Clockwork Angel

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This article is about the novel by Cassandra Clare. For the album by Rush, see Clockwork Angels.
Clockwork Angel
Clockwork Angel 1.jpg
Cover of the 2011 edition of 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
Media type Print, e-book, audio book
Pages 448
ISBN 978-1-4169-7586-1
Followed by Clockwork Prince

Clockwork Angel is a novel written by Cassandra Clare. It is the first novel in the Infernal Devices trilogy. After the death of her aunt, Tessa Gray is sent a ticket to travel to London by her brother Nathanial. 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 world she encounters.

The book became a best-seller in the New York Times list, debuting number 1 on the children's bestselling list.[1]

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 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-defence. 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 was 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 favourite 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 his hand with the blood from Jem's injuries. The figure waves in a grotesque manner before retreating. 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. They tortured him by constantly feeding him a demon 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 colour, 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.

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 and the Pyxis flee. During that, 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 suggests 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, but it doesn't say what the problem is until the next book.


  • Prologue: London, April 1878, and Southampton, May 1878
  • The Dark House
  • Hell Is Cold
  • The Institute
  • We Are Shadows
  • The Shadowhunter's Codex
  • Strange Earth
  • The Clockwork Girl
  • Camille
  • The Enclave
  • Pale Kings and Princes
  • Few Are Angels
  • Blood and Water
  • Something Dark
  • Blackfriars Bridge
  • Foreign Mud
  • The Binding Spell
  • Call The Darkness Down
  • Thirty Pieces of Silver
  • Boadicea
  • Awful Wonder
  • Epilogue


Major Characters[edit]

Theresa "Tessa" Gray

16-year-old Tessa crosses the Atlantic Ocean to live with her brother Nathaniel in London after their aunt's death, having lived her whole life in New York City. Her parents died in a carriage accident when she was three years old. She is quite tall for a girl her age, has brown hair and gray-blue eyes. She loves to read books, escaping to the fictional world. She loves her brother more than anyone else and has always tried to protect his innocence. She is said to be a Downworlder, having the ability to shape-shift, she is believed to be a warlock, a type of Downworlder, yet she has no warlock mark. Tessa shares her love of reading with Will

William "Will" Herondale

William has a fiery character, he is ferociously sarcastic and seems to find life infinitely amusing and infinitely tragic at the same time. He's described as having the face of a bad angel and blue eyes like the night sky in Hell; his hair is a wavy black. His mother was a mundane, leading to his father's leaving of the Clave and the Shadow World for his love for her. He was brought up somewhere in Wales, but he left his family and arrived at the London Institute at the age of twelve. He is seventeen years old and has a dark past that he must keep hidden to protect everyone he loves. Will enjoys gambling, drinking and being around women with questionable virtue, as much as he enjoys everything else. James is his parabatai and, so it seems, the only person he seems to care about. He is in love with Tessa. His life was devastated after the demon Marabas killed his sister Ella and put a curse on him. He has a younger sister named Cecily.

James "Jem" Carstairs

Born and brought up in the Shanghai Institute, he is half British and half Chinese. His parents were killed by a demon called Yanluo when he was eleven. The demon tortured him in front of his parents, feeding him a demon drug to which he became addicted. This drug weakens and drains the life out of him, leading to his physical appearance: frail, slender, silver hair and eyes and very pale skin, he is also said to have an unearthly and unusual beauty. He's very intelligent and sensible. He's seventeen years old, and his best friend and parabatai is Will. He is in love with Tessa.

Jessamine "Jessie" Lovelace

Jessamine's parents, like Will's, left the Clave to live a peaceful life, but they died in a fire. She was brought to the London Institute as an orphan then, though she seems to hate everyone living there and generally everyone who's involved in the Shadow World. She wishes to find someone with whose help she can escape the Institute to live a normal mundane life, though she can fight with her razor-sharp parasol Henry invented for her. She's described as being very pretty, having blonde hair and brown eyes; she's seventeen years old. Her mind is described by Tessa to have a sharp bitterness and longing.

Charlotte Branwell

Charlotte's parents ran the Institute before her, and after their death, Consul Wayland assigned her to run it at the age of eighteen. She's very small and has dark brown hair and eyes. 23-year-old Charlotte tries her best to care for the orphaned under-age Shadowhunters who live under her roof as well as she can, while having to run the Institute without her husband's help. She wants the others to respect her, but the Enclave often disrespect her authority because she's a woman, so she has to try hard to be heard.

Henry Branwell

Henry has ginger hair and has hazel eyes, he is married to Charlotte and the original leader of the Institute. He always lingers in his laboratory in the cellars of the Institute, experimenting and inventing new things which almost always seem to fail. He is the one to examine the clockwork automatons and find de Quincey's signature on them.


Alexei de Quincey

  • Species: Vampire
  • Gender: Male
Alexei de Quincey is the head of the London vampire clans. Lady Camille Belcourt reports to the Nephilim that he is killing mortals at his parties, which breaks the Law. In the past, de Quincey had killed one of Camille's lovers because he was a lycanthrope. Alexei has been shown to harbor romantic intentions toward Camille. Magnus Bane also suggests that de Quincey would like to be "more than friends" with him, as well.

Lady Camille Belcourt

  • Species: Vampire
  • Gender: Female
  • Hair Color: Blonde
  • Eye Color: Green
Lady Belcourt is a vampire baronness. In 1878, she is the lover of Magnus Bane. She is also an informant for the London Institute. Because Alexei de Quincey killed her lycanthrope lover, she tells the Nephilim that de Quincey commits murder at his parties. She does this for a chance to watch Tessa shapeshift into her form.

Magnus Bane

  • Species: Warlock
  • Gender: Male
  • Hair Color: Black
  • Eye Color: Gold
Magnus Bane is the lover of vampire Lady Camille Belcourt. Tessa uses her shapeshifting ability to take the form of Camille and attends a party at the home of London head vampire Alexei de Quincey along with Will Herondale, who is pretending to be her human pet. Magnus Bane acts as their guide through the house, helping the Nephilim determine that de Quincey has violated the law. During this, he admires Will's blue eyes and black hair, calling it his favorite combination. This does, of course, match Alec's appearance over a century later.

Mrs. Black

  • Species: Warlock
  • Gender: Female
"The Dark Sisters" is Tessa's name for Mrs. Black and Mrs. Dark, the two sisters who abduct her in order to teach her to Change. They claim to be keeping her brother Nate prisoner as well, using this to motivate Tessa. They plan to sell her into marriage to "the Magister" until the interference of the Shadowhunters. Mrs. Black was beheaded and therefore killed by Will while he was rescuing Tessa from the Dark House.

Mrs. Dark;

  • Species: Eidolon demon
  • Gender: Female
"The Dark Sisters" is Tessa's name for Mrs. Black and Mrs. Dark, the two sisters who abduct her in order to teach her to change. They claim to be keeping her brother Nate prisoner as well, using this to motivate Tessa. They plan to sell her into marriage to "the Magister" until the interference of the Shadowhunters. Mrs. Dark went missing, but reappeared later on, revealing that though her sister was a warlock, she is an Eidolon demon, a shapeshifter. Unlike Tessa, however, she can not "become" those whose appearances she takes on. The demon that was Mrs. Dark is attempting to use necromancy to bring her sister back to life.


Nathaniel "Nate" Gray

  • Species: Human
  • Gender: Male
  • Hair Color: Blonde
  • Age: 19
Tessa's charming, roguish, and handsome older brother, whom she has journeyed to London to live with following the death of their Aunt Harriet. She is concerned by his mysterious disappearance, and enlists the aid of the Shadowhunters to help find him. However, the truth behind his disappearance may be more than Tessa can handle. Nate is mundane.

Axel Mortmain

  • Species: Human
  • Gender: Male
  • Hair Color: Gray
  • Eye Color: Green
Axel Mortmain is the son of Dr. Hollingworth Mortmain, who had established a trading company in China dealing in spices, sugar, silk, tea, and likely opium. Axel moved from Shanghai to London a decade or so after his father's death and his subsequent inheritance of the family fortune. A shrewd businessman, he sold his trading company and purchased a company in London that manufactures mechanical equipment used in clocks. He named the business Mortmain and Company, also called Mortmain's.

Emma Bayliss

  • Species: Human
  • Gender: Female
  • Hair Color: Blonde
  • Age: 14
Miss Emma Bayliss was a fourteen-year-old girl that Tessa changes into while holding her pink hair ribbon. While in the form of Emma, Tessa describes her as being born in Cheapside as one of six children. She earned her keep by sewing at night. One night, when she went outside to sew by the light of the gas lamps, she was murdered. Her body is discovered by Will and Jem. Emma Bayliss was presumably murdered by a member the Pandemonium Club, possibly "The Magister" himself. There is evidence of this because Jem finds a knife with two snakes on it (a double "Ouroboros").

The Clave[edit]

Brother Enoch
  • Species: Silent Brother
  • Gender: Male
Brother Enoch is a no/scar-faced being who has excellent healing powers. He helps Tessa and her brother Nate.
Frederick Ashdown
  • Species: Shadowhunter
  • Gender: Male
A member of the clave. He helps defeat de Quincy and crew.
George Penhallow
  • Species: Shadowhunter
  • Gender: Male
A member of the clave. He helps defeat de Quincy and crew.
Lilian Highsmith
  • Species: Shadowhunter
  • Gender: Female
A member of the clave. She helps defeat de Quincy and crew.
Benedict Lightwood
  • Species: Shadowhunter
  • Gender: Male
A member of the clave. He helps defeat de Quincy and crew.
Gabriel Lightwood
  • Species: Shadowhunter
  • Gender: Male
A member of the clave. He helps defeat de Quincy and crew. Will's rival.
Aunt Callida
  • Species: Shadowhunter
  • Gender: Female
A member of the clave. She helps defeat de Quincy and crew.
Consul Wayland
  • Species: Shadowhunter
  • Gender: Male
The head of the Clave, he never makes an appearance in the novel, but is mentioned as the person who placed Charlotte in charge of the Institute.


Sophie Collins
  • Species: Human
  • Gender: Female
  • Occupation: Maid
Sophie Collins is the maid of the institute. She has a scar on her face from the son of her previous employer who tried to seduce her. When she refused his advances he lashed out at her with a knife saying if he couldn't have her he would make sure nobody would want her. She is very friendly with her employers, Charlotte in particular, and Charlotte's "good angel." She fell in love with James Carstairs. She became the Lady's Maid of Jessamine Lovelace (though they don't like each other) and Tessa Gray.
  • Species: Human
  • Gender: Female
  • Occupation: Chef
Agatha was the chef of the institute, middle-aged, and with graying hair. She dies when she was stabbed by a clockwork creature during an invasion at the Institute.
  • Species: Human
  • Gender: Male
  • Occupation: Driver, fighter
Thomas was a person of diverse jobs that worked at the institute. He had feelings for Sophie, but that feeling wasn't mutual. He died protecting the Institute during the same invasion that killed Agatha.
  • Species: Clockwork
  • Gender: Female
  • Occupation: Maid
Miranda is a clockwork creature who worked for the Dark Sisters.


The cover features Will Herondale and Tessa's Clockwork Angel charm.


The sequel to Clockwork Angel is titled Clockwork Prince.[2] The sequel was released December, 2011. The third book in the Infernal Devices series is titled Clockwork Princess and was released on March 19, 2013.


On October 17, 2011 Clockwork Angel nabbed the No. 1 spot on YALSA‘s ‘Teens’ Top 10′ of 2011, beating out the likes of Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins and Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick. Clare also made an acceptance video thanking the fans who voted.


  1. ^ CHILDREN'S BEST SELLERS: CHAPTER BOOKS. New York Times, 19 September 2010. Retrieved on 25 May 2011.
  2. ^ Jewell, Stephen (30 April 2011). "Magical tales take on life of their own". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 24 September 2011. 

External links[edit]