Revisiting books feels like going out for a cup of coffee with old friends. I don’t believe I’ve mentioned it here but I’ve been a massive fan of The Mortal Instruments saga for a few years now.
The Infernal Devices is a Young Adult trilogy, written by bestselling author Cassandra Clare and it consists of the three books Clockwork Angel, Clockwork Prince and Clockwork Princess.
The story of the trilogy is set in 19th century England (predominantly London, but other locations are also mentioned) and we are introduced to the world of Shadowhunters and Downworlders (Warlocks, Faeries, Vampires, Werewolves, Demons). The main characters are two young men (James Carstairs and his parabatai William Herondale) who meet the leading female Tessa Gray on a rescue mission. Tessa has arrived from New York on an invitation from her brother but it all turns out to be a trap.
The trio goes through a lot of emotional drama, there is romance and adventure and a lot of book references. Also, in the trilogy we get a bit of the backstory of other Shadowhunting families that are later on mentioned in The Mortal Instruments with the future generations – we learn about the Lightwoods, Fairchilds, Herondales, Starkweathers, Morgensterns.
I absolutely recommend reading this trilogy before you start reading The Mortal Instruments because references in TMI would be more easily understood if you have the context. The books are wonderfully written, full of action, book references and another thing I enjoyed thoroughly is that each chapter starts with a poetry quote.
I give the trilogy a 5/5 rating.
SPOILERS and a more detailed review of each of the books:
In Clockwork Angel Tessa Gray arrives in London from New York on invitation from her brother who left America to start over in England. She doesn’t know what she is in for – and is almost immediately plunged into the darkness of the underground supernatural world of 1878 London. She finds the two great loves of her life and a new family in the most unexpected place – the London Institute. She is introduced to the culture and tradition of shadowhunters and we learn about her backstory and those of some of the great shadowhunter families. Tessa decides to join their side and fight against the clockwork creatures and downworlder army that is threatening the safety of the British Empire.
My rating: 4/5 stars
A quote: “One must always be careful of books,” said Tessa, “and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.”
Tessa has found safety with her new family, the shadowhunters of the London Institute. However, the Clave (the main organization of Shadowhunters) is trying to remove Charlotte Branwell (the matriarch figure of the London Institute) from her position as Head of the Institute as it’s quite unusual for a woman to be head of an organization and if Charlotte loses her position, Tessa loses her protection and home. Jem, Will and Tessa investigate the cause for the Magister’s desire to start war on the shadowhunters and find it to be an old personal tragedy. By investigating the cause of the war, the trio travels to Yorkshire where they learn details of Tessa’s parentage. A clockwork demon delivers a warning from the Magistrate, warning them to stop poking around in his past or someone they love would get hurt.
My rating: 5/5 stars
A quote: “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 colors 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–and then I realized that truly I just wanted you.”
The identity of the Magister is revealed and he wants to unleash an army of Infernal devices on the shadowhunters and to complete his sinister plan he needs Tessa. The two boys in love with Tessa will do anything to save her including sacrifice themselves and Jem and Tessa’s happiness comes to a fast end. The book is full of heartbreak, love, magic and amazing discoveries.
This is my favorite of the three books and it always makes me cry like a baby. I love the original trio and they are very important to the shadowhunter world.
My rating: 5/5 stars
A quote: “You know that feeling,” she said, “when you are reading a book, and you know that it is going to be a tragedy; you can feel the cold and darkness coming, see the net drawing tight around the characters who live and breathe on the pages. But you are tied to the story as if being dragged behind a carriage and you cannot let go or turn the course aside.”
Have you read this series? Which book was your favorite?