Updated: Feb 22, 2012
Release Date: August 31, 2010
From the Publisher: Magic is dangerous–but love is more dangerous still.
When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London’s Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.
Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What’s more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa’s power for his own.
Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by–and torn between–two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm’s length…everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world…and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.
496 pages, Simon and Schuster Margaret K. McElderry Books
I read this one when it came out last year, but I wanted to re-read it before I read Clockwork Prince next week. I’m glad I did! I remember liking it the first time around, but I really didn’t remember much about the details of the story. And man, what a cliffhanger ending (well, okay not a cliffhanger per se since the main story was tied up neatly, but I WANT TO KNOW ALL THE THINGS)!
When I read it last year, I remember thinking that I preferred Clary and Jace over Tessa and Will… but this reread has really changed my opinion. I voted for – and would again – Clary over Tessa in the YA Sisterhood Heroine Tourney, but Tessa really grew on me this time around. She is strong-willed and sassy, but always willing to see the good in people, despite the face they show. I admire her.
I spent most of the book wanting to smack Will around, and that desire only grew stronger by the end of the book. Why can’t he stop being a stupid boy and just trust someone with his secrets? That’s something that always gets me in many of the books I read – it’s usually oh-so-obvious that if the character would only open up and trust someone and communicate with them, so much heartache could be avoided.
Sounds kind of like real life too, doesn’t it?
I can’t wait to read Clockwork Prince next week – I’ve managed to stay entirely spoiler free (I haven’t even read the publisher’s summary yet) but I’m really hoping that we get some insight into Will’s past. I love this world that Cassie Clare has created, and I love that she is writing two series simultaneously that take place in this world.
“One must always be careful of books,” said Tessa, “and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.”