Review | Chain of Gold
Author: Cassandra Clare.
Length: 624 pages.
(First book in the The Last Hours trilogy)
Chain of Gold is the first novel in a new trilogy that stars the Shadowhunters of Edwardian London.
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.
This book follows the descendants of the main characters from The Infernal Devices trilogy. It is not necessary to read those books before reading this one, in fact, you don’t need to read any Shadowhunter books. However, I honestly recommend reading everything cause it is infinitely more interesting, the story will have way more depth, and you would also be avoiding countless spoilers.
For me, the Shadowhunter books are very character driven. With this I don’t mean that the main focus of the books are the characters (the author puts a lot of work into her plot and it is very elaborate and well done). What I mean is that what interests me the most, are the characters and their stories. I love how they each have their own objectives, but, at the end of the day, all of their paths merge into this wonderful conclusion.
Sometimes you have to stand back and let people do what they are good at, even if it seems like madness at the time.
I thought the plot was interesting enough, as always I do think that the following books will be better than this one, but it was not bad or mediocre by any means. In this new world, the characters have lived a somewhat peaceful life because there has been a significant low number of demons in London, which means that all of the Shadowhunters have their guard down. I think this added a very good dynamic to the story because, for the first time I believe, we got to see them all a little insecure on their abilities and whether or not they would be able to handle this new threat.
This new generation of Shadowhunters is very diverse and complicated — everyone is tied with each other, one way or another. If you haven’t read the rest of the books I am certain that it will be extremely hard to keep up with everyone and how they are related. Nonetheless, all the relationships here are so wholesome and worth exploring. I loved seeing how everyone is connected and where their loyalties lie, so if this is something that interests you, it is definitely worth your time.
Do not let those who cannot see the truth tell you who you are. You are the flame that cannot be put out. You are the star that cannot be lost. You are who you have always been, and that is enough and more than enough. Anyone who looks at you and sees darkness is blind.
The main plot in this book was interesting enough. In my opinion, the first part was better because, throughout the second part, I lost interest several times and more often than not I felt as if nothing was really happening. This could be because of how much I don’t enjoy reading descriptions, so I get bored of those pretty quickly. However, I have to be honest, I think there was a very good balance in dialogue and description in this book. I feel that we got to know so much about everyone because of how much they actually interacted. I’ve always felt that in The Infernal Devices, as much as I liked it, the characters barely talked with one another. So, I am very glad that we got to see more of their dialogues in this book.
Finally, I cannot think of a single action sequence that I didn’t like. I think they were all very fun and I was constantly kept at the edge of my seat. Because of what I mentioned earlier, these Shadowhunters aren’t as experienced as those that we have read about before. This means, that they don’t always win in the small battles that they have to face. I thought it was very entertaining watching them struggle so much and then fail (I don’t know what that says about me…). It’s not that I don’t want them to win, but I think that these experiences will definitely push all of them to work harder and become better fighters.
I wonder sometimes if it is easier to be brave when one is young, before one knows truly how much there is to lose.
As always, I don’t think first books are Cassandra Clare’s best. I always think they could be better and more entertaining. Nonetheless, this book was better than I expected and I am very excited to continue with this series. For me it was a pleasant surprise how much I loved all of these characters and I can’t wait to read more about every single one of them.