Title: Clockwork Prince (Infernal Devices #2)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Goodreads Synopsis: 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.
WOW WOW WOW. I still cannot believe how long it took me to read this series because it is phenomenal. Seriously. 10/10 would recommend. I understand why people call Cassandra Clare the Queen of Trilogies (Is that a thing? It should be.) because this book was the perfect arc. There were many major plot points that were wrapped up in this book, but many other story lines that were introduced or left with loose ends for the next book. Clare finagled these novels to be just satisfying enough to make me feel like we were making progress, but enticed me enough to read the next book. (Needless to say, I downloaded Clockwork Princess immediately after finishing this one.)
Due to the events in Clockwork Angel, Charlotte is threatened to be removed as head of the London Institute unless she and her merry band of lost boys/girls can discover what the Magister is planning and capture him. Not to be deterred, the Shadowhunters dive into the Clave archives to search for clues to the Magister’s past. This prompts them to go on a wild goose chase to Scotland, during which they discover Will’s family living in the Magister’s home. We find out that Will abandoned his family because he was cursed by a demon when he was younger, which explains a lot about his character. (Not that being cursed entitles one to be an asshole… It doesn’t. FYI.)
Will’s curse was so incredibly heartbreaking, because all throughout the first novel we can tell how much he loves and longs to be with Tessa, but when he has an opportunity to tell her how he really feels, he craps on her feelings like a pigeon on a car. At first I thought he was just being a massive douche canoe, as per Herondale protocol. But it turns out that he was cursed by a demon that he released from a pyxis in his father’s office, the curse being that everyone who loved him would die. First of all… what the damn hell? If I was a Shadowhunter raising a mundane family I would not keep a demon-box in my house… much less a place my 12 year-old son could find it. Second of all, the first rule about being told you shouldn’t touch something is to touch the thing as soon as physically possible. Hence, demons getting released into the wild like doves at weddings. (#birdimagery) Second of all, Will doesn’t strike me as an idiot but it was so obvious that the curse was fake. Not only that, but did he really think that no one loved him? Charlotte and Jem’s love for Will just poured off of the pages, and he didn’t think it was odd that they were still alive? Will’s feelings for Tessa prompt him to start looking for a cure to his curse. Probably something he should have done years ago, but slow and steady wins the race I suppose. Magnus Bane is his less than willing partner on this escapade, helping Will summon demons so he can find the one who cursed him so it can be lifted.
While Will is questing, Jem is wooing Tessa. Tessa and Jem get much closer than they were in the first book, but I still have Jem taking grenades in the middle of the friend-zone. Tessa ends up with feelings for both guys, and this results in a love-triangle. (Gag.) Even though I hate love-triangles, I was more or less fine with this one. Tessa has good reasons to want to be with either guy, or neither. But we have to remember that boys aren’t cake, you can’t have it and eat it too. Tessa is back and forth between the two guys throughout the entire novel and it was exhausting. All I wanted was for her to figure out that Will is the love of her life, but Jem proposes to Tessa right before Will is able to tell her how he feels. And I was YELLING. If you read my Clockwork Angel review, you know how hard I ship Will and Tessa, so you can imagine my annoyance when she accepted his proposal. Tessa and Jem’s relationship seems to be more out of pity than actual love. Tessa knows that Jem is dying and feels like she can’t turn him down because he loves her and she wants to make him happy. However, she spends most of their engagement pining after and worrying about Will. She still displays feelings for Jem, but they aren’t as strong as the ones she has for Will. (Despite the way he has treated her.)
While this is happening, the Shadowhunters are betrayed by one of their own to the Magister. Shocking, but not that shocking when you think about who it is. (It’s Jessamine, FYI.) Jessamine is the most tragic character in the series in my opinion. When we meet her, she is an orphan with little to no knowledge of the Shadowhunter world. She has lived her entire life as a mundane, and now has to conform to a completely different set of rules and standards. She sees herself as trapped, forced into this world she never asked to be a part of and is willing to do anything she can to escape. This escape finally comes in the form of Nathaniel Gray, who has ulterior motives of his own. Even when she is betraying her friends and the people who have taken her in and cared for her, she sees herself as doing it for love. She loves Nate, and is willing to sacrifice what she can to be with him. The revelation that he doesn’t love her is heartbreaking because she ends up with nothing. This doesn’t justify her actions by any means, but it would be worth it if she got something out of it.
Another laugh out loud, spell-binding book from Cassandra Clare. Stay tuned for my Clockwork Princess review!