Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Young Quills Review

Last updated: 20th November 2015

1. Mortmain plans to destroy the Shadowhunters. He needs only one last thing to complete his plan - Tessa. Will and Jem, the boys who lay equal claim to her heart, will do anything to save her...

The book opens with the prologue set in York in 1847 which then jumps to London 1873. The two sections are not linked until three quarters of the way through the book. This immediately draws in the audience to find out how they are linked and what their significance is. From Chapter 1 onwards, the book stays set in London until half way through where a main character travels to Wales. The first impressions of the book suggest that there will be quite a lot of drama as a little girl is in agony (we later find out that she died) and a boy has only a few years to live. Also, they highlight that this won't be any ordinary book: "He turned, took aim, and let the knife fly." This quote describes a twelve year old boy being allowed to practice throwing knives. Obviously, normal children would never be allowed to touch knives never mind be encouraged to throw them, clearly demonstrating that these characters will not be ordinary. From the prologue the audience think that they can predict what is going to happen however they are mistaken as the author puts in a huge twist at the end.

No one could deny that the characters in this brilliant read are extremely interesting. From reading the book you develop an attachment to the characters, you feel their pain, sorrow, anger and love. There are three main characters; Jem, Tessa and Will. Tessa is the most important of the three as she is the key to destroying and saving the shadowhunters. Most of the book is from Tessa's point of view but it does read from other people's perspectives, including the less important ones. Some people can relate to Tessa - loving two people and them loving you back - but everyone can feel the conflict inside her and understand the hard choices she must make. Throughout the book, Tessa's personality doesn't change much aside from seeming like a helpless girl but turning out to be able to fend for herself - unlike Will. Will starts off as grumpy and moody boy and locks everyone out however he does develop into a caring, thoughtful man. Jem changes physically a few times but his personality is always the same - caring, loving and kind. You see Jem change from sickly to healthy and back again then to a completely new state - a Silent Brother, which is completely unexpected.

Although we know that demons and shadowhunters do not exist, the book is still very gripping and in a way, believable. Being a fantasy book, it is hard to make the story seem real however Cassandra still manages to grip her audience and make it seem as though the shadow world does exist, we just can't see it. As mentioned earlier, there is a huge twist at the end, causing Tessa extreme pain and placing tension between every one of the shadowhunters - especially the three main characters. The book in general is easy to understand and follow despite the sections which are not explained and fully understood until the end.

One of the best features of the book is that the audience undoubtedly becomes really attached to the characters quite literally to the point of crying! Personally I found that my favourite part was when Jem was revealed as a Silent Brother. This affected everyone in the book and made life for Tessa and Will just that little bit harder. Once again, the audience could feel the emotions rushing through the main characters and yes, once again, I did cry.

Despite being set in the 19th century, this book isn't very historical except for the occasional mention of old books and historic locations. However, it is historically accurate. For example, Will had to travel to Wales from London by horse and got saddle sore, which was common in those days.

The moral of the story is that good always triumphs over evil against all odds as long as you stick to your guns. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I would definitely recommend this book to people who like fantasy books, conflict or tragic love stories (teens in particular).

By Jenny

2. Clockwork Princess is the last in the stunningly imaginative and hugely popular Infernal Devices trilogy.  Clare's elaborate writing style fits the period mood of the stories but the supernatural demons and warlocks dominate the historical elements of the Shadowhunter worlds Clare has built up so carefully.   By this concluding  part in the ‘gothic ‘ trilogy readers have become so engrossed in the characters that the attention focuses firmly on the plot  twists, the characters and the resolution of the love triangle making this, for us, a romantic rather than a historical read.   

By Cramlington Learning Village, Northumberland