REVIEW: The Golden Tower by Cassandra Clare and Holly Black
Updated: Feb 15
The Golden Tower:
This is the fifth and final book in the series and we follow Callum and Tamara as they enter their last year at the magisterium. In the previous book, Aaron was reintroduced into the series by the help of Callum. He somehow stayed alive after Callum reanimated him and then died again. He is now in a different form though. A form that Callum is not exactly pleased about, his brain. Though he is grateful that he is alive, he just occupies some of his brain space and that is all.
In this book we find out that Call has had a huge crush on Tamara for a while and he believes that once she knows that Aaron is living inside of his brain, that she will prefer Aaron talking through him rather than Call himself. Through out the whole book, he struggles with this internal monologue with Aaron chiming in. Aaron doesn’t agree with him one bit on this point and thinks Tamara really likes Call despite everything that has happened to them throughout the past 4 years.
Whilst Call and Tamara are back at school, we see that Alex is returning to the world as a devoured Chaos elemental. This means he is truly inhabited by chaos and controls it more than a makar can. So in theory, this makes Alex stronger than Callum himself despite him being the so-called enemy of death.
In this book, we also find out that Constantine Madden wasn’t really Constantine Madden. He was instead somebody called Maugris. “It looks like the original evil mage, Maugris, tracked Constantine down after he’d become the Enemy of Death. He jumped into his body, and no one ever noticed the difference, probably because Constantine was already pretty evil. It does explain, though, why he never really tried to raise Jericho from the dead after that, just moved him to a mausoleum — Maugris didn’t care.” Maugris was the scythe of souls, the devourer of men and through Constantine became the enemy of Death. Maugris knew that once he had body hoped into the young babe known as Callum Hunt that his memories would be walled up until he was of age to become a powerful mage, then he would unlock his true memories. He knew that Callum Hunt would be defenceless but he had no other option, as he wanted to survive.
As Callum unlocks these memories, he figures out that Maugris knew of a chaos elemental and knew how to stop them. “Maugris managed to purify the chaos out of the Devoured he fought. According to the rules of alchemy, it took four Devoured of four different elements to do it. But if we can pull the chaos out of Alex’s body, then we can fight him normally.” So they head off to find different elementals. They already have Ravan, Tamara’s sister on their side but now they must find others to help them. Alastair, Call’s father thankfully knows of a devoured of water and his name is Lucas. They all go to him and ask for his help. He agrees as he finds that he does not want humans destroyed and gives them a name of an earth Devoured, Greta. This is when Callum and his father split ways, his father to go see an air elemental and the rest of the gang to go see Greta. In order for Greta to help them, the magisterium must admit their guilt about their treatments of the elementals, and if that happens, she will help them. Eventually it is discovered that his father got an air elemental to help them, himself. He had changed himself to a devoured in order to save Call.
Whilst this was happening, Call had gone to Anastasia to convince her to lie to the mages about Alex and tell them that she was the one controlling him and he wasn’t doing it of his own free will. The only way to do this though was for Call to sweet talk her and call her mum as Constantine had once. He explains that the magisterium want him and Alex to fight to which she exclaims that it is not right that brother should fight brother. Callum though had an ulterior motive behind this though. Once Alex had been restored to humanity but on the brink of death, as payment for what he had done to Aaron, Aaron was going to body hop into his body and claim it as his own. They have finally defeated Alex, the devoured chaos and Callum no longer hears Aaron within his brain but they must wait till they are alone to see if it worked. And great news, it did. Both Callum and Aaron/Alex both agree to never body hop again and that the line ends with them.
The book ends with them being tested as to whether they can be true mages. They must enter through the last gate, the gate of balance. Tamara goes first, then Alex/Aaron and then Callum. Thankfully they all make it through and they celebrate.
This is a great ending to the series, it does not leave us heartbroken that somebody has died or that somebody is tormented over something but that they truly have a good ending. They defeat the enemy and win the day and have a celebration afterwards. After all, isn’t this how fairy tales end? This isn’t a fairy tale but we must remember that this is a kid’s book and is aimed at kids. Kids like to see story lines wrapped up in a neat little bow and with a happy ending; otherwise it’s not exactly fair on them. I think I cannot truly judge this book without even understanding that I’m not it’s primary audience and that kids are. Though people will have some complaints about the way the story ended and from majority of reviews I have read, it seems to be that way, but I think for the audience that it was written for, it has an amazing ending.
4 out of 5 stars.