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.
The second in Cassandra Clare’s Infernal Devices series begins where the first left off. After a devastating attack at the hands of an army of clockwork monsters, Tessa and her new friends at the Institute find themselves in a race to track down the Magister before Charlotte and Henry lose their leadership of the Clave to the scheming Gabriel Lightwood. But the Magister – who they thought was a harmless human – remains as elusive as ever, even though they know that he is secretly building an army of clockwork monsters infused with demonic energies to take down the Shadowhunters.
This book in the trilogy was more focused on the romance element than Clockwork Angel, with Tessa torn between her confused feelings for hostile Will, who continues to shut everyone out, and Jem, who offers her comfort and security despite suffering from an illness which is slowly killing him. The other characters get more development, too, including Sophie, Gideon, Charlotte and Henry. Meanwhile, the plot thickens as the Magister tightens his grip over Downworld and prepares to put his deadly plan into motion. And Tessa is caught in the middle of it. The fast-paced plot kept me turning the pages, and as with Clockwork Angel, the interactions between the characters pulled my emotions in all the right ways. I have a feeling that the conclusion to the series is going to be heart-breaking – this is one love triangle in which it's impossible to predict which way Tessa will choose – and from which it's hard to see everyone escaping unscathed!