Book Review: Clockwork Prince
Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices #2)
By: Cassandra Clare
Published By: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication Date: December 2011
Page Count: 498
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
Audience: Young Adult - Fantasy
I'm officially crowning Clockwork Prince my favourite Cassandra Clare book! This is story-telling at its finest. Brilliantly, Cassandra has weaved an intricate new plot into the ongoing strategic battle with Mortmain, the self-proclaimed Magister. In this installment of The Infernal Devices trilogy, it is Charlotte's ultimate charge to find out where Mortmain is hiding and anticipate what his next move will be... all the while she is struggling to keep The Institute in her control versus handing it over to the seemingly power-hungry Benedict Lightwood.
Clockwork Prince uncovers a few more gems in the general story arc. We learn about what is driving Mortmain's revenge against the Shadowhunters and it is a deeply personal one. We get a few more clues into what exactly Tessa is (and my mind is still grinding away like clockwork gears with theories). And we also learn why Will is such a troubled young man and why he pushes people away who have come to care for him despite his weakening efforts.
All the characters have really evolved to become amongst my favourites of all the books I've read.
Tessa, in my opinion, is an inspiring heroine. She has become a stronger person for all she's been through thus far. She's courageous and smart... and who knew she could be funny, too! She's also forgiving, and that is put to the test often enough. Even though she hasn't admitted it to herself, Tessa has truly become a part of the "family" at The Institute, which is a good thing seeing as she feels quite abandoned by the loss of her parents, her Aunt Harriet and the betrayal of Nate. She and Sophie are both being trained to fight and she's always in the thick of one adventure after another with both Will and Jem by her side.
I loved Jem in Clockwork Angel and continue to love him in this book. Despite his illness, he's strong in heart, mind and body. He's the calm, cool and collected one of this parabatai duo... although that is put to the test at times, and we also see his vulnerable side despite his best efforts at hiding it. He is a gentleman through and through... but I must say that I loved how Jem became much more 'demonstrative' with his feelings towards Tessa. There's no question in my mind how he feels about her.
And then there's Will. I have to admit that I just couldn't reconcile my feelings for Will in Clockwork Angel, but that is because we didn't know him all that well... we only got hints and brief glimpses into what goes on in his mind. But in Clockwork Prince... we learned why Will was so cruel at times, and my heart went out to him. He is understandably miserable in not allowing himself to show those around him whom he does care for how he really feels and becomes desperate in seeking an answer that will free him, and as he uncovers those truths, the wall he has built around himself is slowly crumbling... letting Tessa, and US, in.
I can see why Tessa is so torn. This has got to be the hardest, most agonizing, heart-breaking and truly legitimate love triangle I have ever read and it's so integral to the story. Both Jem and Will are in love with Tessa. And each relationship is very different from the other. Tessa and Jem's relationship is easy and loving, born out of friendship. And with Tessa and Will, while their feelings are still sorting themselves out as truths come to light, that "thing" between them is undeniably strong. It's like their souls just know they are meant for each other. And that common love for books and poetry is a tie that also binds them...as they are both passionate about all things written.
The anticipation that it will not end well for at least one of them has me incredibly anxious because I've come to care for all of them and want to see each with a happy outcome. I have no idea how Cassandra will resolve this in Clockwork Princess.
I already adored several of the other characters in this series but more so in this book... especially Charlotte. Charlotte, despite her diminutive frame, is a LARGE character. Even though she is young herself, she is sort of the matriarch of the London Institute and this patchwork-family of Shadowhunters. She had to make some difficult decisions, and we saw her vulnerabilities sometimes get the better of her... but that's what I loved about her. And there was one particular scene between Charlotte and Henry that was just beautiful!
A couple of other things worth mentioning, too... I loved how Charlotte has come to care for Tessa and take her under her wing. I also loved the friendship that blossomed between Tessa and Sophie. And I also ADORED Magnus's role in this installment. He was very integral in the rebuilding of Will's life... and that was just AWESOME!
One thing I can't help myself from doing is trying to draw the connections from this world to time where The Mortal Instruments takes place. It's really quite mind-boggling but fun at the same time!
There was no shortage of intrigue, power plays, action... and of course, romance. In true Cassandra Clare fashion... we are left with a cliffhanger.... not a throw-the-book-against-the-wall-type cliffhanger as she is sometimes known for... but one that has me desperately wanting to read Clockwork Princess NOW!
This book had it all! It is a definite page-turner! I loved it so much I read it TWICE! However, my only complaint is that it was released only a couple of weeks before Christmas. Dear Simon & Schuster, I implore you to not release another Mortal Instruments or Infernal Devices installment right before a big holiday... PLEEEEEEASE!
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.