Synopsis from Goodreads: 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.
The Cover: Can I marry this cover? Seriously.
The First Line (from the Prologue): “The fog was thick, muffling sight and sound.” You get a sense of place and a bit of an ominous feeling from this line. Having said that, the prologue seems unnecessary, especially since it was online for a bit. But, I’m not a fan of prologues in general.
The First Line (from Chapter 1 “The Council Chamber”): “‘Oh, yes. It really does look just as I imagined,’ Tessa said, and turned to smile at the boy who stood beside her.” As this is the second book of the trilogy, the readers would already be familiar with the characters and their interactions. It takes no time to realize that the boy beside Tessa is Jem, but the first line leaves a hint of doubt that she may be with Will.
The Good: I loved this book. Will, Jem, and Tessa are great characters. As a reader, my heart aches for each of them as they face their challenges. That’s one of the things that Clare does brilliantly: she makes you care for all the characters, even Gabriel Lightwood. One of the other things that I love is the sense of place. I feel like I’ve been transported to Victorian England and I never want to leave. Of course, she knows how to write some great sexual tension too.
The Bad: I had the same problem with this book a I did with Clockwork Angel. Will’s eyes are blue. Yes, we know. Jem’s eyes are silver. Yes, we know.
Recommendation: If you haven’t read Clockwork Angel, do and then run to pick up Clockwork Prince. It’s totally worth hiding from you family for a day to read it straight through. When you’ve finished them, tell me if you are Team Jem or Team Will.