Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3) by Cassandra Clare

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1.) City of Bones ★★★
2.) City of Ashes ★★
3.) City of Glass ★★★
1.) Clockwork Angel ★★★
4.) City of Fallen Angels
2.) Clockwork Prince ★★★★
5.) City of Lost Souls ★★★★

“I can tell you that the end of a life is the sum of the love that was lived in it…”

Friends, you were all right; not only was the ending of this trilogy not predictable, but it was also perfection. I actually think the epilogue in this book is now my favorite of all time. All time. Out of any book I’ve ever read. Like, that is some praise, friends. This book made me so happy, and so sad, all at the same time. But I think the ending was perfect, absolutely perfect. This is also the first Cassandra Clare book that I’ve given five stars.

Love is really the focal point of this entire book. Love can be messy, and complicated, and even cause you hurt and pain, but it is always worth it, and it is never wrong. Seeing Will, Tessa, and Jem love each other, so unconditionally, is something that moves to me to tears just writing this paragraph. And even though I think they totally should have been in a polyamorous relationship, I think that the depiction of their messy, complicated, and even hurtful and painful love was so expertly done.

“Most people are lucky to have even one great love in their life. You have found two.”

I also think that Cassie Clare really excels at writing not just romance, but more specifically romantic one-liners. Some of the quotes in this book are some of the most romantic and beautiful things I’ve ever read. I might have been weeping, but I was also swooning, my friends.

The only family tree in literature I’m really invested in is for ASOIAF, but Cassie Clare has made me completely addicted to figuring out how this lineage goes and plays out. I am so scared to see spoilers, so I haven’t looked up anything, but the reading experience is so unique and so much greater seeing these people’s familial lines become more and more.

The only three minor complaints about this book! One being, that the letters, between Charlotte and the Consul (AKA: Josiah Wayland, the dick) were just boring to read. I know they were very important, I just never really got enjoyment from reading them. And then, I honestly wish we could have seen Tessa’s power in action more. I feel like we honestly only really got to see it a lot in Clockwork Angel, and it’s such an amazing ability, I just wish it was showcased a bit more. Lastly, people always complain about this with other YA authors, but Cassie Clare also literally pairs everyone off together in her books. And I know a lot of times friends do fall in love with each other, but friendship is not a “lesser” relationship, and I would have really enjoyed just seeing some of these people be happy being friends with one another. Especially since this series really focuses so much on themes of the importance of found families.

But, I loved this book so much if you couldn’t guess by the perfect rating. But the rest of my review is going to touch on a couple key things that happened in this book and things that have happened in previous books, so please use caution reading the rest of this review if you have not read this book and its predecessors! And as always, I’m going to do a little mini character breakdown on my thoughts and feelings on all the main characters in this book. Spoilers ahead!

(Beautiful fanart by DREI SJ!) 💕

Tessa Gray – I actually think I’m most heartbroken for Tessa. Her and Magnus both just tug at every heartstring I have. But I love her character, I loved her growth, and I even loved her struggle to be enough, to be loved, and to be happy. And I just don’t want her to be alone.

“I will make you a promise. Every year, Tessa, on one day, I will meet you on that bridge. I will come from the Silent City and I will meet you, and we will be together, if only for an hour. But you must tell no one.”

Jem Carstairs – Oh, my sweet boy. One of the most beautiful things I’ve ever read is when Tessa heard Jem though his music. Music means so much to me, and the power, healing, and love that it creates really does transcend everything. It broke me, but I loved what happened to Jem in this novel, and I’m begging Cassie to give me more glimpses of his life. My sweet, kind, unconditionally loving, boy.

“And in the shadows they’d whispered, reminding each other of the stories only they knew. Of the girl who had hit over the head with a water jug the boy who had come to rescue her, and how he had fallen in love with her in that instant.”

Will Herondale – I will be real with you all, I was very much Team Will during this book. Again, I know, I will say that the three of them should have just been in a relationship together if it were possible, without Jem’s condition, but even in Clockwork Angel I believed that Will and Tessa were true soulmates. And not to make light of the situation, and I do think it is important to see some beloved characters move on, but I would have so gotten bit by a vampire. Like, these shadowhunters are wild.

Charlotte Branwell – Charlotte is always a delight to read, and she really ties in wonderful feminist storylines and messages throughout this entire trilogy. Her heart is so big, and she always finds even more room to love others. Such a great character.

Henry Branwell – Why did the Fairchild surprise me so much? Did it surprise you all? I mean… I knew Henry had red hair. I mean, I should have guessed. But how perfect is that lineage marker?

Sophie Collins – I loved this character since the very first page that she was mentioned on in Clockwork Angel and I loved her throughout the epilogue of this book. Easily one of my favorites of this trilogy.

Gideon Lightwood – And I can’t wait to follow Sophie and Gideon’s family tree…

Gabriel Lightwood – …Even though I bet Izzy and Alec came from Gabriel, because…

Cecily Herondale – …Cecily is Will’s sister, and everyone says how much Izzy and Alec resemble Will. Ahhh, my heart. I’m still not okay. But I really did love the addition of Cecily, even though I see many of my friends did not.

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

Magnus Bane – 40% into this book was when I first started tearing up, and it was because of Magnus. Magnus really is my favorite from this entire world, and he proves over and over how selfless he is time and time again. When he told Tessa it didn’t get easier, I legit couldn’t even blink away the tears. And it truly makes the perfect connection to everything him and Alec are going through in The Mortal Instruments.

Jessamine Lovelace – I legit was like “WHY is she coming back to the institute, end her!” and then she died and I was like “Oh my gosh, I was just joking, this poor girl!” So, I don’t even know how I feel. But I’m here for ghostly activities, always.

Axel Mortmain – I legit didn’t always believe his motivations. Like, it is the same of Valentine, with the grudges being REAL. But I think he did a good job at showing us how abusive people will do anything to get their way; even lulling you into a false sense of security. But yeah, dude was evil, and I’m glad he’s gone. Nothing really else to say.

Overall, I loved this book with my entire heart and soul. I wouldn’t be surprised if it ends up being my favorite thing that Cassie Clare has created. Yet, I will say that I think she gets better and better as a writer, and everyone promises me more fae in The Dark Artifices so we will see! But I can’t wait to start City of Heavenly Fire. I actually think I’m going to start it tonight, because I have no chill and I’m so enthralled with his world. And I’m so thankful you all convinced me to read all of Cassandra’s backlist. Okay, I’m off to read After the Bridge: The Full Story forever! Happy reading!

“Life is a book, and there are a thousand pages I have not yet read. I would read them together with you…”

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Buddy read with Chelsea at The Suspense is Thrilling Me, Amy at A Court of Crowns and Quills, & Solly at The Bookish King! ❤

Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices #2) by Cassandra Clare

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1.) City of Bones ★★★
2.) City of Ashes ★★
3.) City of Glass ★★★
1.) Clockwork Angel ★★★
4.) City of Fallen Angels

“You are a Shadowhunter. You serve a greater cause. Your life is not yours to throw away.”

Friends, this is the highest four star rating. Like, I almost want to give this book five stars because I enjoyed the last 25% so damn much. This is easily my favorite Cassie Clare book yet, and I truly had such a wonderful time reading.

This is the second installment in this history prequel series that stars a young girl named Tessa, who has traveled to London from America, who was trying to find her brother in Clockwork Angel! Well, she found him, and this book is dealing with the ramifications of what she found out. Yet, this book is also about Tessa trying to carve out a place for herself in a world that is unfamiliar to her in so many ways, while also trying to learn about her true past and who she wants to be in the future.

Okay, my review is going to touch on a couple key things that happened in this book and things that have happened in previous books, so please use caution reading the rest of this review if you have not read this book and its predecessors! And as always, I’m going to do a little mini character breakdown on my thoughts and feelings on all the main characters in this book.

Tessa Gray – Poor Tessa got so many big puzzle pieces about her life handed to her in this book. And she is truly believing that her father was a demon, which could completely be true and really intrigues me. I mean, I would personally be upset that he wasn’t from fae lineage, but what can you do?

“I was born into this world to love you, and I will love you in the next life, and the one after that.”

Jem Carstairs – Jem is my favorite character in this series. He’s biracial, Chinese and British, living with a terminal illness, and just the sweetest character in all of literature! And I know without question he would be the one that I pick, even if he’s not the one that I’d pick for Tessa. Also, I’ve dated enough rude and brooding boys to last me (and Tessa) a lifetime.

“I have wanted to do this,” he said, “every moment of every hour of every day that I have been with you since the day I met you. But you know that. You must know. Don’t you?”

Will Herondale – Even though Jem is on the cover of this book, I feel like this was Will’s book. We learned so much about him and we finally get to see what happened to him five years ago. Honestly, I love Will, and even though I won’t completely excuse the gross things he said at the end of Clockwork Angel, I understand him and appreciate him. (If only I could feel the same about Jace! Lord, help me!)

Charlotte Branwell – So happy for her! I honestly love how determined she is for herself, but also how proud and supportive she is of her found family. I love this house mom, forever.

Henry Branwell – So happy for him! He’s alright, but I like him because Charlotte loves him!

Sophie Collins – Again, Sophie is an MVP for me in this book too. I really loved her in Clockwork Angel, and that love only grew in this one. I really hope she keeps remembering her worth, regardless of what happens with boys in higher stations. And I really hope she gets to become a Shadowhunter or something, because she’s just lovely, and brave, and I feel so much joy every time I read a scene with her!

Benedict Lightwood – Please don’t be a dick, don’t be a dick, don’t be a dick.

Magnus Bane – Magnus, my Asian and bi baby, legit had me rereading paragraphs from laughing in this book. Seriously, such a fantastic character. And such a caring character, who just makes this world so much brighter. I’m looking so very forward to his novellas.

Camille Belcourt – So thankful that I read City of Fallen Angels, only because it made me appreciate everything that happened between Magnus and Will that made Camille tell Alec the things she believes. Like, friends, I was laughing out loud.

Jessamine Lovelace – This bitch. You all, I knew she was trouble, I just didn’t know how much. But I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest if she gets a redemption arc.

Nate Gray – Like, what a lame and pointless character. Seriously. But like, now I want to know everything about Tessa’s necklace.

Axel Mortmain – Where the fuck is this man? For real?

Like I said above, this is my favorite Cassie Clare to date! I just feel like this book took on a much darker and more mature theme, while also blending in some amazing adventure and all that good angst! I truly feel like the romance in this is one of my all-time favorites, and that’s really saying something. I just never wanted to put this book down, and I was always smiling (or crying) while reading it. This was nothing short of a treat to read.

The romance in this book was actually incredible. I kept complaining on bookstagram at 10%, 20%, 30%, 40%, that this isn’t a love triangle and that its so obvious that Tessa only feels platonically for Jem. Then after that 40% mark, my world completely shifted. Friends, this is one of my favorite love triangles of all time.

I will say that I can completely understand how people can see issue with Tessa maybe feeling obligated to start something with Jem because he is dying. And obviously that’s a really terrible position to be in and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, but I truly believed by the end of this book that Tessa does have genuine feelings for Jem. Even if I also believe with my entire heart that those feelings are stronger for Will.

“When she closed her eyes, she saw Jem’s face, and then Will’s, his hand to his bloody mouth. Thoughts of the two of them swirled together in her head until she fell asleep finally, not sure if she was dreaming of kissing one of them, or the other.”

You all are going to read this paragraph and you’re all going to be like “it’s not that deep, Melanie!” But I really do think that Clockwork Prince is a love letter to all the different types of love that we will have in our lives. From just friendships and wanting to support and love them unconditionally, and how magical it is when we find our own found family. To romantic love, which is that gut wrenching, pure bliss, that we don’t even have words to express, but how we don’t feel truly whole without those people/that person. And to all that messy love in-between. Even though I don’t feel the romantic love between Tess and Jem as much as I do between Tessa and Will, that doesn’t make the love lesser and it definitely doesn’t make it any less real.

“Could you really love two different people at once? Could you split your heart in half?”

And I believe with my whole heart that these three main characters should start a polyamorous relationship. These three individuals love each other so much that it just feels right, maybe even obvious, that they should be a triad or a vee. Because being in a polyamorous relationship doesn’t mean it has to be about sex. I mean, it could be, but it also means being there emotionally for your two partners, too. And even though I do believe that they should all be in a relationship with each other, they could also just both be in a relationship with Tessa and it would still be valid and pure and everything I’ve ever wanted. Cassie Clare, hear my prayers.

“I cannot explain love,” he said. “I could not tell you if I loved you the first moment I saw you, or if it was the second or third or fourth. But I remember the first moment I looked at you walking toward me and realized that somehow the rest of the world seemed to vanish when I was with you. That you were the center of everything I did and felt and thought.”

Okay, so something else I want to talk about is Tessa being a warlock! Like, Magnus is immortal, and we are seeing him constantly throughout The Mortal Instruments, but I’d just like to point out that I haven’t seen Tessa. So, friends, I’m scared. I’m real scared. I also know everyone talks about how heartbreaking the final book is, but I think it’s going to be even more heartbreaking than I’m anticipating.

Overall, I loved this book. Easily my favorite Cassie Clare book, yet! Again, I just want to say a big thank you to all for motivating me to pick this up, and for not spoiling me for anything. I can’t believe I’ve made it this long without being spoiled to anything, but it’s truly making my reading experience so much greater! And I can’t wait until I finally uncover every secret and can gush with you all forever over this world! I can’t wait to read Clockwork Princess, I just wish I didn’t have to read City of Lost Souls first!

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Content and trigger warnings for death, murder, loss of a loved one, talk of past torture, abandonment, talk of chronic illness, grey area consent of a kiss, grey area cheating, drug use, talk of suicide, and self-harm.

Buddy read with Amy at A Court of Crowns and Quills! ❤

Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1) by Cassandra Clare

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1.) City of Bones ★★★
2.) City of Ashes ★★
3.) City of Glass ★★★

“It’s all right to love someone who doesn’t love you back, as long as they’re worth you loving them. As long as they deserve it.”

Friends, I finally made it to your beloved Infernal Devices! And I really enjoyed this book. Easily my favorite Cassie Clare book yet! And this was hella darker than anything in the The Mortal Instruments thus far.

Clockwork Angel is the first installment set in the same world that Cassandra Clare has crafted. Yet, this trilogy is set in 1878 historical London, with heavy steampunk vibes, and murderous machines! But this book is also filled with humans, fae, shifters, vampires, warlocks, and the very beloved (or not so beloved, depending who’s talking about them) Shadowhunters!

And this book starts out with a young girl named Tessa, who is picking up her life and moving to England from America after the death of her Aunt. Her brother was already in London, so he sent for her so that they could start a new life together. Unfortunately, once Tessa’s ship comes into port, she is forcefully thrown into a hidden paranormal world that she never knew existed. Oh, and her brother is missing.

“People keep secrets, Tessa, sometimes even from the ones they love.”

And I really did have a super fun time while reading this. I honestly never wanted to put this book down. Yet, I will say that I think a lot of things were kind of obvious. Plus, let’s be real. Tessa feels a little like Clary, Will feels exactly like Jace, and Jem feels somewhat like Simon. The plot does feel recycled, just in a new and better setting, with a bigger and badder villain.

But as much as I will give credit to this author for giving rep in the 2000s that other authors didn’t have the guts to do, I did feel like I was side-eyeing all the Asian rep in this book. Yet, Magnus and Jem are my favorite characters, so take that with a grain of salt. I also really appreciate Jem’s disability representation, and I love how his character really makes readers think about uneducated addiction stereotypes. Seriously, super well done. Jem is the best boy.

And, just like all the rest of the books set in this world so far, I always feel like racism is at the forefront of this story. Apparently, words like “Downworlders” and “Mundanes” were used back in the 1800s too, and all these books really have a heavy emphasis on how we view people who are different from us. Like, the Shadowhunters are supposed to be the “good guys” who uphold the laws and values, but they are also completely classist and elitist. And we get to see it through Tessa’s eyes, who is experiencing this new world for the very first time.

“All your talk about Downworlders and how you don’t hate them. That’s all nothing, isn’t it? Just words. You don’t mean them. And as for mundanes, have you ever thought maybe you’d be better at protecting them if you didn’t despise them all so much?”

I also fell so hard and so fast for a few of these characters! And like I’ve done with every other book I’ve reviewed in this world, I’m going to do a quick, little breakdown with all my thoughts and feelings about the main characters.

Tessa Gray – I thought Tessa was just going to be a Shadowhunter, so when this book started, and we found out her power? Holy moly. I am in love! And like. Tessa is only 102 times a better main character than Clary. Seriously.

Will Herondale – Apparently all Herondales are just going to be assholes? Like, I know this book is almost ten years old, but I’m so over the hot then cold bad boy. Like, learn some respect, dude. I don’t care about your past, or whatever you’re hiding. Tessa deserves better.

Jem Carstairs – I WOULD DIE FOR THIS BOY! My biracial (Chinese and British) LOVE! Easily my favorite character that Cassie has ever written.

Charlotte Branwell – I wasn’t sure how I felt about Charlotte at first, but she really grew on me over the course of this book. She is the resident mom, and I approve.

Henry Branwell – I do like Charlotte’s husband less though. I mean, he’s fine, but just nothing special, I guess? Wow, I sound so mean.

Sophie Collins – Legit, this is probably my second favorite character in this book. From the first page she was on, I fell in love. Her backstory just stole my heart, and I want nothing but good things for this baby. Also, she has the best quote of the entire book.

Jessamine Lovelace – Someone kill this bitch immediately.

Camille Belcourt – Legit, I love Camille. I know I don’t know that much about her, but wow, she’s my new vampire queen. I need so much more!

Magnus Bane – The fact that Magnus is going to apparently be in all of these books? I love it. Seeing him appear was seriously a highlight for me. I have so much love for this bisexual warlock.

Alexei de Quincey – Like, I knew things weren’t going to be as they appeared. But I still enjoyed him as a villain way more than Voldemort Valentine.

“But that wasn’t what made her stare. He had the most beautiful face she had ever seen. Tangled black hair and eyes like blue glass. Elegant cheekbones, a full mouth, and long, thick lashes. Even the curve of his throat was perfect. He looked like every fictional hero she’d ever conjured up in her head. Although she’d never imagined one of them cursing at her while shaking his bleeding hand in an accusing fashion.”

Okay, in case I didn’t make my feelings clear on liking Jem more than Will, I figured I would talk a little bit more about it. First off, I honestly haven’t been spoiled for anything in this series (thank God), but I did know going in that this series has a love-triangle. Friends, if I didn’t know that, I would have never guessed that. I feel no chemistry between Jem and Tessa (it kills me to say this), even though I like Jem so freaking much more than Will. I feel like it’s super obvious that Tessa will eventually pick Will, and that they are going to be “soulmates” or whatever. But that’s fine; Jem and Sophie can get together in my dreams, okay? Okay!

Overall, this is my favorite Shadowhunters’ book to date. I completely fell in love with the Victorian London setting, and I truly came to love some of these characters. I know I’m also not going to be the first one to day this, but these books just feel magical. I honestly can’t wait to pick up City of Fallen Angels!

“…words have the power to change us.”

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Content and trigger warnings for abduction, captivity, torture, violence, scenes of people intentionally cutting each other for their blood, death, murder, and war themes.