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REVIEW: Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare

Updated: Feb 15, 2021

This series follows the children of Will and Tessa, James and Lucie. James and Lucie having grown up in the shadow hunter world are of course friends with their parent’s friend’s children, which would be the Fairchild’s, Carstairs and Lightwoods. But nothing so daring as what happened to Will and Tessa has happened to them yet. Their lives have been pretty mundane (pun) and boring. Few demons now lurk on the world and every now and then they pop their head up which means battles with demons don’t happen as often as the Shadow hunters would like to. After all, their job is to find and destroy these beings so life like this to a shadow hunter is tedious but that is all about to change for this new crew of characters.

Cordelia Carstairs and Grace Blackthorn arrive in London. Cordelia’s father has been imprisoned by the clave in Idris for the way that he handled a demon attack, which unfortunately went very badly. So the whole Carstairs family try to look for allies among the few shadowhunter families in order to save him and clear his name. Cordelia will go to whatever lengths necessary to save her father even if that means joining a shadowhunter family through marriage. She wants that person to be James Herondale, as she has had a secret crush on him for a long time and will soon be his sisters, Lucie, parabatai. When suddenly she overhears him talking to his parabatai, Matthew, talking about an arrival of a crush of his. Assuming that it’s her, she is full of joy but that suddenly vanishes when he leaves her stranded on the dance floor for Grace Blackthorn.

A demon attacks the ball and goes after James’s cousin Barbara. Everybody just thinks she fainted cause after all there haven’t been any demon sightings in a long time but James knows that isn’t true when he goes into his ‘shadow realm’ just before the attack and sees something wind around Barbara and pull her down. So to the naked eye, she just looked like she fainted.

It seems the demon blood that he has from Tessa has manifested into what he calls the ‘shadow realm’. The shadow realm is a different version of the real world with distorted images of people and monochrome colours. He can’t control it and doesn’t know what triggers it but knows that when something bad is about to happen, he senses it coming for him.

After a series of demon attacks happen and many are injured, the team decide that they must investigate. Whilst at the Blackthorn manor, Cordelia is attacked by a demon and is eventually rescued by James. James sees Cortana and knows that something is immediately up and goes to help her, they kill the demon together.

James and Grace secretly meet up with each other knowing of the danger it might cause them both. And of course a demon attacks, but this time it’s not just one demon, it’s many more. Matthew knowing that his parabatai is in danger goes to seek the gang to help him find James and Grace and to help them defeat the demon’s. One of the demon’s recognise James as the son of Tessa. He asks James why he is against them when they worship his grandfather, a prince of hell named Raziel. This shocks James but he lets the rest of the demon’s go in the name of his grandfather if they go back to their dimension.

This doesn’t stop the demon attacks though. Gast, now killed by the demon’s appears as a ghost to Lucie in his apartment. Gast reveals that he was hired by a cloaked, masked figure to summon the demons to London and to kill the shadowhunters. Grace tells James that she is marrying Charles since James didn’t want to marry her. He tries to get to reconsider but she doesn’t want to and has her heart set on this now.

Cordelia receives a letter from Charlotte answering the questions about her father but finds out that the demon attack has been erased from her father’s memory and so when he was questioned with the mortal sword, it did not work so it didn’t clear his name.

In all of the chaos, it seems the people that are getting injured from the attacks are succumbing to a demon disease and if you are scratched by one who has it, you are likely to get it to. Demon attacks keep increasing and more and more shadowhunters are injured. It is revealed that the demon behind it al is Belial. Belial tries to steal cortana from Cordelia but she ends up killing him with it. But this doesn’t put a stop to the demon disease. The demon disease is not curable with healing iratzes. James having been scratched is now dying unless somebody saves him. Jesse, a ghost that Lucie has been seeing, gives Lucie his last breathe so that she can save her brother. She is reluctant to do so but eventually agrees. James instantly begins healing and becomes well. Fortunately for everybody else, Thomas and Alastair turn up with the antidote for the disease and it is successful.

At the next meeting of the enclave, it is revealed that Charles’ father was creating an antidote and that it was found in his laboratory. Tatiana, Grace’s stepmother, then accuses James of burning down her house. Not wanting James to go down for it, Cordelia gives him an alibi that they were in bed together. Thus sacrificing her honour which means everything to a girl in that day and age. Oh how scandalous. James proposes to her and she agrees. But James then says that they can divorce in a year or two in order to keep her honour and make a love match in the near future. Will and Tessa celebrate this news by throwing an impromptu engagement party.

Grace reveals to James that she knew he burned her house down and that Cordelia is only doing this to save James’s arse and in doing so, James has returned the favour to Cordelia. James admits this and says that his marriage won’t last the year and that shadowhunters are more common to get divorces than mundanes are. They laugh and maybe in the future they can get married after all.

Tatiana goes to Chiswick house and it is revealed that Belial is there and that they have been working together all of this time. They are after James to make him raise up the darkness inside him but cannot do so whilst Cordelia is wielding cortana near him. In truth, Tatiana wanted to go to the Citadel to strike at the clave the hardest and that’s what is going to happen. ‘Strike at the Clave from its very heart’ ‘We will strike together’

I was so happy when this arrived at my door after its long awaited release. To carry on in the shadow hunter world is an absolute dream as the world building keeps increasing and making it rich with details that we wouldn’t have known about in City of Bones. The fact that Cassandra Clare keeps writing within this world is amazing and purely awe inspiring as keeping track with what happens when must be exhausting. But nonetheless this addition to the shadowhunter chronicles is not to be played with. I love that we now follow the next generation of shadowhunters from Will and Tessa and that our book revolves around them. It was great to see Will and Tessa more as well as those characters are really beloved. Can’t wait to see what happens in next in Chain of Iron.

4 out of 5 stars.


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