Title: Clockwork Prince
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: December 6, 2011
Genre: Science Fiction/Steampunk
Format: ebook, hardcover, audio
Rating: 5 Lattes
Heat Level: Light Roast
True love is shrouded in secrets and lies in the enchanting second book in the #1 New York Times bestselling Infernal Devices Trilogy, prequel to the internationally bestselling Mortal Instruments series.
In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when it becomes clear that the mysterious Magister will stop at nothing to use Tessa’s powers for his own dark ends.
With the help of the handsome, tortured Will and the devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister’s war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal and fueled by revenge. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister knows their every move—and that one of their own has betrayed them.
Tessa is drawn more and more to Jem, though her longing for Will continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa answers about who she really is? As their search leads to deadly peril, Tessa learns that secrets and lies can corrupt even the purest heart.
First of all, the original cover for Clockwork Prince features the character who moves my heart and emotions every time his name is mentioned – James Carstairs aka Jem – so, the cover alone is enough to make me want to read. But, the book opens with Will seeking the help of Old Molly, a long dead woman who haunts an unconsecrated burial yard. He’s just begun his quest to break the curse he believes will kill anyone who is foolish enough to fall in love with him.
It is that journey that drives this book forward, and it is the moments in between that steal your breath.
What kept me reading (or didn’t).
Jem and Tessa have slowly but surely fallen in love while the rest of their world seems to be falling apart. There are too many events and revelations about Mortmain and his motivations to list, and we learn a little more about what Tessa actually is.
But while this series tells a story of a world the appears to be hurtling toward an end to Shadowhunters, and the background of mechanical automatons, demons, and the betrayal of family after family is written with enough detail you can hear the rattle and click of the gears, smell the rotting breath, and taste the bitter air surrounding 1870’s London, the real attraction of these books remains the intricate relationships and fragile emotions that brew between the characters.
Will, Jem, Tessa, Charlotte, Henry, Sophie, Gabriel, and Gideon are all familiar friends by now, and their reactions FEEL real and powerful. When they are joyful, angry, hurting, or broken hearted (The most frequent of emotions.) you are dragged into the moment with them.
Sometimes it’s a struggle for me to remember that these are NOT real people I’m reading about. The fantasy world should make it easier, but the things the characters wrestle with – honor, betrayal, love, hatred – are all very natural, real world reactions to what is happening around them. Reading these books is like reading old letters written by close friends.
This book, the second of the series, is extremely bittersweet. Jem and Tessa’s moments of happiness are shattered and tinted with Will’s struggle, and Will’s struggle is made easier knowing his Pārbati is happy.
I adore this series. There’s not much else I can say about it.
Quotes or Highlights
“Ah,” said a voice from the doorway, “having your annual ‘everyone thinks Will is a lunatic’ meeting, are you?
“It’s biannual,” said Jem. “And no, this is not that meeting.”
“They’re not hideous,” said Tessa.
Will blinked at her. “What?”
“Gideon and Gabriel,” said Tessa. “They’re really quite good-looking, not hideous at all.”
“I spoke,” said Will, in sepulchral tones, “of the pitch-black inner depths of their souls.”
Tessa snorted. “And what color do you suppose the inner depths of your soul are, Will Herondale?”
“Mauve,” said Will.”
“Demon pox, oh demon pox
Just how is it acquired?
One must go down to the bad part of town
Until one is very tired.
Demon pox, oh demon pox, I had it all along—
Not the pox, you foolish blocks,
I mean this very song—
For I was right, and you were wrong!”
“Will!” Charlotte shouted over the noise, “Have you LOST YOUR MIND? CEASE THAT INFERNAL RACKET! Jem—”
Jem, rising to his feet, clapped his hands over Will’s mouth. “Do you promise to be quiet?” he hissed into his friend’s ear.
Will nodded, blue eyes blazing. Tessa was staring at him in amazement; they all were. She had seen Will many things—amused, bitter, condescending, angry, pitying—but never giddy before.
Jem let him go. “All right, then.”
Will slid to the floor, his back against the armchair, and threw up his arms. “A demon pox on all your houses!” he announced, and yawned.
“Oh, God, weeks of pox jokes,” said Jem. “We’re in for it now.”
About the Author
Cassandra Clare is the author of the #1 New York Times, USA TODAY, Wall Street Journal, and Publishers Weekly bestselling Mortal Instruments series and the Infernal Devices trilogy, and coauthor of the Bane Chronicles with Sarah Rees Brennan and Maureen Johnson. She also wrote The Shadowhunter’s Codex with her husband, Joshua Lewis. Her books have more than 36 million copies in print worldwide and have been translated into more than thirty-five languages. Cassandra lives in western Massachusetts. Visit her at CassandraClare.com. Learn more about the world of the Shadowhunters at Shadowhunters.com.