Overall: 5/5 Stars
Plot and Themes: 5/5
Awesomeness Factor: 5/5
Review in a Nutshell: I knew I would love Chain of Gold. I put off reading it because I knew I wasn’t emotionally prepared. I was right.
“Haven’t you heard? All the stories are true.”
“We don’t always love people who deserve it.”
// Content Warning: Violence, Death, Grief, Gore, Sexism, Alcoholism //
Release Date: 3/3/2020
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Page Count: 592
Previous Books: Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1), Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices #1)
(click titles to read my reviews)
Chain of Gold is the first book in a new Shadowhunter series! This book takes place in the early 1900’s, following the children of the main couple from The Infernal Devices series, as well as some new faces (with some recognizable names).
We follow Cordelia Carstairs as she and her family come to London in hopes of her off, despite her dreams of being a hero. However when a new string of demon attacks occur, in broad daylight, she, along with several other Shadowhunters (including James Herondale, her unrequited love) must work together to figure out what’s going on.
“There is no better distraction in this world than losing oneself in books for awhile.”
Writing & Setting
If you’ve read any of Cassandra Clare’s other books, then you know what to expect with the writing. And if you haven’t- what are you doing here? You should be reading those before picking this up (at least read The Infernal Devices, I’m begging you). Chain of Gold has the humor and banter you have come to expect in Shadowhunter books, while also having plenty of room for depth and heartache.
When it comes to the setting, Chain of Gold takes place in a time period we haven’t seen in any other Shadowhunter book (unless you’ve read the novellas). I really enjoyed this look into early 1900’s England. I know Cassandra Clare’s next series after this will be taking place in a more modern setting, but I hope she continues to write historical fantasies because I love how she writes them.
“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.”
I won’t lie, I wasn’t really reading this for the plot. I was most excited for the characters (mainly the cameos from the TID crew), but I’ll get into that later. That said, I was surprised by how much the plot hooked me. I didn’t expect the direction the book would go in, and I found myself glued to the pages, wondering what would happen next. I read this entire, nearly-600 page, book in just 2 sittings. That’s how addicted I was.
However, there were a couple of things that happened that did kind of frustrate me, but they made sense for the characters. I’m just bitter about it.
“I wonder sometimes if it is easier to be brave when one is young, before one knows truly how much there is to lose.”
Despite how much I enjoyed the plot, the characters were still my favorite part of this book, both old and new.
First, the familiar faces. I loved seeing characters from The Infernal Devices show up in this book. I loved seeing them interact with each other, and I loved seeing them interact with the new characters. Each time they were on the page, it felt like a warm hug. I’m terrified something bad will happen to them, but I also am just so happy to see more of them.
As for the new characters, I love them all so much. But that’s no surprise. James and Cordelia are amazing protagonists, who are both strong yet grounded. James is an idiot but it’s okay, it’s genetic. We’ll forgive him. Meanwhile, Cordelia is possibly my favorite Cassandra Clare protagonist. She’s dedicated and kind, while also being incredibly badass. I loved both of their development and I can’t wait to see where book two takes them.
Of the rest of the cast, I really loved Matthew Fairchild and Anna Lightwood, and I can’t wait to see even more of them in the rest of the series. They’re just such fascinating characters and I adore them and if anything happens to them I will fight someone.
I will admit, sometimes I got a little overwhelmed with all of the characters and how they connected to each other. If you’re worried that will happen to you, I highly suggest grabbing a family tree (there are plenty of them online) because it can get a little confusing.
The one thing I loved most about the characters in this book is the relationships between them all. The familial, platonic, and romantic relationships in this book are all precious and truly are what made this book amazing for me.
“The point of stories is not that they are objectively true, but that the soul of the story is truer than reality. Those who mock fiction do so because they fear the truth.”
Pros- Amazing characters, fun setting, addictive plot
Cons- you’ll definitely need a family tree
Overall- 5/5 stars.
I adored Chain of Gold. If you were on the fence about picking this book up, just do it. I promise you won’t regret it.
If You Liked Chain of Gold, I’d Recommend:
- Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices #1) by Cassandra Clare [Review]
- Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices #1) by Cassandra Clare [Review]
- The Beautiful (The Beautiful #1) by Renee Ahdieh [Review]
- Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson [Review]
What’s your favorite Shadowhunter book?