Even though all three of Casandra Clare’s Infernal Devices books came out between 2009-2013, I didn’t get around to reading the third one until now. This is not to say that I wasn’t excited to find out the conclusion, but I didn’t get a chance to pick it up before I left the English-speaking world for a spell. You can imagine my elation when I found an ample English language section in a local Sofia, Bulgaria bookstore the other day and Clockwork Princess was waiting for me! Even though it comes in at 507 pages, I tore right through it in a couple of days. It is a totally satisfying wrapping-up of the plot lines from the first two books.
The book begins with a confrontation between the London Institute and the giant worm demon that Benedict Lightwood has become due to his affliction with “demon pox.” His sons, Gabriel and Gideon, as well as Will’s shadowhunter-in-training sister, Cecily, accompany Will, Jem and Tessa to the Lightwood estate. In the interim since events of Clockwork Prince came to a close, the Magister and his automaton army seem to have vanished, leaving little for Will to focus on besides the engagement of his best friend, Jem, to the love of his life, Tessa. The battle is a welcome distraction until at the end when Jem collapses due to his long-standing illness.
It turns out he has been taking his drugs far too quickly in an attempt to be worthy of Tessa’s love, and he has burned out his entire year’s supply in a matter of weeks. The Magister has bought up all of the remaining drug in the entire city, leaving the shadowhunters at his mercy if they want Jem to live. Tessa is the key to the Magister’s nefarious plot for domination over the shadowhunters he believed have wronged him, but her actual purpose is still a mystery. On top of the threat from the outside, trouble is also brewing for the head of the London Institute, who didn’t turn out to be as compliant and meek as the Consul believed she would be. Internal politics, passionate romance and the threat of utter annihilation combine into a great climax for a wonderful trilogy.
Clockwork Angel Review (Infernal Devices 1)
Clockwork Prince Review (Infernal Devices 2)
After I read Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare, I knew I had to continue the journey. I just had to find out more about Tessa and her mysterious ability to change into anyone, living or dead, just by holding something they owned. And what was the origin of the tiny titan, the clockwork angel, that seemed to come to life just in time to save Tessa’s?
The Clockwork Prince picks up only a few weeks after the events of the last book. Charlotte’s grip on the Institute is tenuous in the wake of the discovery that Tessa’s brother had been a spy in their midst. The Council gives them only two weeks to locate Mortmain, the man who claims to have “made” Tessa and shaped her ability (not to mention he intends to marry her for a still as yet unknown reason). They may have recovered the volatile volume that gives warlocks the ability to bring clockwork to life, but Mortmain has already perfected his technique and it is only a matter of time before the clockwork army makes its move against the Shadowhunters.
As Tessa tries to pick up the pieces of her shattered life she finds comfort in Jem, a kind soul destined to die young from addiction to a drug that both cures and kills him. She has to find some way to to take her mind off Will, Jem’s brother from another mother and resident blue-eyes heart throb, who has done his best to push her away. If only her heart didn’t pitter patter faster every time he entered the room…
Their search for answers about Mortmain, not Warlock nor demon but a human with a vast web of downworld allies, takes them to the countryside. Will, Jem and Tessa don’t expect to find anything at his old homestead, but they are met with both an automaton with a warning and the past that Will has been desperately trying to flee. Somehow his family has become intertwined with the enemy, but a vow he made long ago makes him powerless to help them.
The Council also declared that Tessa and any untrained servants at the Institute needed combat training. The Lightwood family is all too happy to provide the stoical Gideon and sarcastic Gabriel to assist in the training, and of course, to do a little spying. If only the Lightwoods were the only ones inside the hallowed halls working against them…
I had a great time reading this book. There are a lot of teen romances out there, and even a lot of teen romances between teens with super powers, but I think Clare crafts and especially robust and heart rending narrative and weaves it throughout an exciting story in a way that does not feel at all forced. I didn’t get my questions about Tessa or the angel answered, but of course I didn’t really expect to, that is for the final installment 🙂 She does get to eliminate some possibilities, which makes me wonder even more what the truth will turn out to be.
I will definitely be picking up the third book, The Clockwork Princess.
When I decided to start this blog one of the first things I did was head to my local library. The more I learned about Steampunk, the more I realized I had a lot of reading to do! I picked up a mix of classic sci-fi like H. G. Wells’ The Island of Dr. Moreau. but I had also heard good things about Cassandra Clare’s Infernal Devices trilogy so in I decided to read a mix of the old and the new at the same time.
I’ve only gotten as far as the first book in the series, Clockwork Angel, but I will definitely be reading the trilogy to the end. The Infernal Devices series takes place before Clare’s earlier trilogy (Mortal Instruments) about an angelically infused group of warriors fighting the forces of darkness to keep us “mundanes” out of the crossfire, but it is not meant as a prequel. (Clare stresses on her website that the books can be read in any order.) The story takes place in dreary streets of Victorian London and follows the misadventure of sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray.
The story starts with her imprisonment in the hands of the strange Dark Sisters, who help her unlock her previously unknown supernatural talent. With the help of a deliciously malicious (not to mention handsome) rising Shadowhunter Will, Tessa escapes and finds herself sucked into a race against time to stop a clockwork army in the hands of the mysterious and powerful Magister. You can read and excerpt here. Next on my reading list? The Strange Affair of Spring-heeled Jack (a Burton and Swiborne novel).