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Review: Clockwork Prince

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare will be released in the U.S. on December 6, 2011 in hardcover, audio and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in all formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. (A collector’s edition is available at Amazon and an exclusive edition is available at Barnes & Noble.)

Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, the print edition is 528 pages.

Clockwork Prince is the second book in The Infernal Devices series by author Cassandra Clare.

***

Goodreads description:

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.

***

Somewhere in England a madman, hellbent on revenge, is watching, waiting, biding his time and building his armies.

In hiding, he anticipates their every move. Always just one step ahead. Pulling the strings. Calling the shots.

He has a plan. He set a trap. And all he has to do is wait. But his patience is not infinite.

And time is running out…

… for Charlotte to track him down and prove to everyone once and for all that she’s capable of running the Institute.

… for Tessa to find answers about where she comes from and who she really is, so she can discover where she truly belongs.

… for Will to break free from the demons of his past and to reveal his secrets before he loses everything.

… for Jem to find a cure before it’s too late for him to find happiness and to give his heart to someone he loves.

***

Clockwork Prince is the highly anticipated, incredibly imaginative, enthralling and heartbreaking sequel to Clockwork Angel in Cassandra Clare’s The Infernal Devices series.

The prologue will immediately draw readers back into the author’s richly developed and magical world of Shadow Hunters, Downworlders and Mundanes. Returning them to a Victorian London that keeps its secrets hidden amidst the shadows of its crowded and soot-covered alleyways.

Leadership of the Institute is being called into question and Charlotte will have to prove to Consul Wayland and the rest of the Clave that she should continue to run it. The Magister remains on the loose, plotting his revenge and waiting for just the right time to send in his clockwork army.

Tessa is still desperate for answers to questions that it seems only the Magister knows. And Will is struggling to keep his secrets, the burden of which is becoming almost too much to bear.

In this suspenseful and gripping story, every answer only seems to lead to more questions. Every chapter offers a new surprise. And as more and more secrets are revealed, discoveries are made, hidden motivations are uncovered and a shocking betrayal comes to light, readers will be left stunned and heartbroken and anxious for more.

Cassandra Clare’s writing has such a beautiful cadence and flow. It allows readers to easily get pulled into her stories, and Clockwork Prince is no exception. And while it may appear to be lengthy, at approximately five hundred pages, it is a surprisingly quick and immensely enjoyable read.

While the world she creates in this series is very different from the one in The Mortal Instruments, the elements that are the same really connect the two – from a shared history and common ancestors to characters who survive the passage of time to appear in both series. And from the Shadow Hunters to the Silent Brothers, from the Clave to the Institutes, both series have a foundation that is exceptionally detailed, incredibly exciting and much beloved to fans.

Her characters in Clockwork Prince are easily as lovable as those in her other series, if not more so. Tessa is beautiful, brave, loyal, kind-hearted, intelligent and inquisitive. Jem is handsome, patient, trustworthy, fiercely loyal and incredibly easy-going. Magnus is just as charming and funny and endearing as he is over a century later in The Mortal Instruments.

And then there’s Will. Will is complicated. He’s temperamental, sarcastic, startlingly good-looking, irresistibly sexy, mysterious, secretive, fiercely loyal to his parabatai Jem, at times incredibly cruel and at others unbelievably kind.

Without a doubt, Clockwork Prince is a must read that will engage readers and instantly transport them back in time to this story set in the Victorian Era that is a wonderful mix of paranormal, steampunk, action, mystery and suspense, and has at its heart a love story.

Reviewer gives this book…

On a personal note:

What an amazing and heartbreaking book this was. I can’t believe I have to wait for an entire year to get my hands on Clockwork Princess. Because, not only do I want to know what happens next, I really want to know who the clockwork princess is!

There are just so many questions that are left unanswered at the end of Clockwork Prince. So many different directions this story can take. I do not have a single clue – not one – about where the author plans on going. And it’s killing me. Just killing me.

Sure, this may not be considered a book with a cliffhanger ending, or at least not one that leaves you totally suspended in midair. But even if I’m not left hanging, a lot of things are. Or if not hanging, then certainly open-ended. With way too many possibilities for things to go wrong… or even more wrong than they already have.

And not many of these possibilities seem like they’ll have happy endings, or at least endings I’ll be happy with. But I definitely remain hopeful. I mean, just look at Clary and Jace in City of Glass.

I love, love, love, love, love just how much Will there is in this story. And Magnus, though I could always use more Magnus. While I am a huge Jem fan, I tend to lean toward the bad boy or at least the super-sarcastic boy who pretends not to care about anyone or anything, but sorta does.

I refuse to be spoiler-y so I will try not to talk too much about any of the characters, but so much happens with them in this story. And while it doesn’t always feel like a lot is going on, a lot is actually going on.

There is less of an emphasis on the steampunk aspects in this book, but they’re not left out entirely. And there is a reason why they take a back seat and that’s because a large part of this story is on certain other characters who have been keeping secrets. I really can say no more.

Tessa is just as lovable as I remembered her from the first book in the series. She’s a book lover – which already makes her a favorite – and she’s clever and so good-hearted. But she does show another side to her personality in this book. One that makes me like her even more.

I’ve always been a huge Jem fan, though Will is still my number one. And the author shows a lot more of the yumminess of Jem in this book, which makes the choice between the two boys a little more difficult.

But Will…. Oh Will. There is just so much I’d love to say about Will right about now. If I only could…. I will just say that he is definitely in this book. A lot. Which made me a very, very happy girl… mostly…. And that he is just as maddeningly and infuriatingly sexy as ever.

And yes, I was devastated about certain turns of events. The author took my heart and crushed it and I don’t know quite how I’ll recover. And I just can’t see how it can be repaired in the next book. Maybe I’ll need a clockwork one.

I think I pre-ordered every single version of this book. I don’t want to miss out on any of the extras that come with it. And I am hoping they’ll reveal just a little more about what I can anticipate in Clockwork Princess which seems just so very far away right now.

I am such a huge fan of both series and after reading Clockwork Prince, I think I might love them equally. Cassandra Clare’s writing is always magical and the world’s she creates are so elaborate and captivating and exciting, and they make me want to get lost in them again and again.

Fortunately City of Lost Souls will be out in May to help break up the long, long wait for the next book in The Infernal Devices series. And so the countdown begins….

***

There is a passage in this book that is a clear favorite And while I thought about including it here without attribution, and not the entire passage, I decided it would still be just too obvious. But this one tugged on my heartstrings too.

Jem to Will:

“If I was harsh with you, it was because I cannot bear to see you treat yourself as if you are worth nothing. Whatever part you might act to the contrary, I see you as you really are, my blood brother. Not just better than you pretend to be, but better than most people could hope to be.” He placed a hand on Will’s shoulder, gently. “You are worth everything, Will.”

To read an excerpt of the prologue from the series website, CLICK HERE.

Book trailer for Clockwork Prince:

Masquerade ball trailer for Clockwork Prince:

This review is based on an ARC I received through a blog tour.

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