While we wait to see what exciting things 2013 has in store for Cassandra Clare’s Infernal Devices series, catch up on all the teasers she shared from the upcoming ‘Clockwork Princess.’ The final book in The Infernal Devices series comes out this March 19.
“Would you?” said Gabriel to Will, hotly. “If it was your family?” His lip curled. “Never mind. It’s not as if you know the meaning of loyalty —”
“Gabriel.” Gideon’s voice was a reprimand to his brother. “Do not speak to Will in that manner.”
“He began it,” Cecily said, jerking her chin at Will, though she knew it was pointless. Jem, Will’s parabatai, treated her with the distant sweet kindness reserved for the little sisters of one’s friends, but he would always side with Will. Kindly, but firmly, he put Will above everything else in the world. Well, nearly everything.
Jem knotted his fingers in the material of Will’s sleeve. “You are my parabatai,” he said. “You said once I could ask anything of you.
Jem drew the bow back and let the arrow fly; it struck the creature in the side. The massive demon worm writhed in agony, undulating as it swept its great, blind head from side to side, uprooting shrubbery with its thrashings. Leaves filled the air and the boys choked on dust, Gideon backing up with his seraph blade in his hand, trying to see by its light.
“It’s coming toward us,” he said in a low voice.
And indeed it was, the arrow still protruding from its wet, grayish skin, humping its body along with incredible speed. A flick of its tail caught the edge of a statue, sending it flying into the dry ornamental pool, where it shattered into dust
By the Angel, it just crushed Sophocles,” noted Will. “Has no one respect for the classics these days?”
And the gold of her ruined wedding dress
“A very magnanimous statement, Gideon,” said Magnus.
Magnus waved a hand. “All Lightwoods look the same to me.”
“You are not really dying,” Will said, the oddest tone to his voice, “are you?”
Will rose slowly to his feet. He could not believe he was doing what he was doing, but it was clear that he was, clear as the silver rim around the black of Jem’s eyes. “If there is a life after this one,” he said, “let me meet you in it, James Carstairs.”
“There will be other lives.” Jem held his hand out, and for a moment, they clasped hands, as they had done during their parabatai ritual, reaching across twin rings of fire to interlace their fingers with each other. “The world is a wheel,” he said. “When we rise or fall, we do it together.”
Will tightened his grip on Jem’s hand, which felt thin as twigs in his. “Well, then,” he said, through a tight throat, “since you say there will be another life for me, let us both pray I do not make as colossal a mess of it as I have this one.”
Tessa put a hand against the wall as she made her way numbly down the stairs. What had she almost done? What had she nearly told Will?
Gideon touched her cheek, lightly, with the tips of his fingers. “Did you know your name means ‘wisdom’? It was very well-given.”
Tessa craned her head back to look at Will. “You know that feeling,” she said, “when you are reading a book, and you know that it is going to be a tragedy; you can feel the cold and darkness coming, see the net drawing tight around the characters who live and breathe on the pages. But you are tied to the story as if being dragged behind a carriage and you cannot let go or turn the course aside.” His blue eyes were dark with understanding — of course Will would understand — and she hurried on. “I feel now as if the same is happening, only not to characters on a page but to my own beloved friends and companions. I do not want to sit by while tragedy comes for us. I would turn it aside, only I struggle to discover how that might be done.”
“You fear for Jem,” Will said.
“Yes,” she said. “And I fear for you, too.”
“No,” Will said, hoarsely. “Don’t waste that on me, Tess.”
“If Jem dies, I cannot be with Tessa,” said Will. “Because it will be as if I were waiting for him to die, or took some joy in his death, if it let me have her. And I will not be that person. I will not profit from his death. So he must live.” He lowered his arm, his sleeve bloody. “It is the only way any of this can ever mean anything. Otherwise it is only —”
“Pointless, needless suffering and pain? I don’t suppose it would help if I told you that was the way life is. The good suffer, the evil flourish, and all that is mortal passes away,” Magnus said.
“I want more than that,” said Will. “You made me want more than that. You showed me I was only ever cursed because I had chosen to believe myself so. You told me there was possibility, meaning. And now you would turn your back on what you created.”
He turned at the familiar voice and saw Tessa. There was a small path cut along the side of the hill, lined with unfamiliar white flowers, and she was walking up it, toward him. Her long brown hair blew in the wind — she had taken off her straw bonnet, and held it in one hand, waving it at him and smiling as if she were glad to see him.
His own heart leaped up at the sight of her. “Tess,” he called. But she was still such a distance away — she seemed both very near and very far suddenly and at the same time. He could see every detail of her pretty, upturned face, but could not touch her, and so he stood, waiting and desiring, and his heart beat like the wings of seagulls in his chest.
At last she was there, close enough that he could see where the grass and flowers bent beneath the tread of her shoes. He reached out for her —
Will’s eyes met Tessa’s as she came closer, almost tripping again over the torn hem of her gown. For a moment, they were in perfect understanding. Jem was what they could still look each other straight in the eye about. On the topic of Jem, they were both fierce and unyielding. Tessa saw Will’s hand tighten on Jem’s sleeve. “She’s here,” he said.
Jem’s eyes opened slowly. Tessa fought to keep the look of shock from her face. His pupils were blown out, his irises a thin ring of silver around the black. “Ni shou shang le ma, qin ai de?” he whispered.
“I am not at your beck and call,” Magnus said. “I helped with de Quincey because Camille requested it of me, and Will once, because he offered me a favor in return. I am a warlock. And I do not serve Shadowhunters for free.”
“Though Will was saying earlier,” Tessa added, “that heroes all come to bad ends, and he could not imagine why anyone would want to be one, anyway.”
“Ah.” Jem’s hand squeezed hers briefly, and then let it go. “Well, Will is looking at it from the hero’s viewpoint, isn’t he? But as for the rest of us, it’s an easy answer.”
“Of course.” His voice was almost a whisper now. “Heroes endure because we need them. Not for their own sakes. If Will …”
Will began to move toward the door to join Charlotte. Halfway there, he turned back, and crossed the room to Tessa: “Please,” he said, “while I am with him, would you do something for me?”
Tessa looked up and swallowed. He was too close, too close: all the lines, shapes, angles of Will filled her field of vision as the sound of his voice filled her ears. “Yes, certainly,” she said. “What is it?”
“You know,” Cecily said, “you really didn’t have to throw that man through the window.”
“It has been the privilege and the honor of my life to know you.”
No one can say that death found in me a willing comrade, or that I went easily.
“Tess?” A soft voice at the door; she looked up and saw Will there, silhouetted in the light from the corridor.
Gabriel would not soon forget the look that spread over the man’s face at that: there was satisfaction in it, but there was little surprise. It was clear he had expected nothing else, and nothing better, from the Lightwood boys.
Slowly, Jem put the violin back in its case, and laid the bow beside it. Only then did he turn to Tessa. His expression was shy, though his white shirt was soaked through with sweat and the pulse in his neck was pounding.
“Did you like it?” he said. “I am not good with words, so I wrote how I felt about you in music.”
(written on a wall in blood in Clockwork Princess)
THE INFERNAL DEVICES ARE WITHOUT PITY.
THE INFERNAL DEVICES ARE WITHOUT REGRET.
THE INFERNAL DEVICES ARE WITHOUT NUMBER.
THE INFERNAL DEVICES WILL NEVER STOP COMING.
Jem told me what Ragnor Fell said about my father,” Will said. “That for my father, there was only ever one woman he loved, and it was her for him, or nothing. You are that for me. I love you, and I will only ever love you until I die —
Jem always said that Will rushed toward the end of a mission rather than proceeding in a measured manner, and that one must look at the next step on the path ahead, rather than the destination in the distance, or one would never reach one’s goal. Will closed his eyes for a moment. He knew that Jem was right, but it was hard to remember, when the goal that he sought was the girl that he loved.
“You do not want to help us,” Will said to Magnus. “You do not want to position yourself as an enemy of Mortmain’s.”
“Well, can you blame him?” Woolsey rose in a whirl of yellow silk. “What could you possibly have to offer that would make the risk worth it to him?”
“I will give you anything,” said Tessa in a low voice that Will felt in his bones. “Anything at all, if you can help us help Jem.”
Magnus gripped a handful of his black hair. “God, the two of you. I can make inquiries. Track down some of the more unusual shipping routes. Old Molly —”
“I’ve been to her,” Will said. “Something’s frightened her so badly she won’t even crawl out of her grave.”
Woolsey snorted. “And that doesn’t tell you anything, little Shadowhunter? Is it really worth all this, just to stretch your friend’s life out another few months, another year? He will die anyway. And the sooner he dies, the sooner you can have his fiancée, the one you’re in love with.” He cut his amused gaze toward Tessa. “Really you ought to be counting down the days till he expires with great eagerness.”
Jem and Tessa …
Tessa reached to brush the damp hair from his forehead. He leaned into her touch, his eyes closing. “Jem—have you ever—” She hesitated. “Have you ever thought of ways to prolong your life that are not a cure for the drug?”
At that his eyelids flew open. “What do you mean?”
She thought of Will, on the floor of the attic, choking on holy water. “Becoming a vampire. You would live forever—”
He scrambled upright against the pillows of the bed. “Tessa, no. Don’t—you can’t think that way.”
“Is the thought of becoming a Downworlder truly so horrible to you?”
“Tessa …” He exhaled slowly. “I am a Shadowhunter. Nephilim. Like my parents before me. It is the heritage I claim, just as I claim my mother’s heritage as part of myself. It does not mean I hate my father. But I honor the gift they gave me, the blood of the Angel, the trust placed in me, the vows I have taken. Nor, I think, would I make a very good vampire. [redacted for spoilers] I would no longer be Will’s parabatai, no longer be welcome in the Institute. No, Tessa. I would rather die and be reborn and see the sun again, than live to the end of the world without daylight.”
“A Silent Brother, then,” she said.
His eyes softened slightly. “The path of Silent Brotherhood is not open to me.”
Be sure and catch up on all The Infernal Devices highlights from 2012.
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