The Clockwork Prince is the second book in the Infernal Devices series. This is a book where what you expect to happen is not what happens. What is really great about this book is that we finally get to have a better understanding of Will Herondale and why he acts how he does. Will approaches Magnus Bane for help with a curse that he believes was put on him 5 years earlier. When Will was about 12, he opened a pyxis that he found in his father’s things. A pyxis is used to hold a demon captive. By opening it, Will freed a demon that had been prisoner for many years. His older sister Ella comes in to help him with the demon. The demon tells Will that he has cursed him by making it so anyone who loves him will die. The next day, Ella dies. This prompts will to leave his family and seek out the London Institute so that nothing else will happen to those he loves. He has spent all of his time at the Institute being mean and rude and trying to keep people at arms length to prevent them from being harmed by the curse. Will hopes that Magnus will be able to help him find the demon so that the curse can be lifted.
While this is happening, Tessa Gray and Jem Carstairs start growing closer. This ultimately leads to Jem proposing to Tessa and her accepting. This is right about when Will finds out that the curse he thought was put on him never actually existed. After being captive for so long, the demon is not strong enough to place a real curse on him. Will hurries back to the Institute tell profess his love to Tessa and she tells him that she has already accepted Jem’s marriage proposal. Tessa says she does not love Will to protect both him and Jem. She loves both boys.
Charlotte Branwell is faced with opposition to her being the head of the London Institute. The Lightwood family wants to take over for her. The Consul gives her two weeks to find out as much as she can about the Magister. This is how we find out all sorts of stuff about the Magister. He was adopted by two warlock parents and raise as their own even though he is mundane. He learns from his warlock father about how to make the automatons. His parents are eventually killed by Shadowhunters. The Magister is able to escape. A few years later he seeks reparations for his loss but is denied. He decides that he will exact revenge on all Shadowhunters, which is why he builds his Infernal Device army of clockwork automatons.
This also leads to information about the Lightwood family being found out by the Institute Shadowhunters. Benedict Lightwood (who is the main proponent for having Charlotte removed as head of the institute) is discovered to have demon pox. This disease is spread to Shadowhunters who have sexual relations with demons. It is also discovered that he is working with the Magister. Charlotte using this information to her advantage to remain the head of the Institute.
A plan to get information from Tessa’s brother Nate goes awry and he ends up being killed. Jessamine gets sent to the Silent City to be investigated by the Silent Brothers because she married Nate and was helping him set up Tessa and Charlotte.
What is great about this book is that most of what happens you don’t see coming. Sometimes that is a little disappointing but more often it is exciting and drives you to continue reading. It is really a great book. My only real issue with the first two books of the Internal Device series is that they cannot stand on their own as a story. Neither of them have an ending that really provides any kind of conclusion. Other series are able to have each book tie up their own stories while still being part of the series. But these books don’t really tie anything up. There are some minor plot lines that are resolved but the main story is obviously not over. While it helps make readers want to continue the series it also makes finishing the book a little disappointing because it seems unfinished.