Welcome – or welcome back – to my little happy space in the internet. I’m stepping back into Tessa Gray’s Victorian London today to review book two in The Infernal Devices part of the Shadowhunters world, Clockwork Prince. Being reunited with Tessa, Will and Jem was like being back with old friends again, and although I’ve told myself that I won’t be reading the next book until April, having finished this one on 3rd March, it’s a hard battle to fight against myself because I so want to read book three.
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.
I really enjoyed Clockwork Angel, but Clockwork Prince was another level of book. There was the usual level of adventure and intensity that I’ve come to expect with Cassandra Clare’s work, but this book reminded me more of what she achieved with The Red Scrolls of Magic than in the first three Mortal Instruments (City of Bones, City of Ashes and City of Glass). The level of humor and emotional intensity that is balanced out made it a hugely engaging book, full of characters that are loveable and beautiful and broken.
The fact we had more moments with Magnus was something I loved too. I mentioned how much I loved him not just on Shadowhunter Saturday, but also in my top Characters of 2020. He offers little glimpses of advice and kindness to Tessa just as before, but works especially to assist Will in his search for a particular demon. We get glimmers of some of the moments he mentions in Red Scrolls and meeting the head of the London warewolf pack was also really interesting, especially in his connection to Magnus.
Will was so cruel to Tessa at the end of Clockwork Angel, and to finally find out why he has behaved the way he has, and to also see him witness the consequences of how he has behaved was both beautiful and painful, just as we’ve come to expect from the Shadowhunters books. Tessa feels her heart torn in two, between the gentle constant kindness of Jem and the heat of the fire that Will burns with.
It was a fantastic middle book of a trilogy and I’m hugely excited for Clockwork Princess. As part of the Shadowhunter Saturday’s I’m doing with Ellie and Fiona, I’ll next be reading City of Fallen Angels, and I’m just so excited to see if there are any more crossovers the further we go into the series.