REVIEW: Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare (The Last Hours #1)

00a04bed-84c8-4ed9-9b82-207929e26230Title: Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare
Pages: 617
Published by: Walker Books
Publication date: 3rd March 2020
Genre: Fantasy
Format: Hardback
Amazon UK – Waterstones


Cordelia Carstairs is a Shadowhunter, a warrior trained since childhood to battle demons. When she travels to London, she encounters childhood friends James and Lucie Herondale and is drawn into their world of glittering ballrooms and supernatural salons. All the while, she must hide her secret love for James, who is sworn to marry someone else. But Cordelia’s new life is blown apart when demon attacks devastate London. Trapped in the city, Cordelia and her friends discover that a dark legacy has gifted them with incredible powers – and a brutal choice will reveal the true cruel price of being a hero.

My review:

Chain of Gold is finally here and I actually read it the week it came out! I completely fell in love with this new generation of Shadowhunters. Of course we did get to revisit our old favourites: Will, Jim and Tessa, which I was so happy about, but they were mainly in the background. At the forefront was Cordelia and her brother; James and Lucie; as well as James’ friends. After struggling through The Dark Artifices, I was so relieved to find that I actually enjoyed this one a lot more and I found it so much more interesting with James and Lucie’s parentage. James can travel to the shadow realm (a demon world) and Lucie can see ghosts no one else can, not even her family.

One thing I want to mention, and I’m wondering if anyone else felt the same way, is that the synopsis makes this book seem like it’s mainly about Cordelia but I didn’t think that at all once I started reading it. There’s so many different points of view and I was focusing more on James and Lucie than I was on Cordelia. I thought her voice ended up getting drowned out by James’ problems (which I wasn’t too bothered about). In my opinion, she didn’t play that much of a prominent role as I was expecting so I hope she’s more at the forefront in the second book. Also I hope we get to see her and Lucie becoming parabatai at some point. I’d love to see them fight together! I always love seeing parabatai’s fight together, but after seeing so many guys as parabatai (Will and Jem, Jace and Alec, James and Matthew), I’d love to see two girls kicking ass. Don’t get me wrong though, I really love James and Matthew as parabatai but it would be nice to see some girls fighting together!

Another thing I wanted to mention is that even though I loved all of the characters, I did feel at times that there was slightly too many. I kept confusing a couple characters because they just didn’t stand out enough for me and were too similar. Hopefully that changes in the next book because I’d love for them to be easily distinguishable!

I have seen some people complaining on social media that there are too many gay characters but I didn’t think that at all. It’s hinted at, sure, but it doesn’t completely take over the plot! The only thing I am worried about is the romance between James and Cordelia though. After struggling through The Dark Artifices, I really hope this isn’t going to be another fantasy book that gets completely drowned out by romance. That was one thing that I found really frustrating in Lord of Shadows and Queen of Air and Darkness. I do not want another Emma and Julian situation or another weird love triangle like the one with Mark, Kieran and Cristina. The romance is quite a prominent theme in Chain of Gold but it’s not so bad that it bothered me. At the moment, I’m more curious than anything but that could easily change. Cordelia is in love with James, but James is in love with Grace, who is a pretty unusual character to say the least. Also, can I just give Anna Lightwood some recognition because she was one of my favourites. She was such a bold and confident character; I loved how she could easily be herself.

I didn’t think much of the plot. It was interesting how the Shadowhunters were facing a different threat and it wasn’t like anything they’ve ever seen before. However, for most of the plot it didn’t feel like a lot was happening and when I finished it I wasn’t blown away or sad. I was just like this was good, but not spectacular. That being said, I do really love the characters and I’d love to see what happens with James and Lucie’s “gifts”. I also want to see more of Cordelia! Plus it was nice being able to see Will, Jem and Tessa again. I’m very much looking forward to the second book!

3 thoughts on “REVIEW: Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare (The Last Hours #1)

  1. Azia says:

    Definitely agree with everything you said! I love Cordelia and I was expecting more of her POV since the plot hinted that she would be more a prominent character, but Clare tended to share the focus with all the characters. I got some of the characters and names mixed up, mainly between Matthew, Thomas, and Christopher, though Matthew stands out a bit more. Their names are just so generic that I had a hard time telling who was who in some scenes.

    I, too, am a little wary of the romantic relationships. Not at all bothered by the number of LGBTQ2+ persons in this book (they belong perfectly to the story) but I do have to agree that I’m not really interested in another Jem/Will/Tessa situation nor do I really want anything like Mark, Cristina, and Kieran (which was only strange to me because I thought Cristina was boring and had no chemistry with either of the boys). I hope the romance doesn’t become too overwhelming. I’d love more focus on Cordelia fighting alongside Lucie! Also, Anna Lightwood is one of the best characters since Magnus I think!

    Fantastic review! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Beth says:

      Thank you so much! I’m glad you felt the same way! I was expecting the different POVs but I was a bit disappointed that Cordelia seemed to fade into the background. It felt like the story was more about James and Lucie!

      I really struggled with Thomas I had to reread some scenes with him in because I kept forgetting who he was. I hope he stands out more in the second book. I also kept confusing all the families and even their names did nothing for me, there was just so many people in some scenes.

      Definitely agree about the LGBTQ characters. I was appalled by how aggressive people were being to Cassie! I would have thought her books would be known for this and they have every right to be in the story anyway. If people don’t like it, they shouldn’t read her books. I was really pleased with Anna’s character and I think she’ll easily become one of my favourites.

      Yeh they didn’t really wear their gear a lot or do much fighting so hopefully this changes in the next book! ☺️

      I also found Cristina’s character a bit boring and much preferred just Mark and Kieran being together xD

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Azia says:

    I struggled with Thomas too! I thought it was just me 🤣 Whenever he was in the same scene as Matthew or Christopher, I had to reread because I got him mixed up or just forgot who he was lol. He definitely needs a little more of the spotlight to stand out a bit more.

    Yeah, by now, everyone should know what Clare’s books include. LGBTQII rep is something she’s always made an integral part of the story and characters. Crazy how some ppl still think it makes sense to complain this late in the series. Nevermind them though 🤷🏾‍♀️

    Agree that Mark and Kieran woulda made so much more sense. I’m still kinda hoping for it though lol

    Liked by 1 person

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