Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare {Book Review}

I can’t believe we are already on another one of my anticipated reads for the year! When I made that list, I had not idea that three of five books on the list would release on the same date, though I also didn’t know that each would be delayed either. I guess in some way, it worked out? I at least didn’t have to choose which one should be read first, it was literally whichever showed up first. Regardless of release dates, shipping delays, or other pieces of the 2020 puzzle, I was ecstatic when I realized this beauty had showed up at my door, and even more excited to write about it on the blog!

Chain of Gold is the first book in the Last Hours trilogy, a series following the events of her Infernal Devices Trilogy. This series follows the children of those previous characters, mainly the Herondale, Lightwood, Blackthorn, and Carstairs families as the Shadowhunter world is once again under attack. If you are here wondering where to start with Cassandra Clare’s many series in the Shadowhunter world, there are several answers; one Clare gives herself, and three others provided on the Simon Teen website here. The method I typically recommend is going by release dates, aka when they were published. It’s a long haul method, but when you have an author with nearly twenty books out there any order is going to be long, but enjoyable. If you are questioning whether to start reading her books, I highly recommend the Infernal devices trilogy as a good starting point, it’s one of my favorites, and the prequel to pretty much all the books.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Given that I’ve been reading her books for a solid ten years now, we knew the above rating was coming. I technically came into her Shadowhunter world a little late, the first three books already out when I picked them up for a school project, but since that point I haven’t looked back. Cassandra Clare over those ten plus years has only gotten better too, each book both longer, and more addictive. Her last series, the Dark Artifices, was incredibly hard to put down, but this one combined the darkness of that one with the London, characters, and historical time period that made me love the Infernal Devices. In simpler terms, this was amazing, so prepare for some gushing and extreme happiness!

I think the only things that had me sad about this book were things not related to the writing, but delays and wanting more in the special edition I ordered (Box Review Here), because once I started reading this it was everything I had been waiting for. If I had to sum up what each of her books give me, I would say it’s a little bit nostalgia with a dark and exciting twist. It’s always easy to get into the books at this point, since I’m really attached to the world, from its shadowhunters, werewolves, vampires, and warlocks, to its darker sides like the demons. It’s amazing how with each book we’re given a glimpse at another corner, another aspect of this world she’s built. When she eventually stops writing for this world I might actually cry.

All the emotional attachment aside, this one was another step up for Clare, as she did a really great job toeing the line between already loved characters, and introducing a whole cast of new ones. I think this one was perhaps a bit more of a test for her, given that there are so many characters right from the beginning that we already know and are looking for. Typically, we have the few Mortal Instruments characters like Alec, Jace, Clary, etc that pop into the story for the previous books, but in this case she’s showing quite a few from the Infernal Devices (all now older of course), and then all their children. Definitely a balancing act for her, but I never felt like she sidelined characters. While we get less of Tessa, Will, Jim, and the rest of the Infernal Devices crew, it’s expected, and possibly better as we get to see them in a different stage of their lives. To make it even better we get to grow attached to the newer characters as they step into the spotlight.

The other highlights of this book were the settings, action driven plot, and mystery always there in the background. For the setting, it felt like old England came to life with Clare’s descriptions, while also introducing some needed diversity into what we’ve perhaps already imagined of that world. From pocs to LGBTQ representation we get a little bit of everything in a world that when previously featured in writing may never have been touched on The plot itself, seemed to take off from the very beginning, driven first by the characters and their circumstances before mystery, darkness, and danger take over. Given how quickly this book was read by me, it may be up for a re-read in the future. If you already enjoyed Clare’s other works I probably don’t need to tell you to read this one, but I’ll say that I whole heartedly recommend this book and all her others for those wondering if they should. I honestly can’t wait until next year, it already feels too long a wait.

Have you read Chain of Gold? What were your thoughts? Is anyone else going to suffer during the year long wait?

And SPOILER related question:

Can we all be stunned together at that ending???? I know we were all hoping for our ship to make it, but not that way!!!! My poor heart broke with Cordelia’s at that moment, maybe broke the moment Grace slipped that bracelet back onto James and knew that it wouldn’t end well. Why Cassandra????? I’m good now, my emotions are back in check, for now. We’ll see how I am next book, We’ll see.

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