Google+ YA Romantics: Clockwork Princess Countdown and Giveaway: What the Dickens?

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Clockwork Princess Countdown and Giveaway: What the Dickens?


Welcome to my third post in this giveaway series. If you want to read about what I (and my blog readers) are most desperate to find out in the Clockwork Princess, you can read that here, and get an extra entry!

Today, I'm going to talk about Charles Dickens. Wait, come back! This is interesting.

 On Cassandra Clare's blog, a reader asked her specifically about the parallels between The Infernal Devices series and A Tale of Two Cities. Here's what she said:

Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations are my favorite Dickens books, and Clockwork Princess was always meant to be a loose retelling of Tale of Two Cities.

Well, that's not good.  I read A Tale of Two Cities back in high school, and I know that -- very long story short -- it's about two guys in love with the same girl, and one of them sacrifices his life for the other.

There are LOTS of ToTC references through the Infernal Devices series. In the book, both alcoholic lawyer Sydney Carton and French aristocrat Charles Darnay are in love with Lucie Manette. Darnay is sentenced to be guillotined and Carton, who strongly resembles Darnay, dies in his place.

In The Clockwork Angel:

Tessa asks Will if he has a copy of A Tale of Two Cities. Will: "That silly thing? Men going around getting their heads chopped off for love? Ridiculous."


When Tessa is nervous about impersonating Camille, Will says:

"Sometimes, when I have to do something I don't want to do, I pretend I'm a character from a book."  Then Will quotes Sydney Carton's dying words: "It is a far, far better thing that I do than I have ever done."Then Will tells Tessa that Sydney Carton loved Lucie "enough to know that she was better off without him."

In The Clockwork Prince:

Will tells Tessa that he re-read the book and "there is too much of despair in it … There is no future for Sydney … with or without love."

After returning from the visit with Starkweather, Tessa wants to read A Tale of Two Cities, but "was afraid that picking it up would make her think of [Will], and make the weight of her nervousness greater. After all, it was never Darnay he quoted, only Sydney, drunk and wrecked and dissipated. Sydney, who died for love."

When Tessa and Jem go into Will's room, she finds all her letters to her brother tucked inside Will's copy of A Tale of Two Cities.

But does the fact that Will seems to identify himself with Sydney Carton mean that he's doomed? I'm not so sure. You could argue that Jem is also sick and wrecked and dissipated and without hope. Maybe he's the one who makes the sacrifice for love. Plus, there's this whole parabatai business. Since I haven't read all the Mortal Instruments books, I'm not sure I understand every aspect of that, so maybe we should discuss that in my next post.

For now, do you think that either Will or Jem has to die in The Clockwork Princess? Tell me what you think…

If you have not read the book, there may the spoilers for the first two books in the comments -- beware!

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47 comments:

  1. Yeah :( I'm afraid one of them will die or maybe both... And I'm pretty sure either Will or Jem sacrify for the life of the other.

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  2. Yea... and even though I am Team Will, I have a bad feeling, I always pick the losing team :)

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    1. I often pick the underdog team, but in this case, I feel like that's Team Jem. I think Tessa seems to love Will in the romantic sense more, but poor Jem...

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  3. I am like the comment above. I love Will but have an ominous feeling about him and his story. So many secrets!

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  4. I definitely think someone is going to die. There's this quote from COLS:

    “I know about parabatai,” said Magnus, an angry, dark undercurrent to his voice. “I’ve known parabatai so close they were almost the same person; do you know what happens, when one of them dies, to the one that’s left —?”

    It's been thought to be about Will and Jem. I mean, obvious they are eventually going to die before TMI, but it feels like it means so much more... :(

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    1. And I still need to figure out how Brother Zachariah fits in to all of this.

      Are you familiar with that theory? There was a theory going around before COLS that it was Will or Jem but COLS REALLY points in that direction.

      Though Clare could be trying to pull one over on us. lol

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    2. Yes, I have read all the (inconclusive) guesses about whether Brother Z is Will or Jem….

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    1. I don't want either of them to die. *sniffles* But that's the power of A Tale of Two Cities. The sacrifice that he makes is really moving. To Sydney, it gives his whole life meaning.

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  6. I am so nervous about this. I do believe one of them dies, I just don't want to even think about which one. I hope that I am wrong, but I am very worried that I'm not.

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  7. "Today, I'm going to talk about Charles Dickens. Wait, come back! This is interesting." Bahaha. You're too funny. And I DO find the parallels terribly interesting. :) I want to see that damned family tree already. I mean, we don't know any Carstairs in TMI, but we do know a Herondale. This is just a guess, but it's not MY working theory because I would love nothing more than for Will and Tessa to end up together: Will gives up Tessa and marries someone else down the road, continuing the lineage for Stephen Herondale and then Jace Morgenstern-Lightwood-Herondale. Tessa and Jem get married and have a happy but short life together until Jem succumbs to his illness. Like I said, this is NOT what I want to happen, but I've been so unsatisfied with some of the finales this year so far that I figure I'm likely to be unsatisfied with this conclusion, as well. :( But maybe it's like we were discussing the other day and Cecily and Jem will end up together and then Tessa and Will are free to ride off into the sunset together. A girl can hope, right? :P

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    1. I hope that is what happens, but I kind of doubt it.

      While your theory is realistic in real life (people having multiple relationships and/or marriages) it just doesn't feel romantic in a book. So boo for that!

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  8. Awesome post! I actually like reading A Tale of Two Cities in school. I love the references to great books in both of Clare's series, it's kind of cool. However, on to your disturbing question...I don't want either (Will or Jem) to die. I have a fictional attachment to both and would find it so sad if something happened to them. I'm dying trying to be patient waiting for this book because I NEED to know what will happen with Tessa, Will and Jem ... in a unrealistic way I am hoping that it ends with all three happy but we can pretty much guess it won't. My heart does break for Tessa already.

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    1. I didn't love all the assigned reading in school but I LOVED A Tale of Two Cities. It's a great book, and unlike some of Dickens' other books, not a million pages long.

      My new theory -- sacrifice does not mean death!!

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  9. I haven't read these books but I have read AToTC and I have a thing for YA book boys named Will so I really hope he's not going to die. Jem can though as far as I'm concerned.

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    1. I'm hoping for NO death. My new theory, just sacrifice, no death.

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  10. What an amazing and thoughtful post Jen! I never read A Tale of Two Cities but now you says The Infernal Devices is a lossely related it I might actually pick it up! i love how you maded references on snipets and the back drop of A Tale of Two Cities.

    Happy Reading!

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    1. It's a REALLY good book. Very exciting -- about the French Revolution.

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  11. Since it is a "loose" re-telling I don't think either Will or Jem has to die. I am still really nervous about Jem though! He is sick and that has me oh so worried!

    This post also made me want to finally read A Tale Of Two Cities, I'm not the greatest Dickens fan but the story does sound interesting!

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    1. See, now I am agreeing with you. Sacrifice does not necessarily mean death. Maybe giving up love is a sacrifice too...

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  12. I hope no one dies but I get the feeling that someone will. Thanks for the giveaway.
    -Cali W.

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    1. I'm thinking maybe not. I mean, that is what we expect, right?

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  13. I don't want either of them to die, but I think it's likely that Jem could. Thanks for the amazing giveaway, I love your blog!

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    1. Oh, thanks so much :)

      Well, Jem dying would not be surprising, since he's sickly in both books. So … who knows??

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  14. I'm thinking one of them will and I could see Jem dying from his disease and asking Will to take care of Tessa. Although, honestly Clare loves twists, so who really knows? David Copperfield is my favorite Dickens novel, but I love the other two as well. :)

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  15. I could see both really. Though Jem more than Will. Although she may surprise us completely!! But nothing too drastic.

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  16. I think it might be jem but I have a feeling there is going to be a plot twist.

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  17. Knowing Cassie...anything can happen!

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  18. As I've been re-reading the books I've been paying more attention to the references to A Tale of Two Cities since you brought it up in the last post. I don't know what will happen in Clockwork Princess but I think Jem might realize Tessa and Will's love for each other and he might be the one to sacrifice himself knowing he doesn't have much longer to live and think that Tessa might be better off with Will. I know he thinks he's selfish for wanting her so maybe he'll do something for that reason. I don't think someone necessarily has to die, but I definitely think there will be some sort of sacrifice or something else big.

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  19. I could only see Jem dying, but who knows. I really don't want either of them to die.

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  20. I I am a huge Will fan so I'm so scared for him in the next book. Seriously, just when things were looking up at the end of Clockwork Prince Tessa has to go do something stupid like get engaged to Jem. It's not even that I don't like Jem, I do. I don't want either boy to have to die. But getting with Jem just feels like settling to me. And I think Tessa sort of knows that deep down. This book is going to be heartbreaking. Whether she breaks up with Jem and gets with Will or one of the boys die, it's just going to make me cry. But for whatever reason I still NEED to know!

    Jesse @ Pretty In Fiction

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  21. I'm so rooting for Will. I kind of feel like Jem is being a bit selfish. I know that he is dying anyways but he must know that Will has feelings for Tessa, so rather than let them be together he asks her to marry him. I feel her feelings are stronger for Will but how can she say no to him when he is dying and it would make him happy. I personally hope that if one of them has to die it's Jem because he's already dying and it would be terrible if Will were to die and then she gets with Jem and then he dies soon after. Tragedy all around.

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  22. I hope nobody's gonna die! :) I love happy endings and I love both Will and Jem. But I think the book will be full of twists and turns, and anything can happen.

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  23. I love that you did this post! I definitely see the comparison between Will and Sydney and that has me FREAKED, but I'm also with you in thinking that it's too simple to read TID that way. I think someone is going to try to do some sacrificing for the other, but whether or not either of them die, I don't know. I know that Will is in Deathless Love with Tessa so he really doesn't have much happiness ahead without her. Neither do I think there's a lot of happiness ahead for him if Jem dies. Although I do think that Jem loves Tessa, I think that he *could* fall for someone else. Although Cecily seems to be poised for that, I think it's a tad too convenient. But the fact that Jem is SUPPOSED to die, makes me think that he won't either. IDK! IDK! This book is making me shaky.

    All l know is that CC has said that it is a spoiler to read the genealogy before you've read the book because 1) it will give away answers about who ends up with whom but also 2) it is the 'official' shadowhunter record, but secretly may be incorrect. i.e. while it says someone is a certain person's child, they could secretly belong to another person, and that would confuse you if you hadn't read the book yet. I thought THAT was an interesting detail.

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  24. WHHAAAT!? I refuse to believe either Will or Jem will die. NO! Nuh uh! Hell to the naw! Nope! Niet! *plug fingers in ears* LA LA LA LA LA-I can't hear you!!

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  25. *sobs* I hate Jem, so I wouldn't mind if he died. But I honestly think, if one of them dies, it'll be Will, and Tessa and Jem will get married, and my heart will break into thousands of itty bitty pieces, and I will be heartbroken for literally the rest of my life. :(

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  26. Yeah, I do think that Jem might die. I do love him, but I really want Tessa with Will, so I'm in total denial that he might die instead. Plus, Cassie definitely has written it so that Will and Tessa seem like the endgame couple, but she does love to rip our hearts out, so it's anyone's guess! I'm just anxious and nervous to read it!!

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  27. I have no idea which of them is going to die. I personally have been rooting for Will and Tessa all along and Jem has only gotten in the way. But I will say that because of The Infernal Devices I've started A Tale of Two Cities, but I have to say that I got kind of lost--I was listening to the audiobook and I keep getting distracted. Great post!

    Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know

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  28. I love both Jem and Will, it would be so hard to read about one of them dying, I'm so nervous to read the ending now!

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  29. I haven't read any of this series yet so I can't answer that question!

    mestith at gmail dot com

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  30. Well, I honestly hope not! :( That would be awful. But I haven't read the second book yet, and it has been a long time since the first. I don't know what is going on with the story yet!

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  31. So I suddenly want to reread Tale of Two Cities... and also finish this series!!!!!! OMG... I have three weeks between semesters and I am going to READ SO MUCH.

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