Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare | Book Review


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 (Goodreads).
There is no better distraction in this world than losing oneself in books for awhile.

Title: Chain of Gold
Author: Cassandra Clare
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult, Fiction
Pages: 624
Goodreads rating: 4.53
Publication: March 3rd 2020 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
Source: Book Depository
Reading format: Hardback
Standalone/Series: Book 1 of 3 from The Last Hours
Review type: Non-spoilery

I'm absolutely and utterly wrecked, nothing can ever fix me and I shall never recover from this pain again.
In Chain of Gold, the next generation of Shadowhunters (read: offsprings from the previous series) venturing into their own journey of fighting demons, their discovery of selves and love life. It features the most precious friendship, siblings relationship, blooming romance and friendship and most importantly, Shadowhunters world in all its glory (not). I've never personally understood how a person can love-hate someone until I read Cassandra Clare's books. As much as I love her writing and adore the world and the characters she created, I definitely hate her for putting my babies into such agony which then also hurt me in 1000 ways I didn't know could ever hurt me. I wanna hug Cassandra Clare for bringing the characters I love to life but I also wanna fight her and threaten her into giving them just happy endings.
1. writing style
Clare writes this story beautifully; her writing is so stunning that even the simplest thing, the simplest exchange between characters and the simplest acts could hurt me especially her period Shadowhunters novels. These novels have this romantic atmosphere that comes with a more antiquated and elegant style of writing which makes The Infernal Devices one of my favourite series in the first place and will probably make this new series my second favourite Shadowhunters series.

2. glimpses of my favourite characters from the previous series (the infernal devices)
It's not a secret that I'm a sucker for character-driven novels. This book follows the offsprings of the characters from the previous series, so it's natural that they will feature in this book. It's nice to see the characters I missed so much but what I love the most is how happy they are now. They've grown up so much, they are happily living with their family which brings me to the next point...

3. familial aspect of this book
It's rare to see the positive familial aspect that Chain of Gold showed in YA Fantasy that I have read before. Most YA Fantasy's familial aspects are more to the fight for the throne, dysfunctional family, basically negative ones. The families featured in this book are not just happy but also whole. This generation of Shadowhunters are raised with care and love and that makes me so happy. No doubt, the families are not perfect but they all give a good support system. The Herondales perfectly portrayed a very supportive and loving family in a believable way; I'm still gushing over how sweet the relationship between Will, Tessa and their children is. It is to die for. Besides that, it was also interesting to get to know more about the Carstairs siblings relationship. The bond between Cordelia and Alastair might not seem as strong as other siblings bonds in the book at first but as I read more, I could see that their bond is a very precious one with both of them being protective of each other.

4. introducing Shadowhunters from another part of the world
The fact that Cordelia and Alastair Carstairs are Persian makes me love this book more. Having read Khaled Hosseini's books before, Farsi is not a stranger to me, especially the terms of endearment. It is a beautiful language that I'm very interested in learning. There were also a lot of references to Persian Poem, Layla and Majnun. 
English endearments were so limited and bland in comparison, she had always thought: Persians thought nothing of telling someone they loved fadat besham, I would die for you, or calling that person noore cheshmam, the light of my eyes, or delbaram, the thief of my heart.
I also love how some real Persian cultures are adapted into the Persian Shadowhunters' world; for instance, Cordelia wearing a long tunic to a fight and Cordelia's mother protectiveness towards her daughter in terms of her clothes and her socializing with men.

5. supportive, caring and loving friendship circles
I never quite thought of friendship like that—as something that makes you more than you are.
The Merry Thieves by @merwildandco
The Merry Thieves - I saw somewhere on Tumblr about this group being so similar to the Marauders (without the tragedy) and I'm now unable to unsee it because I absolutely agree! The two groups do give the same supportive and caring vibes which I really love. 
"The four of you are tightly knit," said Cordelia. "Anyone could see that. And none of you is so simple. Thomas is more than just kind, and Christopher more than beakers and test tubes, Matthew more than wit and waistcoats. Each of you follows his own star- but you are the thread that binds all four together. You are the one who sees what everyone need, if anyone requires extra care from their friends, or even to be left alone. Some group of friends drift apart, but you would never let that happen."
The Merry Thieves, Cordelia, Lucie and Anna by @malec_hugs
Cordelia + Lucie + The Merry Thieves - Cordelia came to London with only knowing the Herondale family. She was nervous about living in this new place and getting to know Lucie and James's circle of friends but all of them welcomed her with open hands. I adore seeing friendship blossoming more than romance and this book gives me everything I wanted in the friendship aspect.
"You have been quite a surprise since you came into our lives," he said, and she knew by "our" he meant the five of them, the Merry Thieves and Lucie. "I did not feel that our little group was missing anything before you arrived, but now that you are here, I cannot imagine it without you."
6. lovable and memorable characters
I think some people might hate that this book has many characters but as a fan of the Shadowhunters franchise, I'm okay with it. I love to adore and root for the lovable characters and I love to hate the unlovable characters. For me, Cassandra Clare’s books are about the characters more than anything. I care for all of the characters but like most of the readers, Cordelia surprised me. She's brave, very pure-hearted, super kind (her kindness reminds me of Jem), is not afraid to sound out her opinions and protect the people she loves and is very supportive and because of these, I admire her the most. Some other characters that are very precious to me are Matthew Fairchild and Alastair Carstairs. I just wanna protect these three and see them all happy.
Cordelia Carstairs
Cordelia Carstairs by Cassandra Jean
Matthew Fairchild
Matthew Fairchild by Cassandra Jean
Alastair Carstairs
Alastair Carstairs by Cassandra Jean
7. books and stories are important to the characters' lives
James Herondale literally steals books, Matthew Fairchild loves Oscar Wilde, Lucie Herondale is a writer, Jesse Blackthorn is a ghost who reads and Cordelia Carstairs is an avid reader as well. In this house, we love literate characters who love books as much as we do! The characters just casually quote any books they've read and I absolutely adore that.
"People are only invincible in books," said Cordelia."I think you will find most of the time, not even then," said Tessa. "But at least we can always pick up a book and read it anew. Stories offer a thousand fresh starts."
I'm a huge fan of this world so it's natural that I'm wishing the book to be longer although it's already pretty big with 624 pages. However, I think new readers might find the book to drag a little bit. The last few chapters can be shortened and there wasn't really much addition to the plot development to the last few chapters. The story can feel slow-paced at first but I think it's important for the build-up of the plot. I'm sure there are details from the chapters I think are not important that I probably missed that are significant for the next two books.
1. Is it necessary to read the previous series to read this?
No, you absolutely don't have to. All you have to know to understand the Shadowhunters world is mentioned in the book so you won't be confused. Reading the previous series or at least some of the novella might help you to know the characters and the world more, though. It'll also give you a better reading experience. Chain of Gold does contain some spoilers to The Infernal Devices series, though.

2. Which series/short stories that I can read to give me further understanding of the story?
For series, I suggest you read The Infernal Devices, which main characters are the parents of the main characters in Chain of Gold. For short stories, you can read The Midnight Heir from The Bane Chronicles, Nothing But Shadows from Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy and Cast Long Shadows and Every Exquisite Thing from Ghosts of the Shadow Market.

3. Guide to start reading The Shadowhunters Chronicles?

Other Books in the Series:
Chain of Iron (The Last Hours #2) – To Be Released
Chain of Thorns (The Last Hours #3) – To Be Released

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