Cassandra Clare opens Clockwork Prince with a heart cinching prologue with Will Herondale making one of his shady purchases of the powder his best friend, and parabatai, Jem needs to stay alive. He is also in the market for another 'concoction' for indifference...for him. Only a fool would not know who he is needing indifference from and my heart broke in these beginning pages.
It only went downhill from there.
The Council is in an uproar after the failures of the London Institute in capturing Mortmain, or The Magister, and the questionable killing of deQuincey. The members, and more specifically, Benedict Lightwood, think our girl Charlotte is unfit to run the Institute. She is tasked with finding some concrete evidence, or get Mortmain himself, and bring him to trial basically. An impossible task, but Charlotte was giving it a go.
Our team of Shadowhunters are all backing her and they set out to get the required information. The team meets obstacle after obstacle and we feel this is all going to end disastrously. We, the reader, are not far from the mark. In true Cassie Clare fashion the odds are piled up against our heroes Tessa, Jem, and Will. There are spies once again in the Institute, Jem's health seems to be in a more precarious balance than ever before, Will is fighting his feelings (and beginning to lose) and we are not entirely sure why, Tessa is left with more and more questions about her origins, and to top things off, Mortmain is one step ahead of them as always. Will's walls are cracking as he is faced with his family, Jem and Tessa become closer as Tessa continues to fight the feelings that burn for Will, The Institute is betrayed by one of their own, The Lightwood boys may just have redeeming qualities after all, and sweet little Sophie is quite an unexpected joy.
When we finally learn why Will is the way he is....wow. My heart broke. But it broke again as we see the truths behind what Will believed. Our poor, broken Will.... Will my heart ever stop aching for him? Probably not.
As always, Cassie's characters are wonderfully written. Fierce and caustic Will breaks your heart, gentle Jem warms your soul, and the quiet brevity of Tessa rings like a crystalline bell. Nate's reappearance is a double edged sword. His treachery is both sickening and pitiful. Charlotte and Henry "find" each other and bring new joy and Jessamine's narrow-mindedness makes you pity her.
For being longer books, Cassie's world of Shadowhunters in Clockwork Prince is a fast paced read. The action does not seem to stop. As we have come to expect from her books, the plot twists are highly enjoyable and the love triangles rip your heart to shreds. Her beautiful world of Victorian London spills from the pages and paints your mind's eye with wonderful clarity. The subtlety of the steampunkish clockwork figures is magnificent and does not overpower the deeper parts of the story-line.
All in all I am so addicted to Cassie's Shadowhunters and her world of Infernal Devices and Mortal Instruments. I can only wish I had found them sooner and they could go on forever. It is sad, almost, that the next installment will be the final book in the series. There are so many things we desperately need to find conclusion for and I hope that Clockwork Princess will be the icing on the figurative cake. If I know Miss Cassie at all, I would say it will be a delightfully scrumptious icing.