Best. Shadowhunters. Novel. Ever. (So Far!) | Review: Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare

5:00 AM

BRB, rereading Chain of Gold again and again and again and again. (And then again for good measure because oh-my-god, I'm obsessed.)

by Cassandra Clare 

Welcome to Edwardian London, a time of electric lights and long shadows, the celebration of artistic beauty and the wild pursuit of pleasure, with demons waiting in the dark. For years there has been peace in the Shadowhunter world. James and Lucie Herondale, children of the famous Will and Tessa, have grown up in an idyll with their loving friends and family, listening to stories of good defeating evil and love conquering all. But everything changes when the Blackthorn and Carstairs families come to London…and so does a remorseless and inescapable plague.

James Herondale longs for a great love, and thinks he has found it in the beautiful, mysterious Grace Blackthorn. Cordelia Carstairs is desperate to become a hero, save her family from ruin, and keep her secret love for James hidden. When disaster strikes the Shadowhunters, James, Cordelia and their friends are plunged into a wild adventure which will reveal dark and incredible powers, and the true cruel price of being a hero…and falling in love.

 Note: The Shadowhunter Chronicles is a hefty series, and if you are new to the series you can start at almost any point but The Infernal Devices is your best bet when beginning the newest series.

  • Romantic
  • Action packed
  • Delightfully full of LGBTQ+ characters and relationships 
  • Fantastic characters who will grip you and never let go
  • The Infernal Devices vibes  
  • Passionately written
  • James Herondale is SUCH a Herondale 
  • I want 'I love Anna Lightwood' tattooed on my forehead
  • You know, right underneath 'I love Magnus Bane' and to the right of 'I love Matthew Fairchild'
  • Unputdownable 
  • Best TSC series introduction to date

Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare
Rating: ★★★★★    

"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." 

The Last Hours begins at last! Yay! Years have passed since this series was announced and I was beginning to believe we'd never see the day that Chain of Gold was released. Of course, that's just me being overly eager and a bit dramatic. And thankfully Chain of Gold was completely worth the wait. In-fact, it is the very best of The Shadowhunter Chronicles and Cassandra Clare's strongest, and best,  series introduction to date. 

Part of me was nervous for Chain of Gold, given how many books in The Shadowhunter Chronicles have shaped my teenage years and well into my twenties. It is one of those series that feels like an extension of myself more than anything. The other part of me, knew that The Last Hours would be another fantastic installment--and that, like the other series, would connect into the central arches of the past and present. 

Little did I know that Chain of Gold would end up being more than just another Shadowhunter series; more, indeed, than the next generation of characters from The Infernal Devices. In truth, Chain of Gold feels a lot like coming home after a long, rough day at work, only to find that someone has redecorated your bedroom in the exact way you'd always wanted. All familiarity aside, it's a brand new, and electric, chapter and showcases Cassandra Clare's writing at its finest. 

Readers will be treated to the best cast of characters set within this world. As introductions fade, and the familiarity grows, and new connections form, something is ignited within readers. Chain of Gold is not dependent on any one trait and feels like a jolt of energy. I found myself passionate about these characters. I devoured this book in a way that felt similarly to how captivated I was by City of Bones. Only, with this story, it felt sharper. 

What struck me most about Chain of Gold was how it stands out as its own piece of fiction. The story itself is undeniable and familiar faces, of course, show up. Yet, it almost feels as though it's breathed new life into The Shadowhunter Chronicles. Not only is the world-building on point, suspense high, and romance swoon-worthy, these characters never fail to make you feel something. When you love them, you love them. When you hate them, you want to fling them into another dimension. 

Cassandra Clare's signature prose stands proudly within this action-packed story. Chain of Gold is so engrossing that hours and hours passed as I read the novel, and all I could focus on was the pure fiery electricity coursing from the ink to my entire body. From forbidden love, to mysterious powers, to illness and beyond, Chain of Gold is a truly golden and enthralling piece of fiction.

To avoid spoilers, I'll say this: Chain of Gold really feels like a breath of fresh air. Already, I want to dive back into its pages. I want to experience it, again, for the first time. So much happened in such a short (okay, not really short) amount of time, I'm already itching to read more.

As this world grows, it becomes more and more inclusive and I couldn't be more thankful for this. 

Cassandra Clare was one of the first author's I was able to experience as a teenager who wrote about characters that reflected parts of me. (Magnus Bane.) I'm so glad that young readers will be able to experience this, too, moving forward. With characters like Anna Lightwood, Alastair Carstairs, Matthew Fairchild and more, you really can't go wrong.

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