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Title: Clockwork Prince (#2 The Infernal Devices)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Published: 6th of December 2011 – Simon & Schuster – Margaret K. McElderry
Format: Hardback – 498 pages
““Ah,” said a voice from the doorway, “having your annual ‘everyone thinks Will is a lunatic’ meeting, are you?
“It’s biannual,” said Jem. “And no, this is not that meeting.”” – Clockwork Prince
Hello Hello! How are you?
I took a little break from posting this week, I will be back to doing my weekly Down the TBR Hole posts next week though! Today is Saturday and it’s time again for the Shadowhunter Saturday posts that go up every 3 weeks on my blog, as well as on Fiona’s blog. Fiona and I have been reading all the Shadowhunter books by Cassandra Clare, we’ve already read 5 of them, but we still have so many! If you want to know how these posts work, you can find my post about it here, and Fiona’s here!
Now, today I’m going to be bringing you my mini-review of Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare, I have to say that the ending was just packed with so much and my heart broke and now I’m worried for the last book in this series, but you’ll have to read Fiona’s post for all my spoilery thoughts! Just like last time, keep reading for my mini-review and Fiona’s thoughts on this book, and don’t forget to head over to Fiona’s blog to read her own mini-review along with my thoughts!
The first part of this post is a non-spoilery review of the second book in The Infernal Devices trilogy, and the second part contains many spoilers, plot points and all of Fiona’s answers to them.
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.
Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare is the second book in The Infernal Devices trilogy and the 5th book that Fiona and I have read, following the order suggested by Cassandra herself! This is again YA fantasy with paranormal elements, but it was also historical fiction and I suppose you could say that it has some steampunk vibes as well.
When I first started this series in August, I immediately liked it better than The Mortal Instruments series (the first trilogy), I liked the historical fiction setting a bit better and just found Tessa to be a better character than Clary. This book started off slow again, I do think I have a bit of an issue with the pacing, and I hate that the chapters are so long because I often forget the main plot when some smaller plots take up a whole massive chapter and then lead to nothing. This book is set just after the events of book 1 and it’s supposed to be set during only 2 weeks, but it honestly felt longer to me and I feel like I have a lot of unanswered questions, I think that’s a theme in the Cassandra Clare books and I’m hoping to get the information in the finale like we did last time.
This book focused a lot on Will, I loved it and I love Will a lot, we also get a lot of Magnus which I really enjoyed, some more of Sophie which was lovely and a mix of loads of little plots. I think that in the Cassandra Clare books, there is a fairly big important plot point which is always pushed to the side and others take over, and I think that bothers me a bit as it happened here again and didn’t remember the actual plot until it came up again. It’s a bit of a shame because I was more interested and invested in the side-plots.
I can’t really say much again as I don’t want to give any spoilers away (you’ll have to read Fiona’s post for more info), but the ending just grabbed me and ran away with my heart, I’m kind of scared to pick up the third book now as I was just not expecting everything that happened, my heart actually hurt, be prepared!
“They say time heals all wounds, but that presumes the source of the grief is finite.” – Clockwork Prince
MY THOUGHTS AND RATING
Overall, this was another good book, not the best I’ve read because of some of the issues I have with it, and by no means the worst, but just kind of in the middle. This is probably an unpopular opinion, but I still don’t really get the hype, sorry!
The writing style is nice and fluid, the chapter length just bothers me a lot and makes it drag fairly in my opinion, had the chapters been halved I would have rushed through it, it probably doesn’t make sense but that’s how my brain works! I also think there is a pacing issue as the start is always slow and then Cassandra jams a million things in at the end and it’s a bit frustrating.
I was going to give this 3.5 stars while I was reading it but I think those last 50-70 pages were really good and I loved them, I was completely hooked and wanted more straight away, I need to know so much and I’m looking forward to book 3 a lot more now than I was when I was around 50% through. I’m giving this book 4 stars, the ending made it a lot more enjoyable to me and I really enjoyed learning so much about such great characters like Will, Magnus and Sophie! You can find my full ASPECTS rating down below!
“It was books that made me feel that perhaps I was not completely alone. They could be honest with me, and I with them. Reading your words, what you wrote, how you were lonely sometimes and afraid, but always brave; the way you saw the world, its colors and textures and sounds, I felt–I felt the way you thought, hoped, felt, dreamt. I felt I was dreaming and thinking and feeling with you. I dreamed what you dreamed, wanted what you wanted–and then I realized that truly I just wanted you.” – Clockwork Prince
Atmosphere – 5
Start – 4
Pacing – 4
Ending – 7
Characters – 8
Theme – 6
Style – 7
Total = 41
Now I’m going to pass the reigns over to Fiona so we can hear all her thoughts on the plot elements and spoilery events of this book! We have both answered the same questions, if you have not read these books and do want to read them, I would advise you against continuing reading this post as there are SPOILERS!!
Here are Fiona’s answers for the more generic questions about the book!
What was your favourite moment?
“Those last few pages with Will and Tessa were just so heart-breaking. You could feel his joy through the pages just to have it crushed again and then him retreating back into how he acted before it was just such a bitter sweet way to end the book. I think that whole last wrap up was really well done.”
Who was your favourite character?
“This is getting tougher and tougher to answer. I really loved Will in this book. I think we really got to know him and he actually seems like quite a complex character. We all know I have an internal and undying love for Magnus now. I really like how vulnerable he comes across in this series compared to the Mortal Instruments where he is more sure of himself. I also really liked getting to meet Woolsey, the head of the Werewolf pack, he just seemed like such a fun and lively character I hope we get more of him.”
Team Will or Team Jem?
“I am Team Will. I did shift back and forth a bit at the beginning of the book but the more it went on I grew to like Will more and more and Tessa having to reject him right when he was his most vulnerable was just heart-breaking!”
How do you feel about the timescale/pacing this book takes place over just two weeks?
“I really do think this book lacked plot other than the romantic plot. Nothing really happened when you look at it in the grand scheme of things. They didn’t find Mortmain, they still haven’t discovered what/who Tessa actually is and why Mortmain wants her. So to condense all the various shifts in relationship into two weeks is smart. But this is also a 500 page book and not much happens till the end even with the relationships. So we are back to Clare mis-managing pacing, with the last quarter of the book being all go with nothing much happening before then.”
How do you feel about the Lightwoods being the baddies?
“This was super interesting. Mortal Instruments had us rooting for Alec and Isabel Lightwood as the good guys but here they are kind of despicable. It’s an interesting twist and it will be interesting to see which of the brothers Alec and Isabel descend from. I do like this about this book seeing all the family lineages and trying to work out who in MI is descended from whom.”
How did you feel about the way everything wrapped up?
“I think it was left a little open-ended as nothing really happened other than Jess’s betrayal and the various announcements at the end, we have a lot of plot to cover to wrap everything up. Introducing Cecily right at the end is really interesting. I wonder if we can trust her. Is she there to rekindle a relationship with Will or is she there to spy for Mortmain or both?”
What do you think is going to happen next?
“We essentially still need to wrap up everything. We need to find out more about Tessa and her powers, what Mortmain’s goal is and where he is and defeat him. Resolve the love triangle and then we have Cecily and Charlotte’s pregnancy. There is a lot that has to happen in a Clockwork Princess. That reminds me we still don’t know what the significance of Tessa’s clockwork angel is either.”
Have your thoughts about the series changed?
“Infernal Devices is still better than the first Mortal Instruments trilogy. I do like we are getting a lot more depth into the character relationships. I just wish there was more world building. I am still enjoying reading them but I am not 100% sold on the collection as a whole, yet, but I am very close.”
And now for more spoilery, in-depth discussions about some of the plotlines!!
Council/Lightwood’s challenge Charlotte to find Mortmain in two weeks or loose the Institute:
“There was a very good “gah the Patriarchy” moment, then you remember that this is only to remind us that there actually is a plot but that Clare is going to put it aside and focus on the romance and that everything will be alright in the end with regards to the actual plot.”
Will asking Magnus to summon a demon:
“I kinda just want to read more about Magnus (I am guessing that is the Bane Chronicles?) I think we got to see a much more vulnerable side to him in this book compared to others, i like that he is helping Will but as somewhat of a distraction to the fact his lover just disappeared without him and that he is heartbroken. I also really love the attitude Magnus brings, he has such great rapport with people. The banter is awesome.”
Tessa and Sophie learn to fight:
“I do enjoy a good fight/training montage and I like that they are actually including the servants and Tessa too. It really annoyed me that in The Mortal instrument books that Clary kinda just knew what to do so to see them actually teaching Tessa and Sophie is awesome. I also kinda love Sophie. I like how she has started to hold her own and i like the little cheeky romance she has. I think she deserves it after the last book.”
Trip to York and the York Institute:
“A failed attempt at worldbuilding. I get that it was setting up other plot points its obvious Aloysius knows something about who/what Tessa is that we haven’t found out yet. The bit with the trophy hall was weird and not needed really. Other than revealing Will’s family are in York, it wasn’t needed.”
“This is where it kinda became Will’s book. Suddenly we are getting information and building Will’s character more than the broody handsome one. I think having his family there is going to be interesting in Clockwork Princess.”
Will goes missing/Will’s curse:
“I felt so sorry for Will when he confessed about his curse to Magnus. I like the friendship that is forming between Will and Magnus too. The fact the mutual worry brought Jem and Tessa closer together was also really kind of sad as we know how Will really feels about Tessa. I think it was here I started to get really invested in the book as this storyline really broke my heart. I agree that Jem had the right to be hurt as we started to get a deeper look into exactly how much commitment is needed from the parabatai bond and Will should have known better.”
Tessa + Jem Kiss:
“I was both surprised and not by this. I know that it had to happen at some time but I really didn’t expect it at this point in the book. I kept thinking ‘oh no poor Will’ as the previous few chapters really put me on Team Will.”
Fight at training
“I just wanted to highlight this as I really liked Sophie in Clockwork Angel and to have her really getting a storyline of her own and an Romance of her own was just like YES! I want more of Sophie. I love that she can hold her own. The fact she is not a timed as you might assume is awesome. I am really interested in what happens with her romantic entanglement with the older Lightwood son.”
Meeting Mr Scott
“I want more Woolsey Scott! He was such a camp character, that really changed the tone and let you have a laugh. I loved that he cropped up again as Magnus is staying with him. I think those two will cause some trouble!“
“I knew I didn’t like her for a reason! Honestly she irked me all the way through Clockwork Angel and I hate to say it but I kinda was like good she got what was coming to her. I like that Charlotte was strong especially with how much Jess hurt them, her family, for some random dude. I have to agree that I think she deserved to end up in the Silent City, though I did feel sad for her later when she found out that even her diamond (historical inaccuracy there for the pedants like me – diamond engagement rings are a jewellery marketing ploy form the 1930s).”
Party at the Lightwoods/romp on the balcony:
“Lol, you knew as soon as they both trooped off to this party without anyone else that something was going to go wrong. We knew these parties got out of hand and to not trust what you drink (Simon and the Rat incident from MI) so the fact that they got all handsy on a balcony was pretty funny especially with Magnus swanning in to break up the fun, with all his wit and charm.”
“She so deserved the relationship. I really liked this scene. While it really wasn’t needed and could have happened off page I like that we got to see her getting all dressed up in a borrowed dress to feel pretty and meet him and that he bought an expensive Fortnum and Masons picnic just for her! It was so sweet him chasing after her, I really liked it and I think she deserves to have a lovely romance. Even though she is such a small character I really am attached to her.”
Ploy to fool Nate:
“Classic Clare everything starts rocketing off at 1 million miles an hour. I found this bit a little hard to keep up with. We got fed a lot of set up information for book three here. Nate wasn’t Tessa’s brother but her cousin, Mortmain has a huge clockwork army built by werewolves on drugs, Tessa might be part Shadowhunter, it just seemed to all stream out and we didn’t get to stop and think about any of it.”
Nate’s death/Tessa injured:
“I did like the intensity of this fight scene. It seemed to have real consequences. Usually, the fight scenes have been a little naff in my opinion but this one really kind shocked me. I genuinely worried that Clare would kill off Will, while Tessa didn’t notice due to her brother. Killing Nate, without gleaming any more information from him was also an interesting choice as we really are no further forward to finding out all the questions from book one.”
There is no curse?!?
“This has to be the best bit of writing Clare has done so far. This is where this book started to break my heart. The sheer heart-breaking joy as Will realised he wasn’t cursed that he could love those he loved without worrying it would destroy them, that he didn’t have to keep them at arm’s length was so sweet. I like that it was Magnus that broke that too, him especially as you know that Magnus is a little heartbroken himself at the time.”
“I really didn’t see a proposal coming or her saying yes. Honestly my first thoughts were again “Oh poor Will!” I am not sure how I feel about Tessa marrying Jem. I like Jem as a character but I don’t see them as a match and I was really looking forward to Tessa and Will finally getting to be together. I am really not sure how this will all resolve in the 3rd book.”
Blackmailing the Lightwoods:
“This just seemed a little convenient. That they could twist his decision so easily, its going to be interesting if the fact the Lightwoods were working with Mortmain will ever come out and if they will get punished for that at all. It just seemed to easy and quick to get us a somewhat happy ending, which again just got us back to where we were at the end of book one.”
Will’s confession of love:
“Broke my heart! 🙁
Poor Poor Will, he was so filled with joy and excitement and it just came crashing down. How he realised to get what he wanted he would have to break his dying friend’s heart was just so sad to see him reasoning it out and giving up his happiness again to protect those he cares about. This gave so much depth to Will’s character and was the best bits of the book.”
The Council’s decision
“It was predictable and kind of frustrating. I like that they named Charlotte in charge and not Henry, recognising a woman can do the job, but it wasn’t a surprise and just put us back to the beginning but this time they can fight Mortmain without dealing with the Lightwoods. I am still kind of disappointed in the overarching plot of this book. Loved all the relationship building but we still needed some plot!”
“This was cute and another sweet happy ending moment. Especially due to the cute yet awkward scenes we had between Henry and Charlotte earlier in the book. I like that we are getting to see a more relaxed version of Charlotte. It is going to make finding and fighting Mortmain interesting.”
Will’s sister arrives:
“This was a fun last line! It really set up the next book nicely! Do we trust her? Is she working for Mortmain? Is Will going to get to reunite with family? Is her being a Shadowhunter a good or bad thing? It does make me want to pick up Clockwork Princess now!”
Well, this was a super interesting post with some great answers from Fiona, as always! I think that for me, the first part of the book (maybe the first 75%) was just okay, but then the last bits got really good and I enjoyed it a lot more, so I’m still not completely loving this world and I’m failing to understand the immense levels of hype (please don’t hate me), but I’m liking it a lot. There are still so many questions I need to be answered and the last book in this trilogy is 570 pages long, I’m hoping that I will like it the most out of these books, I’m really excited to start it!
Head over to Fiona’s post to read all about her own thoughts in her review of this book and to find my answers to the questions and plot points! You can find her post here!
That’s all for now, I hope you enjoyed this post, see you soon, stay safe,
If you would like to purchase this book, you can find it here: Amazon UK – Amazon FR – Amazon US – AbeBooks (affiliate link) – The Book Depository (affiliate link) – Audible FR (affiliate link) – Kobo – Waterstones – Barnes and Noble – Audible UK – Scrib’d
I’ve just realised reading this I’ve ordered the books wrong in my bookcase thinking TID was before TMI 😂😂 I’m glad your enjoying them a bit and not just tolerating them to get through them (or maybe you are😂)
Ohoh!! Yeah, I am enjoying them fairly, I wish they were a tad better and maybe less slow at the start, but they are good books! Ahaha, we are reading them in the order than Cassandra Clare suggested, so the first trilogy of TMI first and then TID etc, this is the post we used to work out how to read them, and it’s super precise and helpful: https://rivetedlit.com/2020/03/04/cassandra-clare-books-in-order/
Completely agree with seeing Jem and Tess as friends, but more than that nooo… probably as I was fully on Team Will. The part of learning Will was never cursed is so sad because he put himself through so much pain for nothing. Completely know what you mean about the pacing being slow at the beginning of the book. Also, Magnus is the best. I haven’t read Bane Chronicles myself but there’s more of him in the second half of TMI with some call backs to TID. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on the next book in TID.
Yeah, I was like….. stop it please, give me Tessa and Will, lol! I agree, I was so sad for him and those last 70-odd pages nearly had me in constant tears because I was so sad for Will and Tessa. Oh, sounds so good then, I love Magnus, he is just such a fun character! Thank you, can’t wait to dive into the next one! 🙂
Great review! I feel like I should probably reread TDI as I can’t remember some of it 😅 lol
But I agree that there was a lot of little plots and the larger plot took a big step back in this book
Yeah, that’s so true!
I agree with you about short chapters. I will like a book more if I can fly through it! Nice reveiw!
Yeah, it keeps me focused and just is generally more enjoyable in my opinion!