Clockwork Prince is the second novel in Cassandra Clare’s Infernal Devices trilogy. Ooooh boy… it’s good. It’s so, so good. As always, spoilers ahead…
This second instalment opens just as spooky and haunting as Clockwork Angel. Will is meeting with ghosts, Tessa and Jem are touring the gravestones of dead artists in Westminster Abbey… I was hooked from the start. Benedict Lightwood is once again being a giant pain in the rear, attempting to prove that Charlotte Fairchild is incapable of running the London Institute. And amongst all this, the entire London Institute is on high alert, looking for Mortmain. Generally, their lives are a hot mess.
After a suggestion by Jem, the group learns that Mortmain was adopted by warlock parents – the Shades. Will, Tessa and Jem leave to visit Aloysius Starkweather, who killed the Shades during a raid before the Accords were in place. While in York, Will sees his sister Cecily, who he has been removed from for years, entering a house owned by Mortmain. The group are attacked by an automaton who warns them to stop looking into Mortmain’s past. It is here that we learn, what I believe to be, the most interesting story within Clockwork Prince: how William Herondale became who he is.
Will reveals to Magnus that he was cursed by a demon, who threatened to harm any person he would ever love. Shortly after the delivery of said threat, Will’s sister Ella died. Realizing that staying with his family would put them at risk, Will left his family, showing up on the doorstep of the London Institute to become a Shadowhunter. In this, I believe that William Herondale is as pure and wonderful a character as Simon Lewis and Jace Herondale. Even though William cast people aside and treated others with disdain, he did it all not because he was cruel, but in the hopes that by punishing himself he could save others. If that doesn’t make him a wonderful and caring young man, I don’t know what would.
The most shocking revelation in this instalment is the betrayal of the London Institute by Jessamine Lovelace. I can understand that Jessamine wanted to leave the Shadow World, and that by falling for Nathaniel Gray (Tessa’s brother who betrayed her) she could escape said world. However, I find it difficult to believe that Jessamine would betray Charlotte or Henry. No matter how disdainful she seemed to be, Jessamine always cared about Charlotte and Henry’s feelings.
I’m quite pleased with how the love triangle between Will, Jem and Tessa is progressing. Both gentlemen love her unconditionally, and Tessa ends up loving both of them. Who could blame her? At the end of the book, the triangle is even more complex than I imagined it would be. Normally I’m not for love triangles, but when they’re woven as seamlessly as this one, it would be a crime no to love it.
Overall, I’m pleased with Clockwork Prince. It had all of the requirements I see for a sequel: advancement of the story, character development, drama, action, etc. And the conclusions we got! Nathaniel’s death; Magnus helping Will discover that the curse was fake; Will going to propose to Tessa, only to realize that Jem proposed and she had accepted, Cecily showing up at the Institute…I’m positively chuffed and can’t wait for Clockwork Princess.