Clockwork Prince

Clockwork Prince

Title: Clockwork Prince

Author: Cassandra Clare

Series: The Infernal Devices, #2

Publisher: Walker

Release Date: December 6th 2011


Four Stars

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.

– Blurb courtesy of

This review may contain spoilers for previous book(s) in the series.

My Thoughts On…

…The Plot

“Look well on this, my son,” said the green-skinned man, “for one day I shall rule a clockwork kingdom of such beings, and you shall be its prince.”

After defeating the Magister once, and having both him and his clockwork army flee into the shadows, there are more threats closer to home for Tessa and the Shadowhunters of the London Institute to face. After how they were manipulated by the Magister Charlotte’s position as head of the Institute is being challenged, and she is given an ultimatum. Either she finds and detains the Magister in two weeks, or she is replaced as Head of the London Institute by Benedict Lightwood.

There wasn’t much to discover when it came to the plot of Clockwork Prince, which left me wondering where the story was going and when the action would start more often than not. Most of the book revolves around the Shadowhunters’ search for the Magister and the revelations from all they uncover about his past, which was both interesting and necessary back-story but I felt this book ended up more filler than anything else, and I would have liked to see more action and real twists and turns like there were in Clockwork Angel.

“It’s not like Mortmain’s going to lodge a complaint against the Shadow-hunters through official channels. ‘Very upset Shadowhunters refused to all die when I wanted them to. Demand recompense. Please mail cheque to A. Mortmain, 18 Kensington Road—'”

The more Charlotte, Henry, Will, Jem and Tessa dig into the Magister, the more they discover, the less they seem to move forwards. Their search takes them from the slums of London all the way to Yorkshire but it seems as if the Magister is always one step ahead of them. The closer their deadline becomes the more likely failure seems, and if Charlotte loses the Institute Tessa will lose the sanctuary she has found, leaving her and her power at the Magister’s hands.

I still really enjoyed the second book of the trilogy, but Clockwork Prince seemed to be more about the development of the characters and their back-story than furthering the plot through action and events. It was all necessary development, we needed to learn more about the Magister’s past to understand his motives, and it was the same with Will’s journey in this book, but it made for a very slow sequel especially after all that happened in Clockwork Angel.

…The Characters

“Lies and secrets, Tessa, they are like a cancer in the soul. They eat away what is good and leave only destruction behind.”

Tessa needs to learn who she really is. With the threat of the Magister hanging over her head, all the unknowns surrounding why he wants her so badly, she feels her real heritage holds the answers to the questions she has. However her power is unique, and it seems like the only people who have the answers she seeks are the Magister and her brother.

After Nate’s betrayal in Clockwork Angel Tessa is alone, she has no family she can turn to but she has been taken in by the Shadowhunters and so they become her family. She works side by side with Will and Jem as they throw themselves headfirst into the hunt for the Magister and trains with Gabriel Lightwood at Charlotte’s request. While at times Tessa is still very much a girl of her time she has changed in a lot since the first book, no longer scandalised by the Shadowhunters ways but willing to accept them as her own.

“Everyone makes mistakes, Jem.”
“Yes,” said Jem. “You just make more of them than most people.”
“You hurt everyone,” said Jem. “Everyone whose life you touch.”
“Not you,” Will whispered. “I hurt everyone but you.”

The parabatai bond between Will and Jem is one of my favourite, and in my opinion one of the best written, relationships in the book. Despite Will pushing everyone away, despite his cold and harsh sarcastic attitude designed to keep people at arm’s length, Jem still sees the best in him. Even when Will makes terrible mistakes Jem still forgives him, and as Will desperately searches for a cure to the curse that has turned him cold the walls surrounding him start coming down.

“Will has always been the brighter burning star, the one to catch attention—but Jem is a steady flame, unwavering and honest. He could make you happy.”

The love triangle hinted at in the first book becomes more developed in Clockwork Prince. With Will having pushed her away for the last time Tessa turns to Jem, and what starts as friendship where she simply needs some to lean on after everything she faced becomes more as her feelings for him grow. Still Tessa can’t quite forget Will, because despite all he said to her there are times when she sees something more in him.

Normally I hate love triangles, and I definitely wasn’t a fan of the one in City of Ashes, but the love triangle in Clockwork Prince was much better developed and I think that was largely because of the bond Will and Jem have. They love each other as much as they each love Tessa.

For me Clockwork Prince was an addition to the trilogy that suffered from Second Book Syndrome. While there was enough development of the characters to keep me interested I felt like for most of the book I was waiting for the plot to actually start. I’m sure the third book will be more action-packed, and I’m sure all we learnt in this book will pay off in some way in Clockwork Princess, but I just couldn’t enjoy Clockwork Prince as much as I’d hoped I would after finishing the first book.

What did you think of Clockwork Prince? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.

16 thoughts on “Clockwork Prince

  1. Who would’ve though a love triangle is working out for the better in this series. 😀 Nice to see the series is continuing strong. The relationship between those two characters does also sound pretty good. A bit curious about the overall direction of the story though. Nice review, Beth. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I completely agree with this book being rather slow and more about the character development than anything else. That didn’t really bother me though, as I loved the characters and needed to know more about them! 😀
    I love the relationship between Will and Jem! It’s one of my favourite aspects of the whole trilogy. They love each other so much and would do anything for the other. It was wonderful seeing that bond between them. ❤ I usually dislike love triangles, but this is the only one that I actually liked. Mostly because it didn't seem forced and because Will and Jem love each other as well. 🙂
    Great review Beth! ❤ 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I mean yeah it didn’t bother me that much either. I loved the characters and enjoyed knowing more about them. I think I just hoped after the first book there’s be more action you know?
      Same here, I really felt that the bond between Will and Jem was much better written than the bond between Jace and Alec. Will and Jem are how parabatai are supposed to be, and yeah they’re why I enjoyed the love triangle as well.
      Thanks so much Anna. 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I haven’t read this series yet but I absolutely want to! Second Book Syndrome is the worst, though. I always feel twice as anxious when starting a sequel because I just know how high the probability is that it will disappoint me. There are exceptions, of course, but usually that’s what happens.
    I’m sorry to hear this wasn’t as good as you’d hoped, Beth :/ At least you liked the love triangle? That’s not something you hear every day hahaha
    Lovely review! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think overall the second book is still really good, but yeah it just suffered a little from second book syndrome which is a shame. I get what you mean because I feel the same way. Especially if you love the first book you really want the second to be even more amazing.
      Yeah, and actually enjoying the love triangle is no small thing. Normally I hate them. 🙂
      Thanks so much. ❤


  4. Ahhhh the parabatai bond between WILL & JEM just makes me cryyyyyyy it’s the best in the trilogy and is so heartbreakingggggggggg. I found that this book was a bit of a filler too, but AHHH STILL AMAZING.

    Loved your review 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s making me cry reading Clockwork Princess now. I have a feeling it’s going to end horribly heartbreaking but I love those characters and their relationship so so much. 🙂
      Yeah still amazing for a filler book, but not as good as Clockwork Angel or what I’ve read so far of Clockwork Princess.
      Thanks so much! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. After a while I’ve found books can blur a little in my mind, and if you read this when it was first released that was a very long time ago. Five stars is a great rating, and yeah I can see why this series is your favourite, it’s becoming mine as well! 😀


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