Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Infernal Devices: Book Two - Clockwork Prince

The Infernal Devices: Book Two - Clockwork Prince

Cassandra Clare
Fiction  Series
For ages 14 and up
Simon and Schuster, 2011   ISBN: 978-1416975885

Though the Shadowhunters in London have managed to avoid being wiped out by Axel Mortmain, the Magister, their troubles are far from over. The head of one of the Shadowhunter families, Benedict Lightwood, is eager to take over the running of the Institute and remove Charlotte Branwell from her position as head of that Institute. Prodded by Benedict Lightwood, the Council decides that Charlotte must prove her worthiness by finding Axel Mortmain within two weeks.

Tessa is eager to help Charlotte, not just because Charlotte has taken her in and helped her, but also because Tessa hopes that finding Axel Mortmain will mean finding out who, and what, she is. For some reason, Axel Mortmain seems to know a great deal about Tessa.

Tessa and the two young Shadowhunters, Jem and Will, set about trying to piece together Axel’s past, hoping it will lead them to his current whereabouts. Together the young people figure out that Axel hates Shadowhunters because he blames them for the death of his adoptive Warlock parents.

Meanwhile, Tessa struggles with the feelings that she has for both Jem and Will. Jem is kind and good, while Will is broody and difficult to understand. Will always seems to sabotage any attempt anyone makes to get close to him, and yet it seems as if his softer side is trying to break through his prickly exterior. What no one at the Institute knows is that Will carries a terrible burden that prevents him from getting close to anyone. More than anything he wants to be free to love and be loved.

Though Charlotte and her young supporters make progress, and learn a few important facts about Axel Mortmain, somehow their actions always seem to be matched by the enemy. It is almost as if Mortmain knows what they are going to do before they do it. How is this possible? Is one of their number a traitor?

Readers who enjoyed the first Infernal Devices title will find this book riveting. The stories of Jem, Will, and Tessa are explored further, and we learn a little more about who they are, but some questions are still left unanswered. Our heroes gain some ground, but they also lose some, and we are left knowing that we are going to have to wait for book three in the series to come out before we will be able to find out more about Tessa’s past and her future.