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Clockwork Angel is a novel written by Cassandra Clare. It is the first novel in the Infernal Devices trilogy.

Clockwork Angel pg

After the death of her aunt, Tessa Gray is sent a ticket to travel to London by her brother Nathaniel. On arrival, she is kidnapped and abused by two cruel sisters (Mrs. Black and Mrs. Dark) who work under the name of ‘The Dark Sisters’, until her eventual saving by a group of people who are referred to as Shadowhunters. The rest of the book is based around her life with the new people and the world she encounters. The book became a best-seller in the New York Times list, debuting number 1 on the children’s bestselling list.

The book also contains many quotes referring to famous pieces of Victorian literature, for example, Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, and the works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Alfred Tennyson.

When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean from New York to find her brother, her destination is London, 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, Nephilim warriors dedicated to keeping the world free from 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, by marriage.

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: Jem, 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 all Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping the Nephilim save the world…and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.

London, April 1878. Shadowhunters William Herondale and James Carstairs find the dead body of fourteen-year-old Emma Bayliss in an alley. They also find a dagger imprinted with two snakes each biting the other’s tail, an ouroboros, probably the weapon with which she was murdered.

London, May: Tessa Gray arrives at the London dock aboard the Main, expecting to find her brother Nathaniel waiting for her. Before, Tessa was living in New York with her Aunt Harriet, but her aunt had died recently and her brother asked her to come to stay with him in London. At the port, Tessa finds the Dark Sisters, Mrs. Dark and Mrs. Black, instead of her brother, who have a letter from him saying that he could not meet her because of business, but that the sisters will bring her to him. Tessa goes with them.

Six Weeks Later: Tessa has been held prisoner by the Dark Sisters. They have been training her to Change (a process by which she takes on the appearance of someone else, living or dead, by holding something that belongs to them). This time Tessa becomes Emma Bayliss and relives her last few moments alive. The sisters congratulate her and reveal that she is engaged to a mysterious person known only as ‘the Magister’. The maid, Miranda, takes Tessa back to her room where she starts behaving strangely after Tessa hits her on the head with a globe. She then tries to escape but is caught by the Dark Sisters’ coachmen. The two of them tie Tessa to her bed and threaten to hurt her brother unless she marries the Magister. After they leave, Tessa changes into Emma Bayliss to escape the cuffs. Will then comes in, as he was on Emma’s trail and Tessa, mistaking him for Mrs. Dark, hurls a jug at him and hurts his arm. They then have a shaky introduction with Will cursing her, comparing himself to Sir Galahad and quoting poetry.

He then helps her escape her room a second time. In a hurry, Will finds a set of doors and they find themselves in a large cell with mutilated bodies and mechanical objects. After breaking down the doors, Mrs. Black addresses Will as a Shadowhunter and a fight ensues with the arrival of an unnamed shadowhunter and another man called Henry, whom Tessa bites in self-defense. In the chaos, Mrs. Black is beheaded and Mrs. Dark, who is later revealed to be an Eidolon demon, flees. The room collapses and Tessa falls unconscious.

Tessa wakes up in the Institute to find herself being examined by Brother Enoch, one of the Silent Brothers, who informs her that she is a shape-changer and a Downworlder. Tessa meets the inhabitants of the Institute. The next morning Jessamine takes Tessa shopping; Charlotte and Henry look for Tessa’s brother, and Will and Jem inspect the Sister’s house. They find a clockwork automaton wrapped in human flesh. A vampire called de Quincey is revealed to be The Magister. Later, another vampire, Camille Bellcourt, comes to the Institute and informs them all that de Quincey throws parties where he tortures and kills humans for entertainment; something which is breaking the Law. If the Shadowhunters can observe de Quincey breaking the Law at one of these parties, they can attack. Camille admits that her motives for coming forward were to meet Tessa; she has become very talked-about in Downworld and reveals that Tessa’s brother may be with de Quincey. Will and Tessa decide that the only way that they can attend the party without causing a stir is for Tessa to attend the party disguised as Camille, with Will posing as her human companion. Camille also says that her lover, the warlock Magnus Bane will attend the party with them for assistance.

At the party, Magnus informs Will and Tessa about some plans for a demonic clockwork army found in the library, but they are forced to join the other vampires in another room before they can discuss the matter further. The room is set up to host one of de Quincey’s ‘performances’ but as the human is revealed to be Nate, Tessa blows her cover in an attempt to save her brother. Will summons the other Shadowhunters, who fight and kill the vampires. Will confronts de Quincey as he attacks Camille/Tessa, and bites him, mocking him and asking the vampire how it feels to be on the receiving end of one. Infuriated, De Quincey manages to escape, and Will accidentally consumes some of the vampire’s blood because of the bite. They also save Nate and bring him back to the Institute. Back at the Institute, Will and Tessa share a passionate moment when she brings him holy water to drink to cleanse his body of the vampire blood, but he abruptly ends their kiss and sends her away. Unaware of these events, Jem cheers up Tessa and takes her to his favorite place in London, where they are attacked by members of the Magister’s clockwork army. They make it to the Institute, but Jem collapses before he can open the door. Tessa manages to alert the Shadowhunters inside, but not before one of the clockwork figures smears its hand with the Jem’s blood. The figure waves in a grotesque manner and retreats.

Later, Tessa is summoned to Jem’s room, and he explains why he collapsed earlier; when he was living in China, a greater demon broke into their home and tortured Jem in front of his parents as an act of revenge against his mother, who had raided the demon’s nest and killed its babies. The demon tortured him by constantly feeding him a drug that caused him to hallucinate for days. He was found by some other Shadowhunters, but his parents had been killed. Jem admits that his body is now addicted to the drug and he has to take some of it every day, causing his skin, hair, and eyes to pale to a silver color, and without it, his body cannot function. He did not take any when he was out with Tessa, which was why he collapsed. He also tells Tessa that the drug is killing him, but when Tessa asks him why he does not simply give up his dangerous profession, he declares that “there are more things to life than not dying”. The following day, most of the Shadowhunters leave to kill de Quincy in his hideaway in Chelsea. Mortmain, the mundane who informed the Shadowhunters of de Quincey, comes back to the Institute to tell Will and Jem about the Dark sister who is trying to help the Magister with his army and her location. They rush off to kill her, leaving Nate, Jessamine, and Tessa alone. Mortmain comes back with the clockwork army, using Jem’s blood from the clockwork figure’s hand to gain access, and reveals himself as the real Magister. Nate reveals himself as Mortmain’s accomplice. While Thomas tries to fight the clockwork automatons off, Tessa, Sophie and later Jessamine escape to the Sanctuary, but Mortmain tricks Jessamine into opening the door. Tessa agrees to marry Mortmain to spare Sophie and Jessamine’s lives. Mortmain, believing he has won, agrees, but once the army has left the room, Tessa stabs herself in the heart and falls into the fountain.

Summary Clockwork Angel

Will rides back once he realizes he and Jem have been tricked, leaving Jem to ride the carriage with only one horse, slowing him down. When Will arrives at the Institute, he’s just in time to witness Thomas’ death and after thanking him for everything that he has done, goes on to look for Tessa and the others. While Jem arrives, he runs straight into Nathaniel and his four clockwork automatons, two of them holding Jessamine and Sophie; one holding the Pyxis, a box that holds demon energies needed to revive the automatons. Nate orders the army to kill him – Jem fights them off, but Nathaniel flees with the Pyxis.

Will finds Tessa and finally allows himself to break down and mourn her death. Tessa then awakens in his arms and reveals that she tricked the Magister into believing that she was dead by changing just before she pretended to stab herself; she changed into a gunshot victim she had previously changed into before with The Dark Sisters, which meant that the woman’s blood poured down Tessa’s chest, looking like she had wounded herself. The other Shadowhunters return, after killing de Quincey, who laughed at them for mistaking him for The Magister. After Thomas and the others are buried, Tessa thanks Charlotte for her hospitality, but assumes that she is going to be asked to leave. Instead, Charlotte asks Tessa to stay, a request which she accepts. Tessa goes to Will wanting to have a serious relationship after he confirmed his feelings for her in the Sanctuary, but he cruelly says that they will not have any relationship, also pointing out the fact that as a warlock, she is not able to bear children. Tessa is horrified because this is the first time that she has heard this, and runs away from Will. Jem finds and comforts her, saying that although she feels that she is unlovable because she is not human, “the right man would not care,” subtly declaring his feelings for her (Jem is completely unaware of the complicated romantic relationship between Tessa and Will). Tessa gratefully accepts Jem’s comfort but does not completely realize the sincerity behind his words. The story concludes with a deeply distressed Will turning up at Magnus Bane’s house asking for help.

Details Clockwork Angel

Author: Cassandra Clare
Cover artist: Cliff Neilson
Country: United States
Language: English
Series: The Infernal Devices
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure
Publisher: Walker Books
Publication date: August 31, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-4169-7586-1

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