Review Blog

Jan 20 2012

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

cover image

Walker Books, 2011. ISBN: 9781406330373.
(Ages 15+). Recommended. This is the second of three books in the Infernal Devices series, which is a prequel to the hugely popular Mortal Instruments. Set in Victorian London, it follows the journey of Tessa, a 16 year old American orphan, who discovers that she is not what she always thought she was - human. She is rescued by the initially suspicious and guarded Shadowhunters, who then help and support her in her search to discover her origins, and the role she is destined to play in the evil designs of the Magister.
This is an evocative story set in the atmospheric, murky and class ridden world of Victorian England. Shadowhunters battle rogue vampires and Downworlders, fight to keep the fragile peace and uphold the Accords, all unbeknownst to the human population. They are desperate to uncover the malevolent plans of Mortmain, also known as the Magister, who is creating an army of clockwork soldiers and machines in his mission to overthrow the Shadowhunters and conquer the world.
I liked this book much more than the first in this series, Clockwork Angel. Tessa has grown as a character and is more accepting of her strange past and uncertain future. She is losing the constraints of her strict and austere upbringing and is proving to be brave and resourceful.
Something I really enjoyed about this book is the author's evident love of literature and poetry. The main characters are passionate about books and reading, and literary references are woven into the narrative. The discussions on favourite books and authors such as Charles Dickens, may encourage some readers to seek them out. There is also quite a lot of humour, wit and very funny one liners which helps to allay the often dark and sometimes tragic tone. As well as the ubiquitous love triangle, there is also murder, masquerade balls, mechanical assassins, secrets, betrayals, curses, carriage rides, corsets, and a whole cast of supernatural characters.
Cassandra Clare's books have been a real favourite with teenage girls, and this book will be no exception. The third book, Clockwork Princess, will not be out until the end of this year, so we will wait with bated breath to find out how this enjoyable series ends.
Alicia Papp

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