Chain of Gold Review

Chain of Gold Review | Cassandra Clare

It’s time to return to the world of Shadowhunters with today’s post. Keep reading to check out my review of Chain of Gold.

Publisher: Walker Books | Date: 2020 | Genre: Fantasy/Young Adult | Buy it here*

Plot: 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.

Chain of Gold Review

Chain of Gold Review

I picked up Chain of Gold because I felt like I should. The Infernal Devices remains my favourite series, and with the links between the series, I had to read it. Given the disappoint of the recent books, I didn’t have high hopes.

This is hard to write. I’m trying to consider it on its own terms, but it’s difficult when I’ve read everything else.

I love the representation present in all of the Shadowhunter books, and there is always an element of finding your true self. However, I feel we’ve had that story every time. It’s important in each series, but it’s repetitive. If you binged these books, you’d have the same story turning up three times.

The same is true with the love triangle. That’s always been a theme in Cassandra Clare’s books. Again, this may work if you take this book out of context. But this is a world we’ve invested in: we’re never going to see it independently, and as soon as certain characters were introduced, I knew where it was going. It undermines the entire book.

But still, Chain of Gold was an enjoyable read. I liked the characters: James Herondale is certainly his father’s son, and a fun protagonist. Like every Herondale, he cares so deeply you know you’re going to be in for a heck of a ride.

Cordelia and Lucie have a lot of potential, but I think there’s more to come from the girls. I’m excited to see where they go – especially as they grow closer with their upcoming parabatai ceremony.

He glanced at James. “Do you have any talents, besides standing there looking good and saying nothing?”

Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare

Talking of which, I liked Matthew, but wish we’d connected to him more. There’re hints about things he’s hiding (again, a familiar story in this world), so that’s obviously going to take centre stage at some point.

I did want to see more of the bond between Matthew and James though; the parabatai bond is my favourite in this world, and it’s taken a backseat recently, with the predictable love triangle taking its place. I’d love to see these characters when they’re embracing that bond.

I enjoyed the majority of this plot. There’s a mystery to unravel and a demon to defeat – what’s not to love? However, I did find the secondary plot annoying. It was forgotten about for vast parts of the book, and then comes into play just as the characters develop, and resets everything that’s grown throughout the book, which was annoying.

This is hard to review: I enjoyed the book, truly, I did. It had a lot of the elements we love from the Shadowhunter world. But there’s a predictability to them now, and it undermines the potential. With a shift of focus into something different, this could be really strong, but I worry the rest of the series won’t take that direction.

If you’re a fan, it won’t let you down. If you’re on the fence, it won’t surprise you. And if you’re new to this world, it could be a fun and engaging read.

Grab your own copy!

Are you a Shadowhunter fan? Will you read this series?

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32 thoughts on “Chain of Gold Review | Cassandra Clare

  1. I considered starting this one but decided against it because I have not yet read the Dark Artifices series. I did love The Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices though. I read them years ago and I am wondering whether it would be worth a binge read of all the books!

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    • I think you could if you wanted to just because of the time period it’s set means that it doesn’t a) spoil anything or b) refer to anything from the later books. But fair enough for wanting to read them in the order. I keep wondering whether to go on a binge as well.

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      • It just seems like such a big commitment to read them all again so I’m not sure! I might just read Dark Artifices and then this one without going back for all the others haha!

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      • Yeah, I haven’t been re-reading them either, there’s too many now. But it doesn’t feel like you need to re-read with this one? There haven’t been any specific references to The Infernal Devices other than the characters.

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  2. Ooo I’ve never really been a huge fan of fantasy but I’d love to get into it more so this sounds like a perfect start❤️ Thank you for sharing!

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  3. I’m pleased to hear that you enjoyed the plot to this one though I understand what you mean about the predictability. I’ll be completely honest in saying that I might be one of the few people who hasn’t read Cassandra Clare except the first Infernal Devices book but it wasn’t for me but I’m pleased so many people enjoy them!

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    • I’m reaching the point with them where I keep setting my expectations too high and being disappointed, and the predictability is definitely a cause of that. They’re definitely not for everyone!

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  4. I’m a big Shadowhunter fan so this is definitely something that will be going on my TBR list. I just love the whole world Cassandra Clare has created (although I didn’t like the film adaptation at all). it’s fabulous escapism! x

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    • It is definite escapism for sure – I think the fact this is set in the past adds that extra element for me as well. I hope you enjoy if you get around to it.

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  5. Shadowhunters was one of the first series that truly got me hooked up! I think “The infernal Devices” was the best out of all Clare’s writing. I enjoyed the settings and characters as you said though it was a bit of a repetitive themes, but i enjoyed it overall too! I just want to see what is going to happen next now. Thanks for sharing x

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    • I’d kind of love to see how people found it by coming to it fresh. I’ve dipped in and out of this world for so long now it starts to blur what works when you’re picking up on what’s repetitive!

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  6. Great review! I recently finished The Mortal Instruments, which was my first experience with the Shadowhunter world. I guess I’ll have to start on this one too once I finish some other books on my list. 🙂

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  7. I’ve only read The Infernal Devices all the way through, though I have plans to read all of The Mortal Instruments this year. Maybe once I finish those (quite the undertaking), I’ll get into some of the additional books. The whole Shadowhunter universe is so massive, but I’m excited to give this one a go. I enjoyed your review!

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  8. This book sounds really interesting and really up my street! I love a book with a love twist or a love triangle. This sounds like everything I need for some escapism!

    Rosie

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    • Pretty much all of her books have love triangles in them, so if that’s your thing, this world could be perfect for you. Escapism is always much appreciated for sure.

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  9. As much as I know I would probably enjoy this trilogy because it is the continuation of The Infernal Devices aka my personal favourite Shadowhunter series, but the repeating themes and character profiles are getting old and rather irritating. I’ve now given up with the world because I don’t expect anything new.

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    • I think coming to the world for the first time would make these enjoyable!! It’s just when you’ve been around for a while that they start to lose it a little!

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  10. Thanks for the review! I read the first shadowhunter series and also the infernal devices series but I haven’t read anywhere more of them since then so you’ve reminded me how much I enjoyed them! I might have to check this series out! xx

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  11. Great review! This was one of my favourite reads of 2020, and I’m really excited for the sequel, particularly Lucie’s storyline. I totally get what you mean about predictability though – with so many books set in this world, not to mention all the additional information available, the main plot is the only way to keep this series strong. Also, have you read Ghosts of the Shadow Market yet? A lot of the characters in this book appear in those stories and it’s great background information!

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    • Ooh no, Ghosts of the Shadow Market is one I haven’t done yet – I’ve done most of them but not that one. That sounds really cool – I liked these characters so definitely one to check out. Thanks!

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