PUBLICATION DATE: December 6, 2011


lockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare is the second book in her series The Infernal Devices, which is the prequel series to her world-famous series, The Mortal Instruments. Tessa is living with the Shadowhunters in Victorian London. She learns that the Magister not only has evil plans for the Shadowhunters, but also has a vendetta to take her as well. Along with rogue Will and kind Jem, Tessa and those at the Institute must find who is feeding the Magister information and how to take them down. Tessa struggles to learn who she is while trying to choose between two halves of her heart – Jem and Will.

As someone who was counting the days for this book to come out, may I just say that I was very pleased with this story. I always enjoy the training of the newbie, which this book touches on. I love bits about origins, which all of the books in this series mention. I admit I do enjoy stories of handsome, broken boys who have no hope of a real relationship. Will is a golden character, who unfolds quite nicely in Clockwork Prince. Tessa does not annoy me with her indecision. It is understandable how she could love both Jem and Will. Clare is a woman who understands the intricacies of a torn heart. The way she writes the leading men is beautiful. You feel for their struggles and you want them all to succeed, even at the expense of each other. She makes happiness for all the characters impossible, yet you still hope for it. While neat and tidy Twilight endings are nice, I appreciate the lovely mess that Clare makes of the main relationships. She teaches us that love isn’t always beautiful, and perfection is not always attainable. Sacrifice is sometimes the only game in town, and that can be a humble beauty if we can learn to let it.

My only complaint is that the evil plots of Mortmain did not seem enough. Perhaps this is her calm before the storm, which I can appreciate. Not every battle has to be Lord of the Rings. There were several times in the book where I thought that the characters were walking into a trap or something dangerous, and it turned out not to be so. Perhaps it is the mark of a good writer that she can make me so jumpy. Perhaps this book needed a bit more action. I’ll leave that to you to decide.