|Cover artist||Cliff Nielsen|
|Narrator||Ed Westwick and Heather Lind|
|Release Date||December 6, 2011|
| Preceded by|
| Followed by|
| Released after|
City of Fallen Angels
| Released before|
City of Lost Souls
In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street, and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa's powers for his own dark ends.
With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister’s war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life.
To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move, and that one of their own has betrayed them.
Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, but her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will; the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets, and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?
As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart.
The book begins at Cross Bones Graveyard, where Will Herondale meets with a ghost, known as Old Molly, to pick up Foraii demon powders for Magnus Bane. She gives Will the powders, but before he leaves, Will asks if there is a potion that could put an end to being in love. Molly laughs, and reminds him that there are a lot of ways to make a girl hate him. However when she disappears, William mutters, 'No, not for her. For me.'
Later, Tessa and Jem are making their way to the Council Chamber for a Council meeting, but Jem stops and shows her Poet's Corner in Westminster Abbey. Will catches up with the two there, and they all make their way to the Chamber together. There, Tessa and Charlotte are asked once again to testify about the events of the night that the Magister invaded the Institute. The Consul listens and then prepares to give Charlotte her sentence. But, before he can finish, Benedict Lightwood stands up and challenges Charlotte's command of the London Institute, citing that Charlotte isn't fit to be head of an Institute as a woman who is so easily misled by their enemies such as Mortmain and Nate Gray. The Consul, as a family friend of the Fairchilds who appointed Charlotte as head of the Institute himself, then proposes a bargain: Charlotte will be given two weeks to find the Magister, or at least, have strong evidence to indicate where he is. If she fails, then Benedict's challenge may go forward. Also, due to the London Institute's loss of servants during Mortmain's invasion, Gabriel and Gideon, Benedict's two sons, are volunteered to train Tessa, Sophie and Jessamine, so as to prepare them to defend themselves and others in the case that they're put in this position again.
The Institute inhabitants immediately get to work by looking for any information on Mortmain. It is then that Jem has an idea to look in the Reparations -- a petition Downworlders and mundanes may use to gain compensation for unjust actions by the Clave -- to find out if Mortmain's plans against the Nephilim are personal to him as a result of him having tried to go through the system, only for it to fail him. When Jem leaves to pass the idea on to Charlotte, Tessa accompanies him, not wanting to be left alone with Will. She and Will then have a hostile talk, before Will leaves.
Will ends up at Magnus' apartment, where Magnus summons another demon, Thammuz, in hopes that it will be the demon Will has been looking for. Magnus asks if Thammuz has ever encountered Will before, but Thammuz says no. William then confirms that the demon was the wrong one, as he wasn't the right shade of blue, so Magnus then sends the demon away.
Sophie walks toward Jessamine's room, but when she hears Tessa and Jem coming, she hides, as she wanted to avoid seeing them together because of her slight jealousy from her crush on Jem. She ducks into a random unused guest room, leaving the door ever so slightly ajar so she can still see and hear. Tessa and Jem pass her while they discuss Jessamine's taste in men and chat about the Lightwood brothers, whom are to arrive tomorrow to begin to train Sophie and Tessa. Once the pair have passed, Sophie is about to leave when she notices Jessamine, dressed as a man and exiting her room while acting suspiciously.
The next day, Jem, accompanying Tessa and Sophie, both dressed in Shadowhunter gear, meet the Lightwood brothers, where they learn that Jessamine has claimed to have a headache and thus will not be participating in training. Gideon and Gabriel Lightwood introduce Jem, Tessa and Sophie to their new servants, Cyril Tanner (their late former servant Thomas' brother) and Bridget Daly. Gabriel, in an attempt to goad Jem, Tessa and Sophie, asks Cyril to fight with him to show the girls what a trained servant is able to do with the right training. This upsets Sophie, as Thomas was her dear friend who was well-trained and still ended up being killed by Mortmain's automatons. Cyril and Gabriel fight, and though Cyril loses, Bridget jumps on Gabriel's back, surprising him as she knocks him down and pins him on the floor. Jem leaves, and the girls spend the day training with Gabriel and Gideon, with Tessa being tutored by the former, and Sophie being tutored by the latter.
At dinner, Charlotte is not present, as she has gone to the Silent City to check on the Reparation log book, per the suggestion of Jem. The group makes small talk, until Charlotte dashes in holding a parchment, claiming to have found something about Axel Mortmain. It is revealed that Axel was adopted by two warlocks, John Thaddeus Shade and Anne Evelyn Shade. However, they were both killed by Shadowhunters for possessing the Book of the White, as well as using the spells within to work on binding souls to automatons. Mortmain filed a Reparation at the York Institute, headed by Aloysius Starkweather. Charlotte is not thrilled with the idea of contacting Aloysius, because he and her father had a falling out years ago and has held a grudge against her father's kin ever since. However, she does end up writing to him to request information regarding Mortmain. After dinner, whilst Charlotte writes the letter to Aloysius, Tessa goes to the library in search of books to read. While searching, Will approaches her, and they have a conversation about books. He discusses how in A Tale of Two Cities, Sydney Carton's sacrifice is one of despair, because he is lost without his love (Lucie), but knows that if she were with him it would only degrade her; clearly suggesting that he himself is Sydney, while Tessa is Lucie.
The next day, Aloysius Starkweather has denied Charlotte access to the information she wants, as she expected, so the residents of the Institute begin to plan a way to get the information anyway. They ultimately decide, with Tessa's blessing, that Tessa, Will, and Jem will travel to the York Institute to retrieve something that belongs to Aloysius so she can Change into him and sort through his memories of what happened with Mortmain and the Shades. In the mean time, Tessa and Sophie continue to be trained by the Lightwood brothers, and Sophie confesses to Tessa that she has an issue with Bridget, both because she sings depressing songs of death and beheadment, and also because she's not as amiable as the former cook, Agatha, who was Sophie's dear friend. Later that evening, Tessa receives a gift at her door, a book - Vathek by William Beckford. In the front cover, Will has written a funny poem, which makes her laugh beside herself.
The next morning, Tessa, Jem and Will depart to York from Kings Cross station. Whilst on the train, they discuss what to tell Aloysius regarding the reason for their visitation. In the end, they decide that, since Tessa has no Marks and will be unable to claim to be a Shadowhunter, she will instead pretend to be Jem's mundane fiancée who is about to Ascend and wants to see more of the different Institutes and the life of a Shadowhunter. Upon arriving in York, Aloysius's driver meets the three, and they make their way to the York Institute.
At the York Institute, Jem, Tessa and Will are having an awful time, as the Institute is nearly empty, Aloysius is grumpy toward them, and the food is terrible. However, Aloysius surprisingly decides to give the three the information that they wanted, including an address of an old house that was previously inhabited by Mortmain. Aloysius then goes on to show them the spoils room, a room full of mummified bodies, skulls, faerie wings, eyeballs and jars of blood, all of which were harvested from the bodies of the Downworlders that the Starkweathers have killed. Tessa is so overwhelmed with disgust at how some Shadowhunters treated her fellow Downworlders that she faints and is taken straight to bed. That night Tessa has a nightmare and cries out, so Will runs in to comfort her. Unfortunately, Tessa has not forgiven Will for the cruel words he uttered whilst on the roof on the day of Agatha and Thomas' funeral, and asks Will to leave when he tries to kiss her, not wanting to keep repeating the cycle of kindness and cruelty. The next morning Jem, Tessa, and Will all three decide to go check out the house previously occupied by Mortmain known as Ravenscar Manor. When they arrive at the house, they notice a girl walking into the building, Will is astonished to realize that the girl is his young sister, Cecily, whom Tessa had heard Will cry out when he was ill.
Will, seeing Cecily, makes a mad dash to the house in an attempt to see her and find out if his entire family is there, but Jem stops him and points out that an automaton has been following them their entire trip. Will then rolls down a hill and runs toward the automaton. Jem runs after Will, and Tessa runs after Jem, but since she's wearing a long dress and impractical shoes, she ends up losing sight of the boys and is suddenly accosted by an automaton. Tessa quickly picks up a tree branch as uses the parrying lessons she learned from Gabriel to avoid death, and Will comes in just in time to cut the automaton down. The automaton gives them a warning from the Magister: "...cease your investigation. The past is the past. Leave Mortman's buried, or [the Herondales] will pay the price. Do not approach or warn them. If you do, they will be destroyed." Will, Tessa, and Jem then take the carriage back to York station, and the train back to London. On the train ride, Tessa tries to thank Will for the kindness that he had shown her on the previous night (when she had a nightmare and he tried to comfort her). Unfortunately, Will simply replied "There was no last night." When the three return home, Tessa confesses to Jem and Will that she snatched one of Aloysius' buttons while they stayed at the York Institute so that she may Change into him, should it be necessary to get more information from him about the deaths of Mortmain's parents.
When the train arrives at Kings Cross station, Will dashes off the train and runs to Lady Belcourt's home, who is still on holiday, to see Magnus again. Once there, Will requests that Magnus open a portal to the demon realms so that he can find and kill the demon who cursed him. When Magnus refuses to do so, Will finally tells him the story about why he's searching for a demon; as a child, he was looking through his dad's old things, when he found a pyxis and opened it. A demon came from the box and went after him, so his older sister, Ella, burst in with a seraph blade in an attempt to fight him off. Before he left, the demon then cursed Will, promising, "All who love you will die. Their love will be their destruction. It may take moments, it may take years, but any who look upon you with love will die of it..." By the next morning, Ella had died. Will, horrified and filled with grief, and sure that his curse caused his sister's death, fled his home and joined the Shadowhunters to prevent his family from the same fate that Ella had suffered. He then explains to Magnus that since his arrival at the Institute of London, he's been pushing people away because of this curse; however, he's in love with Tessa now, and is tired of living a lie, pretending to be a man who drinks and involves himself with whores to keep people from loving him. Magnus then asks why he allows Jem's affections, to which Will replies that Jem is dying anyway, and since Ella's death was swift, perhaps Jem will get a good death from his affiliation with Will. Will subsequently requests that Magnus open a portal to the Demon world and send Will there, to which Magnus again refuses, causing Will to leave the house angrily.
Back at the Institute, Charlotte and the residents are all worried as to where Will has gone. Charlotte talks about the time when Will's parents came to beg for Will to return; when his parents finally left, Will asked Charlotte for one thing - to be notified if they should die. Since then, Charlotte has had Ragnor Fell keep tabs on the Herondales. She informs Jem and Tessa that Will's father had lost their house gambling four years after Will joined the Shadowhunters, and after that Ragnor could no longer find any trace of the Herondales. Charlotte then decide that the best solution regarding Mortmain is for Tessa to Change into Aloysius and see if there's anything more they can learn about him. However, when Tessa Changes into Aloysius, she realizes that he's no longer mentally competent, and has incredible difficulty catching any of his memories, only getting flashes of bits and pieces of his thoughts. When she Changes back to herself, she notices the face of Mrs. Dark in the courtyard, but when she checks again, the figure is gone.
The next morning, Tessa is at breakfast, where Will is still absent. During her training with the Lightwood brothers, Gabriel and Tessa have an argument, which causes Gabriel to storm out. When Tessa goes to lunch, she sees Ragnor Fell at the table. Charlotte, Tessa and Ragnor discuss their current problems with regards to Mortmain and the Herondales, and Charlotte pays Ragnor to go to York and keep an eye on the family for her while they stay at Ravenscar Manor. When Tessa returns to her room, she is informed by Sophie that a letter has arrived for her. Tessa reads the letter from Magnus Bane, informing her that Will is very troubled, and that she should make certain that he is okay. Worried, Tessa rushes over to Jem's room, and shows him the letter, not knowing what to make of it. Jem and Tessa run to Will's room to investigate, where Tessa discovers that Will has taken the letters that she had written to her brother during her horrid stay at the Dark Sisters' home, which clearly upsets Tessa, as she's offended that he would invade her privacy, and is also confused as to why he would read them in the first place. Jem searches through Will's room and finds a family dagger of Will's to use to track him, as well as a receipt for the yin fen that Will buys for Jem so he doesn't have to do it himself; Jem is also shocked and confused to learn that he has been paying much more for the drug than Jem was led to believe it cost, a fact which softens Tessa's opinion of Will. Using the dagger and a tracking rune, Jem tracks down Will to a Downworlder drug den in the East End of London.
In the carriage, Jem and Tessa have a conversation, and Jem tells Tessa that she's beautiful, though he says it in Chinese, so she does not know what exactly he has said. They arrive at the Downworlder's drug den, where they find Will, laying on a bunk, obviously high on warlock drugs. Jem is very upset with Will and hits Will across the face before he returns to pay Will's debt. When they arrive back at the Institute, Jem runs from the carriage into the Institute and disappears. Later that evening, Tessa hears the screeching of violin strings in the hall, like a person screaming in awful pain. She walks into Jem's room, and see him playing violently. When Tessa asks him what is the matter, Jem then breaks down. "What does any of it matter? I'm dying. I won't outlast the decade. What does it matter if the violin goes before I do?" Jem then reveals that he's angry that Will has taken pleasure using drugs for fun, when he knows that Jem has to take them in order to stay alive, even while the yin fen slowly kills him anyway. Tessa tries to calm Jem down, but Jem states "I tell myself he's better than he makes himself out to be, but,Tessa, what if he isn't? I have always thought, if I had nothing else, I had Will. If I have done nothing else that made my life matter, I have always stood by him. But perhaps I shouldn't." Tessa then sees that Jem is running a fever, and puts her hand on his head to check, to which Jem flinches away. Jem then reveals that he feels that Tessa has never seen him as a man, but always as a patient; when she looks at him, its to see how much yin fen he's taken. Caught up in the fierce discussion, they eventually begin kissing passionately for some time, until Tessa accidentally knocks a pillow off the bed, which knocks Jem's box of yin fen onto the floor, spilling the drug all over the carpet. Jem then asks Tessa to go back to her room, while he cleans, as he's visibly embarrassed by it. As she slips back to her room, she notices through the crack of her door that Jessamine is sneaking out of the Institute, dressed as a man.
The next morning, Will announces aloud to those sitting at the breakfast table that he was at "an opium den" the previous night. Tessa jumps in to tell them that it wasn't really an opium den, but a den that trades in magic powders, but Will cuts her off and informs everyone that while at the so-called "opium den," he witnessed many werewolves buying yin fen in high quantities; he overheard a werewolf say that the drug allowed them to work all night for the Magister. This catches the attention of Charlotte, and she immediately sends for Woolsey Scott--the leader of the London werewolf pack--to inform him of this newest development. While Charlotte goes to send a letter to Woolsey, Will insists on accompanying Tessa to her training with the intention of annoying the Lightwood brothers. Gabriel is obviously angry that Will is staying to watch the training, but Gideon seems to not care either way. Gabriel talks loudly about how Charlotte is inept, and that when his father runs the Institute, everything will be much better. When both Sophie and Tessa defend Charlotte, Gabriel then tells them that Charlotte's father reported Gabriel's uncle for what he called a small infraction of Covenant Law, and claims the shame led to his uncle committing suicide. He specifically states, "The Fairchilds don't care for anyone but themselves and the Law," and goes as far as to say that it's Charlotte's father's actions that caused his own mother to kill herself, as well. When he brings up the idea that Henry doesn't love Charlotte because no one could love her, Sophie slaps him across the face. Gabriel is so angry that he storms out of the Institute and leaves in the Lightwoods' carriage without his brother Gideon. Tessa rushes to apologize to him, but Gabriel has already left. Will follows Tessa out of the training room, and they have a discussion about how inconsiderate Will has been to Jem, especially regarding his recent drug use. Will appears to be truly sorry for what he's done to Jem, and tells Tessa that even though people think he doesn't care about the opinions of others, in reality, he cares deeply, so much so that it drives him mad. Their conversation is interrupted by Woolsey Scott and Charlotte, who enter the room.
Back in the training room, Sophie and Gideon are alone, where they discuss what happens after the end of their training. Gideon seems smitten by Sophie, and asks if he could see her again, even after their lessons.
Woolsey, Charlotte, Tessa and Will discuss Mortmain and the werewolves he is employing and drugging with yin fen. Woolsey informs them that the werewolves assisting Mortmain are not part of his pack, and because of this, he has no control over them. Disappointed, Charlotte asks Woolsey to keep his eyes out for new information, just in case. Woolsey then mentions that with Mortmain buying so much yin fen, there may be a shortage coming soon. At this revelation, Will bolts from the room to buy more yin fen for Jem, just in case.
Ragnor Fell sends a letter to Charlotte informing her of the situation of the Herondales; in the letter, he tells Charlotte that he managed to speak with Cecily, who claimed that Will's desertion led to her father's drinking and gambling problem, which led them to become destitute. Ragnor also notes the cleverness of Mortmain, and equates power over the Herondales as power over Will, and thus, indirectly, power over the London Institute. Charlotte burns the letter to destroy the evidence of her breaking Covenant Law, and shortly afterward, Jem approaches her in her study and asks her about the veracity of Gabriel's story regarding the Fairchilds. Charlotte denys Gabriel's account, and claims it couldn't have been true, because Gabriel's grandfather had asked Charlotte's father to assist him in writing Gabriel's uncle Silas' eulogy.
Will is hurrying back from purchasing more yin fen for Jem. Along the way, he reminesces about his dreams from when he was high, which were mainly about his future with Tessa and their mutual love. Will hurries to Jem's room, but notices him pacing outside Tessa's bedroom; Jem claims he was hoping to apologize to her for keeping her up with his violin playing. Jem invites Will into his room, where Will apologizes for his inconsiderate actions. Jem, unable to hold a grudge or a temper, quickly and easily forgives him. Tessa, meanwhile, cannot sleep, because she fears that Jem thinks poorly of her because of how unrestrained she had acted the night when she and Jem had kissed. Sophie then knocks on her door, extremely anxious and fearful, and shows her an invitation to a masked ball addressed to Jessamine that she had found in Jessamine's room, which was accompanied by a personal handwritten note from Tessa's brother, Nate Gray. Sophie confesses to Tessa that when she was cleaning Jessamine's coat, she discovered the letter in a pocket and was horrified when she read it and realized who it was from. When Jessamine came into the room and saw Sophie with the letter, Jessamine was so furious that Sophie reacted instinctively and knocked her out with a heavy hand mirror, and, afraid Jessamine would wake up, subsequently tied her to the bed to prevent her from running away. Tessa and Sophie agree that they must tell someone, and since Sophie is too scared to inform Charlotte out of fear of losing her job, nor Jem, whom she's afraid of scaring with her aggressive reaction, the girls are only left with Will as someone to inform about their situation. Will, Tessa, and Sophie convene in Jessamine's room, where Will and Tessa agree that they must attend the masked ball, which was suspiciously being thrown by Benedict Lightwood, in hope of discovering the full extent of Jessamine's relationship with Nate, as well as what information Nate may have. Will is also curious why Benedict Lightwood would host a party that involved individuals such as Nate, especially such a party in which other Shadowhunters did not seem to be invited. Tessa then Changes into Jessamine, and Will escorts her to the ball.
During the carriage ride to the ball, Will tells Tessa why the Lightwoods hate him; when Will was twelve, Tatiana Lightwood was madly in love with him, and Will sought to stop her from loving him. He then discovered her diary, and read aloud the contents at the London Institute's annual Christmas party. Tessa, curious about her lineage, asks Will about whether it is possible to have a half-demon, half-Shadowhunter child, but Will states that it is impossible, as all products of a union between a demon and a Shadowhunter are stillborn at birth.
At the party, Nate dances with Tessa/Jessamine, and calls her his "wife," which confuses and disturbs Tessa. Needing time to process the information she had just learned, Tessa, as Jessamine, asks Nate to fetch her a lemonade, which she drinks. Before anything else happens, Nate is called away by an urgent letter, supposedly sent from the Magister. Will then appears beside her, and informs her that it was he who sent the letter, to create a diversion so as to get Tessa away from her brother for a moment. They then leave the ballroom and go out onto the balcony for some fresh air. Once outside, they ending up engaging in passionate kissing, and Tessa/Jessamine unintentionally begins to Change back into Tessa. Finally, Magnus Bane arrives on the balcony and informs the two that the lemonades have warlock powder mixed in them, a substance which lowers the inhibitions of the drinkers. Magnus then informs them that since Camille's footmen, Archer, recognized Will at the party, it's likely that others have or will as well, and suggests that they all leave. The three of them head toward the carriage, but are stopped on their way when Will notices a blue-skinned demon exiting the party and chases after him. Tessa and Magnus end up going back to London in the carriage without Will, after Magnus assures her that Will, as a Shadowhunter, is bound to hunt and kill demons, and that he will be perfectly safe.
Tessa arrives back at the London Institute, and insists to Sophie that, now that they have learned what they did at the party, they must alert Charlotte of Jessamine's betrayal. While Sophie nervously leaves to fetch Charlotte, Jessamine awakens and quickly remembers the events that led to her being tied to the bed. Jessamine swears that Nate truly loves her, though Tessa reminds Jessamine that he is her brother, and that she knows better than anyone that he loves no one but himself. Jessamine is furious at Tessa and proclaims her to be jealous, before she shouts that she hopes Mortmain kills all of the Shadowhunters. Charlotte walks in just as she has shouted at Tessa, and is so furious and full of wrath at Jessamine's betrayal that she informs them all that she has called Brother Enoch to the Institute. Brother Enoch follows her into the room holding the Mortal Sword, which immediately frightens Jessamine. Brother Enoch uses the sword to untie Jessamine before he places the Mortal Sword in her hands. Tessa is afraid they're going to torture her, but Sophie assures her quietly that the Sword forces Nephilim to tell the truth. Charlotte proceeds to question Jessamine mercilessly, and Jessamine, unable to lie purposely, reveals that she met Nate only a few times, and that he'd proposed after their second meeting. She then reveals that they'd been married, and that Benedict Lightwood is helping Mortmain because he's being blackmailed by him, though he doesn't know why. When Tessa angrily asks her what she knows about Tessa and her biological family, and Jessamine confesses that Nate told her that Tessa's father was a demon, and that her mother had been a Shadowhunter. Jessamine is then asked where Mortmain is hiding, but her face turns beet red and is unable to get a straight answers. Brother Enoch reveals that Jessamine has had a magical block put in place to prevent her from telling secrets, presumably by Mortmain, and requests that Jessamine be taken away with Enoch to the Silent City so that the Silent Brothers can undo the block and figure out what Mortmain was trying to hide. After the two of them left, Charlotte, overwhelmed by the various revelations from the evening, bursts into tears.
While Jessamine was being questioned, Will had returned to London from the ball and enters Magnus' house, much to Archer's displeasure. He tells Magnus that he was bitten by the blue-demon he chased, who was also the specific demon who cursed Will five years ago; when the demon had bitten Will, he accidentally lost a tooth in the process, and Will begs Magnus to use the tooth to summon the demon. Before he can say more, he becomes ill from the poison from his demon bite and passes out at the apartment. Magnus casts a painkilling spell and puts Will on the couch to rest and heal. A short while later, Camille Belcourt returns home from her long holiday after helping the Shadowhunters to implicate Alexei de Quincey, which initially delights Magnus, but when Magnus confesses that he knows that Camille was actually in St. Petersburg with a human lover, and not in Paris as she had told him. Camille brushes off the dalliance and does not apologize for cheating on Magnus, even going so far as to suggest that if Magnus does not allow her her "diversions," she will break up with him. Magnus is so hurt that he effectively breaks up with her, instead, and, in an effort to make Camille jealous, states that he and Will have begun a relationship. Magnus awakens Will to demonstrate his point, and kisses him on the mouth. Camille is disgusted that Magnus would consort amongst Nephilim, and demands that he leave her home. After being thrown out, Magnus, happy that Will helped him without even knowing he did it, promises that he would try to summon the demon using the tooth, before sending Will off to return to the Institute.
The next morning, the rest of the Institute's residents learn of Jessamine's betrayal. They discuss as to what course of action they should take per the information regarding Benedict Lightwood, and they all conclude that it is best to keep quiet for now, since they only have limited time before their trial period is up, and until then, they will continue to investigate more into the matter. Jem suggests that he and Tessa go visit Jessamine at the Silent City, to ask her to help them by writing to Nate to request a meeting. Their plan is that Tessa will once again go to said meeting while Changed into Jessamine, and the rest of the Institute's residents would capture Nate and do whatever they need to do to get him to spill Mortmain's plans, even if they have to torture him to do it. While waiting for the Silent Brothers' carriage so that they may depart to the Silent City, Tessa corners Will and makes him promise not to speak to anyone of the events that occurred on the balcony on the previous night, and though he jokes at first, Will eventually swears on the Angel that he will not say a word. Tessa and Jem then enter the carriage, and, during the ride to the Silent City, discuss the kisses they shared that night in Jem's room. The two once again get carried away, and end up kissing intensely for a moment, before Jem kindly breaks away and insists that he needs to behave himself. Upon arrival, they manage to convince Jessamine to write a note to Nate with the promise that, should she genuinely help them catch Nate and Mortmain, she will be punished more leniently. Jem and Tessa then return to the Institute to prepare their plan.
The rest of the members of the Institute began preparing for the evening meeting. Will and Jem are worried about leaving the Institute unguarded yet again, but just before they leave, Gideon arrives to train Sophie. Charlotte asks Gideon to protect and watch over the Institute while the rest of them are gone for the evening, to which he agrees. A letter then arrives from Nate, accepting Jessamine's request to meet at sundown in a tea storage room on Mincing Lane. Charlotte et al. agree to the following plan: Henry, Charlotte, Will & Jem will arrive before Nate does and hide in the storage facility; Tessa will dress as a man, just as Jessamine does when she meets Nate, Change into Jessamine, and walk to the storage room to meet him. Just before Tessa is to leave, she remembers that she had left her clockwork angel necklace, and although she knows she cannot wear it, she wants to keep it in her pocket, knowing how many times it has already saved her life. However, as she proceeds to do so, she notices Sophie and Gideon in a tender moment in the hall outside of Jessamine's bedroom, and chooses to simply go without the angel out of fear of interrupting them. When Charlotte, Jem, Will and Henry arrive at the storage room, Jem and Will discover a werewolf who is dying from withdrawal from yin fen, one who was aiding Mortmain. Before the werewolf can give them any useful information, he dies from having taken such large quantities of the drugs for so long before having gone too long without it.
Tessa/Jessamine arrives at the storage room, and calls out for Nate. Nate greets her and beckons for a kiss, but before they kiss, he informs her that he does, in fact, know that she is Tessa in disguise. He then tells her that he'd known since he had received that letter during the masquerade ball. He goes on to tell Tessa that he is not her biological brother, as she originally thought, but actually her cousin; he is the son of Harriet Moore, Tessa's aunt. Nate then shows Tessa a gigantic automaton, who has an unconscious Charlotte clutched in its clawed hand. Nate commands the automaton to set Charlotte down and crush her with its feet. Henry, in an attempt to save Charlotte, attacks the automaton, and is knocked into a pillar, ultimately falling unconscious. Just as the mechanical being is about to crush Charlotte, Jem and Will leap upon the automaton, and strike it with their weapons, though to no effect. Jem is shaken off the automaton, and breaks his leg during his fall and subsequent fight with Nate, but he is able to pull out a new invention of Henry's-- a device designed to damage the gears of the mechanical beings and explode. Just as Jem is about to throw it, Nate kicks it out of his hands. Tessa and Nate both dive for the device, while Will holds on to the automaton in desperation. Tessa grabs the device, but is, herself, grabbed by Nate. Nate then pulls her towards him, in an effort to capture her. Tessa decidedly chooses to transform herself into Nate. Freeing herself from his grasp, Tessa/Nate calls out to the automaton to grab hold of the real Nate, as the automaton only answers to Nate. Much to Nate's dismay, her plan actually works, and while the real Nate is subdued, Will has leapt from the giant automaton and attached Henry's device to its back. Will then dives upon Tessa, who has transformed back to herself, and shields her with his body just as the automaton explodes.
In the explosion, Nate is fatally wounded by a shrapnel, while Tessa suffers minor injuries and Will is grievously wounded, having taken the brunt of the shrapnel while shielding Tessa. Tessa, noticing neither her own injuries, nor Will's, runs to Nate and tries desperately to save him, even despite what he's done. Nate asks that Tessa always wear her clockwork angel, and Tessa admits that she forgives him for everything he's done, though she acknowledges in her own thoughts that she wasn't sure if she actually meant it or not. In response to her forgiveness, he replies, " You don't know everything I've done, Tessie." After Nate's death, Tessa realizes that everyone has gathered around Will, and feels guilty as she runs over to him to find that he is bleeding profusely. When Jem explains the extent of Will's injuries and points out her own wound on her head, Tessa becomes overwhelmed by shock and faints on the floor of the warehouse.
Tessa is brought back to the Institute, where she is put in the infirmary with Will. She awakened briefly to overhear Charlotte speaking with Brother Enoch; Charlotte is worried about Tessa's condition, but Brother Enoch assures her that it's likely due to the combined shock of losing her brother and being afraid that Will would die as a result of saving and protecting her. Afterward, Tessa floats in an out of consciousness, and the next time she awakens is to witness Brother Enoch using tweezers to pick the pieces of shrapnel out of Will's back, while Jem sits at his bedside and holds Will's hand for comfort. She then quickly fell asleep again, and had a dream about that she was at her old apartment in New York, where she talked to her Aunt Harriet. She apologizes for Nate dying because of her, but her aunt assures her that it's not her fault, it's Nate's, and her own, because she spoiled Nate too much out of guilt for letting her sister adopt him. Tessa, saddened that it is only a dream, tells her aunt that she misses her and feels so lonely without her, Harriet promises her that she has more family than she thinks.
She later awakens to overhear Charlotte telling Jem at Tessa and Will's bedside that she's sure she will ultimately lose the Institute to Benedict Lightwood, after not realizing that Jessamine was a spy until it was too late, and indirectly causing Nate's death before they could glean any information about Mortmain from him. Jem asks her what Henry thinks about it, but Charlotte confesses that she didn't have the heart to tell him what she fears, since he is already blaming himself for Will and Tessa getting hurt as a result of his invention. Jem can sense her insecurity about her marriage with Henry, and informs her of Henry's attempts to protect her from the automaton at the warehouse, but Charlotte doesn't believe him. Sophie then calls Charlotte out of the room, leaving Jem to say a heartfelt goodbye to Tessa before he leaves: "I love you, and I don't want to lose you" in Chinese. Tessa then fell asleep and dreamed of Jessamine crying in her cell. Jessamine tried to use her wedding ring to carve her initials into the stone wall, but the stone breaks under the pressure, revealing that it wasn't a real diamond; this revelation makes Jessamine even more upset. The next time she wakes up, Will is at her bedside with a lemon tea, and after she worries about his injuries, he promises her that he's okay. Tessa begins to feel lightheaded, and as a result of her confusion, believes that she's dreaming this encounter with Will.
work in progress
Prologue: The Outcast Dead
Within the collector's edition of the Clockwork Prince, there is a copy of Will's letter to Tessa written in her copy of The Tale of Two Cities, as well as an unsent letter from Will to his parents written on his seventeenth birthday.
- The original (now hardbound) cover features Jem Carstairs holding his jade cane in front of Temple Bar in the background. The repackaged (paperback) cover also features Jem, this time on the ground and playing his violin while an illustration of the clockwork angel stood behind him.
- The cover model for Jem on the original US cover is Forrest Hoffman; the model's brother is on the cover of The Bane Chronicles as Magnus Bane.
- The title refers to Axel Mortmain, whom his adoptive father John Thadeus Shade calls his "clockwork prince".