Book Review · Books

Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare [BOOK REVIEW]

Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare [BOOK REVIEW]

★★★★

I was reading Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare as part of the Tandem readalong on Instagram. I love Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter series, and it was such a unique experience to read Chain of Gold while chatting to people about it at the same time. Needless to say, I loved the book, and can’t wait for the second book, Chain of Iron, to come out. Huge thanks also to the team at Walker Books, for the copy of the book!

Synopsis:

Chain of Gold is the first book of the Last Hours series, and it’s set in Edwardian London. We meet shadowhunter Cordelia Carstairs, a warrior trained to battle demons. When her father is awaiting trial for a crime he may have committed, she and her brother travel to London in hope to prevent the family’s shame. Cordelia’s mother wants her to marry into a suitable house, but Cordelia is more determined to be a hero than a bride.

While in London, Cordelia meets her childhood friends, James and Lucie Herondale, and their world of ballrooms and picnics. Cordelia and Lucie are promised to be parabatais when they get older. And Cordelia also has to keep her love for James a secret, who is promised to marry someone else.

But a shocking series of attacks happen in London, and these monsters are nothing like the ones Shadowhunters have fought before. These demons can walk in daylight, damage Shadowhunters with poison and are impossible to kill. With London under quarantine, Cordelia and her friends discover that their own connection to a dark legacy has gifted them with incredible powers—and forced a brutal choice that will reveal the true cruel price of being a hero.

My Thoughts:

I loved Chain of Gold so much! It was everything I expected it to be and more! The story line is a very exciting one and as soon as I got familiar with all the characters and plot, I couldn’t put it down. I have read The Mortal Instruments and The Dark Artifices series prior to reading this book, and the Shadowhunter world felt very familiar to me. I knew some of the names, but it didn’t make much of a difference.

If you have read the Infernal Devices series, many characters will be known to you. But at the same time, if this is your first Cassandra Clare book, you’ll still be able to enjoy it. The first few chapters explain the Shadowhunter world quite well, as well as the Downworlders. In fact, if this is the first book you pick up, it will probably make you want to read the other books as well.

The writing is a masterpiece.

Cassie Clare, as usual, doesn’t disappoint. As soon as I start reading any of her books, I am immediately transported into this fictional world. I also loved the group of friends. It reminded me of the group of friends in the Mortal Instruments series, because of how close they are, and how they are not afraid to sacrifice each other to save one another. They are so unique and different, but that makes them all click nicely together.

“It matters not how a man dies, but how he lives.”

Cordelia was one of my favorite characters. Her bravery and her strong will. I mean, not everyone can wield Cortana, and she managed to do that!

“Ah, the famous Cortana. A sword that bears no runes, yet can kill demons, they say.”

I also loved Lucie’s creative mind and ability to find good in everyone. Also, her amazing ability (not saying anything else). James and his ability to think fast, to lead the group and to be the first one to go into a battle. Anna’s ability to discard the rules and live life as she wants. Matthew and Thomas, as well as Alastair and Christopher, all with their own troubles, but always there for their friends, ready for anything. Jesse. Oh God, Jesse. That boy made me love him so much, especially during the last few chapters. And not to forget, the amazing Jem, also known as Brother Zachariah. He was a true gem in this book, and his advice was priceless to James many, many times.

“We do not get to choose when in our lives we feel pain.” said Matthew, “It comes when it comes, and we try to remember, even though we cannot imagine a day when it will release its hold on us, that all pain fades. All misery passes. Humanity is drawn to light, not darkness.”

It’s always hard to write reviews without spoiling anything.

With Cassandra Clare’s books, it’s exceptionally hard! But I will say this – it’s another YA fantasy into the Shadowhunter universe, and it’s full with magic and intrigue. You’ll start caring about these people, and their lives will be in danger and each chapter will leave you wanting more. There are demons, ghosts, magic, warlocks, faes and vampires. And always shadowhunters, saving the day. I’ll definitely be reading the next book in the series, and I hope you’ll join me too!

Purchase Links:
 Amazon UK | Amazon US

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Book Review · Books

The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan and Maureen Johnson [BOOK REVIEW]

The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan and Maureen Johnson Shadowhunters Magnus book review blog blogging diary of difference diaryofdifference

The Bane Chronicles is a collection of short stories, all featuring the famous Warlock – Magnus Bane. Throughout the ages, we get to see him develop to the character that we know. We read more about the moments that made Magnus who he is today. 

I really enjoyed diving into this book, and I am glad I read it. Some stories I loved, some not so much, but I overall loved this book and will treasure it forever. It is written by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan and Maureen Johnson. Read my review of City of Bones, in case you are interested what I think about the first book of the Shadowhunter universe. 

1. What Really Happened in Peru by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan –

A perfect introduction of the Magnus we all love reading about. We witness a couple of adventures Magnus has in Peru. We meet Ragnor and Catarina and witness a few of Magnus’s love interests. I loved how the characters were written and the stories made me giggle. Especially the scene of how the town reacts to Magnus’ lack of talent to play an instrument.

2. The Runaway Queen by Cassandra Clare and Maureen Johnson –

Set in Paris. Hot air balloon ride. Magnus decides to assist to get the Queen Marie Antoinette to escape Paris. He also has a quite interesting encounter with a bunch of vampires. Fast-faced and beautifully written. I love that it captured a certain period of history, and really focused to get the facts accurate for those times. 

3. Vampires, Scones and Edmund Herondale by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan –

Set in London. In this short story, Magnus realises how unfair the Shadowhunter laws are. And how the Nephilim have to obey them. When Edmund Herondale falls in love with a mundane, the Shadowhunters don’t care at all. He is stripped from his runes. For me, it was very emotional to watch Magnus fall in love, but sacrifice a few years of his happiness so Camille can give love to a werewolf, who will age and then eventually die. Also, the necklace he makes for her means so much and I can’t even cope! I loved the cryptic future prophecy in the end – I think it brought some emotion to the story. 

4. The Midnight Heir by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan –

Very action-driven story, that didn’t leave me too impressed. I liked the fact that some important characters are featured, but it feels like the writing of the characters was poor. Set in London again, Magnus tries to help the Herondales. He also gets to meet Tatiana Blackthorn again. Magnus learns the hard way that even though he wants to help Shadowhunters, sometimes there’s nothing he can do. 

5. The Rise of Hotel Dumort by Cassandra Clare and Maureen Johnson –

Hotel Dumort in New York is quite a well-known place in the Shadowhunter universe. Warned by a vampire that danger is lurking, Magnus finds himself into another adventure. He helps the Shadowhunters again. And he also meets with a very old warlock, who opens up a portal to Hell. Magnus is called to go, possibly speaking to his father, before he finds the strength in him to close the portal. He helps a human forget and therefore prevents him from committing suicide. He also finds art that Camille is somehow involved with what happened. It kept me glued to my sofa in anticipation. 

6. Saving Raphael Santiago by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan –

Raphael is one of my dearest characters, I have to admit. He was turned into what he despised the most. He never would have chosen blood and immortality. The fact that Magnus is there to help him save himself is so powerful. I really enjoyed this short story! Very emotional!

7. The Fall of the Hotel Dumort by Cassandra Clare and Maureen Johnson –

This is probably the most emotional story of them all. It also might be the most important one for Magnus’s character development. His relationship with Camille is brought back and he has to do something very scary and brave to be finally able to move on. 

8. What to Buy the Shadowhunter Who Has Everything (And Who You’re Not Officially Dating Anyway) by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan –

Definitely the cutest story so far! Magnus and Alec are dating. It’s also Alec’s birthday and Magnus is thinking of a gift. Isabelle’s visit was also quite emotional to me. To see how much she cares for Alex and would be there for him. Also, the birthday gift that Magnus chooses in the end is too precious!

9. The Last Stand of the New York Institute by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan and Maureen Johnson –

A powerful story with a lot of Easter Eggs. We are reminded of the Circle and of a couple of fights. The Shadowhunters will help out the Downworlders against other Shadowhunters. We witness Valentine’s cruelty in a new light. And we read about Magnus meeting Jocelyn and Clary. 

10. The Course of True Love (And First Dates) by Cassandra Clare –

A story written only by Cassandra Clare. This story will probably be the most popular one, as it features Alec and Magnus on their first date. The writing is good and I really enjoyed how real the date was. It had all those awkward moments that I’ve experienced. Moments that help you get to know the person better than a few rehearsed questions. This short story shows how much Cassandra Clare knows her characters and cares for them, and it is very eminent to see the difference, compared to the rest of this book. 

11. The Voicemail of Magnus Bane by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan and Maureen Johnson –

In this short story, we read a couple of interesting voicemails. They are all sent to Magnus, by different people, when he and Alec break up. It is emotional and humorous at the same time, as you see people react in different ways. Isabelle’s voicemails are pure passion and I love it. 

The Bane Chronicles is a book I will cherish, for it introduced me to a side of Magnus I never knew. The Bane Chronicles is worth reading, especially if you are a fan of the Shadowhunter universe. I would recommend The Bane Chronicles to everyone that loves fantasy and magic.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK |Amazon US |


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Books · Monthly Tags

June TBR – The TBR Raffle

June TBR The Bane Chronicles Into The Crooked Place Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Nevermoor Dear JOhn The Princess PLan Improvement Julia London Nicholas Sparks J.K. Rowling Cassandra Clare

Hello, my lovelies!

I hope everyone is safe and gliding through the new era of Coronavirus. It is hard to believe that it is June already! I have to admit – I felt useless all month, but at least I got some reading done. Let’s see what My June TBR will bring.

I have read a lot of books in May and will hopefully do a May Wrap Up post as well soon. I have one book left to finish, which will be probably finished by the time I post this blog post, but I also read other reads as well. Let the June TBR raffle commence.

The TBR Raffle

I am filming my TBRs on my Instagram Stories. Make sure to follow me on Instagram, and check out the “Monthly TBR” highlight at the beginning of each month!

My TBR Raffle game is simple: I have a number of prompts that I put in small papers, into a jar. I draw a prompt, and I fit in a book that matches my prompt. Here is a list of the current prompts I have. Feel free to leave any prompt suggestions in the comments. Once the paper is drawn, I put it back into the jar, so it has an equal chance to get drawn again. I draw a total of 8 prompts, which result in 8 books for the month. If I fail to read a book, it automatically goes into the next month.

My June TBR

June TBR The Bane Chronicles Into The Crooked Place Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Nevermoor Dear JOhn The Princess PLan Improvement Julia London Nicholas Sparks J.K. Rowling Cassandra Clare

✨ 1. Borrowed

When Borrowed came up, I chose two books and let my Instagram followers decide which one to pick. The majority chose The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson and Cassandra Jean. It is a collection of stories about Magnus Bane and I cannot wait to read it.

✨ 2. ReadersFirst

When this prompt comes up, I need to chose a book that was sent to me by the team at ReadersFirst. This is a website where you can read excepts of ARCs, leave a review and win books. For this prompt, I decided to choose I book I had on my shelf since last winter and I am excited about. Into the Crooked Place by Alexandra Christo has magic, betrayal and fantasy and I am looking forward to diving into it.

✨ 3. Fantasy

For this prompt, I decided to read Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling, the fourth book in the series. I think this is the book where things get darker and more dangerous, and I am extremely excited to get back to my comfort read with Harry, Hermione and Ron. On the subject of J.K. Rowling, I am also currently reading her newest children’s book – The Ickabog, as the chapters are being published.

✨ 4. My Pick

At first I thought I will choose a book during the month, as I feel like it, but then I decided to share it with you on Instagram, to choose for me. And the title was The Trials of Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor #1) by Jessica Townsend. I have wanted to read this book for a very long time and I cannot wait!

✨ 5. Re-Read

When re-read came up, I had a lot of difficulty choosing a book. I had to go for Dear John by Nicholas Sparks. I used to love romance and I haven’t been too keen to it lately, so I decided to pick up a book that made me love romance in the first place, and who else if not Nicholas Sparks.

✨ 6. Romance

For my romance prompt, I chose The Princess Plan (A Royal Wedding #1) by Julia London. It is a love story with a princess in it, and I am excited to read it. This book was sent to me by the team at Mills & Boon.

✨ 7. ReadersFirst

For the second prompt of a book I received through ReadersFirst, I chose Improvement by Joan Silber. It has been on my shelf for a long time, and I feel like I am in the mood for it this month.

✨ 8. Sent by Author

I was hoping to receive this prompt, and I am quite happy. I have chosen a book that I had on my shelf for the longest. By The Feet of Men by Grant Price is a post-apocalyptic novel and sounds very intriguing.

Extra

June TBR

 

The Wives by Tarryn Fisher

I will be participating in the Blog Tour, organised by the HQ Team. Expect my review on 25th June. My Wives is a domestic thriller about a man who has three wives, who don’t know each other. Yet.

And that’s my June TBR.
Make sure to follow me on Instagram, so you can stay up to date with my current updates during the month.
What are you planning to read this month? Let me know in the comments!

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Book Review · Books

Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare – Blog Tour

cassandra clare queen of air and darkness the dark artifices shadowhunter love reading book books review diaryofdifference diary of difference lord of shadows queen of air and darkness

I was lucky enough to be approached by LoveReading to review and join the blog tour for The Dark Artifices series by Cassandra Clare. Starting today, and posting every Wednesday, you will get to see what I thought about this series.

Series: The Dark Artifices

  1. Lady Midnight – Click to see my review
  2. Lord Of Shadows – Click to see my review
  3. Queen of Air and Darkness – Scroll Down

cassandra clare queen of air and darkness the dark artifices shadowhunter love reading book books review diaryofdifference diary of difference lord of shadows queen of air and darkness

★★★★

We made it to the finish line. After three weeks of me into the shadowhunter world, I am now back in reality, wishing I could never leave from that amazing world. Queen of Air and Darkness was the lovely desert after such a tasty appetiser and main course. A perfect way to leave a restaurant.

The finale of The Dark Artifices was everything I was hoping for. Full of adventure, emotions and wisdom from a lot of characters. Development like I have never seen before… I found myself attached to so many characters, genuinely feeling for them and being with them in all their adventures.

Don’t get me wrong, I do get attached to characters quite easily, but it’s usually two at best in one book. This book had me loving so many characters in different ways, with different strengths and such strong emotion.

Queen of Air and Darkness finishes off where it starts, and without spoilers it’s quite hard to say what goes on in this book. A forbidden love, unexplainable sadness and the best romance I have read in quite some time. Danger and faerie battles all over again. Love and betrayal, love and loyalty…

During the first couple pages, I was a complete wreck. I cried so hard and felt so sad. And after that, I had my favourites in this book and they didn’t disappoint. I loved every moment of this book and I can’t recommend this series enough.

Read this series, get into the world of power, magic, angels, beauty and danger. Get into a world of adventure, love, betrayal and excellent character development. The series was so satisfying, even though the ending didn’t seem like a proper ending and I am sure there are many new books coming.

Purchase Links:

| Amazon UK | Amazon US |

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cassandra clare lady midnight the dark artifices shadowhunter love reading book books review diaryofdifference diary of difference lord of shadows queen of air and darkness

Book Review · Books

Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare – Blog Tour

cassandra clare lord of shadows the dark artifices shadowhunter love reading book books review diaryofdifference diary of difference lord of shadows queen of air and darkness

I was lucky enough to be approached by LoveReading to review and join the blog tour for The Dark Artifices series by Cassandra Clare. Starting today, and posting every Wednesday, you will get to see what I thought about this series.

Series: The Dark Artifices

  1. Lady Midnight – Click to see my review
  2. Lord Of Shadows – Scroll down
  3. Queen of Air and Darkness – 03rd July

cassandra clare lady midnight the dark artifices shadowhunter love reading book books review diaryofdifference diary of difference

★★★★

Welcome back to the sequel of The Dark Artifices series. After reading the first book and getting to know all the new characters, the second book contained by far more detail and more adventures throughout.

The book starts where it left all, after the team defeats Malcolm, but now new dangers arise, as sea demons start summoning, and the Faeries, as usual, are planning some mischief.

Emma, as you might have guessed, is still my favourite. But, this time, we got to see more about the ”little children”, Kit, Ty and Livvy. As I kept reading and finding out more about them, I realised them I loved them more and more every single page.

I loved how Cassandra Clare managed to put differences aside, and teach us how it’s okay to be different and you will be accepted by the real friends in your life. While Ty is autistic and unique in his own way, he is accepted and loved by his family and friends, and his uniqueness makes him lovable character to all readers as well.

We fear things because we value them. We fear losing people because we love them. We fear dying because we value being alive. Don’t wish you didn’t fear anything. All that would mean is that you didn’t feel anything. 

The best part of the book for me was everything that had to do with Faerie land. All the writing about how beautiful, but at the same time dangerous it is just made me want it more and more. So beautiful, and yet so cruel. A world where you get enchanted and then hurt, a world where time is irrelevant and beauty is forever.

Mark and Christina’s dance was one of the moments I will cherish forever in this book, and I don’t fall easily for romantic scenes.

Lord of Shadows was amazing, with so many adventures and different plots and character developments throughout. We have a lot of characters, and they all develop in their own way, and we get all their backgrounds and feelings, and actions that make them grow in a certain way, and each of these moments was precious to me in a different way, but all the same. We have Emma seeing her father (or an illusion of it) and having to kill him. Then there is her forbidden love to Julian. We have Kit, the lost Herondale and how he slowly fits into the academy. And most importantly, we have Magnus appearing in the book with Alec, and singing Spanish lullabies to his son.

So many amazing moments, too many bookmarks, and only one feeling of love towards everything Shadowhunter-y. I can’t wait to dive into the next book. Looking forward to it!

Purchase Links:

| Amazon UK | Amazon US |

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cassandra clare lady midnight the dark artifices shadowhunter love reading book books review diaryofdifference diary of difference lord of shadows queen of air and darkness