Cassandra Clare proves yet again why she is the very best young adult writer in this second installment of the Infernal Devices series. Clockwork Prince is one of the best books I read this year. I did not want to put it down, yet it took me two weeks to read it because I was helping Shelley study for exams.
Tessa Gray is living and training at the London Institute thanks to her help in uncovering a plot meant to devastate the Clave's ranks. She is still grieving over her brother Nate's betrayal of her to the dangerous Magister, head of the Pandemonium Club. The club's goal is the destruction of the Nephilim through an army of clockwork soldiers who will one day be animated with demon energy. Tessa still seeks answers to her true parentage and identity: it is evident that she is a warlock in spite of the fact that she bears no demon mark. It seems there are several characters who know who and what she is, yet they speak to her about it in riddles. These questions about Tessa's parentage, who and how she was made, and what she actually is are ones I want answered in the third book. I have my theories! ;P
Two of the young Shadowhunters training at the institute share Tessa's heart. Jem, the silver-haired musician who is kind and brave, and the passionate Will who pushes everyone away with his stinging quips. Both Will and Jem are cursed with heartbreaking secrets that affect every decision each makes. They are also parabatai, which means that they are partners in battle. Shadowhunters can only have one parabatai ever, and the vow lasts a lifetime. Tessa is torn for her love for both of them, and I was stunned at where her heart takes her in this installment.
There is so much to love about this book: an amazing masked ball scene; a betrayal I did not see coming; fantastic literary quotes at the beginning of every chapter not to mention numerous literary allusions throughout; Magnus Bane's awesomeness; and Cassandra Clare's attention to detail in her descriptions of Victorian London. This book also has Steampunk coolness like the first one, and even Henry enjoys the victory of a successful invention that saves the day.
I hope you will read this series. The first book, Clockwork Angel, made my Best Books of 2010 list. You can read that post here.
Until next time...