The Infernal Devices

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The Infernal Devices
Author Cassandra Clare
Country United States, Canada
Language English
Genre Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Young-Adult Literature
Publisher Simon & Schuster
Published August 31, 2010 – March 19, 2013
Media type Print (paperback)
No. of books 3
Followed by The Mortal Instruments

The Infernal Devices is a series of novels by author Cassandra Clare, centering on a race called the Shadowhunters introduced in her The Mortal Instruments series. The series is a prequel series to the Mortal Instruments series, and contains some of the character's ancestors. Clare has insisted that the series' can be read in any order.[1]

The series follows Tessa Gray, an orphaned teenage girl who discovers she has the power to shapeshift, but doesn't bear a mark that shows she is a warlock, and abilities that plunge her into a world she never knew existed. She will have to learn to master them if she wants to find her brother Nate and she will have to forge an alliance with Shadowhunters if she wants to survive in this dangerous world.

The trilogy features Will Herondale, James (Jem) Carstairs, Theresa (Tessa) Gray, and other Downworlders and Shadowhunters in the London Institute.

The books also contain many quotes referring to famous pieces of Victorian Literature like Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, and the works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Alfred Tennyson.


The series takes place in London England in 1878, a short time after the peace treaties between Downworlders and Shadowhunters. As Shadowhunters consider themselves superior or purer than Downworlders or demons, they may have no qualms about killing either.

The first book in The Infernal Devices is entitled Clockwork Angel and begins the story of Tessa Gray, an orphan teenage girl who is looking for her brother Nathaniel Gray, who has disappeared, and seeks her true identity.

Her search plunges her into a world she never knew existed, and reveals talents she never knew she had. She will have to learn to master them if she wants to find her brother, and must forge an alliance with Shadowhunters if she wants to survive in this dangerous world. Many of the family names of the Shadowhunters used in The Mortal Instruments are first introduced in this series. Another character in The Infernal Devices, Magnus Bane, the High Warlock of Brooklyn, also plays a part in this series.

As Tessa Gray is drawn deeper into the Shadow world, and goes on the quest of finding her brother, she falls in love with two Shadowhunters–but when it comes to choosing one, trouble begins to brew and suspense finds its way into her life. She will have to learn to hide her feelings if she hopes to survive. However, as her heart rages for love but her mind is bent on saving her brother, will she hide her vulnerable side? Which of the Shadowhunters will win her heart?


  • Theresa "Tessa" Gray: A 16-year-old girl who has lived most of her life in New York until her brother Nate sends her a ticket to come to England. Upon arrival however, Tessa is taken captive by the women who introduce her own abilities to her, inevitably pulling her into the Shadow World. Later on in the series, herself and everyone around her (even the Silent Brothers) haven't the slightest hint in what she derives from—all that is known is that she has the ability to shapeshift into any person and acquire their memories, manners, and abilities after forming a psychic bond with an object of their possessions. She has grey-blue eyes and wavy brown hair. She is romantically torn between Will Herondale and James Carstairs. After James Carstairs (nicknamed Jem) turned into a silent brother she chose Will. The two married and have two children, Lucie and James, after the series comes to an end.
  • William "Will" Owen Herondale: A 17-year-old Shadowhunter who chose to become a part of the Shadow World at the age of 12. He was born in Wales, can fluently speak both Welsh and English (along with Greek, Latin and many more languages). He is half-Welsh (from his mother Linette Herondale née Owens), ex-Shadowhunter (Edmund Herondale), despite having a mundane (human) mother he isn't considered to be a half shadowhunter since shadowhunter blood is dominant. His parabatai is Jem Carstairs. He is known to have beautiful sapphire eyes and sleek back hair. He has a dry sense of humour and very serious phobia of ducks, a trait that all the Herondales seem to possess. He falls in love with Tessa Gray and cannot stop loving her even when Tessa is engaged to Jem. Will and Tessa do, in fact, end up together after James is turned into a Silent Brother. It is known that they have 2 children, Lucie and James, after the series comes to an end. After coming in contact with Tessa's Clockwork angel, it leaves a mark of a white star on his shoulder, which becomes a part of the features of every Herondale man.
  • James "Jem" Carstairs or Ke Jian Ming: A 17-year-old Shadowhunter, whom was forced to live in the London Institute after the slaughter of his parents from the Shanghai Institute. After being physically tortured by a demon, who constantly fed him with the drug yin fen and made his body addicted to it. Though the drug is slowly killing him, he is forced to live on it to stay alive. Being half-Chinese (from mother Ke Wen Yu) and half-English (from father Jonah Carstairs), he speaks fluent Mandarin. His allegiance is with the Enclave. His "parabatai" is Will Herondale. He is known to have silver eyes and silver hair: a side-effect from consuming yin fen; however, in the series "The Mortal Instruments" Jem makes an appearance, and his cured self is told to have dark brown hair and eyes from Asian decent. Jem falls in love and gets engaged to Tessa Gray throughout the trilogy, however, the engagement does not live through "Clockwork Princess" for Jem is turned into a Silent Brother in order to stay alive.
  • Sophia "Sophie" Collins: Prior working at the London Institute, Sophie was a parlor maid, working for the Atkins family in St. James Wood. She was very beautiful, therefore she was offered the job. Her employers son attempted to seduce Ms. Collins, but she turned him away repeatedly. The son raged out at her, and took and knife and cut open her face; Saying if he couldn't have her, then no one will ever want her again. Sophie went to her mistress but the boy claimed she tried to seduce him, and cut her to protect his virtue. She was thrown on the streets, and Charlotte Branwell then took in Sophia. Sophia was born with 'the Sight' therefore she could see Charlotte when she was glamoured at the time. Sophie is known to end up with Gideon Lightwood. They have 3 children (Barbara, Eugenia, and Thomas) after the trilogy is over.
  • Jessamine "Jessie" Lovelace: Jessamine is a Shadowhunter who detests everything about being a Shadowhunter. Despite loathing the Shadowhunter life and would do anything to leave it behind, Jessamine can be dangerous if she wants to be. She lost her parents when she was a child. She is also known to have a dollhouse in her bedroom of the London Institute, with "Baby Jessie" as Jessamine calls the doll. She was said to be married to Nate Gray
  • Henry Jocelyn Branwell: Absent-minded and brilliant, Henry spends his waking hours in the crypt of the Institute, inventing fabulous machines and weapons out of cogs, cams and gears. Unfortunately just as many of Henry's inventions don't work as the ones that do, and Henry is as likely to set himself on fire as he is to invent something new and amazing. He invented the portal with the help of one magnificent warlock, Magnus Bane.
  • Charlotte Mary Branwell: Twenty-three-year-old Charlotte, wife of Henry Branwell, runs the entire Institute with a capable hand. Kind and loving, she does her best to care for the orphaned Shadowhunters who live under her roof whilst hiding her loneliness from the absent-minded husband she loves. It seems as if there's nothing Charlotte can't manage — until Tessa's search for her missing brother begins to uncover a web of corruption and deceit in London's Downworld that threatens to tear London's Enclave of Shadowhunters apart.
  • Axel Mortmain: The antagonist of this series and he is the one responsible for the clockwork creatures. He plots to destroy all Shadowhunters to avenge his warlock parents. He is a very dangerous man, and he needs Tessa Gray for the last key to his michevious plan to overrule the Shadowhunters. He is later known to have "created" Tessa.
  • Magnus Bane: An ancient warlock whose origins reside in Indonesia. He is flamboyant, but also wise. Early on, he has a romantic relationship with a vampire, Camille Belcourt. Magnus is a friend of Will Herondale, and aids him - and the other Shadowhunters - with various problems they encounter throughout the series. Magnus was said to take a liking towards Will Herondale. His past is also mentioned in The Mortal Instruments.

Publication History[edit]

  1. Clockwork Angel (published August 31, 2010)
  2. Clockwork Prince (published December 6, 2011)
  3. Clockwork Princess (published March 19, 2013)[2]


The series has received much positive critical reception, with the first book averaging a score of 4.3/5 on Goodreads.[3]


Cassandra Clare has confirmed that "The Infernal Devices has been optioned as a film project by the same people who optioned The Mortal Instruments."[4]


  1. ^ "The Infernal Devices - Cassandra Clare". Retrieved 2014-06-06. 
  2. ^ "FAQs". Retrieved 2011-12-16. 
  3. ^ "Clockwork Angel - Goodreads". Retrieved 2014-06-06. 
  4. ^ "Is The Infernal Devices going to be a movie? - Cassandra Clare". Retrieved 2014-09-15. 

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