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!
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.
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!