Clockwork Prince – Cassandra Clare

Title: Clockwork Prince
Series: The Infernal Devices #2
: Cassandra Clare
Genre: YA, Fantasy
: December 6th, 2011 (Margaret K. McElderry Books)

: 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, but 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.


“They say time heals all wounds, but that presumes
the source of the grief is finite.”

Following the attack upon the London Institute, Charlotte’s position is in jeopardy for her recent missteps – going after DeQuincey, being duped by Nate and letting him get away with the pyxis – and the Clave gives her and Henry two weeks to capture Mortmain to keep her position as head of the London Institute. The Shadowhunters come across a lead that sends them to Yorkshire as they begin to unravel the secrets of Mortmain’s past. With Nate’s betrayal, Tessa is desperate to find out more about her parentage and the situation grows more perilous by the day as the Shadowhunters realize that one of their own has betrayed them.

Clockwork Prince is a more plot driven book as it dives into backstories and is focussed on character development – something I missed in the first book, wonderful as it was. As before, I found myself able to connect with the world of Shadowhunters much better in a historical setting – it just fits somehow. Even after The Dark Artifices which was just plain awesome, Chain of Gold, which I read earlier this month, set in the Edwardian era, had an entirely different feel that I loved, that of a book transporting you into another world and another time.

“Will has always been the brighter burning star,
the one to catch attention — but Jem is a steady flame,
unwavering and honest. He could make you happy.”

Tessa has changed quite a bit. She is no longer a damsel in distress figure as she grows more confident and comfortable in her powers. And Jem, with his quiet strength and steady nature, really comes to life in this book away from Will’s shadow, growing into a far more layered personality than I anticipated. Will and Tessa’s relationship is rather strained after his actions and they are avoiding each other, leading to Tessa growing closer to Jem, finding solace in their burgeoning friendship. Her attraction to Will is by no means gone though, regardless of his hurtful words. Learning about Will’s past was a big moment, and while it in no way completely excuses his appalling behaviour at the end of Clockwork Angel, it certainly explains it, and his situation is heart-breaking – more so when he figures things out later on and shows just how selfless he can be.

Jessamine’s betrayal was definitely not something I saw coming. She makes no secret of her dissatisfaction with the Shadowhunter ways, but it was surprising that she would go so far to build herself a normal, mundane life. The politics of the Clave was another interesting aspect in this book as Charlotte fights period-typical misogyny deeming her unfit of her position because of her gender. I was rather annoyed though, that very little happened relating to the search for Mortmain. I never thought I’d ever say this about a book, or atleast about a fantasy novel, but the romance is a huge part of why I love this series. I maintain that this is the best love triangle I’ve ever read – and even better, it’s one that’s impossible to predict. I decided not to even bother speculating, I’m just going to sit back and enjoy the beautiful, emotional roller coaster that this series is growing into.

Of course, even with all this drama going on, the story centres on finding Mortmain – and the biggest question (well, perhaps the second biggest now) of why exactly he wants Tessa and for what remains to be answered. As a plot driven book, Clockwork Prince is definitely slower paced, but it does have its share of action scenes, and the dialogue which ranges from witty and often amusing (usually Will, but Tessa has learnt to banter which I found very entertaining), to downright deep and heartfelt, keeps the story interesting. Overall, this was a wonderful sequel to Clockwork Angel, and after that cliffhanger ending, I have very high hopes for the sequel.

“God knows we’re all drawn to what’s beautiful and broken.”

Have you read this book? Let me know in the comments below!
Other reviews in this series:

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