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Trying to live a thousand lives...

Reviewer at Fantasy-Faction.com

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Clockwork Princess

Clockwork Princess - Cassandra Clare Clockwork Princess is the heartrending conclusion to The Infernal Devices trilogy and finally reveals the mystery of what Tessa is, what Mortmain's ultimate plan is, and the resolution to the love triangle that is Will, Tessa, and Jem. I really loved this final installment on a really great series, up until the ending...

**Spoiler alert if you haven't read the book yet!**

Will and Tessa share a lifetime together (at least Will's lifetime). Their love is described as an inspiration to others. It spoke of Will's complete and utter devotion and adoration of Tessa. Tessa, in turn, seems to be a very devoted wife. We know that Tessa meets with Jem yearly for only one hour without fail during this lifetime. Was Will aware? Would he have minded? What would their children have thought about that? After Will's death, she can no longer stand to lose any more of those she loves (since her lifespan is much, much longer), so she flees, leaving her children and grandchildren behind. Where does she go? To meet with Jem, who is now, miraculously and conveniently cured of his illness and addiction, and has another lifetime to spend and not as a Silent Brother (apparently, you can stop being a Silent Brother whenever you feel like it?). Tessa, without hesitation, asks him to spend it with her, because she has never stopped loving him this entire time. Talk about having your cake and eating it too....

I cannot help but feel angry on Will's behalf. He deserved so much more and so much better. Loving two people equally at the same time? Really? I believe that the saying, being lucky enough to find not one, but two loves in one lifetime, did not truly mean simultaneously. If Tessa had loved Will as much as Jem, she would not have been able to leave her children and grandchildren behind, who are all that she has left of Will. I also suspect that Will was unaware of her annual meetings with Jem. If he were, would he not have jumped at the opportunity to see his parabatai again himself, year after year, and not only at the usual rituals that require a Silent Brother? If both Will and Tessa had met with Jem year after year, it would not feel like such a betrayal of Will's love when Tessa and Jem got together later. But no, Will was lead to believe that Tessa loved him completely, just as he did her.

What if Tessa were a man? However noble and valiant and honorable this man would be (and I can't say Tessa is all these things), would his wife be perfectly happy knowing that his heart is equally in love with two separate woman at the same time? Would she be happy with only half his heart? Would any woman?

Despite all this, the book was really beautifully written. I could feel the heartbreak and pain that life brings through each of the characters' adversities. I just really, truly wish it ended differently, consistent with the themes of life that the rest of the book emphasized...that there is love and loss and savoring of precious moments, but that you move on, stronger for it. The heroine, in this case, was apparently above all that; she got to have it all.