Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
Pages: 560 pages
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance
Overall Rating: 5/5 ★★★★★
Synopsis: 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
This book, guys. This. Book.
If you have read my review of Clockwork Angel, you might be aware that I am very much in love with the characters of this series. The first book was a great start to it and showed just how much Cassie Clare’s style had improved from TMI. In this second installment, the plot thickens and it just keeps getting better.
Clockwork Prince features James Carstairs much more heavily than its predecessor and it is where you can understand the fandom’s utter love for him. I knew he was a great character already but here you can see just what it is that makes him so great. He is an immovable force, a “steady flame” as the prose suggests. He is such an interesting character as he presents a curious irony; the ever-ill Shadowhunter with a will as strong as iron. He never backs down, he is relentless in his love and support and Jesus Christ, where can I find myself a Jem?!
Of course, he is not the only great character. Will is as charming and broken as ever and we dive even deeper into his tragic backstory, making his character development all the more exquisite. His storyline is so well thought of and executed that you feel proud as he makes discoveries about himself and changes his ways about certain things. Plus, he is still hilarious and has you laughing every other page.
There are a lot of mysteries that are still unresolved and that have been carried from the first page of Book one. But somehow, it does not make the reading slow or boring, at least for me. Every little piece of information they discover is great but I never feel the urge to rush things, to have the mystery reveal to me all at once. The writing has a lot to do with that, I suppose. It engages you enough to want to know more but never makes you feel cheated if they take a little longer to unveil truths. The book does let us into the backstory of the main villain, Axel Mortmain and gives us a big clue on his intentions. Plus, there is a nod to the book’s title that had me flailing and reaching for my stickies to bookmark the moment. *(Page 156 of the edition shown on the image, if you’re interested.)*
Another nice change of pace is the proper introduction of secondary characters, like the Lightwood brothers. They have been featured before but not as heavily as they are here, where we learn more about their household and ulterior motives, as each brother is as different as he is interesting (If you want to know, I love Gideon more haha). I also love the way all the characters from the Institute interact with each other now that they have all fallen on a routine; you truly believe them to be a family.
As a little side note, I just have to say that there is this one scene with Tessa and a fireplace almost at the end of chapter 20 that almost made me tear up in public. I could picture it in my head perfectly the entire time, I could feel her pain and as I finished reading, I got goosebumps. I get them even now, just from remembering, Tessa, my baby… *wraps Tessa Gray in a blanket with a book and protects her from the world’s evils*
All in all, I loved this book perhaps a bit more than Clockwork Angel, simply because the characters are no longer strangers to each other and you can feel the familiarity oozing through the pages. Plus, the book ends with a cliffhanger that just makes you trip and stumble by how fast you’re running to get the third book out of your shelf. However, I must say as I enter the last stretch of this trilogy, I do so with a bittersweet feeling because I have grown so attached to these characters that I don’t want to say goodbye to them.
What are your thoughts on Clockwork Prince?