - Brother Enoch; Brother Cimon; Brother Zachariah (Jem Carstairs becomes Silent Brother)

iv. Downworlders we meet - Magnus Bane (warlock, moves to New York City in the end); Lady Camille Belcourt (vampire living in London); Ragnor Fell, High Warlock of London; Archer, Camille's subjugate; Wooley Scott, head of the London Werewolves Clan; Hyacinth; The Wild Hunt aka The Hounds of the Underworld; 

v. Henry Branwell loves to tinker. Some of his inventions are - a portal to transport shadowhunters anywhere they want; self-rocking cradle; lethal bonnet that will kill the wearer; powder to make ghosts visible; a fully functioning wheelchair.

vi. Why would Will's father keep the Pyxis locked with Demon energy after he has left Shadowhunter world for a mundane wife? And who does Will remind Magnus of?

vii. Tessa was raised by Elizabeth Gray, a shadowhunter & her husband Richard Gray, a mundane. However, Mortmain sends a demon in the shape of Richard to Elizabeth to conceive a child. Tessa is that child who is both a shadowhunter as well as a warlock; a new breed. She is also grand-daughter of Aloysius Starkweather. 

d. Some of the places, food, movies and books that are referenced:

i. Literary works that Jem, Tessa, Will and others refers to - A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens; The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole; Legend of Yu Boya and Zhong Ziki; Sermons to Young Women by James Fordyce; Psuedomonarchia Daemonum by Johann Weyer; Jane Eyre; The Merry Wives of Windsor; 

ii. Jem, Magnus and others quote from some books and tells tales in some cases - Milton's Paradise Lost; Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities; Beggar my neighbor from Great Expectations; 

iii. Cook Daly sings variations of some Irish and Scottish ballads - Willie and Earl Richard's Daughter ballad; The unquiet grave; a riddle song that I couldn’t find it’s origin; Barbara Allen by an anonymous poet; Thomas the Rhymer; Greensleeves song; 

iv. Cooking - Sophie makes a Posset for Gideon while he was healing from his injuries. Recipe seems interesting. Have to try one day; 

3. Grammatical / Character / Plot / Geographical / Historical / Mythological Errors:

a. On Pg. 34, Clare spells fiancee as "fiancee"; but On Pg. 38, she spells it as "fiance" both in context that Tessa is Jem's fiancee.

b. On Pg. 35, Line 18, Carstairs is mis-spelled as "Corstairs".

c. On Pg. 65, Line 5, there is an opening quote that is not needed. 

d. On Pg. 164, Line 7 from bottom, shouldn’t it be "…there are the numbers he…"?

e. On Pg. 191, when Jen first announces that his wedding with Tessa is moved up and that they will be married the next day. However On Pg. 192, when he repeats the same to Will, he says that the wedding will be in next few days. 

f. On Pg. 279, the scene is between Gabriel and Cecily. However on Line 7, it is mis-entered as "Gideon".

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