England, 1878. Although she's surprised when her brother isn't on hand to meet her ship when it docks in Southampton, Tessa Gray reads his note of explanation and introduction to the "Dark Ladies", as he calls them, pushes her suspicion aside, and gets into their carriage.
Six weeks later, she's still a prisoner in the Dark Ladies' house, forced to endure daily training sessions in shapeshifting -- a talent she'd never known she possessed using magic she'd never known existed -- in the hopes of saving her captive brother's life.
Luckily for her, a chance rescue occurs when two exceedingly handsome young Shadowhunters attack the household, looking for information about the recent murder of a young girl. But despite a thorough search, her brother is nowhere to be found...
Such is Tessa's introduction to the world of Shadowhunters and Downworlders, the Institute and the Pandemonium Club, vampires and automatons, warlocks and magic. A world that she has unknowingly belonged to since birth. The Shadowhunters take her in, but if she's ever going to find her brother, she's going to have to use her newfound talent...
Okay, so once Tessa had her first scene with Will Herondale, I admit it: I rolled my eyes a bit. Because, despite the difference in apparence -- his hair is inky black, while Jace was a blond -- there was a pretty obvious parallel between Tessa and Will's interactions and Clary and Jace's*. In short, Will's all reckless and daring and has issues with authority as well as some MAJOR ISSUES with LIFE IN GENERAL for as-yet unknown reasons, but he and Tessa also share an immediate lurrrve that he won't admit.
But despite the fact that I'm far past ODing on the Way Tortured Male LeadWho Knows In His Heart of Hearts That He Is Unworthy/Dangerous/Toolish archetype... I got won over. And, I'm really embarrassed to say, I got won over because Will identifies with ANOTHER Male Lead WKIHHoHTHIU/D/T: A Tale of Two Cities' Sydney Carton.
From Clockwork Angel:
"Sydney Carton?" But you said you hated A Tale of Two Cities!"
"I don't really." Will seemed unabashed by his lie.
"And Sydney Carton was a dissipated alcoholic."
"Exactly. There was a man who was worthless, and knew he was worthless, and yet however far down he tried to sink his soul, there was always some part of him capable of great action." Will lowered his voice. "What is it he says to Lucie Manette? That though he is weak, he can still burn?"
Tessa, who had read A Tale of Two Cities more times that she could count, whispered, "'And yet I have had the weakness, and have still the weakness, to wish you to know with what a sudden mastery you kindled me, head of ashes that I am, into fire.'" She hesitated. "But that was because he loved her."
"Yes," said Will. "He loved her enough to know she was better off without him." His hands were still on hers, the heat of them burning through her gloves.
So, yes. I was won over. And once I got over myself, I enjoyed the entire thing wholeheartedly, and I'm totally looking forward to the next one.
Also, MAGNUS BANE! ♥ ♥ ♥
*Not to mention the similar breakdowns of the other characters.
Book source: Library copy.