Will. Jem. Tessa. Never did I think that these names would come to mean so much to me. I read this series on recommendation from a friend, but the friend in question only really enjoyed The Dark Artifices and just told me to read the rest of the books first so that I would be able to read those. As I sit here unable to comprehend that this series is actually over, I feel that I am going to have to disagree.
Normally I cannot stand books with this kind of plot because it is obvious who the main character is going to choose and it ends up with the reader either not caring about the other character or there is no real reason that the character makes the choice they do, often making the reader feel cheated out of their preferred outcome.
Cassandra Clare avoids all these things and crafts a story that truly makes it possible to want good things for everyone, and achieves this too. That is not to say that there is not heartbreak or pain in this novel. There is. But it serves to make the story stronger, not to weaken it with unnecessary conflict.
There are elements of this story which I had somewhat predicted after I read Clockwork Prince, but they were incorporated in ways that surprised me, and yet I was thankful for them. Although I do think Will and Tessa were more alike, I would not have wanted that to come as a default choice (The Hunger Games anyone?), and as much as I love Will, I also loved Jem as a character and I don’t think I would have been fully satisfied had what I originally predicted happened in the way I had thought it would. And the ending was everything.
The amazing thing about this series is that it really is a true triangle, but not a lopsided one which causes problems for everyone. Rather, it is a perfect equilateral triangle. Each point is equally connected to both the others. Even though Jem and Will’s bond is not the same as the one between each of them and Tessa. It is not any less important for it. Honestly, the connection between them was so pure and strong that at times it made me want to cry. This is not a story of Will and Tessa, or Jem and Tessa, or Will and Jem. It is the story of Will, Jem, and Tessa. William, James and Theresa. And I am just happy to have been able to read it.