Unformatted text preview: THE INFERNAL DEVICES • Book One • Clockwork Angel Also by Cassandra Clare
THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS : City of Bones
City of Ashes
City of Glass MARGARET K. MCELDERRY BOOKS
An imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division
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This book is a work of fiction. Any references to historical events, real people,
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Copyright © 2010 by Cassandra Claire, LLC
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Book design by Mike Rosamilia
The text for this book is set in Dolly.
Manufactured in the United States of America
2 4 6 8 10 9 7 5 3 1
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Clockwork angel / Cassandra Clare.—1st ed.
p. cm.—(The infernal devices ; bk. 1)
Summary: When sixteen-year-old orphan Tessa Gray’s older brother suddenly vanishes,
her search for him leads her into Victorian-era London’s dangerous supernatural underworld, and when
she discovers that she herself is a Downworlder, she must learn to trust
the demon-killing Shadowhunters if she ever wants to learn to control her
powers and find her brother.
ISBN 978-1-4169-7586-1 (hardcover) ISBN 978-1-4424-0946-0 (eBook)
[1. Supernatural—Fiction. 2. Demonology—Fiction. 3. Orphans—Fiction.
4. Secret societies—Fiction. 5. London (England)—History—19th century—Fiction.
6. Great Britain—History—Victoria, 1837–1901—Fiction.] I. Title.
2010008616 For Jim and Kate Thames River Song
A note of salt
slips in and the river rises,
darkening to the color of tea,
swelling to meet the green.
Above its banks the cogs and wheels
of monstrous machines
clank and spin, the ghost within
vanishes into its coils,
Each tiny golden cog has teeth,
each great wheel moves
a pair of hands which take
the water from the river,
devour it, convert it into steam,
coerce the great machine to run
on the force of its dissolution.
Gently, the tide is rising,
corrupting the mechanism.
Salt, rust and silt
slowing the gears.
Down at the banks
the iron tanks
sway into their moorings
with the hollow boom
of a gigantic bell,
of drum and cannon
which cry out in a tongue of thunder
and the river rolls under.
—Elka Cloke THE INFERNAL DEVICES • Book One • Clockwork Angel PROLOGUE
London, April 1878. The demon exploded in a shower of ichor and guts.
William Herondale jerked back the dagger he was holding, but it was too late. The viscous acid of the
demon’s blood had already begun to eat away at the shining blade. He swore and tossed the wea
aside; it landed in a filthy puddle and commenced smoldering like a doused match. The demon itself, of
course, had vanished—dispatched back to whatever hellish world it had come from, though not without
leaving a mess behind.
“Jem!” Will called, turning around. “Where are you? Did you see that? Killed it with one blow! Not
But there was no answer to Will’s shout; his hunting partner had been standing behind him in the damp
and crooked street a few moments before, guarding his back, Will was positive, but now Will was alone
in the shadows. He frowned in annoyance—it was much less fun showing off without Jem to show off to.
He glanced behind him, to where the street narrowed into a passage that gave onto the black, heaving
water of the Thames in the distance. Through the gap Will could see the dark outlines of docked ships, a
forest of masts like a leafless orchard. No Jem there; perhaps he had gone back to Narrow Street in search
of better illumination. With a shrug Will headed back the way he had come.
Narrow Street cut across Limehouse, between the docks beside the river and the cramped slum
spreading west toward Whitechapel. It was as narrow as its name suggested, lined with warehouses and
lopsided wooden buildings. At the moment it was deserted; even the drunks staggering home from
Grapes up the road had found somewhere to collapse for the night. Will liked Limehouse, liked the feeling
of being on the edge of the world, where ships left each day for unimaginably far ports. That the area was
a sailor’s haunt, and consequently full of gambling hells, opium dens, and brothels, didn’t hurt either. It
was easy to lose yourself in a place like this. He didn’t even mind the smell of it—smoke and rope and
tar, foreign spices mixed with the dirty river-water smell of the Thames.
Looking up and down the empty street, he scrubbed the sleeve of his coat across his face, trying to rub
away the ichor that stung and burned his skin. The cloth came away stained green and black. There was a
cut on the back of his hand too, a nasty one. He could use a healing rune. One of Charlotte’s, preferably.
She was particularly good at drawing iratzes.
A shape detached itself from the shadows and moved toward Will. He started forward, then paused. It
wasn’t Jem, but rather a mundane policeman wearing a bell-shaped helmet, a heavy overcoat, and
puzzled expression. He stared at Will, or rather through Will. However accustomed Will had become to
glamour, it was always strange to be looked through as if he weren’t there. Will was seized with
sudden urge to grab the policeman’s truncheon and watch while the man flapped around, trying to figure
out where it had gone; but Jem had scolded him the few times he’d done that before, and while Will never
really could understand Jem’s objections to the whole enterprise, it wasn’t worth making him upset.
With a shrug and a blink, the policeman moved past Will, shaking his head and muttering something
under his breath about swearing off the gin before he truly started seeing things. Will stepped aside to let
the man pass, then raised his voice to a shout: “James Carstairs! Jem! Where are you, you disloy
This time a faint reply answered him. “Over here. Follow the witchlight.”
Will moved toward the sound of Jem’s voice. It seemed to be coming from a dark opening between two
warehouses; a faint gleam was visible within the shadows, like the darting light of a will-o’-the-wisp. “Did you hear me before? That Shax demon thought it could get me with its bloody great pincers, but I
cornered it in an alley—”
“Yes, I heard you.” The young man who appeared at the mouth of the alley was pale in the lamplight—
paler even than he usually was, which was quite pale indeed. He was bareheaded, which drew the eye
immediately to his hair. It was an odd bright silver color, like an untarnished shilling. His eyes were the
same silver, and his fine-boned face was angular, the slight curve of his eyes the only clue to his heritage.
There were dark stains across his white shirtfront, and his hands were thickly smeared with red.
Will tensed. “You’re bleeding. What happened?”
Jem waved away Will’s concern. “It’s not my blood.” He turned his head back toward the alley behind
him. “It’s hers.”
Will glanced past his friend, into the thicker shadows of the alley. In the far corner of it was a crumpled
shape—only a shadow in the darkness, but when Will looked closely, he could make out the shape of a
pale hand, and a wisp of fair hair.
“A dead woman?” Will asked. “A mundane?”
“A girl, really. Not more than fourteen.”
At that, Will cursed with great volume and expression. Jem waited patiently for him to be done.
“If we’d only happened along a little earlier,” Will said finally. “That bloody demon —”
“That’s the peculiar thing. I don’t think this is the demon’s work.” Jem frowned. “Shax demons a
parasites, brood parasites. It would have wanted to drag its victim back to its lair to lay eggs in her skin
while she was still alive. But this girl—she was stabbed, repeatedly. And I don’t think it was here, either.
There simply isn’t enough blood in the alley. I think she was attacked elsewhere, and she dragged herself
here to die of her injuries.”
“But the Shax demon—”
“I’m telling you, I don’t think it was the Shax. I think the Shax was pursuing her—hunting her down fo
something, or someone, else.”
“Shaxes have a keen sense of scent,” Will allowed. “I’ve heard of warlocks using them to follow the
tracks of the missing. And it did seem to be moving with an odd sort of purpose.” He looked past Jem, at
the pitiful smallness of the crumpled shape in the alley. “You didn’t find the weapon, did you?”
“Here.” Jem drew something from inside his jacket—a knife, wrapped in white cloth. “It’s a sort of
misericord, or hunting dagger. Look how thin the blade is.”
Will took it. The blade was indeed thin, ending in a handle made of polished bone. The blade and hilt
both were stained with dried blood. With a frown he wiped the flat of the knife across the rough fabric of
his sleeve, scraping it clean until a symbol, burned into the blade, became visible. Two serpents, each
biting the other’s tail, forming a perfect circle.
“Ouroboros,” Jem said, leaning in close to stare at the knife. “A double one. Now, what do you think
“The end of the world,” said Will, still looking at the dagger, a small smile playing about his mouth,
“and the beginning.”
Jem frowned. “I understand the symbology, William. I meant, what do you think its presence on the
The wind off the river was ruffling Will’s hair; he brushed it out of his eyes with an impatient gesture
and went back to studying the knife. “It’s an alchemical symbol, not a warlock or Downworlder one. That
usually means humans—the foolish mundane sort who think trafficking in magic is the ticket for gaining
wealth and fame.”
“The sort who usually end up a pile of bloody rags inside some pentagram.” Jem sounded grim.
“The sort who like to lurk about the Downworld parts of our fair city.” After wrapping the
handkerchief around the blade carefully, Will slipped it into his jacket pocket. “D’you think Charl will let me handle the investigation?”
“Do you think you can be trusted in Downworld? The gambling hells, the dens of magical vice, the
women of loose morals …”
Will smiled the way Lucifer might have smiled, moments before he fell from Heaven. “Would
tomorrow be too early to start looking, do you think?”
Jem sighed. “Do what you like, William. You always do.”
Southampton, May. Tessa could not remember a time when she had not loved the clockwork angel. It had belonged to her
mother once, and her mother had been wearing it when she died. After that it had sat in her mo
jewelry box, until her brother, Nathaniel, took it out one day to see if it was still in working order.
The angel was no bigger than Tessa’s pinky finger, a tiny statuette made of brass, with folded bronze
wings no larger than a cricket’s. It had a delicate metal face with shut crescent eyelids, and hands crossed
over a sword in front. A thin chain that looped beneath the wings allowed the angel to be worn around the
neck like a locket.
Tessa knew the angel was made out of clockwork because if she lifted it to her ear she could hear the
sound of its machinery, like the sound of a watch. Nate had exclaimed in surprise that it was still working
after so many years, and he had looked in vain for a knob or a screw, or some other method by which the
angel might be wound. But there had been nothing to find. With a shrug he’d given the angel to Tessa.
From that moment she had never taken it off; even at night the angel lay against her chest as she slept, its
constant ticktock, ticktock like the beating of a second heart.
She held it now, clutched between her fingers, as the Main nosed its way between other massi
steamships to find a spot at the Southampton dock. Nate had insisted that she come to Southampton instea
of Liverpool, where most transatlantic steamers arrived. He had claimed it was because Southamp
was a much pleasanter place to arrive at, so Tessa couldn’t help being a little disappointed by this, her
first sight of England. It was drearily gray. Rain drummed down onto the spires of a distant church, while
black smoke rose from the chimneys of ships and stained the already dull-colored sky. A crowd of people
in dark clothes, holding umbrellas, stood on the docks. Tessa strained to see if her brother was among
them, but the mist and spray from the ship were too thick for her to make out any individual in great detail
Tessa shivered. The wind off the sea was chilly. All of Nate’s letters had claimed that London was
beautiful, the sun shining every day. Well, Tessa thought, hopefully the weather there was better than it
was here, because she had no warm clothes with her, nothing more substantial than a woolen shawl that
had belonged to Aunt Harriet, and a pair of thin gloves. She had sold most of her clothes to pay for her
aunt’s funeral, secure in the knowledge that her brother would buy her more when she arrived in London
to live with him.
A shout went up. The Main, its shining black-painted hull gleaming wet with rain, had anchored, and
tugs were plowing their way through the heaving gray water, ready to carry baggage and passengers to the
shore. Passengers streamed off the ship, clearly desperate to feel land under their feet. So different from
their departure from New York. The sky had been blue then, and a brass band had been playing. Though,
with no one there to wish her good-bye, it had not been a merry occasion.
Hunching her shoulders, Tessa joined the disembarking crowd. Drops of rain stung her unprote
head and neck like pinpricks from icy little needles, and her hands, inside their insubstantial gloves, were
clammy and wet with rain. Reaching the quay, she looked around eagerly, searching for a sight of Nate. It
had been nearly two weeks since she’d spoken to a soul, having kept almost entirely to herself on board
the Main. It would be wonderful to have her brother to talk to again.
He wasn’t there. The wharves were heaped with stacks of luggage and all sorts of boxes and cargo, even mounds of fruit and vegetables wilting and dissolving in the rain. A steamer was departing for Le
Havre nearby, and damp-looking sailors swarmed close by Tessa, shouting in French. She tried to move
aside, only to be almost trampled by a throng of disembarking passengers hurrying for the shelter of the
But Nate was nowhere to be seen.
“You are Miss Gray?” The voice was guttural, heavily accented. A man had moved to stand in front of
Tessa. He was tall, and was wearing a sweeping black coat and a tall hat, its brim collecting rainwater
like a cistern. His eyes were peculiarly bulging, almost protuberant, like a frog’s, his skin as rou
looking as scar tissue. Tessa had to fight the urge to cringe away from him. But he knew her name. Who
here would know her name except someone who knew Nate, too?
“Your brother sent me. Come with me.”
“Where is he?” Tessa demanded, but the man was already walking away. His stride was uneven, as if
he had a limp from an old injury. After a moment Tessa gathered up her skirts and hurried after him.
He wound through the crowd, moving ahead with purposeful speed. People jumped aside, muttering
about his rudeness as he shouldered past, with Tessa nearly running to keep up. He turned abruptly around
a pile of boxes, and came to a halt in front of a large, gleaming black coach. Gold letters had been painted
across its side, but the rain and mist were too thick for Tessa to read them clearly.
The door of the carriage opened and a woman leaned out. She wore an enormous plumed hat that hid
her face. “Miss Theresa Gray?”
Tessa nodded. The bulging-eyed man hurried to help the woman out of the carriage—and then another
woman, following after her. Each of them immediately opened an umbrella and raised it, shelterin
themselves from the rain. Then they fixed their eyes on Tessa.
They were an odd pair, the women. One was very tall and thin, with a bony, pinched face. Colorless
hair was scraped back into a chignon at the back of her head. She wore a dress of brilliant violet silk,
already spattered here and there with splotches of rain, and matching violet gloves. The other woman was
short and plump, with small eyes sunk deep into her head; the bright pink gloves stretched over her large
hands made them look like colorful paws.
“Theresa Gray,” said the shorter of the two. “What a delight to make your acquaintance at last. I am
Mrs. Black, and this is my sister, Mrs. Dark. Your brother sent us to accompany you to London.”
Tessa—damp, cold, and baffled—clutched her wet shawl tighter around herself. “I don’t understand.
Where’s Nate? Why didn’t he come himself?”
“He was unavoidably detained by business in London. Mortmain’s couldn’t spare him. He sent ahead a
note for you, however.” Mrs. Black held out a rolled-up bit of paper, already dampened with rain.
Tessa took it and turned away to read it. It was a short note from her brother apologizing for not being
at the docks to meet her, and letting her know that he trusted Mrs. Black and Mrs. Dark—I call them the
Dark Sisters, Tessie, for obvious reasons, and they seem to find the name agreeable! —to bring h
safely to his house in London. They were, his note said, his landladies as well as trusted friends, and they
had his highest recommendation.
That decided her. The letter was certainly from Nate. It was in his handwriting, and no one else ever
called her Tessie. She swallowed hard and slipped the note into her sleeve, turning back to face
sisters. “Very well,” she said, fighting down her lingering sense of disappointment—she had been
looking forward to seeing her brother. “Shall we call a porter to fetch my trunk?”
“No need, no need.” Mrs. Dark’s cheerful tone was at odds with her pinched gray features. “We’ve
already arranged to have it sent on ahead.” She snapped her fingers at the bulging-eyed man, who swung
himself up into the driver’s seat at the front of the carriage. She placed her hand on Tessa’s shoulder.
“Come along, child; let’s get you out of the rain.” As Tessa moved toward the carriage, propelled by Mrs. Dark’s bony grip, the mist cleared, revealing
the gleaming golden image painted on the side of the door. The words “The Pandemonium Club” curled
intricately around two snakes biting each other’s tails, forming a circle. Tessa frowned. “What does that
“Nothing you need worry about,” said Mrs. Black, who had already climbed inside and had her skirts
spread out across one of the comfortable-looking seats. The inside of the carriage was richly decorated
with plush purple velvet bench seats facing each other, and gold tasseled curtains hanging in the windows.
Mrs. Dark helped Tessa up into the carriage, then clambered in behind her. As Tessa settled herself on
the bench seat, Mrs. Black reached to shut the carriage door behind her sister, closing out the gray sky.
When she smiled, her teeth gleamed in the dimness as if they were made out of metal. “Do sett
Theresa. We’ve a long ride ahead of us.”
Tessa put a hand to the clockwork angel at her throat, taking comfort in its steady ticking, as
carriage lurched forward into the rain. SIX WEEKS LATER 1
THE DARK HOUSE
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade
—William Ernest Henley, “Invictus” “The Sisters would like to see you in their chambers, Miss Gray.”
Tessa set the book she had been reading down on the bedside table, and turned to see Miranda standing
in the doorway of her small room—just as she did at this time every day, delivering the same message she
delivered every d...
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