BOOK REVIEW: Chain of Gold {The Last Hours, # 1} by Cassandra Clare

"We do not get to choose when in our lives we feel pain,” said Matthew. “It comes when it comes, and we try to remember, even though we cannot imagine a day when it will release its hold on us, that all pain fades. All misery passes. Humanity is drawn to light, not darkness."

I first discovered Cassandra Clare in 2012, when I began reading The Mortal Instruments - a series which I could not get enough of, and devoured in far too short a time. Somehow, once finishing that six book series, I read nothing more from Clare - until recently, when Chain of Gold {The Last Hours, # 1} popped up during a Kindle sale. And thank goodness that it did because it was spectacular, and has made me question why I didn't keep up with Clare over the years. Chain of Gold is a gut-wrenching, soul-shaking introduction to an action-packed trilogy brimming with Shadowhunter goodness set in the early 1900s, and driven by an impeccable cast of characters. Mark my words...you'll be purchasing the sequel, Chain of Iron {The Last Hours, # 2}, after finishing just the first chapter. Trust.

As a born and bred Shadowhunter, Cordelia Carstairs has been trained as a warrior to battle demons since she was just a tyke; but no training could have prepared her for the demons found within her very own family. When her father is implicated as being the mastermind behind a terrible crime that resulted in the deaths of many, Cordelia and her older brother, Alastair, along with their mother, are sent off to London to save face and, hopefully, prevent the ruination of their beloved family. While Cordelia's mother has dreams only of marrying Cordelia off to a well-to-do family before rumors of her father's supposed indiscretions reach the gritty yet glamorous city, Cordelia's desires lie elsewhere. She is determined to be a hero rather than a housewife; and while she does secretly love James Herondale, a childhood friend who happens to be the brother of her bestie, Lucie, James is promised to another, making him unattainable. At least romantically.

Upon reaching London, Cordelia makes fast work of reconnecting with both James and Lucie - after all, she is destined to be Lucie's parabatai {a lifelong partner bound together by oath, and made to fight together until death}. Once welcomed into their inner circle, she finds herself enshrouded in a shimmering world brimming with ballrooms, secret assignations, and salons overflowing with the supernatural - from mermaids mixing with magicians to vampires interweaving with warlocks. It's an underground far from anything Cordelia has known before; but one that intrigues her and feels like home. And then disaster strikes...

Shortly after making her London debut, the city is devastated by a series of unexplained demon attacks that threaten to shatter Cordelia's world. The typical monsters encountered by Shadowhunters are those that stay hidden by the dark; but this breed is unlike anything encountered before by the Shadowhunter world. These monsters walk freely in daylight, are seemingly impossible to kill, and strike down the unsuspecting with an incurable poison that could quickly make Shadowhunter numbers dwindle. With such a risk on the loose, London is quarantined, stranding Cordelia and her friends in the city. While trapped, however, they discover that they have a connection to a dark legacy - one that provides them with phenomenal powers that come with a price: the cruel penalty of being a hero.

Having not read The Infernal Devices trilogy, this was my first introduction to Will, Tessa, and Jem; however, as they are the adults within this spinoff, my unfamiliarity with them did not hinder my ability to absolutely l-o-v-e each and every character within these pages {barring Grace and Tatiana Blackthorn obvi}, or to seamlessly follow the storyline. Will I go back and read The Infernal Devices after completing The Last Hours? Absolutely! But, for the time being, I am adoring the escapades found within this trilogy. Not to mention the brilliant banter, humor, and dazzling cast of characters Clare has masterfully drawn out.

Cordelia is totally girl crush worthy - she has this Buffy vibe about her that is irresistible. And Anna Lightwood? Her level of cool is beyond. Then there's Matthew and James and Christopher and Thomas and Lucie...all who bring so much to the story with their differing personalities. And, not to be forgotten, Jem {aka Brother Zachariah}. Despite their oddities, I have alwaysalwaysalways been enchanted by the concept of the Silent Brothers, so seeing his interactions with the other characters was incredibly engaging. From start to finish, Chain of Gold was utterly brilliant. I cannot wait to see what adventure lies within the pages of Chain of Iron.

Star Rating: *****



R's Rue said...

You share great books. Hope you’re well my friend.

ellie said...

Awesome to see your review! So great to read!

Ivy's Closet said...

She is an amazing author with such character-driven stories!

Caitlin&Megan said...

Amazing review! Thanks so much!

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