Magic is dangerous – but love is more dangerous still… When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray arrives in England during the reign of Queen Victoria, something terrifying is waiting for her in London’s Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Friendless and hunted, Tessa seeks refuge with the Shadowhunters, a band of warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons. Drawn ever deeper into their world, she finds herself fascinated by – and torn between – two best friends, and quickly realizes that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.
Seeing the gorgeous cover for this book on various book blogs made me think that it was a book for me, so after checking it didn’t matter that I hadn’t read any of the Mortal Instruments series I bought this book and quickly settled to read it. Once I’d started I was completely hooked and found it very difficult to put down.
The plot is intriguing, and I felt that using Tessa as a device to explain the Downworld and Shadowhunters to the reader was excellent. It made the necessary exposition seem natural, to me there was never a feeling of the author having to shoehorn it in. I loved the world that Clare has created, the Victorian London backdrop worked so well and allowed for beautifully descriptive passages. The book contains some battle sequences, something I often don’t enjoy as much as the rest of the book. These were well written and had me reading with baited breath, sometimes not wanting to turn the page and find out what was about to happen.
I found the characters to be interesting and engaging. I’m always a sucker for male characters who are hiding something, Will and Jem both fit this description well and I wonder as the series progresses which one I will love the most. I found that I was really invested in what happened to the characters, there was a moment late on in the book that I hadn’t been expecting that left me crying on a train. Tessa herself still remains something of a mystery but I felt that this worked within the book, she is learning so many new things that her character is evolving with them.
I absolutely loved this book and am now planning to catch up with all of the Mortal Instruments books. The epilogue of Clockwork Angel has left me eagerly awaiting the next instalment in this prequel series.