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
Hi! I'm Annie, a Swedish bookworm, YA addict and coffee lover, who writes romantic YA books in English. I'm the author of the Angelheart Saga series (First Came Forever and Forever Disguised).
I love YA books and want to share what I read with you too, so check out my reading tips here!
Below you can find the reviews per author as well.