Review: Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices Series book 2)~ by Cassandra Clare
498 pages ~ Young Adult Fantasy
2015~ Simon & Schuster Teen
My Rating: 5/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
In a time when Shadowhunters are barely winning the fight against the forces of darkness, one battle will change the course of history forever. Welcome to the Infernal Devices trilogy, a stunning and dangerous prequel to the New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments series.
The year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them.
The human heart has hidden treasures,
In secret kept, in silence sealed;
The Thoughts, the hopes, the dreams, the pleasures,
Whose charms were broken if revealed
Charlotte Bronte, “Evening Solace”
My Thoughts: I loved so much about Book 1- The use of Victorian Literature and Poetry, the descriptions of Victorian London, the humor, the inclusion of the Occult, and characters….ahhhh! So much to love! And Book 2 was even better. This book had a much faster pace, the plot held my interest even more than book 1, and although I do not normally like love triangles, this one was so beautifully done that it made this book my favorite in the series so far.
Below were some of my favorite scenes and elements from Book 2:
- The opening scene of Will in the Cross Bones Graveyard buying ingredients from Ol’ Molly – the ghost who is hunting for her lost wedding ring. This scene was so creepy and gothic!
- Tessa and Jem visiting the Poet’s corner in Westminster Abbey- this was a special nod to book worms everywhere
- The Irish Cook, Bridget, who only sings sad Irish ballads all day- this was such a funny addition to normal, trivial parts of the plot and was something that all the characters bonded over
- I loved how the Shadowhunter world expanded in this book – we get to see the workings of the Clave, the other Institutes, the Silent Brothers, the Mortal Sword, information on Parabatai, and the backstory of other well-known Shadowhunter families like The Herondales.
- The backstory on Mortmain plus Tessa’s sympathy for him – this added an interesting layer to the “villain” role that Mortmain inhabits especially because he wasn’t actually in this book
- Victorian outlook on women’s issues was more of a focus in this book. We see Charlotte fighting to keep her position as head of the London Institute against Lightwood, who claims: “women cannot run an Institute; women do not think with logic and discretion but with the emotions of the heart.” We also see Tessa’s own views about women’s sexuality and her belief that women are supposed to be more restrained and sexually chased than men. It was great to see women in this time period challenge these stereotypes and realize their own desires, authority, and power.
- One of my absolute favorite characters was Woolsey Scott- I loved that he represented the “aesthetes” of Victorian London, he reminded me of Oscar Wilde with his “velvet jacket, knee breeches, and a trailing scarf with paisley print,” and his wit, and humor. He even lives in Chelsea, the artistic, literary area of Victorian London.
- We also get to see Tessa and Sophie train to fight as Shadowhunters- I loved this element because it showed both girls becoming stronger, more determined, more self aware, and more confident. Tessa especially grows into her role as “Boadicea” in book 2.
- There is so many different types of love in this book. We have the brotherhood between Jem and Will- these two are two of the best male characters and their devotion to each other was so so lovely; we have restrained, reserved love between Charlotte and Henry; the sweet, protective love between Jem and Tessa; the all consuming, burning-up type of love between Will and Tessa – I thought it was so great to see all of these different types of love represented in a time period that frowned on anything other than “traditional” love.
- I found Tessa’s love for both Will and Jem to be so authentic and sweet. Her love for each boy was so different, but both felt very real to me. In turn, each boy loves her in such a different way.
“She could not stop herself from comparing the two- Jem with his odd combination of delicacy and strength, and Will like a storm at sea, slate blue and black with brilliant flashes of temper like heat lightning.”
- I was so nervous going into Book 2 for the love triangle that I felt sure was coming, but Clare really did an amazing job of making this part of the plot feel genuine- it was heartbreaking, but at the end of the book I understood why each character felt the way they did and why they made the choices they did.
I will definitely be moving to my list of favorite YA Fantasy Series, EVER! As always, I would love to hear from you! Happy reading, everyone!
Read my review of book 1 of this series, Clockwork Angel – HERE