Literary Friday: Clockwork Prince

Synopsis according to Goodreads:
In magical Victorian London, orphan Tessa found safety with the Shadowhunters, until traitors betray her to the Magister. He wants to marry her, but so do self-destructive Will and fiercely devoted Jem. Mage Magnus Bane returns to help them. Secrets to her parentage lie with the mist-shrouded Yorkshire Institute's aged manager Alyosius Starkweather.

Clockwork Prince moves at a different pace than Clockwork Angel did, but like all good sequels, it builds on the story that precedes it. There's still action, and romance, and intrigue, and plenty of startling surprises, but the pace is somehow slower. To clarify: I still really liked it.

Tessa continues to be a great example of a heroine who has been molded by the cultural and gender expectations of her society. She tries to do what is right and proper, but has good excuses for when those attempts fail. Her strength lies not in pure butt-kicking, but in speaking the truth and supporting others. The fact that it's her love, not humility, that gets things done around the Institute and beyond is FANTASTIC. What a great literary role model for young adults!

I also like that the relationships were complex and realistic. Jem is not just a dying man to be pitied (thank goodness, because I really like him), Will is not just Jace2.0, and Jessamine is not just a spoiled rich brat. As she has done consistently with all of her books, Cassandra Clare has created a world and an ensemble of characters that are complex and toothsome.

 I recommend this book for those who have read Clockwork Angel (of course). And I recommend The Infernal Devices series (because you should read them in order) to those who enjoy strong female protagonists, Victorian and Steampunk worlds, diverse and complex characters, historically-rich fantasy, good balances of action/character development/mystery/romance, adventure stories with political intrigue in them, and Victorian literature.

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