While the extended excerpt of Cassandra Clare’s Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy we’re currently featuring is a sizable chunk, we know you’re most likely craving more from Cassie! To that end, we’re excited to offer you a full read of Clockwork Angel (available until November 28th), the first book in Cassandra Clare’s Infernal Devices series, the prequel trilogy to The Mortal Instruments! AND, since we know you probably have #SoManyBooksSoLittleTime Syndrome, we’ve provided you with the top eight reasons this book is bound to become one of your new faves. (That is, if you haven’t read it yet. If you have, you should re-read it, because we promise it’s even better the second time!)
1. It doesn’t matter if you’ve read The Mortal Instruments series yet or not. If you have read one or all of the books in the series, you’ll love seeing the world of the Shadowhunters in a different light (and the ancestors of some of the characters you know from Mortal Instruments!) If you haven’t read them, you don’t need to–this series is a perfect introduction to Cassandra Clare’s storied universe.
2. Strong female lead characters. There is never a time when this isn’t a great thing in literature, but some of us need it more than ever this month. The protagonist, Tessa, is fierce, smart, and powerful–not to mention a total bookworm. Charlotte, who takes Tessa in, is the head of the Shadowhunters’ London Institute, and never fails to revert Victorian gender norms.
3. Classical Literature References. Each chapter opens with a poetry quote from the time period or before. It ranges from Tennyson to Shakespeare to Keats to Emily Bronte to Oscar Wilde! Whether you are a fan of the classics or not, these quotes help paint the atmosphere of the chapter tremendously.
4. Read it for the swoon. Many of us love a good book even more if it has a steamy storyline, and the romance in this series can be even more compelling (somehow!) than that of The Mortal Instruments series. Maybe it is because of Jem Carstairs’ genuinely sweet nature (sighhhh), or because of Will Herondale’s mysterious brooding bad boy ways (sighhhhhhhhhhh), or just because so much more is forbidden in 19th Century London than in 21st Century New York. Whatever the case, if you’re anything like me, Will Herondale will make you weak in the knees.
5. Prequels are sooo in. So far, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is getting rave reviews. Most of us book nerds enjoy being immersed in the history of a fantasy realm we’ve visited before in books. After all, once you love a fictional universe, there is no such thing as getting too much of it.
6. Light steampunk mixed with urban fantasy. It’s almost a genre all its own– it features the elements of The Mortal Instruments series that make them urban fantasy (set in our world but with supernatural elements), while also featuring Victorian-era conflicts, steam-powered machines, and robots! There is something here for all fantasy fans.
7. Character Focus. Though Clary is the main protagonist, The Mortal Instruments is slightly more focused on the Shadowhunter World as a whole. The Infernal Devices series is much more a story about Tessa– it is her quest to figure out who/what she is and who she wants to be. This makes for a more intimate, relatable read, which is a nice change if you’re a fan of the original series! And if you love YA, you love a good coming-of-age, identity-finding adventure story.
8. The writing is extremely quotable and lyrical. A fan favorite line from the book reads: “One must always be careful of books…and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.” And this series will definitely enchant you and change you for the better.