Cassandra Clare is the duchess of setting and love triangles. I adore the world she created in Clockwork Angel. This is the first book of her prequel series “The Infernal Devices” which takes place in Victorian London way before her NYT bestselling Mortal Instruments series.
I did not read the Mortal Instruments series yet. (I am hording them on my nightstand from the library.) I am a huge fan of anything Victorian and supernatural so The Infernal Devices trilogy called to me.
I was also very intrigued by the love triangle she builds in this series, especially after hearing her speak about it at the SCBWI Winter Conference. Check out the fabulous Kat Bender’s guest post from a few weeks ago to hear more about Cassandra Clare’s presentation.
The story revolves around an orphaned teenage girl, Tessa, who travels to London in search of her brother. She is kidnapped by witches who force her to tap into her ability to shapeshift by threatening her brother’s life. A Shadowhunter, Will, rescues her. She soon learns that she is part of the supernatural that exists in the Downworld. He and his fellow Shadowhunters guard humanity against the Downworlders.
It’s unclear what Tessa is, but someone malevolent called the Magister has plans for her. Will brings her to the Institute where the Shadowhunters live so they can try to find out what she is, why the Magister wants her, and where her brother is. There, she meets Will’s best friend, Jem, and the triangle begins…
Cassandra Clare’s ability to write setting puts me to shame. She brings every room to life in her book. You can tell she enjoys writing it too. She also has phenomenal world building skills. Wow.
And her action scenes are very well crafted. Usually action scenes lose me. I have trouble following them. But her epic melees are a super fast read with zero confusion over who is doing what when. I was right there with Tessa in the midst of fire and fury.
The love triangle did not disappoint. In fact, it might be my favorite thing in the book. There is oodles of tension and conflict and things unsaid but felt. It was terrific.
I can see why these books are wildly popular.