Book Critique: Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices #2)

For review of all books in this series: Go here.

Stars: 3 / 5

Recommendation: The saga continues testing the teen Shadowhunter Chronicles in every which way possible - love, romance, friendship - in the process finding themselves, fighting demons inside & outside; and working towards saving the world in the process.

Clockwork Prince is the second book in The Infernal Devices Trilogy by Cassandra Clare, first published in December of 2011. The story begins where the previous book ended continuing with the adventures that Theresa "Tessa" Gray, William "Will" Herondale and James "Jem" Carstairs face in search of a common enemy as well as their own personal legacies and quests.

Now that Axel Mortmain the Magister and Nathanial "Nate" Gray, Tessa's half-brother, have disappeared with Pyxis, box that holds demon energy at the end of the first book Clockwork Angel, the Shadowhunters have very little time before Axel and Nate rise their mechanical monsters to wage a war on shadowhunters. Consul Wayland gives them 2 weeks to find Mortmain, Nate and the box before they lose the London Institute. The quest becomes more than just finding the antagonists or about themselves but also to keep their home safe as well.

As the three - Will, Tessa and Jem, take this journey to save the only home they ever knew, they come across betrayals, shocking revelations, bitter truths, happy illusions, and above all heartbreaks that is too heavy for such young hearts as them to bear.

If you're following the timeline the Shadowhunter Chronicles are set, then this would be the second book to read. However, if the reading order suggested on goodreads is followed (by publishing date I think), this book is put after City of Fallen Angels, the fourth book in The Mortal Instruments Series.

Clare continues with her "rinse, recycle, repeat" recipe in this second book in The Infernal Devices series. Yet knowing what to expect, it still hurt to see some heartbreaks, happy at some unions, and angry at some unimaginable vices. We also see more families who become ancestors to the characters we already met in the other two series I had posted reviews about.

Being that Tessa, Jem and Will are just but 16-17 year old teenagers, their penchant to feel immortal, arrogant, take quick actions, is so similar to every person that goes through that phase in their lives, be in 1800s or in 2020s. Clare brought out that part of their character really well. She does bring words, fashion, food and places from the 1800s into the script wherever possible. 

Normally Clare's books so far ended with a battle, some goodness and a cliff hanger. In this book though she had finished the battle early on, left more heartbreak to bear than goodness to enjoy and of course a cliff hanger that is more like a Mount Olympus sized one. A different way she had left this book to the readers. Of course she has left so many inconsequential details that could fill at least a dozen books for her if she wants to continue. 

Clare dedicates this book to Elka, I presume the same poet Elka Coke who had given her the poem Thames River Song to be used in the first book, Clockwork Angel. But she puts the Latin quote - Khalepa ta kala - loosely meaning "naught without labor". I wonder if she meant Elka's efforts to get her books published or her very own struggles with controversies of plagiarism. 

Clare leaves a treat to the readers at the end of this book - a letter by William Herondale to his parents. Oh how heart wrenching it is and how much brave and loyal is shown of Will in that letter; and the determination he seems to have that he uses to save everything and everyone he loves. 

As like her other books, the plots are really intense, complex and well-written, even if they were copied, adds to the pull and intrigue. The saga continues testing the teen Shadowhunter Chronicles in every which way possible - love, romance, friendship - in the process finding themselves, fighting demons inside & outside; and working towards saving the world in the process.

Waiting eagerly for the third book to come so I can finish this series and move on to The Dark Artifices series.

Spoiler Alerts:

1. Plot Reveals:

a. With help of Magnus, Will finds the demon who put a curse on him only to find that the curse was fake and he had lost precious people in his life due to his belief in that curse. Due to that belief, he shuns away Tessa who floats towards Jem instead and falls in love with him. In the end Jem and Tessa get engaged to be married. 

b. Why would Will's father keep the Pyxis locked with Demon energy after he has left Shadowhunter world for a mundane wife?

c. Will reminds Magnus of someone from his past. Who could that be?

d. Though Sophie fancied Jem in the first book, in this she and Gideon Arthur Lightwood form a couple. 

e. Nate confirms that Tessa's birth mother was a shadowhunter and her birth father was a demon. And that Nate was the son of Harriett Moore, their aunt, Elizabeth's sister. She was raised by Elizabeth and her husband.

f. Jessamine and Nate are married in this plot. But Nate is killed in the battle with Tessa and Shadowhunters in this plot. Jessie was spying to Nate and Mortmain, she is taken by Silent Brothers to the City of Bones to be interrogated. 

g. Camille and Magnus break up in the plot. Now we know why she hates Magnus so much.

h. Charlotte is pregnant in this plot while Will's sister Cecily Herondale comes to the institute to be trained as a shadowhunter at the end of the book. 

2. Sub-Plots: 

a. From The Mortal Instruments Series:

i. What are the old ties between Herondales and the Silent Brothers? Curious to see how Kit and Jace Herondale will be connected.

ii. In City of Souls, the angel Raziel, calls Simon as Simon Maccabees, an ancestor of Simon. A story behind it?

iii. In City of Heavenly Fire, no closure to Lilith is shown. Also what consequences will Magnus and Isabelle face for using spell to get Simon's memories back at the end of the book. Sparks fly between Maia and Bartholomew "Bat" Velasquez, her second-in command.

iv. At the end of the series The Fair Folk - fairies - are punished severely by The Clave for their role in the war waged by Sebastian Morgenstern. The consequences of that punishment and the fate of Seelie Queen get woven into The Dark Artifices books.

v. Where the character are as of Lord of Shadows book - Jace Herondale and Clary Fairchild set out to find the weapon with both the Courts of Faerie left by Sebastian. Jace proposes to Clary, but Clary asks for more time. Alec Lightwood and Magnus Bane adopt a second son - Rafael - an orphan shadowhunter from Argentina, they have an adopted warlock child, Max since Lady Midnight book; also head the Shadowhunter-Downworlder Alliance along with Maia Roberts (head of Werewolves) and Lily Chen (head of the Vampire Clan). Alec becomes temporary head of London Institute.

b. From The Dark Artifices Series up until the second book that I read:

i. Main Characters  - Emma Cordelia Carstairs; Julian Blackthorn and his siblings - the twins Livvy and Tiberus "Ty", Mark Antony and Helen (step-siblings), Octavius "Tavvy", Drusilla "Dru".

ii. Will Livvy and Ty become parabatai? Why does Ty not want to join the Scholomance? Why does Ty's hair look different than the rest of Blackthorns?

iii. Sparks fly between Drusilla "Dru" and Jaime, Diego's brother.

iv. Brother Zachariah aka James "Jem" Carstairs and Theresa "Tessa" Gray are married now. An ancestor to Emma, needs Emma and Julian's help. And have been looking for a cure for the sickness all the warlocks are facing. 

v. Diana Wrayburn, tutor to the kids at the Los Angeles Institute, dates Gwyn ap Nudd, leader of the Wild Hunt.

vi. Julian throws a false trail to Anselm Nightshade, head of vampires of LA, and gets him under the wrath of the Inquisitor, in order to save Julian's family.

vii. Annabel Blackthorn after being risen from dead, kills Malcolm and takes the Black Volume of Dead. She also kills Robert Lightwood and Livvy in a frenzy to escape The Council, but is abducted by the King of Unseelie Court at the end of the second book.

viii. Kit, Livvy and Ty meet Shade, a hooded warlock, who helps them read the aletheia crystal - a memory-holder. Who is Shade?

ix. Mark and Cristina finally form a couple, although Kieran says Cristina is his something. Kieran also goes to Scholomance with Diego.

x. Dru meets a faerie named Ash with green eyes in the faerie land.

xi. Emma and Julian decide to go on exile while Magnus and his friends try to find a way to break their parabatai bond without harming them or other parabatai and overcome the curse. But Robert Lightwood is killed before the terms of exile are enforced.

xii. The Riders of Mannan -  Karn, Etarlam, Eochaid, Delan, Airmed, Fal, and Ethna (the only female member) - attack the Blackthorns for the Black Volume of Dead. Emma kills Fal in the ensuing battle.

xiii. Kit Herondale becomes more and more mysterious.

c. From the Infernal Devices Series:

i. Shadowhunters from the time this book is set - Charlotte Mary Branwell nee Fairchild, head of the London Institute, & her husband Henry Jocelyn Branwell; Jessamine "Jessie" Lovelace; Benedict Lightwood & his kids Tatiana, Gideon and Gabriel; Frederick Ashdown; George Penhallow; Lilian Highsmith; Aunt Callida, Charlotte's Aunt; Consul Wayland; Inquisitor Whitelaw; Aloysius Starkweather;

ii. Servants in the London Institute - Sophie Collins; their horses Balios & Xanthos; Cyril Tanner; Bridget Daly, the cook; 

iii. Silent Brothers & Iron Sisters - Brother Enoch; 

iv. Downworlders we meet - Magnus Bane (obviously we have seen a lot of him as the High Warlock of New York in the prior two series I have already read. Here he is another warlock); Lady Camille Belcourt (we know her has the leader of the vampire clan in New York in the current period where the previous two series are set. Here she is just another vampire living in London); Ragnor Fell, High Warlock of London; Archer, Camille's subjugate; Wooley Scott, head of the London Werewolves Clan; Hyacinth.

v. Henry Branwell loves to tinker. Some of his inventions are a Sensor to sense demon energies; flame retardant mixture to help from getting burned; infernal device to kill the automatons; Confuser that can confuse human brain; 

vi. Mortmain, Nate's employer & the Magister of The Pandemonium Club, creates the mechanical automatons to wage a war on shadowhunters. He is human but with occult talent. He also knows the reason why Tessa was created. 

d. Some of the places, food, movies and books that are referenced:

i. Will quotes and recites lines from works of various literary personalities such as - Francis Beaumont's quote at The Westminister Abbey; Hamlet; Christabel poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge; Book of Nonsense by Edward Lear; Maud by Tennyson

ii. Books that Tessa refers to - The Thousand and One Nights; The Hidden Hand by E. D. E. N. Southworth; The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole; Vathek by William Beckford; Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte; Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray; 

iii. Jem,, Magnus and others and othersquote from some books and tells tales in some cases - Song of Solomon; Story of Jonathon and David from Bible; Dialogues of the Gods; John Donne's Meditation 17; To His Mistress Going to Bed by John Donne; Hamlet; The Garden of Proserpine by Algernon Charles Swinburne; I Ching the Book of Changes; The Art of War by Sun Tzu; 

iv. Cook Daly sings variations of some Irish and Scottish ballads - The Cruel Brother; Edward, Edward; The Water is Wide; Lord Randal; The Twa Brothers ballad about brothers John and William; 

3. Grammatical / Character / Plot / Geographical / Historical / Mythological Errors:

a. On Pg. 52, Line 3, shouldn’t it be "…well enough often to train…"


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