Chain of Gold is the first novel in a new trilogy by Cassandra Clare that stars the Shadowhunters of Edwardian London. Chronologically, this book takes place after The Infernal Devices (way before The Mortal Instruments), with James and Lucie Herondale, children of the famous Will and Tessa, as the main characters. For years there has been peace in the Shadowhunter world, but everything changes when the Blackthorn and Carstairs families come to London and awakens the demons waiting in the dark.
I put off reading this book for a while, fearing that I might be a little bit over this fandom. But clearly, I am not. This fandom still always draws me in. There’s something so addictive about Cassandra Clare’s writing and the characters she creates… As always there is drama, adventure, epic good vs. evil fights, crazy plot twists and characters you immediately root for. And of course, love conquering all.
“I am a Herondale. We love but once.”
“That is only a story.”
“Haven’t you heard?” James said bitterly. “All the stories are true.”
A lot in the story was predictive and reminded of similar plots and situations in the other books, but somehow it didn’t really matter, I was so intrigued nevertheless. What I especially love about this book is seeing Will and Tessa and their children James and Lucie and their group of friends, and Jem and Magnus Bane again and to get more of their background stories to connect the dots between the Infernal Devices and the Mortal Instruments series. I also really loved two of the new characters, Matthew and Cordelia, and hope things will get better for them as the series continues. (With the cliff hanger ending in this book, things will definitely be different for Cordelia at least… don’t want to say anything more to risk spoil anything though.)
And Anna. I have to say something about her. I think she’s my new favorite Shadowhunter character of all time. One thing that I especially appreciate about Cassandra Clare’s books is that there is a lot of queer representation and diverse characters. And Anna is one of the best and most fascinating and loveable characters I’ve come across lately (not only in the Shadowhunter world but in all books). She’s a lesbian in Edwardian London who seduces women and wears suits and questions just about any tradition and is so vivid and full of faults and intrigues that you know she will cause disaster wherever she goes. How can you not be completely floored by her? I can’t wait to read more about her adventures in the sequels.
“I thought you wanted to have tea!” objected Cordelia.
“No one ever just wants to have tea,” said Anna. “Tea is always an excuse for a clandestine agenda.”
I don’t know how Cassandra Clare does it, but once again she has left me desperately waiting for the next book.
Find out more about the book and the author here: Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunters
The Red Scrolls of Magic is such an adorable book! I had this happy, goofy, smile all over my face reading it. I love Magnus and Alec together and it was such a bonus pleasure to get a whole book just focusing on the two of them.
Before reading this book, I actually thought I was ready to leave the Shadowhunter realm, but oh no, this book sure drew me right back in again. It’s an additional book to the Mortal Instruments series telling the swash-buckling romantic adventures of Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood on the vacation mentioned in City of Fallen Angels (the 4th book in the series).
When Cassandra Clare originally wrote The Mortal Instruments she had to hold back on love scenes between Magnus and Alec to not risk getting the books be considered ”inappropriate”, which I now realize in hindsight is why the relationship between them felt a bit thin and not so engaging at times. But not in this book! I’m so glad I decided to read this gem! Even though the romance is constantly getting interrupted by demon attacks (very frustrating!), the romance is definitely not thin anymore! I love the way you could follow how their relationship deepens and how Alec is worried about his lack of experience, but still NEEDS to take things further. He shows so much vulnerability and there are so many amazing softer scenes. Like kissing, cuddling, getting to know each other without any pretend or acts. The book was so adorable and queer and so fun and fast-paced. It I absolutely loved it!
And an extra adorable bonus was the meeting between Helen and Aline! Knowing from The Mortal Instruments series that they would become a couple it was so amazing to read here about their first meeting.
So, if you’re the slightest fan of the Shadowhunter world, or if you ship Malec, or even if you know nothing about the Shadowhunters but are just really wanting to read a LGBTQ+-led romantic story for once, this is the book for you! I truly recommend it, it’s a gem not to be missed!
Find out more about the book and the authors here: Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunters
I read the first and second book in this series before I started doing book reviews on this blog, so this review will be a short wrap-up of Lady Midnight and Lord of Shadows, but then focus more on the third and last book, Queen of Air and Darkness.
The story in Lady Midnight starts off five years after the ending of The Mortal Instruments series and at the Shadowhunter Institute of Los Angeles, with Emma Carstairs and the Blackthorn family in focus. Emma is no longer a child in mourning, but a young woman bent on discovering what killed her parents and avenging her losses. Together with her parabatai Julian Blackthorn, Emma must learn to trust her own skills and make some hard decisions investigating a demonic plot that stretches across Los Angeles, while struggling with the blossoming forbidden feelings for Julian. Making things even more complicated, Julian’s brother Mark, who was captured by the faeries five years ago, has been returned as a bargaining chip to acquire the Shadowhunters’ help in finding out who is murdering their kind.
I loved this book so much more than I had anticipated! I have read the Mortal Instruments and the Infernal Devices and both the series I loved immensely. I think Cassandra Clare did a really good job in writing a fresh and exciting story in the familiar shadow world. I loved the characters and the emphasis on the unconditional of a brother (“parent”) of his siblings. I felt that the ending was pretty unpredictable and awesome! I didn’t suspected any of it. I really hope there will be a happy end for Jules and Emma.
In Lord of Shadows, Emma has learned that the love she shares with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, isn’t just forbidden, it could destroy them both. She knows she should run from Julian,but puts her hope in the Black Volume of the Dead, a spell book of terrible power. Everyone wants it. Spurred on by a dark bargain with the Seelie Queen, Emma; her best friend, Cristina; and Mark and Julian Blackthorn journey into the Courts of Faerie.
I loved this book, it broke my heart and gave me so much joy. I love that there are so many characters to fall in love with, all the Blackthorn children, the Spanish Shadowhunters, Faeries, they all add something to the book. But what I love the most, is the inclusion of the originals, Magnus, Alec, Jace, Clary and Robert. This really makes it feel like a world, makes it feel real and that is what gives these books their power. But I warn you, the ending will destroy you!
After the devastating ending in Lord of Shadows, it was an agonizing wait for Queen of Air and Darkness. In the aftermath of the tragic deaths, the Clave now teeters on the brink of civil war. Fascists are trying to control the Clave and dictate how Downworlders should be treated. In Faerie, the Seelie and the Unseelie court are trying to hurt each other, while the Unseelie King has something that the Seelie Queen doesn’t want to live without. Warlocks are hurting, so many of our main cast of characters are missing, and so many people are grieving the loss of loved ones.
“There was blood on the Council dais, blood on the steps, blood on the walls and the floor and the shattered remnants of the Mortal Sword.”
Julian and Emma take desperate measures to put their forbidden love aside and undertake a perilous mission to Faerie to retrieve the Black Volume of the Dead. What they find in the Courts is a secret that may tear the Shadow World asunder and open a dark path into a future they could never have imagined.
This third and final installment in The Dark Artifices series does get rather dark, with all grief and sorrow, and the growing hatred, mistrust and revenge going on, but the chapters in faerie were exciting and I liked seeing so many different characters play a role. Simon, Isabelle, Jace, Clary and more appearing was so fun and I loved the cameos. And the part thereafter, with Emma and Julian just giving up the fight and allowing their love was so amazing, definitely my favorite part!
“Perhaps being parabatai was a weakness that could trap you. But so was any kind of love, and if love was weakness, it was strength, too.”
What I love so much about this series is the characters. I love stories that have strong relationships and this has so much love between the characters you can’t help but become invested in them. To start with Emma and Julian, honestly all the way throughout I was so worried for what was to come, their love for one another is just so strong and I just wanted them to be happy! Then we have the trio that is of course Cristina, Mark and Kieran! The balance between them all is just so pure and perfect. They all just fit together in ways that just balance each other out, just so pure and perfect. And I loved seeing the family dynamics, it was so lovely to see Helen and Aline back
Overall I’m so happy with the way this turned out, it was my most anticipated release for the year and it didn’t disappoint! It’s bittersweet that it’s over but hopefully there will be more to come? I mean, the way in which it ended, it’s not what I expected what so ever and now I’m super intrigued to find out what’s to come, surely there must be another series continuing the plot?