And by that subtitle, I’m not referring to the characters falling in love on the first page, but to myself, falling in love with this trilogy from the very start! XD The story of Will, Jem and Tessa is well worth reading and involves evil automatons, explosive inventions, and the mystery of Tessa’s own past, all rolled into three delicious novels :-D.
The Infernal Devices (Clockwork Angel, Clockwork Prince, Clockwork Princess) are written by Cassandra Clare, the same author as The Mortal Instruments, but these are historical fiction instead of contemporary fiction. It’s amazing how deducting 100 years (these stories start in 1878) eliminates all the “objectionable material” I complained about in the original 6-part series! Magnus Bane is not flamboyantly gay or covered in glitter, the one character with questionable morals turns out to be a good man putting on a false front, and the characters aren’t jumping into bed together. In fact, the one “lovemaking” scene (if you can call it that) is purely implied and features zero details – plus, the characters happen to be facing imminent death and misery, so you’re desperate for them to have a small measure of happiness anyway. And the “ribald humor” of that era wouldn’t even be considered PG-13 by today’s standards; talk like “I seek scandal and low brow women” sounds amusing rather than crude.
It wasn’t just the that the story was clean and appropriate, however. I also loved the characters! Will is hilarious – clearly sarcasm is a Herondale family trait XD. Jem has a wonderfully steady and calm personality, in fact, I would have married himself! And Tessa was awesome. She’s a bookworm, like me! She’s also very practical – she can put her emotions aside and focus on what’s important at the time. I could relate to her far better than I ever could with Clary from The Mortal Instruments. Even the minor characters were adorable, such as Henry the absent-minded inventor and his penchant for setting things on fire, along with his wife, the indomitable Charlotte. (Plus, getting to see their marriage blossom was another fantastic aspect of these books!)
But my favorite part of this trilogy was probably how well-woven the love triangle was. This may in fact have been the best love triangle I’ve ever read! And I say that because the author did it right: none of the sneaking behind someone’s back or trying to talk someone out of an engagement like you might find in contemporary stories. This love triangle featured a deep sense of honor – there were no tricks or betrayal, all parties were honest and forthright in their commitments – there was only love that is and love that cannot be. And, thanks to the unique nature of immortal characters, both sides of the love triangle were able to be lived and enjoyed fully :-D.
I’m not sure I can fully express how much I loved and enjoyed this set of books. I find myself inspired to uphold the standards of a bygone era; even if it means going back in time by a century or more, these are the morals and ideals I want to read and write about. I will gladly recommend these novels to anyone without reservations, and in today’s world, that can be a challenge. I can only hope that others are able to say the same for my stories ;-).
What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments section!
Until the next time, keep reading!
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I have two passions: reading and writing. You can't write good stories without first reading good stories - that's my theory, anyway. So this is where I'll share with you the depth of those passions: background on what and why I write, as well as talking about the books that I read and how they impact my writing.