”It is always better to live the truth than to live a lie.”
I love this quote because it sums up everything that happens in this book. There are many truths that come to the light of day and there are even more lies that are revealed and cause some damage. The difference between “Clockwork Angel” and “Clockwork Prince” always kind of astonishes me. While the first book is pretty slow and character driven this second book is all those things as well but it still feel so very different than “Clockwork Angel”.
For one thing, it’s way darker than its predecessor and we get a better understanding for all those characters and the struggles they have to deal with. They were already amazing characters on the surface but “Clockwork Prince” digs deeper than that and we finally get to see all of their different facets. Jem is more than just the kind angel everyone expects him to be, Tessa is more than the damsel in distress everyone believes her to be and Will is not the self-centred and arrogant scumbag he wants us to see. So if I have to name the difference between the first and the second book I’d say that this one goes deeper.
There’s more depth to the characters, the stakes are higher. Everything – from the storyline to the protagonists – is darker and more pronounced. There’s an urgency to “Clockwork Prince” that was never visible in the former book and it’s like an undercurrent that runs through the entire story. I just love how CC doesn’t only manage to capture my attention but also makes me feel so much with her characters. They are real people and my heart is bleeding for them. ❤
And before I write another essay (which I totally could! *lol*) I’ll go to my characters section instead and talk about all those wonderful feelings! ;-P
The London Institute is full of secrets and once you take a closer look you’ll not only discover the truth but you’ll also be spoiled! XD So if you continue on your way: Stay alert and be aware that there will be spoilers at every corner! Continue at your own peril!
”You didn’t think about him,” said Tessa. “But perhaps you should have. Don’t you understand he thinks you made a mockery out of what’s killing him? And you’re supposed to be his brother.”
I really love Tessa’s character arc! At the beginning of the first book she was naive and basically a damsel in distress but in here we see how strong she’s become. She fights for the people she loves and cares about, she talks back to Will and gives him a run for his money and she tries to help Jessamine even though she betrayed her in the worst way possible. Tessa is a really compassionate, brave and kind character and I’m not surprised both, Will and Jem, fell for her. Also it’s nice to see her take the initiative and to go for what she wants. She’s more determined and headstrong than she was before and I like it. XD It was difficult to see how she struggled with Nate’s death because no matter what he did to her, he was still her brother and she just couldn’t hate him. >_<
Tessa was unmoved. “I won’t know if I like it until I try it, will I?”
“I’ve never swum naked in the Thames, but I know I wouldn’t like it.”
“But think how entertaining for sightseers,” said Tessa, and she saw Jem duck his head to hide the quick flash of his grin.
”Do not mock him.” Tessa’s tone was sharp.
“Nothing is beyond mockery, Tess.”
“Jem is. He has always been good to you. He is nothing but goodness. That he hit you last night, only shows how capable you are of driving even saints to madness.”
“Jem hit me?” Will, fingering his cheek, looked amazed.
”He could never stay angry at you, Will; he loves you too well for that. I do not even think he would hold anger toward me. But this morning he told me he thought he would die without ever loving anyone as his father loved his mother, without ever being loved like that in return. Do you want me to go down the hallway and knock on his door and take that away from him? And would you love me still, if I did?”
„If I might make a suggestion,” said Will. “About twenty paces behind us, in the Council room, is Benedict. If you’d like to go back in there and try kicking him, I recommend aiming upward and a bit to the left-“
First of all I want to say how amazing that “throwing the apple and the dagger” scene was! *lol* There’s a nonchalance about this boy that is amazing! XD Yes, he can be super arrogant but in contrast to others he can back up his arrogance with truly remarkable skills. He has every reason to be confident. ;-P This said, I suffered so much with Will in this book! The entire thing with the curse from the demon Marbas was so heart-breaking and once he found out the truth… Oh gods! Just imagine living 5 years like that and then finding out that there was actually never a curse. To gain this kind of knowledge! It must have been so devastating! T_T When Will finally realized it and broke down I just wanted to hug him and make it better. >_< That poor, poor boy! Still, I’m glad the truth is out now and it was really good to see Will’s true self. The person he hid behind all those walls for so long is a truly beautiful boy and I can’t wait to see even more of him in the next book! <333
”What did they do?” Will’s voice rose. “What did they do? Nothing. It is me. I am poison. Poison to them. Poison to anyone who loves me.”
”Can you imagine it? Can you?” He raked his hands through his black hair, letting the tangled strands fall back into his eyes. “Never letting anyone near you. Making everyone who might otherwise love you, hate you. I left my family to distance myself from them, and that they might forget me. Each day I must show cruelty to those I have chosen to make my home with, lest they let themselves feel too much affection for me.”
”I feel myself diminished, parts of me spiraling away into the darkness, that which is good and honest and true – If you hold it away from yourself long enough, do you lose it entirely? If no one cares for you at all, do you even really exist?”
”You and I, Tess, we’re alike. We live and breathe words. It was books that kept me from taking my own life after I thought I could never love anyone, never be loved by anyone again. It was books that made me feel that perhaps I was not completely alone. They could be honest with me, and I with them.”
„Will slid to his knees. His hands were locked across his stomach as if they were keeping his guts from spilling out. Five years, he thought. Five years wasted. He heard his family screaming and pounding on the doors of the Institute and himself ordering Charlotte to send them away. And they had never known why. They had lost a daughter and a son in a matter of days, and they had never known why. And the others – Henry and Charlotte and Jem – and Tessa – and the things he had done –“
”When Will truly wants something,” said Jem quietly, “when he feels something, he can break your heart.”
It’s kind of funny but with this reread I started to appreciate Jem’s character even more. Not that I didn’t already do that but with every reread I fall more and more in love with him. The first time reading the series it was only Will, but now my heart is beating for Jem as well. There’s just something about him! His innocence and kindness is charming and for him every relationship is built on love, trust and consent. He’s so damn pure I can’t even!!! <333 And to know that the drug he has to take in order to live will also kill him one day is … it’s just not fair. T_T Jem deserves so much more than this short life is able to give him and it hurts so damn much to know that he won’t get it. Every time I read about his struggle my heart ached even more! Every moment he showed his true feelings for Tessa I sighed. And whenever we got a glimpse of his fear I felt like dying. Jem’s impending death is looming over his head and he’s doing such a great job at trying to be brave. T_T My heart is breaking so much for this sweet, kind and gentle boy. *sobs*
”Please,” he said softly. His voice was husky. She recognized the emotion. It was shame. “I do not want you to see me on my knees, grubbing around on the floor for the drug that I need to live. That is not how any man wants the girl he-“ He took a shaking breath. “I’m sorry, Tessa.”
”What does it matter?” he said in a voice so low it was almost a hiss. “What does any of it matter? I’m dying. I won’t outlast the decade. What does it matter if the violin goes before I do?”
”She had assumed his kindness was so natural so innate, she had never asked herself whether it cost him any effort. Any effort to stand between Will and the world, protecting each of them from the other. Any effort to accept the loss of his family with equanimity. Any effort to remain cheerful and clam in the face of his own dying.”
”If I was harsh with you, it was because I cannot bear to see you treat yourself as if you are worth nothing. Whatever part you might at to the contrary, I see you as you really are, my blood brother. Not just better than you pretend to be, but better than most people could hope to be.” He placed a hand on Will’s shoulder, gently. “You are worth everything, Will.”
”I can offer you my life, but it is a short life; I can offer you my heart, though I have no idea how many more beats it shall sustain. But I love you enough to hope that you will not care that I am being selfish in trying to make the rest of my life – whatever its length – happy, by spending it with you. I want to be married to you, Tessa. I want it more than I have ever wanted anything else in my life.”
”His beauty did not blaze like Will’s did in fierce colors and repressed fire, but it had its own muted perfection, the loveliness of snow falling against a silver-gray sky.”
”He was really going to have to do something about this annoying softhearted impulse to assist the desperate, Magnus thought. That, and his weakness for blue eyes.”
I really liked that Mangus was a bigger part of this book and I still love my warlock like crazy! I swear he’s the constant in every Shadowhunter book and since the thing with Camille didn’t work out it makes me so happy to know that he WILL find true love in the later books! ❤ Also can we take a second and appreciate his humour and the fact that he always interrupts people when things get too steamy? *LOL* He’s such a – sorry for the crude language but there is no other word to describe him – cockblocker. XD Haha! I mean Magnus interrupting couples before they can get it on is such a running gag. I loved the short nod at his weakness for blue eyes and the fact that he kissed Will just to make Camille jealous! Typical Magnus! Even if he’s going down, he’s going down with style! ;-P
”We’re well equipped to handle danger,” Tessa said.
Magnus eyed her bosom openly. “I can see that,” he said. “Armed to the teeth, as it were.”
”There is a soul under all that bravado. And he is really alive, one of the most alive people I have ever met. When he feels something, it is as bright and sharp as lightning.”
Tessa & Will:
”Tessa,” he said, holding out a hand to stop her.
She looked at him, wishing she could ask him to go back to calling her Miss Gray. Just the way he said her name undid her, loosened something tight and knotted underneath her rib cage, making her breathless.
Their relationship in this book just about killed me! I mean we all know they love each other, yet we also found out about the reason why Will is pushing Tessa away and the poor girl is so confused because she has no idea why he’s treating her the way he does. Everything between them is hot and cold and then right back to hot and cold again. They can’t find a middle ground. It’s either all consuming passion or it’s pure iciness. A huge part of that is due to Will’s fear of the curse and what it might do to Tessa and so we can only watch and suffer while those two make irrevocable decisions that tear them apart even more. To witness this was so painful and urgh I just wanted to jump into the book and tell them to be honest with each other. So unfortunately when the truth finally comes out it’s too little too late and their ship goes down, down, down… T_T After everything Will did to keep Tessa away it’s no wonder she went right into Jem’s arms though. >_<
”When he saw her, he wanted to be with her; when he was with her, he ached to touch her; when he touched even her hand, he wanted to embrace her. He wanted to feel her against him the way he had in the attic. He wanted to know the taste of her skin and the smell of her hair.”
”He would have given everything he had in the world and everything he would ever have, just to lie beside her in the narrow infirmary bed and hold her while she slept. Pulling away from her had been like pulling his own skin off, but he’d had to do it.”
”I don’t care,” he said fervently. “I don’t care.” His arms went around her, and he held her; she rested her cheek against the warm juncture of his neck and shoulder.”
Tessa & Jem:
She smiled at him. “How did you know just what I’d want to see?”
“How could I not?” he said. “When I think of you, and you are not there, I see you in my mind’s eye always with a book in your hand.” He looked away from her as he said it, but not before she caught the slight flush on his cheekbones.
So after Jem held back in the first book and gave Tessa and Will a chance to hit it off (which they didn’t); he finally decided to step out of the friendzone and told Tessa about his feelings for her. Which I adored!!! I mean here’s a man that says what he’s thinking! He’s so direct and honest with her it’s amazing! <333 I love their relationship and that they can talk about everything without holding back. The communication between those two is great and Jem is an angel! Seriously, he didn’t even expect Tessa to reciprocate his feelings and the fact that he didn’t makes him even more precious! I loved that we finally got to see Jem’s passionate side and it’s so cute that he always seems to lose control whenever he’s around Tessa. He can’t take his eyes off of her and everything he feels is plainly written on his face. XD This said, I was no huge fan of the ending. I mean I know Tessa is confused and Will finally telling her the truth must have been quite a shock. Still, the insinuation that she will stay with Jem because he’s going to die and she doesn’t want to hurt him left a really bitter taste in my mouth. She should love Jem for being Jem and not because he has a terminal disease. The way this last scene was written implied that she would gladly go with Will if she wouldn’t have accepted Jem’s proposal and I’m not okay with this. For some reason I never noticed this in my former rereads but it felt like Jem is second choice and I don’t like it. Jem deserves the world! He deserves everything! Especially a person that loves him for who he is! So yeah, I’m feeling kind of bitter about this but I hope that Tessa’s feelings in the last book will be genuine.
”James,” he said. “Ordinarily only Will calls me that.”
“I’m sorry –“
“No. Don’t be. I like the sound of it on your lips.”
”He gasped against her mouth. He must have been so sure she would push him away that for a moment he went still. Her hands glided over his shoulders, urging him with gentle touches, with a murmur against his lips, not to pause.”
”Every time you say that word, ‘friendship’, it goes into me like a knife,” he said. “To be friends is a beautiful thing, Tessa, and I do not scorn it, but I have hoped for a long time now that we might be more than friends.”
”I’ve never minded it,” he went on. “Being lost, that is. I had always thought one could not be truly lost if one knew one’s own heart. But I fear I may be lost without knowing yours.”
”She willed herself to melt into the kiss, to dissolve against him as she had done before. His mouth was soft on hers and tasted sweet, and his hand when it cupped her neck was strong and gentle. She moved closer to him, wanting to feel the beat of his heart.”
Jem & Will:
”Jem’s your parabatai. I’ve seen you with him. You love him, don’t you?”
“Jem is my great sin,” said Will. “Don’t talk to me about Jem.”
I really loved how nonchalant Jem was about giving Will a black eye! *lol* Heaven knows he deserved it so I don’t feel bad about it and I’m glad Jem didn’t either. Haha! Their relationship is still EVERYTHING! And I stand by my opinion! I still ship them! They have such a strong connection, they feel so close and their deep love for each other, it’s unlike anything I ever read! <333 To say they had it easy in this book would be a lie though. Both of them struggled with their personal problems, yet they always found their way back to each other. They would do everything to make each other happy, even if it means to let go of the one thing they both want more than anything else in the world. >_< I just can’t with those two. They are so gentle and tender with each other and you can see their love in every single action they make. To hear Will voice his feelings about Jem… it broke my heart. A love so strong shouldn’t be severed by death and it kills me to know that Jem is getting weaker. T_T Ahh I just love them so much! My two precious boys! *sobs uncontrollably*
Will looked at Jem thoughtfully. “I seem to have woken up with what they call a Monday mouse,” he said, pointing at the bruised skin under his eye. “Any idea where I got it?”
“None.” Jem helped himself to some tea.
”He owed Jem his life. He could not take from him the one thing Jem wanted more than anything else. Even if it meant Will’s own happiness, for Jem was not only someone to whom he owed a debt that could never be repaid, but, as the covenant said, someone he loved as he loved his own soul.”
”I would always have forgiven you,” he said. “I would have forgiven you if you hadn’t apologized. In fact, I wasn’t expecting you would. Tessa’s influence, I can only guess.”
“I am not here at her request. James, you are all the family I have.” Will’s voice shook. “I would die for you. You know that. I would die without you.”
”He is like me,” said Jem simply. “An addict.”
Will looked at him over their joined hands. “He is not like you. And you will not die like that.”
“I said that Jem proposed to me,” she whispered. “He asked if I would marry him. And I said I would.”
Will had gone shockingly white. He said, “Jem. My Jem?”
Charlotte & Henry:
”I would change it if I could. Of all the people in the world, I did think you understood. You know – you know it isn’t just tinkering for me. You know I want to create something that will make the world better, that will make things better for the Nephilim. Just as you do, in directing the Institute.”
It’s so weird that both of them thought the other didn’t love them! They should have spoken more about their feelings and shouldn’t have assumed things but then again they are both not the kind of type to speak about their emotions so directly. No matter how openly they show their affection for Will, Jem, Jessamine and Tessa, they apparently never showed it to each other as well. So I’m glad they finally had that conversation and I feel so sorry that Jessamine betrayed them. She was like a daughter for them and all they got was scorn and betrayal. Poor Charlotte broke my heart when she gave Jessamine over to the Silent Brothers and to stand up to Benedict and to face all those other Shadowhunters couldn’t have been easy. I’m just glad her and Henry talked things out and are finally on the same page! XD
”You are not plain,” Henry said, his face still blazing. “You are beautiful. And I didn’t ask your father if I could marry you out of duty. I did it because I loved you. I’ve always loved you. I’m your husband.”
“I didn’t think you wanted to be,” she whispered.
”Jessamine has been with us since she was a little girl. It would have been too much for him, too much. He does not have it in him to be cruel.”
“Charlotte.” Tessa touched her shoulder gently. “Charlotte, you are not cruel either.”
“I do what I must. There is nothing to worry about,” Charlotte said again, and burst into tears.
Tessa & Nate:
”You couldn’t leave well enough alone. You had to pry into my business. Delighted to see me brought low, are you? What kind of sister does that make you, Tessie?”
I just hate Nate, okay?! This boy was so selfish and horrible! Every time he met Tessa he made sure to let her know how little he cared about her! What’s even worse is that he tried to give her a bad conscience for not going along with his plans. Like seriously! Are you kidding me? You blame your sister because she didn’t agree to being married off to an old lunatic who wants to use and hurt her?! URGH! I just can’t with Nate! I understand that Tessa is heartbroken because he died, he was her brother after all, but the things he did were just vile and if it would have been me I wouldn’t have forgiven him. Also Jessamine… why the freaking hell did she marry him?! She should have known better than that.
”My brother,” Tessa said in a barely controlled voice, “is a lying murderer, incapable of feeling. He may have married you, Jessamine, but he does not love you. The Shadowhunters have helped and protected me, as they have done you. And yet you turn on them like a dog the moment my brother snaps his fingers. He will abandon you – if he does not kill you first.“
I love this series and its characters with every fibre of my heart! ❤ It might have taken me four months to read this but that’s just because I savoured every single letter and sentence. XD The background stories were amazing and to read this was bittersweet. “Clockwork Prince” is a wonderful sequel and I can’t wait to read “Clockwork Princess”. I know it will destroy me, but my faerie heart is kind of looking forward to it. *lol*
P.S: That demon pox song, though!!! XD