Book Review: Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare.

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|498 pages|Published December 6th 2011|  Margaret K. McElderry Books|

Summary: 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, though 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.

|Contains mild spoilers|

So…after my rather intense visceral reaction to Clockwork Angel last week (Review Here), I must admit it was with some trepidation that I clicked on Clockwork Prince as I fervently hoped and prayed that I would be proved wrong as expressed in my review of CA and happily I admit The Infernal Devices holds a much more esteemed position of favour in my heart! Whilst at times I consider the characters and world to be less developed and rich as TMI, I am much more intrigued and involved than I thought and I will admit to shedding a few tears whilst reading this book. The last 20% was intense and reinvigorated my love for Cassandra Clare. I still cannot see Clockwork Angel as a stand-alone book in it’s own right, it really does feel like simply an intro to TID with too many loose ends but the writing in CP is far more structured and altogether a tighter, well thought-out story that I enjoyed very much.

So what did I like? Well one of my main gripes was the characterisation. In CA, I had felt in comparison to TMI, the characters were more caricatures of Victorian London and didn’t tug at my emotions and make me care for them like I had gasped, sighed and cried over Jace & co. Will was the main character I had problems with. As his story is much more developed in CP, my sympathy and understanding grew for him and he has become a real favourite however perhaps in my old age, snark is not a particularly attractive quality in a potential mate and, I feel CC really did him a disservice in not exploring his storyline more in CA which meant I really couldn’t bring myself to root for him and Tessa for a long time. (More on that later) I admit my heart broke for him when the big reveal came to light particularly as the flashback to his parents outside the Institute was revisited and the grief both he and his family endured because of such cruelty. As the heaviness was lifted from his heart, I too felt that dislike lift which made the last few pages as he bounded into the institute ready to begin his life anew all the more heart wrenching. BTW Did anyone else roll their eyes at Magnus suddenly realising a certain aspect of Demons and curses whilst being released from a pyxis and wonder how this didn’t occur to him sooner since the whole story had been related to him by Will earlier in the book. Convenient?

Jessamine…well she’s still as much a non-character as in CA although I did have a slight moment of weakness where I felt sympathy for her but it quickly passed! Phew.

In book one, Charlotte and Henry were again non-entities for me but I admit I fell in love with them a bit. The conversation they had about their feelings was so unbelieveably sweet and bumbling and just pure loveliness. They remind me of a Simon/Alec hybrid for some reason. Sweet, clueless, vulnerable and intelligent all somehow wrapped in an adorable ball.

The love story…For me. It’s Will and Jem. I adore them. I haven’t come across too characters with such a pure sweet love, loyalty, intensity that is soul stirring in such a long time. They embody the definition of Parabatai so beautifully and at times I was brought to tears. Their love for Tessa and it’s effects on their love for each other makes my stomach heavy and I so hope it endures no matter the events of Clockwork Princess. Jem and Tessa just seem more real for me as a couple. I read somewhere about arranged marraiges and how they could ever possibly grow into an intense love and I’m clumsily paraphrasing here but it was something like a pot of cold water that takes a long time to come to a simmer lasts longer than a overflowing pot of boiling water. Will and Tessa do have chemistry but it feels more lustful and passionate in Clockwork Prince than the deep understanding true love that comes across between Jem and Tessa.

I must include a disclaimer here that Twitter in its wonderful way did spoil me to the family tree in Clockwork Princess so I know how it all ends up which enraged me until I was THEN spoiled again for the epilogue which made me a very happy bunny so while I first was annoyed when I heard about Tessa and her choices, now that I have a clearer idea of how it all comes to pass I’m very much looking forward to reading Clockwork Princess, although yes how sucky was is to be spoiled? Social Media, not always a win.

I adore Sophie and her developing relationship with a Shadowhunter is something I am seriously shipping and am dying to know how that all comes to pass! The introduction of the new potential Shadowhunter at the end is another plot point I’m so looking forward to!

So clearly this has turned into a character driven review but I do want to touch briefly on the plot as a whole. I think the pacing was smoother and flowed better. The bad guys were more realised and even I dare say sympathetic. Despite Mortmain being the BIG BAD, his absence was a bit puzzling and I’m assuming this is building up to something fairly epic in Clockwork Princess. Fingers crossed!!

So what didn’t I like? Not much it seems. Again at times things were a bit stereotypical, the Irish maid with the red hair keening in the kitchen (BTW we Irish are more likely to be brunettes if you’re ever featuring a paddy in a story writers!) but these were minor gripes and overall the book was of the quality I’ve come to expect and love from Cassie Clare. I initially was going to give this book 3.5 stars but it brought tears to my eyes so it deserves better!

Rating: ★★★★

TMI 1- 1 TID!

Starting Clockwork Princess NOW! Will I give it 5 stars?? I honestly hope so!

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