In the latest Shadowhunter series installment, take a trip back in time to Edwardian London. Chain of Gold is the first book in Clare’s latest trilogy, The Last Hours.
The series follows Will and Tessa Herondale (from our favorite Infernal Devices trilogy!) and their teenage children, Lucie and James in the early 1900s. For years London has seen very few demon attacks. Lucie and James have spent their childhood hearing about their mother and father’s battles in the Clockwork War, but they never thought they, too, would find themselves at war with an inexplicable enemy. When the Blackthorn and Carstairs families come to London, they are met by an uptick in unexplainable demon attacks. Worse yet, these new demons can walk in sunlight and a mere scratch of their talons causes the victim to contract a dangerous illness.
James Herondale has been in love with Grace Blackthorn, the mysterious girl who inhabited Blackthorn manner during James’s childhood summers in Idris, for as long as he can remember. He wants nothing more than to fall in love like his parents did years ago. Cordelia Carstairs has arrived in London seeking to save her family from ruin after her father is imprisoned in Idris for a crime he does not remember committing, all while trying to conceal her love of James. Moreover, James is struggling to understand his unique power to travel across the demon dimension, while Lucie comes to the realization that she can speak to and control ghosts— including the ghost of Jesse Blackthorn, who is not quite as dead as she thought. As the attacks on shadowhunters continue, Lucie, James, and their band of friends— Matthew Fairchild, Christopher Lightwood, Anna Lightwood, Thomas Lightwood, and Cordelia— must come together to find the cure before it is too late.
We’ve always been a fan of Clare’s Shadowhunter series…and this book did not disappoint! We loved catching up with old characters, like Will, Tessa, Henry, Charlotte, Cecily, Sophie, Gideon, and Gabriel. To see them with children of their own was to see them come full circle as characters. We did not know what to expect in this series because we had fallen in love with their characters as teenagers, but Clare did an excellent job spinning their stories together with those of their children.
Speaking of their kids— it was hard to keep track of all the names at first, but we grew to love Matthew, Christopher, Anna, and Thomas. Each character had their own unique trait, but our favorite by far was Matthew. Oh how we love a brooding, self-destructive smart ass! We just want to hug and squeeze him for the rest of eternity. If anything happens to his character, we will riot! The setting of Edwardian London was also different! According to the short note at the end of the book, many of the places mentioned in the book actually existed. Of course, the downworlder parties were fascinating (as they always are in Clare’s stories)!
Now, let’s talk romance. There are a number of romances occurring throughout this book, and we won’t go in to too much detail so as not to spoil the plot. One thing we can say is that the family tree that Clare released with Clockwork Princess is deeply confusing and has some gaps, which makes us question how these romances will play out. To be honest, we did not get a good glimpse into Jesse Blackthorn’s character in Chain of Gold, so we hope that Clare spends more time on his development in the next book. We want to ship him with Lucie, but we just cannot commit yet. James and Cordelia had amazing chemistry and the end twist left us dying to see what happens next with this pairing. And then of course, our beloved Matthew has a possible romance in the next book that we cannot wait to see play out. He deserves nothing but the best! We have our predictions…but we’ll wait until March 2021 to be surprised.
Overall, this is the beginning of a stellar series by Clare! We thoroughly enjoyed the storyline and, as always, Clare managed to seamlessly tie all of her Shadowhunter books together. We need Chain of Iron ASAP! We’ll be working hard to get an ARC.