“Clockwork Prince” by Cassandra Clare is the second book in the Infernal Devices Series. The more I read Cassandra Clare, the more I admire what she has created. The Infernal Devices Series takes place in the same universe as the Mortal Instruments Series, but about one hundred and fifty years in the past. I was once again swept away by Cassandra Clare’s words.
SPOILER ALERT – There are some spoilers regarding the first book of this series “Clockwork Angel”
Diving once again into the world of Shadowhunters and other magical forces, “Clockwork Prince” picks up shortly after the first book ended. We know that Nathan was the cause of Tessa’s initial capture and subsequent torture by the Dark Sisters. We know that Mortmain is the one with evil plans in the works, but his motivation and location is unknown. And as she continues to live at the institute, Tessa is working towards understanding who or what she is while helping out as much as possible.
Tessa is a great character. In the first book she discovers that she is not 100% human and has this gift that the Dark Sisters forced her to embrace. Then when she is saved from them and brought to the institute, Tessa tries her best to be helpful and use the gift for good. She goes above and beyond what anyone would ask of her and for entirely selfless reasons. Plus, she’s an avid reader and to me that makes her remarkably relatable.
There is a love triangle that comes to light between Tessa, Jem, and Will. Despite the attraction that Tessa feels towards Will, he has verbally attacked her so many times that she refuses to allow any fantasizing about him. Unbeknownst to her, Will is struggling with his feelings for her as well, not believing that he could love her without putting her in mortal danger. Then Tessa’s friendship with Jem slowly blossoms into more and Tessa is left wondering how it is that her (self-proclaimed) plain features could possibly attract the attentions of one man, let alone two. “She hated that Will had this effect on her. Hated it. She knew better. She knew what he thought of her. That she was nothing, worth nothing. And still a look from him could make her tremble with mingled hatred and longing. It was like a poison in her blood, to which Jem was the only antidote. Only with him did she feel on steady ground.” (Clockwork Prince, pg 35). On the one hand, I can’t help but want things to work out between Tessa and Will. The way that their relationship developed in the first book built up that expectation. But his behavior towards Tessa is too awful and she finds herself leaning towards Jem, who is a wonderful character that we know is doomed to die young. It is hard to cheer for a relationship that is pretty much guaranteed to have an unhappy ending. All the while, there are much bigger things going on in this magical world that Tessa has to prioritize. There were so many interesting things going on in this book; it was a real page-turner.
Would I recommend this book? Yes, I think this is a great series for anyone interested in fantasy young adult. Even if you don’t usually gravitate towards fantasy, this book is so entertaining that I think most people would find themselves swept away by Cassandra Clare’s words. I look forward to reading the next and final book in the series and I’m excited to devour whatever else Cassandra Clare writes next.