Author: Cassandra Clare
Series: The Infernal Devices #2
Publisher: Walker Books
Date: December 2011
Genres: Historical Fiction, Steampunk
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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.
Cassandra Clare is officially an evil genious! I had high expectations for this book and I had presumed that I was going to enjoy reading it. But I ended up enjoying it far more than I expected. It simply is a superb follow up to Clockwork Angel (warning, spoilers for the first book ahead).
At the end of Clockwork Angel, the shadowhunters and Tessa were betrayed by Tessa’s brother Nate and failed to capture The Magister. In Clockwork Prince, it is decided by the Council that Charlotte is on her last chance at running the Institute and is subsiquently given 2 weeks to prove her worth by finding The Magister. A task which proves to be very difficult. And this is the main plot of the book. They follow leads which take them to various places such as Yorkshire and which introduces us to new characters. As with Clockwork Angel, this story has a nice steady pace to it and I was again really pleased with this. Cassandra has written in just enough action and adventure to keep the story from being too slow but we are also not overwelmed by too much of it.
There are some very good side plots woven into this installment too. Jessamine is noticably absent for much of the proceedings and is found to be sneaking out in the dead of night, Will is hiding a huge secret about his past and his family which gave us a few refreshing chapters from his point of view, and we are also introduced in more detail to the Lightwood brothers who are given the task of training Tessa and Sophie to fight (should the need arise). I very much enjoyed all these sub plots and felt they added great variety to the story line.
The love triangle is another great point to this book. We saw the beginnings of it in Clockwork Angel but Clockwork Prince kicks it up to a whole other level. On the one side we have kind, caring and fragile Jem who Tessa has become very close to and is starting to think that there may be more between them. And then on the other side there’s Will. After the horrible things he said to Tessa at the end of Clockwork Angel Tessa decides to keep out of his way and not get involved with him, but for some reason she is drawn to him and can’t seem to shake the feeling that he is keeping something from her about his true feelings. I wont say who she ends up with becuase I don’t want to spoil it but personally I was very pleased with her choice!
I think that I now definitely prefer this series to The Mortal Instruments. As much as I love The Mortal Instruments, I don’t think the characters in it are as good as The Infernal Devices characters. I feel more connected to Tessa, Will and Jem and I feel like I care more for the side charcters of this series than I do for The Mortal Instruments’ side characters. And also I think that the Victorian time period and the London setting of these books is a bit more interesting than that of the current day New York Mortal Instruments. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed Clockwork Prince. More than I thought I would given that it is a ‘middle’ book of a trilogy and I’m really looking forward to seeing how this all ends in Clockwork Princess next year. I have full faith in Cassandra Clare that she will bring this amazing series to an eipic conclusion!