Beware, there are spoilers in here!
Having read and loved Clockwork Angel and Clockwork Prince, I had high hopes for the final instalment in the trilogy, Clockwork Princess.
Alas, I found the first 200 or so pages rather dull and I just couldn’t get into it. I found the Prologue to be quite good, I admit, as it was nice to get a little more insight into Jem and Will’s first meeting – and of course reading about Aloysius Stark was interesting too, as you can really understand why he turned out to be rather hateful.
But after the Prologue, I felt the book was taking far too long to get anywhere, and not all that much was happening. When Gabriel arrived to say “Father is a worm” I had hoped that that would not only lighten the book up – we all know what Will is like, especially around Gabriel! – but would also bring us an interesting fight. But I was wrong. Will didn’t seem to act as he usually would, and yes I understand he was still angry about his sister being there and over Jem and Tessa, but still… He’s Will Herondale. Disappointment in Will’s wit aside, I at least hoped that any fighting upon reaching the Lightwood Manor would be somewhat interesting and a good read, but although it was a prolonged fight, it didn’t interest me to read. I found myself skimming it and only picking up on anything mildly important – mainly, the message left by Benedict Lightwood on the wall inside.
I read through it rather absently, not really finding anything that made me laugh or even saddened me. It all just seemed similar. Chapters 6 and 7 started to pick up a little – but bearing in mind, this is over 100 pages in – and then dropped slightly, although I was certainly more interested. I kept reading a few more chapters, before I had to give up because I was just so bored of it.
Then, at about 10pm, I picked it up again and decided I wouldn’t put it down again until it was finished – no matter what. So I continued on from where I had left off, feeling hopeful. And I was not disappointed. Clockwork Princess had finally started to live up to my expectations left after reading its predecessors. There were multiple moments from page 216 onwards that had me laughing, crying, wanting to scream, and – more often than not – all three at once!
The scene that upset me the most was this one:
“With wet hands he seized at his lapels and jerked the shirt open. In the dim light that spilled from the inn, he could see that his parabatai rune, just over his heart, was bleeding.
His hands were covered in blood, blood mixed with rain, the same rain that was washing the blood away from his chest, showing the run as it began to fade from black to silver, changing all that had been sense in Will’s life into nonsense.
Jem was dead.”
I said that I didn’t plan to put this book down until I had finished it, but this one scene – that last line, really – changed that. I had to put the book down, and take my glasses off, before burying my head into my duvet cover just to muffle my cries of despair. Honestly, I don’t know who I was despairing for most – Will, Tessa, or myself. I feel that Will, Tessa, and myself would have been affected similarly by that line, as they both loved Jem and had actually spent time with him, and I loved him too – just not to the extent of Will and Tessa!
As much as Will/Tessa has always been my favourite pairing of the books, I was rather annoyed at how soon they got together after Tessa heard of Jem’s death. Yes, Will and Tessa both loved each other, even though Tessa loved Jem too, but that’s no excuse for crying over the loss of your fiancé, and then a few hours later getting off with someone else. Fair enough they thought it was likely they would die – well, Will at any rate – in the morning, but that is just not the way to deal with it, even if you do love each other!
Another thing that irked me in the book was the layout of the letters. The first one appeared at the end of Chapter 1, and I at first thought it was a continuation of what had been happening on the previous page, so I was extremely confused. It would have been much easier to understand if, after Cyril’s “‘The second carriage is now ready,’ he said. ‘Who’ll be coming, then?’”, a * had been used, just to show that what came next was NOT a continuation of that. I got used to it as I proceeded through the book, but it just looked slightly untidy with sudden bursts of letters.
Despite my disappointment in the beginning of the book, the layout of the letters, and the manner in which Tessa and Will got together, I did find this book to be most enjoyable. The last 100 pages or so were just brilliant, and made me so happy, yet at the same time so sad. I love books that can make me feel for the characters, and this book did just that. I described this book to my friend as being “heartbreakingly wonderful” and I feel that is an apt description – it broke my heart, so many times, but at the same time it was wonderful, and broke my heart so wonderfully too!