(The Infernal Devices Book#2)
By Cassandra Clare
In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street—and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa’s powers for his own dark ends.
With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister’s war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move—and that one of their own has betrayed them.
Tessa 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 Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart.
My Rating: 5/5 stars
Poor, poor william... my heart broke for him when he discovered that he had been tricked by the blue demon in thinking he had been cursed and that he had been pushing everyone he loved away for no reason. All his sacrifices, leaving his family, treating everyone with disdain, there was no reason for it because he had not been cursed. Then when he finally admits his feelings for Tessa, hoping it's not too late and she could forgive him, he discovers she is engaged to his parabatai; Jem. Ouch! The two people he loves most in the world. Poor, poor Will, the unfairness of it all.
Tessa also suffered greatly, caught between the two boys she loves. Her first love was Will but after she discovers he thinks of her as a toy and he openly admits there is no future for a shadowhunter who dallies with a warlock, heartbroken she finds comfort in Jem. The kindness and love Jem gives to Tessa eases her pain and she begins to fall in love for him, whilst still in love with Will. Finally Tessa chooses Jem only to discover the reasoning behind Will's cruel behaviour, and that he only kept her away to keep her safe. But it was too little too late, Tessa had committed herself to Jem and she could not go back on her word.
Despite the above, I am happy for Jem. He is so sweet and kind, only looking for the best in others, he really does deserve to be happy. I just wish his happiness was in someone else!
Henry and Charlotte finally resolve their misunderstandings and I might sound too soppy now but at least someone has a happy story. The news of their baby was a brilliant ending to the book.
I am glad we saw less of Jessamine in this book; the foolish girl. If Nate can happily give his sister over for wealth and power, what possible chance did she have? The scene where Sophie knocks Jessamine out with a mirror was hilarious; she deserved it, and more!
As for Starkweather's weird behaviour towards Tessa, I find it strange, considering there is no love lost between him and Charlotte yet he has a softness for Tessa... perhaps he knows something about Tessa's magical side? Its like he feels responsible for her, like one would do with family. ..hmmm
To conclude, again a fantastic story, more heartbreak but still lots of adventure and funny quotes from Will
"...As for the rest of you-" He [Henry] paused for a moment, as if he were about to give them an order- send them to bed, perhaps, or back to the library to do more research. The moment passed, and a look of puzzlement crossed his face. "Blast it, I can't remember what I was going to say," he announced, and vanished into the kitchen.
"Darling" said Henry anxiously, coming around the desk to where his wife was sitting, "are you quite alright? You look a bit-splotchy."
He wasn't wrong. Red patches of rage had broken out over Charlotte's face and throat.
"I think it's charming," said Will. "I've heard polka dots are the last word in fashion this season."
"She also said she can use a nail clipping, or a strand of hair-"
"So you're suggesting we take the train up to York, meet a ninety-year-old man, leap on him, and yank out his hair? I'm sure the Clave will be ecstatic."
"They'll just say you're mad," said Jessamine. "They already think it, so what's the difference, really?"
Will threw up his hands. "That's it? You're coming because you've never been on a train before?"
"Yes," she said, knowing how much her calm demeanor drove him mad. "I should like to ride in one, very much."
"Trains are great dirty smoky things," said Will. "You won't like it."
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,"
"Do you miss Wales?" Tessa inquired. She wasn't sure why she did it; she knew asking about his past was like poking a dog with a sore tail, but she couldn't seem to help it.
Will shrugged lightly. "What's to miss? Sheep and singing," he said. "And the ridiculous language. Fe hoffwn I fod mor feddw, fyddai ddim yn cofio fy enw."
"What does that mean?"
"It means 'I wish to get so drunk I no longer remember my own name,' Quite useful."
"Perhaps we could say she's a mad maiden aunt who insists on chaperoning us everywhere."
"My aunt or yours?" Jem enquired.
"Yes, she doesn't really look like either of us, does she? Perhaps she's a girl who's fallen madly in love with me and persists in following me wherever I go."
"My talent is shape-shifting, Will, not acting," said Tessa, and at that, Jem laughed out loud.
"And filth everywhere, and everyone breathing down one another's necks," countered Will. "When I first arrived in London, I so quickly tired of being surrounded by so many people that it was only with great difficulty that I refrained from seizing the next unfortunate who crossed my path and committing violent acts upon their person."
"Some might say you retain that problem," said Tessa, but Will just laughed- a short, nearly surprised sound of amusement- and then stopped, looking ahead of them to Ravenscar Manor.
The human heart has hidden treasures,
In secret kept, in silence sealed;
The thoughts, the hopes, the dreams, the pleasures,
Whose charms were broken if revealed
- Charlotte Bronte, "Evening Solace"
"Yes, you've said that already," said Tessa. She heard the sharpness in her own voice, and softened it with an effort. It was unkind to speak so to someone so obviously distraught, even if he did insist on staring into space and muttering "Cecily" at intervals.
"He fell in love," said Jem. "It isn't that peculiar."
"'Fell' into it," said the warlock, still with the same faint smile. "Hurtled into it is more like. Headlong-crashed into it. Still, there are always some men like that- just one woman for them, and only she will do, or nothing.
She had taken him for granted, she thought with surprise and shame, watching the flickering candlelight. She had assumed his kindness was so natural and 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 calm in the face of his own dying.
"Oh bother," said Jessamine. "Is this one of those days where we all stalk out in a fury? Because I simply haven't got the energy for it." She put her head down on her arms and closed her eyes.
"Well," Tessa said, sighting along the line of the knife, "you behave as if you dislike me. In fact, you behave as if you dislike us all."
"I don't," Gabriel said. "I just dislike him." He pointed at Will.
"Dear me," said Will, and he took another bite of his apple. "Is it because I'm better-looking than you?"
"Both of you be quiet," Gideon called from across the room. "We're meant to be working, not snapping at each other over years-old petty disagreements."
"Petty?" Gabriel snarled. "He broke my arm."
Will took another bite out of his apple. "I can hardly believe you're still upset about that."
Will looked at her, his blue eyes quizzical, his mouth just beginning to quirk up in a grin. "I must be more amusing that I thought. Which would make me very amusing indeed."
"...I suppose I am asking your forgiveness for my lack of consideration." His voice dropped. "Everyone makes mistakes, Jem."
"Yes," said Jem. "You just make more of them than most people."
"You swore to stay with me," he said. "When we made our oath, as parabatai. Our souls are knit. We are one person, James."
"We are two people," said Jem. "Two people with a covenant between us."
Will knew he sounded like a child, but he could not help it. "A covenant that says you must not go where I cannot come with you."
"Until death," Jem replied gently. "Those are the words of the oath. 'Until aught but death part thee and me.' Someday, Will, I will go where none can follow me, and I think it will be sooner rather than later."
"Let me see if I have this quite correct," said Tessa after a pause. "Jessamine found you with the invitation in your hand, so you struck her over the head with a mirror and tied her to her bed?"
"...I got up beside her and commenced reading from Tatiana's diary."
"Oh, Will- you didn't!"
"I did," he said, "She had rhymed 'William' with 'million,' as in 'You will never know, sweet William / How many are the million / ways in which I love you.' It had to be stopped."
"Oh, Tatiana ran out of the room in tears, and Gabriel leaped onto the stage and attempted to strangle me. Gideon simply stood there with his arms crossed. You'll notice that's all he ever does."
"I suppose Gabriel didn't succeed," said Tessa. "In strangling you, I mean."
"Not before I broke his arm," said Will with relish.
Could you really love two different people at once? Could you split your heart in half?
"Yes, you are," Magnus said, and kissed him. It wasn't the most dramatic kiss, but Will flailed his free arm as if a bee had landed on him; Magnus had to hope Camille would assume this was passion. When they broke apart, Will looked stunned. So did Camille, for that matter.
"Having a lie-in, no doubt," said Jem, "and as for him being a witness, well, everyone thinks Will is a lunatic as it is-"
"Ah," said a voice from the doorway, "having your annual everyone-thinks-Will-is-a-lunatic meeting, are you?"
"It's biannual," said Jem. "And nom this is not that meeting."
Lies and secrets, Tessa, they are like a cancer in the soul. They eat away what is good and leave only destruction behind.
"That's what I thought about you," she said wonderingly. "Could we really both have been so stupid?"
"Well, I'm not surprised about me," said Henry. "But honestly, Charlotte, you ought to have known better."
"Have you gone quite mad?" she asked him. "You say 'demon pox' the way someone else might say 'massive surprise inheritance.' Are you really that pleased?"
If it had been anyone else in the world- but she did not love anyone else in the world. There were the boys she loved. For better. And for worse.
"I used to think if I married Master Jem-" Sophie picked at the blanket, then looked up and smiled bleakly. "You haven't broken his heart yet, have you?"
"No," Tessa said. Just torn my own in two. "I haven't broken his heart at all."