Book Review – Chain of Gold

“The most interesting women are always the most whispered about.”

Title: Chain of Gold (The Last Hour #1)

Author: Cassandra Clare

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Publication date: March 3rd, 2020

624 pages

3/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

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.


We don’t always love people who deserve it.

cassandra clare, chain of gold

I spent a good amount of time DYING for this book to come out because I mean, look at it. I had just caught up in the Shadowhunter world (the main books, not the novella collections) and was READY for more and especially more Will and Tessa!!! But… I ended up being kind of disappointed with this book.

Let’s start here. The action was great as it always is. I love the Shadowhunter world and the characters. There is just something about returning to this world that makes me happy. I felt like this trilogy started off very differently than the others mainly because there was very little Downworlder involvement like in the other books, virtually no vampires, werewolves, faeries, or warlocks (save Magnus and Tessa of course). This was strictly Shadowhunter plot, and I didn’t mind this at all. There certainly was plenty of intrigue, and I love the juxtaposition of 20th century treatment of women and Shadowhunter bad-assery.

Cordelia and James were my favorite characters, except when James was being a total dillweed, but we’ll give him a pass because I believe we will find out it’s not entirely his fault. Lucy is perfectly lovely and I really enjoyed her side expeditions with the Blackthorn boy/ghost. Also, I am here for the LGBTQIA characters, the further CC gets into her series’ the more she incorporate human rights issues, modern day sexual identity issues, and just current societal issues and I think it’s great.

However. And there are a few howevers here. I had several issues with the overall book. First – it was slow. I slogged through the first, say, 400 pages. Sure there was stuff happening, but it had a weird flow and I couldn’t get into it. Second – there are too. many. characters. I STILL don’t have everyone straight. I spent the whole time trying to remember who was related to who, because there were 6 “main characters” and like 20 other side characters who were also important. I couldn’t do it. It’s way too much. Third. I hate Grace Blackthorn. I don’t like reading about her, and I want her to leave the book entirely!

I don’t hate this book, don’t get me wrong. I have high hopes for the next book, and OF COURSE I will continue to read. I just almost expected… better? It’s truly possible I overhyped this in my head and for the first time I don’t have the next book to dive into immediately.

Happy reading, folks!

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