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Radiant Shadows

Clockwork Princess (Infernal Devices)

Clockwork Princess - Cassandra Clare Clockwork Princess has so much going for it – action, suspense, a beautifully tragic love triangle – but while I found myself enjoying the playful banter of familiar characters, I also found myself bored of professions of love and anxious for what I assumed would be an action-packed ending. And when I reached the ending, I realized that it was absolutely perfect. And I hated it for it.So, to be completely honest, this review is mostly going to center around the ending of Clockwork Princess. Most everything that occurred up until the ending was predictable, yet enjoyable. I loved watching the various relationships grow, seeing Mortmain’s secrets unfold and finally learning the secrets to Tessa’s past. The tension surrounding Jem’s failing health and Will’s growing feelings for Tessa was palpable and having Cecily and Gabriel as new-ish characters added moments of unexpected humor and surprisingly touching loneliness.And then the dreaded ending happened. Or, should I say, began to unfold. And this is where the spoilers start: final warning.Throughout the vast majority of Clockwork Princess, it was like Jem was preparing his goodbyes. He asked for his friends to cease their search for a cure because he had made peace with death, and was ready to move on. I was ready for him to move on. But because no one was allowed to die in Clockwork Princess (I’m not joking – none of the major players die!), in his final moments, Jem becomes a Silent Brother. More on that in a bit.Meanwhile, Will has been holding back his feelings for Tessa, out of respect for her engagement to Jem. He even went so far as to say that even when Jem dies, he won’t be able to be with her.If Jem dies, I cannot be with Tessa,” said Will. “Because it will be as if I were waiting for him to die, or took some joy in his death, if it let me have her. And I will not be that person. I will not profit from his death.So imagine my surprise that the day after he believes Jem has died, since he feels the sever of their Parabatai connection, he sleeps with Tessa.And then there’s Tessa. Truly in love with both boys, I almost felt like she was looking forward to Jem’s passing so the decision would be made for her. While I never doubted her feelings for Jem, I also doubted she would have remained loyal to him had Will made a move on her. Which, I guess, mostly happened the night they slept together.I could have found a way to justify both of these situations. Jem suddenly realized he didn’t want to die young, and sought out the Silent Brothers as a last resort. Will and Tessa truly believed that it was their last night alive, and so they acted on their pent up emotions and worked through their grief by being intimate with each other.BUT THEN. Clare had to take everything one step further. As Jem leaves the Institute for the last time, having given both Tessa and Will his blessing, Will immediately begins to court Tessa. It’s a couple weeks later before they’re engaged. The epilogue speaks to their success and happy marriage. This is all great right? We have an answer – Tessa ends up with Will! Wrong. Years after Will’s death (due to his old age), Tessa is waiting to meet with Jem at the bridge where they first kissed, like she has met him every year since he became a Silent Brother. Except when Jem shows up, he’s no longer a Silent Brother – he’s back to being her Jem. A cure has been found, and he can live a full life – with her – if she’ll have him. Which, of course, she accepts.Tessa literally got to have her cake, and eat it too. (I hate this expression, I mean, why wouldn’t you eat your cake if you had it? But it’s fitting, so whatever).And all I could think was, you have got to be kidding me.