Publication Date: December 6, 2011
Type: Hardcover, bought
In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa's powers for his own dark ends.
With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister's war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move and that one of their own has betrayed them.
Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, though her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will; the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?
As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart.
I didn't cry, but I was close.
Man, I really did not expect it to be the love triangle. Deceit, imminent death, actual death, end of the world, those I was prepared for. I didn't think the love triangle was the heart-breaker.
And that, that right there, is probably why it's so completely and utterly fantastic. So often, love triangles are simply a plot device. Something to cause drama, waste pages. And often, it's clear from the start who's the favored of the two. One of the reasons I'd never been a fan of the TMI love triangle was that it's so painfully obvious. Clary never cared for Simon that way. It was always Jace. Without question.
But that's not the case here. That's not the case here, and it never will be, because Tessa loves them both so, so much, and they love her as much if not more, and they love each other, making this one of the few true love triangles in existence. Perhaps they don't love each other that way, but it doesn't really matter, does it? Because it's still the cause of all the heartbreak. There was no real sadness in the love triangle of TMI--Simon wanders merrily into his new love dilemmas, Jace and Clary have their happily ever after, etc. etc.
And we all know that can't happen here.
Because they both love her, but they both love each other so much that they could never willingly cause one another harm; that they'll sacrifice their own happiness for one another, even if it means everything.
Unlike so many love triangles, there is no happy ending to be found here. Either way the scale tips, everyone's hearts will be crushed, and mine will go with them. It's a horribly sad thought, to be honest; that no matter how Tessa ends this story, she and her partner will be haunted by the memory of a third. There's no simple happily-ever-afters in a love triangle as real or painful as this, and as much as it kills me, kills them, I applaud Cassie Clare for that. I applaud her.
I'm going to be crying in Clockwork Princess. That I can assure you.
P.S. I didn't think she could excuse the assholian behavior, but she did it, goddamnit. She did it.