Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release Date: March 2, 2020
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.
When Chain of Gold was first announced I was incredibly disappointed because I was still riding the high that was Queen of Air and Darkness. All I wanted in that moment was for the continuation of that story. But, Cassandra Clare proves again that she’s more than capable and understands what she’s doing because Chain of Gold is incredible.
Chain of Gold differs from Clare’s other work in the amount of characters that are featured. With Clare’s other work, there are a small cast of characters that are the main focus whereas with this first instalment in The Last Hours trilogy there are quite a few characters to juggle. Though the main characters are clearly Will and Cordelia, readers get to know the secondary and tertiary very well.
This may seem like a small detail, but one aspect of the novel I enjoyed was Clare’s lack of in-depth explanation of the world. Usually, with spinoff series authors find themselves in the awkward position of deciding to either re-explain the world at length for new readers or continue with the status quo for the old readers. Clare gives little to no explanation of the Shadowhunter world. Having read all the books (some of them multiple times), I am well acquainted with this world so not having to read the tedious explanations was fantastic. If you’re starting you’re Shadowhunter experience with Chain of Gold, you will be missing out of just about everything that makes this series truly great.
At the risk of being vague, the ending of Chain of Gold just about broke me. The ending will bring you to your knees begging Clare to do anything but what she’s about to do then leave you hanging for a year as you desperately await the sequel.
Overall, Chain of Gold is an incredible first novel to a trilogy that will surely become one of the best in the Shadowhunter canon. With unforgettable characters, twists and turns, and unrequited love but not really, Chain of Gold will leave you clamouring for more.