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.
Clockwork Prince is the second book in the Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare. The story picks up a few weeks from where Clockwork Angel leaves off, in London in the late 1800’s. I have to apologize in advance for any gushing I might do from here on out. This book was, hands down, the best book of 2011, in my opinion. I devoured it in one day. Clare has beautifully crafted this story and all of its components.
There is a plethora of conflicts raging in this installment. The residents of the London Institute are facing collective and personal demons throughout the story. From Magnus Bane to Charlotte and Henry, everyone has their hands full. Clare’s brilliant narrative is hilarious and heart-rending in turns. She writes with a depth that makes you feel you’re living the story as it unfolds. The places and people leap off the page with detail and vitality.
The characters are complex and real and (I think) they make the story. Magnus Bane is a welcome voice in the narrative, his wit, humor and compassion shining through in each scene. Will and Jem both show different sides of themselves to Tessa and we see her strength blaze as she learns more about this new world she’s been pulled into.
The third person narrative really helps the pace of the book. It’s a page-turner already and when you’re able to see inside each character’s point of view, it adds another layer to your reading experience. The twists in the plot are very well done and I know I didn’t see them coming. The end was both heartbreaking and exciting and I can’t wait for the next installment in this fantastic series.