Clockwork Prince: Infernal Devices, Book 2



Fantasy sequel has strong female characters, more violence.
Popular with kids

What parents need to know

Educational value

Clockwork Prince offers a historically accurate depiction of the culture in mid-19th century London. It also introduces readers to 19th-century mystery as a genre. The many references to classics -- such as E.D.E.N Southworth's The Hidden Hand, Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities, and Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes -- along with paraphrasing Tennyson, Edgar Allan Poe, and Shakespeare, will spark interest in and encourage teens to read different genres.

Positive messages

Teaches girls that there are female heroines who can take care of themselves. Encourages women to find their own voice and stand on their own feet.

Positive role models

Characters display great strength and selflessness. Will, Tessa, and Jem will do anything for one another, as well as for their families. They each show strength in doing the right thing, even when the right thing is difficult to do.


The Shadowhunters train daily (with weapons) to be able to fight off evil demons and the clockwork army. A huge battle takes place where both men and women are hit and thrown to the ground. People are injured, and one person is killed.


Tessa shares passionate kisses with two different boys. In one scene, the kiss takes place in a bed at night, where the two lovers caress each other and remove clothing. There are also references to prostitution, and a sexually transmitted disease (demon pox) spreads.


The words "bastard" and "whore" are used.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

In the first installment of this series, Clockwork Angel, Jem was injected with a terrible drug called yin fen (similar to opium). Now, he must take the drug daily to survive, yet it's also causing him a slow and painful death. Will goes to an opium den and uses yin fen in attempt to forget his troubles but instead learns a valuable lesson. Most of the werewolves and demons use the drug frequently. However, the opium den isn't glamorized and describes users in a very negative light.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Clockwork Prince is slightly more graphic than Clockwork Angel, the first installment in a series that features warlocks, vampires, demons, shape shifters, and Shadowhunters. The romantic scenes quickly heat up as teens form couples and passionately kiss and caress each other. Also, a sexually transmitted disease known as demon pox (the equivalent of 19th-century syphilis) floats among the demons. One detailed scene takes place in an opium den designed for Shadowhunters, where fantastical characters partake in abusing controlled substances. A descriptive battle takes place amongst the good and evil characters, and a major player is killed.

What's the story?

In Victorian London, 16-year-old Tessa is living with the Nephilim, a family of Shadowhunters who have been protecting her from the evil Magister. The Magister will stop at nothing to capture Tessa and use her shape-shifting abilities for his own malevolent agenda. The Clave challenges Charlotte, head of the Institute and mother figure to the house, to find the Magister and his clockwork army or give up her chair as the leader. Secret pasts are revealed and mysteries uncovered when Will, Tessa, and Jem unite to help Charlotte keep her role as head of the Institute. Along the journey, they discover the joy of love, the agony of betrayal, the excitement of masquerade, the atrocity of violence, and the heartache of a love triangle.

Is it any good?


CLOCKWORK PRINCE is as clever and witty as it is amorous and enthralling. Cassandra Clare has created a story of love, loss, and self-sacrifice that's difficult to put down. The consistent, descriptive backdrop of 1850 London offers readers an English escape, he characters are lovable, and the scenes are mostly engaging. Each character, quirky and unique in his or her own way, is on a road toward self-discovery and holds an invaluable role that completes their unbreakable, forged family unit.

The female leads (Charlotte, Tessa, and Sophie) model intelligence, strength, and independence. Although each plays a distinct role (one as head of the Institute, one an American mundane, the other a servant), each offers a strength the others lack. Charlotte is independent, Tessa is tenacious, and Sophie is resilient. As the three women struggle to  find their own identities, each comes to the realization that feminine strength is found within your individual voice -- and from being heard.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about drug use and violence. Do the scenes featuring these elements seem less real because the characters are fantastical beings? Would it be different if the characters were human?


  • This novel is an example of steampunk, a subgenre of science fiction whose stories are set in an era and place where steam power is used, usually the 19th century and often Victorian England. Leviathan is another example. Why do you think this genre is popular?

Book details

Author:Cassandra Clare
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Adventures, Great girl role models, Monsters, ghosts, and vampires
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Margaret K. McElderry
Publication date:December 6, 2011
Number of pages:528

This review of Clockwork Prince: Infernal Devices, Book 2 was written by

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  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 15 years old Written byBookworm_96 February 6, 2012

Better then the first

I loved this book. I read the first and afterwards, i couldn't wait until the second came out. Cassandra Clare is an excellent author and i will continue reading her books and all her stories :)
What other families should know
Great role models
Teen, 17 years old Written byJ-Yo January 27, 2012


This is a wonderful book that is packed with lessons about self sacrifice, friendship, and loss. Clare has created a true love triangle, instead of a Twilight-esque love V. Her universe is very creative and well-realized, and that alone could keep the story engaging (the story iteslf is just fine, though). Parents, be warned that there is an almost-sex scene, but it's not too graphic because it does take place in the nineteenth century, after all. There are descriptions of blood, but it's manageable. And yes, I am a guy, but the romance wasn't too goey, and the action and complex plot more than made up for it. And besides, Jem and Tessa are particularly good rolemodels for boys and girls, respectively.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Teen, 13 years old Written byseaotter77 November 6, 2012

An awesome book, but with heated relationships

I love this book as much as I love Clockwork Angel, the first in the trilogy. However, there is a bit more sex in this book; the main character has to choose between two boys, and there are scenes where she makes out with both of them at different times. But, this is not as bad as it seems. There is the same reference to opium as in the first book (see my review for Clockwork Angel), as well as the same level of violence. Overall, this book is iffy for kids 13 and up -- it depends on the kid and the family.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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