Clockwork Prince is as witty and clever as it is enthralling and amorous. Worldwide bestselling author Cassandra Clare has created a story that is almost impossible to put down. A story of love, loss, forgiveness and self-sacrifice. The characters are lovable, the scenes engaging and the plot fascinating in this 1850’s London based fantasy world. Each character (who is quirky and unique in their own way) holds an invaluable role that completes their unbreakable, forged family unit whilst walking their own road of self-discovery.
It’s not just the male characters that play the hero, either. The female leads model intelligence, strength and independence. They each offer a strength that the others lack, despite the fact that they each have their own different and distinct roles. As they struggle to find their own identities, they each come to realise that, as a whole, feminine strength is found both within your individual voice and from being heard.
In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray 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 for the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa’s heart is increasingly torn, especially when one of their own betrays them…
Clockwork Prince is the second novel is Clare’s The Infernal Devices trilogy, which are the prequel novels to her The Mortal Instruments series. After being a massive fan and lover of The Mortal Instruments books, I was worried that this trilogy would not live up to the high exceptions I had in mind. However, I was delightfully proved wrong, and fell for these characters and their stories, just as much, if not more. Rather than focusing so much on all the action and drama, Clockwork Prince (just like the rest of The Infernal Devices novels) look more to the relationships between the characters and their inner thoughts. A trait, I believe, that makes this a more compelling and heart filling read.
There are a lot of distinctive themes that resonate in Clockwork Prince; looking at true love, family, betrayal, hidden secrets, identity… the list goes on. However, this book contains a much deeper message that, I found, brings comfort and hope to it’s readers. The idea that we are never as alone as we feel, and we cannot stop people from loving us.
One of the characters, Will Herondale, goes through most of the novel trying to push people away out of fear of a curse that is bestowed upon him. This only makes him feel alone in a world full of people. Even when he tries to let people in, he still ends up feeling like he is completely on his own.
But as he progresses through the novel he begins to realise that no matter how alone we may feel, we are never as alone as may think. There is always someone out there who feels what we feel and think what we think; someone that can connect to us or whom we can connect to. Sometimes all we need is just a little reminder of that. He says:
“We live and breathe words. …. It was books that made me feel that perhaps I was not completely alone. They could be honest with me, and I with them. Reading your words, what you wrote, how you were lonely sometimes and afraid, but always brave; the way you saw the world, its colours and textures and sounds, I felt–I felt the way you thought, hoped, felt, dreamt. I felt I was dreaming and thinking and feeling with you. I dreamed what you dreamed, wanted what you wanted.”
— Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Prince
Because of Will’s innate desire to keep everyone in his life at a distance in fear that they might love him and get hurt, he believes that he is stopping everyone from loving him. Which, ultimately, is what he wants. But what he comes to see is that even when he tries to keep everyone away from him, he cannot stop people from caring about him or loving him.
Where Will thinks he is not worthy of love and does not deserve it, his best friend and parabatai shows him time and time again that he loves him. He reminds him he is a good man, maybe the best of men, and his faith in Will restores Will’s faith in himself.
Not only that, but the girl he comes to love, not only loves him back, but reminds him that he is part of family that has been made. Made up of boys like brothers, girls like sisters and a woman and man who love him like parents.
Even when we try to, we cannot stop people from loving us, or from giving our own hearts away to them.