Chain of Gold (ARC Review) // Throwback to one generation after TID, fabulous characters, can't wait for what's next

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.

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Peace in the Shadowhunter world has been prosperous, but a series of demon attacks are going to change everything. Raised on stories of their parents’ heroism in a time of need, now it is time for the next generation to act. The Carstairs and Blackthorn families are new to London, joining The Merry Thieves James Herondale, Matthew Fairchild, Thomas Lightwood, and Christopher Lightwood as well as James’s sister Lucie. Love, adventure, and evil await them all. But the mystery might be more connected to them than they think, and James Herondale might be at the centre of it all. Is James hunting the evil, or is it hunting him?

I gotta say, I was really unsure about this one. I thought it was gonna be a love or hate situation; I didn’t want to be recycled The Mortal Instruments, The Infernal Devices, The Dark Artifices or any combination of the three, and I’m glad that it wasn’t. Though I didn’t realise how much I missed The Infernal Devices and those characters until I read Chain of Gold? Obviously it’s different considering it features the children of the TID characters, but I greatly appreciated their presence in the story (especially bless Tessa/Will/Jem okay). I loved seeing them older and wiser, and perhaps slightly less rebellious (but let us remember that Will Herondale swears in Welsh). I did find it a bit hard to keep track of all the children, in particular Thomas/Christopher because I get Gideon/Gabriel and their respective wives mixed up a bit sometimes but overall it was fine.

“Would you like to be a muse?”
“No,” said Cordelia. “I would like to be a hero.”

Characters were a huge highlight for me. My top three are Cordelia, Anna, and Matthew. I relate to Cordelia a lot and she’s one of the most powerful heroines in The Shadowhunter Chronicles yet, Anna is an all-round badass and then there’s Matthew. My heart goes out to him, and he deserves the world; if in doubt, seek to read the short story Cast Long Shadows. He’s clearly suffering and I want a happy ending for him. I do think the character development was a bit lacking, but there were clearly established character archetypes which kept it interesting. I still have heavily mixed feelings about Grace; there are points where I think she’s evil, others where I think she’s doing her part quietly. But hey, still more books to go before I truly make up my mind about her. Begrudging respect for Alastair in this book, but also why was he so horrid in GotSM? I guess it makes sense now, but his past choices are subpar.

The plot was predictable at times, but since it’s not fully fleshed out yet I’m excited to see what happens next, because who knows there could be lots of twists to come. I think that overall Chain of Gold was mainly meant to serve as an introduction to a new trilogy, and I’m hoping book two holds all the answers we’re seeking. Shadowhunter family trees and the ancestry mentions in other TSC series certainly spoil relationships, despite this I think Cassandra Clare has done well using that and keeping it interesting because while we know what’s endgame we don’t know what happens before that.

Chain of Gold serves as a triumphant return to an Edwardian London one generation after The Infernal Devices, promising heroism, excitement and pure evil. With a strong range of diverse characters and well developed relationships, the book is entertaining at its most lighthearted and heart pounding at moments of action. The first book in a new story arc set a generation after The Infernal Devices, fans of The Shadowhunter Chronicles won’t want to miss this latest epic trilogy.

~I received a physical proof copy from HarperCollins NZ and willingly reviewed it~

If you’ve read any of the TSC series, which is your favourite? What Chain of Gold character resonates the most with you? What’s a book universe you wish had more books/series set in it?

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