Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices book 2) by Cassandra Clare (book review).

‘Clockwork Prince’ is book two in ‘The Infernal Devices’ trilogy by Cassandra Clare which is kind of prequel series to ‘The Mortal Instruments’. ‘The Infernal Devices’ is set in the Victorian era whereas ‘The Mortal Instruments’ in more modern day, so reading this series first will give you a lot of background. There is also a TV series following ‘The Mortal Instruments’ books, so if you’re familiar with that you will know a lot of the family names in this series. You might also recognise some of the longer lived characters such as Magnus Bane.

This time we are following Tessa, as she becomes more of a fixture in the Institute and less of a newbie while also trying to find out more about her parents and her past. We follow Tessa, Jem and Will as they try to find and defeat the evil Magister before he carries out his plan to create an army of clockwork monsters bent on destroying the shadow hunters. The protagonists move from Victorian London to a mysterious and frightening house in Yorkshire in order to track down the Magister. Will finding out more about the Magister and eventually destroying him gives Tessa and Will some of the answers they’re looking for?

This book contains a lot more to do with the love triangle between Tessa, Jem and Will and goes into some of the background as to why Will behaves in the way he does towards both Tessa and Jem. This love triangle really does take some battering during this book with all the revelations, especially about Will. I know we’re meant to feel really sad and sorry for Will but I did find it annoying that he was constantly being described as beautiful, less of that please in the next book. I’m hoping that book three, ‘The Clockwork Princess’, will give us a lot more to with this set of relationships and will finally lay this love triangle storyline to rest.

I really enjoyed that even the background characters have a lot of detail to them. We learn almost as much about some of them as we do the main three protagonists. I love how everything is interwoven between this series and the later ones as well, all very well thought out. Obviously, I loved the bits with Magnus Bane in them, that is one hilarious and interesting character and I hope we see much more from him. I liked how we learn a lot more about Tessa, who she really is and why she does what she does, it’s all slowly fed to both her and to us as readers. Overall, I have to say that Clare’s characters are really strong and she knows how to create characters with rich histories, strengths and weaknesses, just like real people.

The main theme to this book is that of betrayal, everyone seems to be stabbing each other in the back from best friends to family members. You get to the end and you’re really not sure who to trust and who is going to turn on whom next.

Overall, this is definitely a middle book it certainly has some of those feelings about it. Plus Clare does have a tendency to be a little over dramatic at times. But it is a good book where a lot of things from book one are cleared up but then we’re hit with a massive cliff-hanger right in that last paragraph! Now on to book three, ‘Clockwork Princess’, to see what happens to everyone!

Sarah Bruch

January 2018


(pub: Walker Books/Random House, 2012). 496 page paperback. Price: £ 7.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-40632-133-3)

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