Happy release day to Chain of Gold and Cassandra Clare! Many of us have been waiting for six years, eleven months and thirteen days for this book to be published and the day has finally come. Chain of Gold is available in book and online shops now. I’m so glad this book is now out in the world! Happy book birthday! ❤
Since it has become a tradition for me to write a book review, here is mine for Chain of Gold!
All the information or quotes that are shared below can be found online (here, for instance) and will be the only ‘spoilers’ that are mentioned unless stated otherwise.
Cordelia Carstairs is a Shadowhunter, a warrior trained since childhood to battle demons. When her father is accused of a terrible crime, she and her brother travel to London in hopes of preventing the family’s ruin. Cordelia’s mother wants to marry her off, but Cordelia is determined to be a hero rather than a bride. Soon Cordelia encounters childhood friends James and Lucie Herondale and is drawn into their world of glittering ballrooms, secret assignations, and supernatural salons, where vampires and warlocks mingle with mermaids and magicians. All the while, she must hide her secret love for James, who is sworn to marry someone else.
But Cordelia’s new life is blown apart when a shocking series of demon attacks devastate London. These monsters are nothing like those Shadowhunters have fought before—these demons walk in daylight, strike down the unwary with incurable poison, and seem impossible to kill. London is immediately quarantined. Trapped in the city, 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. (x)
The point of stories is not that they are objectively true, but that the soul of the story is truer than reality.
The Shadowhunters books are always very character driven so it’s probably the best idea to focus on the characters first. Chain of Gold introduces us to a big cast of new(ish) characters and apart from a couple of exceptions, I adore all of them so I’m going to mention my absolute favourites.
Cassie was pretty forthcoming regarding some characters but kept mum on others. I was prepared to like Cordelia Carstairs, but I did not expect that I’d fall in love with her the way I did. She is the full package! She is a fierce warrior – who’s surprised since Cortana picked her? – a kind friend and loving sister/daughter. She is also a very pragmatic girl, who isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty or do what’s necessary. There’s one scene close to the end of the book where I pumped my fist because Cordelia was just so incredible!
Matthew has been dear to me since Nothing But Shadows. He’s started out as such a fun and charming character and although this took somewhat of a turn in more recent novellas, I love him and want nothing but the best for him. In my opinion his character arc in books two and three is going to be particularly interesting to see because this guy is truly going through a lot. Please be okay, Matthew!
What is there to say about James? He is amazingly sweet, but he can also be amazingly dumb. Sometimes I just wanted to shake him. When you’re reading Chain of Gold, I’m sure you’ll know what I’m talking about. 😊 He is the leader of his group of friends and he leads them well, although he also leans on them when he’s got trouble with his demon power. He learns something very important about his power in this book and how this is going to affect him in the future will be fun to find out!
Thomas is a sweetheart, this is honestly the best way to describe him. He reminded me a bit of Simon from The Mortal Instruments, a character I also love, and I’m intrigued to see if his development will be similar to Simon’s. He loves his friends so much, he’s pretty soft-spoken but he can also speak his mind. When Thomas speaks, you listen!
Anna is AH-mazing! I completely understand why the younger cast of characters admires her so much, she is so confident in her own skin and doesn’t listen to her critics. Her relationship with Cordelia is something I’m so much looking forward to in Chain of Iron! These two are very opposite from each other, but I think that’s why their friendship is going to work so well.
We also got a very brief glimpse into Will and Tessa’s lives as a married couple and as parents. I was very pleasantly surprised to have this very short, but very sweet POV from Tessa. It was so great to read about these two again! ❤
After almost seven years, I also loved seeing the other characters from The Infernal Devices. They are all parents now and it’s so refreshing to see so many loving ones in Cassie’s book.
Grace and Jesse are without a doubt the two most mysterious characters in Chain of Gold and my feelings on them are pretty clear: I hated one of them and loved the other. I can’t wait to see what other readers think about them! Nevertheless, both of their storylines are without a doubt going to be so great in the other two books!
The whole long introduction at the beginning might be a bit slow for some readers, but I think it’s necessary because of the many characters that show up in the book.
Once you know who is who, the action kicks off and there are a lot of developments with surprising twists!
The world in The Last Hours is very different from the world of The Infernal Devices. It’s a peaceful time for the characters and that’s why the sudden demon threat, which is very unusual, is so stressful to many of them. I really enjoyed the whole story arc of the demon threat and the villain who’s responsible for it and it’ll be interesting to see whether this will come back in one way or another in future books.
The other villain in the book is the one everyone was probably expecting to see and their craziness certainly didn’t disappoint. They are vile, cruel and I cannot wait for them to be gone!
Love cuts deeper than any blade.
Ah, love. It wouldn’t be a Cassie Clare book, if there wasn’t at least one unique love story in it. Well, guess what? It looks like we are going to have more than one this time! ❤
Cordelia and James are obviously the main relationship in the series. These two have the potential to be really, really great together! I was going through a lot of emotions whenever I read a scene with these two.
Like I said, there will be other romantic relationships, but these would be too much of a spoiler so I’m quickly going to focus on the sibling relationships because we’ve had a lot of them in Chain of Gold!
My favourite pair of siblings was Cordelia and Alastair. Sometimes their relationship was like ‘I love you because I kind of have to, but I don’t like you very much’ but other times they were nothing but supportive of each other!
It is clear that nearly all the different characters who have a brother/sister or maybe both love them a lot. They get along, they tease each other (hello, Lucie) and when push comes to shove, they work together to solve the problem (while kind of ‘forgetting’ to let their parents know ^^).
I am so glad we already have a release date for Chain of Iron (2nd March 2021)! After the ending of Chain of Gold, I desperately need the second book so that I know what’s going to happen to my favourite characters not to mention the person that featured in the epilogue.
To sum up: Chain of Gold was an amazing start to Cassie’s The Last Hours trilogy! I had a fantastic time reading it and enjoyed myself immensely. London back in 1903, the fashion and the outings were so vividly described that I wish I could go there and meet the characters. 😊 Thank you, Cassie, for writing yet another riveting book! Five out of five stars!
A word of advice: if possible, read certain short stories first before you read Chain of Gold, it’s not 100% necessary as Cassandra Clare has said on her Instagram, but I think it enriches your reading experience. I’d suggest (re)reading The Whitechapel Fiend, Nothing But Shadows (= Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy), Cast Long Shadows, Every Exquisite Thing (= Ghosts of the Shadow Market) and The Midnight Heir (= The Bane Chronicles).