Clockwork Princess: Infernal Devices, Book 3 Book Poster Image

Clockwork Princess: Infernal Devices, Book 3



Enthralling trilogy conclusion tugs at the heartstrings.
Parents recommend

What parents need to know

Educational value

Introduces readers to the Victorian era. Also teaches kids about classic literature and poetry, with quotes from writers such as Lord Tennyson and Shakespeare. Gives insight to Mandarin folklore and the Welsh language.

Positive messages

It's far better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. people should look beyond labels and see others for who they really are. Love comes in all shapes and colors; it's a universal language that conquers prejudices.

Positive role models

The men in Clockwork Pricesss model loyalty and commitment. And the female characters portray strength and independence.


Clockwork Princess includes many battle scenes. The Shadowhunters slay a giant worm, and an army of automatons destroys an entire village and all the people in it, along with a few of the major characters. People are stabbed, dismembered, and engage in fistfights.


Passionate kissing, and a 17-year-old couple has sex.


The word "idiot" is used several times.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Jem must take a drug called Yin Fen to stay alive.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Clockwork Princess is more violent than the previous two installments in the Infernal Devices fantasy trilogy.  The Shadowhunters slay a giant worm, and an army of automatons destroys an entire village and all the people in it. People are stabbed, dismembered, and engage in fistfights. But, the most painful piece of this jigsaw puzzle is the three main characters' love triangle. There's passionate kissing, undressing, and a teen couple has sex.

What's the story?

CLOCKWORK PRINCESS is the final installment in the Infernal Devices trilogy. Tessa Gray, now 17 years old, is living in London with her adopted family of Shadowhunters. Not only is she continuing her path of self-discovery, but she is also engaged to the selfless and compassionate Jem. Regrettably, Jem is living with a fatal disease and his days are numbered. The couple decides to rush their wedding date so they can enjoy whatever time they have left together in wedlock. Plans go terribly awry when a carriage full of automatons pulls into the institute and kidnaps Tessa. The evil Magister will stop at nothing to use Tessa's shape-shifting powers for his own benefit. His objective: to eliminate all of the Shadowhunters in the world. Questions are finally answered in this concluding installment, along with the truth about why it's better to be mere mortal than to experience life everlasting.

Is it any good?


CLOCKWORK PRINCESS is a fantastic book that will pull at your heartstrings from beginning to end. The love triangle between Tessa, Jem, and Will becomes so painful at times that readers may want to send the book flying across the room. This just shows that Cassandra Clare is an enthralling storyteller whose readers will become emotionally invested in her plot and characters.

Clockwork Princess is wildly imaginative as it examines themes of marriage, family, dictatorship, and democracy. Characters grow to learn that true love is blind, sometimes your strongest family is the one you choose for yourself, and what happens to a society when citizens do not question their leader.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the Infernal Devices trilogy. Are you satisfied by the conclusion? Why do you think fantasy series are so popular? 

  • Discuss the type of government that the Nephilim are. Which countries do you think they're modeled after? Does the Magister remind you of any existing or previous world leaders? If so, who?

  • What makes the main characters' love triangle so compelling yet so difficult to read about?

Book details

Author:Cassandra Clare
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Princesses and fairies, Adventures, Monsters, ghosts, and vampires
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Margaret K. McElderry
Publication date:March 19, 2013
Number of pages:592
Publisher's recommended age(s):14 - 17
Available on:Paperback, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, Kindle

This review of Clockwork Princess: Infernal Devices, Book 3 was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

Top advice and articles

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 17 years old Written bydanceofdeath April 14, 2013

My Opinion

[ SPOILERS ] I was hooked on the series ever since it came out. I read the last book in one day, yesterday actually, and I was a bit disappointed. For one, I thought that the general plot was good, action-y, attention grabbing, etc.. Just like all of Cassandra's books, but I found the book fast paced and off.. It was just a bunch of words smashed together and I didn't really think things actually came together til the epilogue, but still, the ending wasn't as satisfying as I thought it would be and it was a bit cliche.. The main character, Tessa was caught between two boys who were best friends, James and William, both extreme opposites. At the end of the last book 'Clockwork Prince' Tessa and James were engaged to get married, shortly before William admits his love for Tessa after her realizes that he is not truthfully curses (long story) and that the people he loves will not die. Tessa rejects him, and that simple fact was enough for me to throw the book against the wall and never look at it again but I keep reading it anyway, possibly because of my obsession? Anyway, Clockwork Princess came out and I didn't get the chance to buy it and read it until recently. Here are my thoughts: The book was far more mature than the past book of the same series and was certainly not what I expected. First off, Tessa who is usually not reckless or stupid decides that she wants to go and sleep with William, her fiance's best friend while she is still engaged to him because she thinks he's dead! Secondly, after that happens there is nothing to wait for in the series because suddenly, heartless, loveless and misunderstood William is head-over-heels in love with beautiful Tessa who shouldn't love such a 'bad boy' but does and stops caring. Once that happens, the book became uninteresting to me and I did not want to read it. Tessa is no longer innocent and after that, most of the things she says to Will are dirty or suggesting after she gets over the awkwardness. Plus, I think that the sexual themes are inappropriate for the age audience and if I had kids, I wouldn't want them to be reading it. Not to mention, as I said before, the overload of cliche ideas and endings. That's just my opinion. Other than that, the book has an overall good message about moving on and there are some educational values.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 17 years old Written byabbacus April 5, 2013

Wow, Wow, Wow!!!!!!

This book was so amazing!!! It was a spectacular conclusion to The Infernal Devices trilogy! I have never felt more satisfied with a final book in a series than I did with Clockwork Princess! This book is very heart-wrenching. I seriously can't count how many times I cried, and the Epilogue at the end of the book left me bawling like a baby. My favorite thing about this whole series is the characters. Other than ridiculously strong female roles, the bond between Will and Jem is so incredible and it really shows in this book especially. I can't wait for book 6 of The Mortal Instruments, now. I love that these two amazing stories of Clare's are somewhat intertwined in each other. I am very exited to see how this all wraps up. I don't want TMI to be over, though. :( I am highly anticipating Clare's next series, The Dark Artificies, too. I have something to look forward to with that! I don't want the Shadowhunter books to ever stop coming! For parents - this book is pretty violent and fairly bloody, lots of deaths (of major and minor characters), constant peril, kissing, and a young couple have sex, a characters life depends on a drug they take, and some mild language. I could talk all day about how fantastic this book is, but that won't do you any good, so just go read it right now! If you haven't read any of Clare's work you are missing out on some seriously great literature. Do yourself a favor and get reading! (:
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Teen, 15 years old Written bytessa_gray April 9, 2013

Perfect Conclusion

This book is the perfect conclusion to the amazing Infernal Devices series, and both Jem and Will fans will be satisfied. I would recommend this series to all, and have!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Star Wars Guide