Cassandra Clare’s Clockwork Prince transports the reader quickly back in to the heat of the story right where we left off. And when I say ‘heat’ I am not using that word lightly. What transpires between the characters is hot, hot, hot! The tension between Tessa, Jem and Will has been turned up to Nth degree. Tessa is recovering from the revelations that she learned at the end of Clockwork Angel while simultaneously searching for any scrap of information that could lead her to learn more about what or who she is, but this isn’t the focus of Clare’s narrative arc in this installment of The Infernal Devices.
Clare does a good job juggling all of the conflicting emotions while maintaining Tessa’s dignity, and our respect for her as a compassionate, strong female lead. I was still drawn to her as a character as she attempted to navigate her own feelings and those of others, although I missed some of the excitement where we witnessed her journey towards independence. To be fair, Claire did spend a good amount of time exploring Tessa as a character in the first book and what we do gain here is a better understanding of the motivations and histories that drive both Jem and Will as characters. We also become more familiar with Charlotte and Henry, Magnus Bane, and even Sophie.
While the overarching plot is left relatively at rest in this book, it remained quite the page-turner, the real focus is on the operatic romance, ripe with tragic pasts, twists and turns. There is also a marvelous sequence where Jem, Will and Tessa travel to Yorkshire to do some more in-depth investigation into the Magister mystery and we learn that it’s Tessa’s first trip to the countryside. In this moment, her wonder and awe is tangible and reminds me what I love about the series. This book definitely built up the anticipation and left me with a sense of what’s to come next, leaving me waiting with baited breath.