Ashley- Hello everybody!! I just finished Chain of Gold by Cassandra Claire. Every time Cassandra makes a new series of Shadowhunter novels, I always start in my head being like, why does she keep expanding it? I buy it because I'm too far in to stop now. I ALWAYS end up loving it!!
The short of it is that we are following Will and Tessa's children and their friends known as, the Merry Thieves. London has been scarce on demon activity over the years. Slowly there is a rise in demon appearances. Not only that, but they deal with something they've never had to before, a demon that can come during the daylight.
Onward to the SPOILERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Also, to note from the beginning. I love Cordelia!! She is my favorite character in this book.
The book starts with Will and Tessa's daughter, Lucie. At the age of 10. She has fallen into a fairy pit. A teenage boy named Jesse helps her out. We jump six years and head into their son James POV, who is 17. We learn about his parabatai, Matthew Fairchild, who tends to drink a little much, but we love him all the same. Considering that warlocks can't have children, yet Tessa did, is already enough for some people of gossip about, luckily, however, most people don't mind.
James has been talking to a girl named Grace, who lives in Idris since he was 13. She happens to be Tatiana's adoptive daughter. Immediately, I believe most of us get some weird vibe from her. Especially when it comes to her wanting James to go into the shadow realm ( a realm only he can see. He does not know why) to retrieve her bracelet that her mother has in her bedroom. James does, directly after, she asks to place it on his wrist. He allows it. James has a crush on her, and once he has the bracelet on his wrist, he seems oddly devoted to her.
We meet Cordelia and her brother Alastair, who move to London with their mother, Sona. They a Persian family that tends to move a lot. Their father is on trial for leading Shadowhunters into vampire territory. Early on, we see that Cordelia has been in love with James for a long time. We also find out that when he was younger, he had broken out in a fever. Cordelia and Sona had taken care of him. Cordelia has often read to him during the time of his sickness. While we are in his POV during that memory, it is CLEAR that he has feelings for her. That alone helps solidifies that something was up with Grace and this bracelet bullcrap.
As James can see the shadow realm, Lucie can see ghosts even her brother cannot. While holding a ball for Cordelia and her family, Tatiana, Grace, and Jesse arrive. Lucie has not seen him in six years. This is where we find out that Jesse is a ghost. He is Tatiana's biological son. Later we find that he died after he got his first rune at 17, old for a shadowhunter, but Tatiana had not allowed him to when he was little because he was such a sickly child. Their entrance into the ballroom also alerted me that something was up with Grace. James, who is always respectful, had been dancing with Cordelia when Grace appeared. He straight stops dancing with Cor, not even excusing himself, to go to Grace.
Tatiana has never gotten over the death of her father back during the clockwork war. She hates all Herondales. She does not like James hanging around Grace too much.
There are so many characters that play important roles. I don't want to load this post down with too much information. Let me start by giving brief descriptions. The Merry Thieves:
Thomas is the nice sweet one. He met Alastair years ago in Paris. At first, he was reluctant to say anything to him because when they spent time in the academy together, Alastair was a bully. That seems to have changed. I SHIP THESE TWO SO HARD!!
Christopher is the cousin of Matthew. Christopher is the smart one who loves to spend his time trying to enhance shadowhunter gear and tools.
We already went over Lucie, Matthew, and Cordelia. Let's move along to some other important characters.
Alastair, older brother to Cordelia. He has been seeing Charles Fairchild, who does care for him but cares for his career more. He does not want it leaked that they are interested in each other. Charles plans to marry for political alliance.
Anna Blackthorn, a handsome girl that chooses to look more unisex, who does not hide her love for women and her frowned-upon behavior.
Now on to the demon attacks. During a teenage shadowhunter picnic, a demon comes during the day, attacking people. There are not many casualties during the fight. However, many shadowhunters have been poisoned by the demon.
Now I pass the torch to Sarah
Sarah: Oh dear I will do my best in describing the rest, because there is SO. MUCH. THAT. HAPPENS! I can't even. This book has caused a roller coaster of emotions, truth be told. I took a lot of notes but I will try to make it to where not everything will be stated, so you have a bit of surprise, but the summarization of it will be there!
So as our dear lovely Ashley has described. ALOT of people are getting poisoned by whatever demon is suddenly able to attack during daylight. Of course, in order to not cause a frenzy people claim it was due to the cloud cover, but our trusty band of misfits knows better. Since they saw it happen they know that whatever this is, can attack in broad daylight, which in turn hurt a few shadowhunters: Piers Wentworth, Barbara Lightwood ( sister of Thomas Lightwood), and Ariadne who is currently engaged to Charles Fairchild.
Well, seeing as Barbara is harmed and currently poisoned due to this monster, they begin to try and find ways to help since nobody knows what kind of poison this is and how to cure it. Lucie thinks she needs to talk to Jesse and James believes he needs to go to the shadow realm. So Lucie gets Cordelia and travels to Blackthorn Manor and James tries his best to immerse himself, with the help of friends, to go into this realm of his, which he does successfully thanks to Matthew's words.
At Blackthorn Manor, Cordelia is to play the decoy. Here we have her trying to be civil and pretend she is there to check on Grace. She of course, gets pushed away by Tatiana , not that it matters because Grace is rather cold acting anyway so she can go suck it (as you can tell I am not a fan! ) So Cordelia walks away , but get drawn into the greenhouse where she gets attacked. Meanwhile, Lucie is talking to Jesse about if he knew about this demon at play. Here is where we find out that Jesse is "alive" at night, but he kind of travels worlds due to necromantic magic. His mother summoned a warlock and wouldn't allow the silent brothers to take his body. All interesting stuff right? But back to Cordelia! So Cordelia is trying her best to fight this thing off. Well she suddenly gets help from James ( who let's not forget had entered the realm, but that was back at his home), and he claims he only followed the light, which he thinks is Cortana ( the sword Cordelia owns). I was kinda wondering if it was Cordelia in hindsight since he referenced her to the sun. Of course they defeat the demon, but they didn't realize more things came from the plant when they left.
After all this fun and excitement, Cordelia is invited to have tea with Anna Lightwood, so of course she goes. While there, Matthew comes by and they travel to Hell Ruelle, the common place for downworlders to gather. Thankfully, Cordelia was here, as she had saved Hypatia Vex and Malcolm Fade from drinking the Mermaid's poison. Therefore, they were able to ask for help with the demon and they told them they would reach out to Ragnor Fell, since he might be the most knowledgeable about the subject.
Here's some of the juicy part. James, while with the guys, receives a note from Grace about how she is in danger and to meet in the spot that he and Matthew knew fondly. Yet, he doesn't know that the offspring , we shall call them, of the cerberus demon from the greenhouse is meant to protect the family and will be on its way to get Grace, and should they come across James they will attack as they will remember he was the one who took it down. We find all this out because, thankfully, Jesse warns Lucie. When James does come across Grace she pretty much gives him an ultimatum. To choose the mundane way of life and to wed her, strip their marks, which in turn would cause him to give up his friends and family. James refuses, huzzah, but could you imagine if he agreed? The demons obviously attack, but they disappear upon realizing they are fighting someone of their blood. The demons say they will not return as long as they do not speak of the attack due to the grandfather of James and Lucie. Afterwards, we find out that Barbara Lightwood passes away and while Thomas deals with that grief, Alastair is with Charles. Cordelia is afraid Alastair will tell about what happened that night and she listens in, only to realize how intimate of a scene her brother is having.
So as we know now, Ragnor Fell is going to offer some advice and help the kids out with the situation they are in, but they musnt't tell anyone about what info he gives. They end up going to a fellow warlock's place, Emmanuel Gast, in order to see if he summoned whatever demon this may be. Why? Cuz Emmanuel dealt alot with different dimensions. This is where we truly see Lucie's first glimpse of her power, though she does not realize it. She in fact can order ghosts, and she ends up accidentally conjuring Emmanuel's spirit over his dead and mangled body and coaxing information out of him. She's sick at the realization and the words that he claims, but we are able to find out what is going on a little bit. We know he summoned the demon and in the room they found a pyxis -- a device that holds demons inside-- though it was broken. But there were papers they gathered which later on tells them that what they are dealing with is a Mandikhor. A demon who they thought to not exist, at least not anymore, and so their new goal now is to get the Mandikhor into another pyxis and James knows how to do it.
While trying to gather what they can, and realizing where they can find a different pyxis, all of this is happening and Grace throws a wrench in their direction. She gets her bracelet back from James, because she is instead marrying Charles Fairchild. That's right, the same Charles who was to wed Ariadne, but is now saying he will marry Grace. Scumbags....the both of em....... and though James is hurt and torn, the following day is like a weight has lifted from his shoulders and he is different. He doesn't have on that 'mask' anymore and he seems his old self. Works for me, let's my fangirl heart go doki doki so Cordelia and James have a chance!
And boy do they have a chance alright! The next plan is to have Anna seduce Hypatia in order to get the pyxis in her possession. So Cordelia and James, along with Matthew, attend Hell Ruelle yet again, with Anna. They are the distraction. Cordelia puts on quite the dance, enticing James who is a bit confused by his emotions, causing the distraction they needed, allowing Anna to seduce Hypatia. Matthew sees his brother arrive and goes to see what is happening, causing James and Cordelia to run to the Whispering Room to avoid being seen. When they hear a noise, in order to seem like lovers who just hid away , they kiss. And it.gets.juicy. Phew man that was a steamy scene in the book, Cordelia bunches up against the table , buttons get undone, hands travel, James kisses her breasts.......man I was a happy camper. They probably would have continued more so, had Matthew not walked in on them.
After this eventful night is when things really begin to roll. So I am not going to go into as much detail, but instead will describe as I can. Pretty much what happens is that there was already a demon in the pyxis that Anna was able to snag. So they get rid of it by tking it to the sanctuary and killing it off. Upon doing so, they go to the bridge in order to try and trap the Mandikhor, but it doesn't work. Instead the pyxis explodes and the Mandikhor is larger. He tells James to go with him in order to stop the disease, that he can not be defeated in the human realm because his actual body is in a different one. While fighting the Mandikhor, Cordelia attacks and is pushed off the bridge. Lucie rushes down and cries out for help because she cannot swim. The body of Cordelia is brought up by the dead that have been disposed in the murky waters. Jesse also appears, and the following day tells Lucie he was not the one who summoned the dead, that it was Lucie herself and if it was Lucie drowning, he was ready to give her his "last breath" that he had in his locket. It would cause her to breathe and push out any dangers she may have been facing.
Since that failed, Christopher continued his work on finding an antidote, and he believes he has it but they needed a plant that was a rare find. Turns out they can get it by going to the Blackthorn's greenhouse since they had a bunch of illegal plants hidden there. When James, Christopher, and Matthew moved to fetch a carriage to go they were attacked by demons again. This time though, Christopher was hurt in the process. They call upon a meeting with one another to figure out a plan and that is when James receives a letter from Jem to visit him.
Cordelia and Matthew tag along with him and when he sees the ones in a comatose state, Christopher included, they begin to chant his name. Christopher ends up scratching James with his nails, which is how the poison can be spread, and as they chant Jem lets him know he's in great danger because Jem did not send that note. As they run out, James gets ahead and Matthew can feel something is wrong. There is a archway for James to go through to the other realm. Instead of ignoring it, he goes in. The two with him are unable to go so they tie a rope around his waist. He goes in and that is when he meets his grandfather, Belial. Turns out Belial is unable to walk among the humans, for he loved humans and that was his punishment. The only way he can do so is by possessing James' body. And though he tries, he cannot control James as he thought he could. So he threatens him by saying he could also use Lucie's body should he die from the poison and dun dun dun back in the human realm, Matthew is tug and banging against the portal since he cannot go in. So Cordelia cuts the rope and tangles it around her wrist, only being able to go in due to the fact that Cortana can cut through anything. (phew my fingers hurt)
Surprised, James tells her to go back, but of course she refuses and so they end up having to fight the Mandikhor. The only way they do is the fact that James can bend the realm to his will, just as Belial can do. So they win against the demon and Cordelia ends up stabbing Belial in the chest, ruining that realm and they fall from the sky back in the human realm. Alright, ready for a sad moment? James is practically on his deathbed due to the poison in his system, so in order to save him, Jesse gives him his last breath. Sad right????
It's a shame we couldn't end there......
Pretty much, Grace is in trouble with the demons due to whatever crazy thing Tatiana has gotten them into so she visits James. And son of a monkey biscuit she slaps that bracelet back on his wrist and therefore causes his loyalty to be with her yet again. But she is still marrying Charles. So she tells James that he must destroy something back in Idris in their home and lo and behold he does. But he ends up , due to this I suppose, setting the place on fire. In the enclave meeting Tatiana accuses him of this and yells for him to be questioned under the mortal sword. In order to not do this, since Cordelia knows the truth, she lies and says he was in her room, ruining her image and her eligibility of marriage because of the reputation this would give. James tells her to take it back in private, but since she refuses he asks her to marry him instead. He tells her it will just be for a year, but this way she will be deemed eligible afterwards.
So of course she agrees, hoping that the taste of this will not ruin her, but she will enjoy it regardless and cherish the time she can be his. Tessa throws them an engagement party and that is how this ends. Matthew is seen drinking more heavily, for I believe he has feelings for Cordelia...... Thomas is angered at Alastair because Matthew let him know the horrible rumors Alastair spread. ( This part saddened me. Alastair obviously was bullied himself and felt in order to have that taken away he had to be the bully instead. I hope we get more of this because when Lucie catches his wrist and sees him crying...omg..... I was like nuuuuu), Grace and Lucie I think will begin to work together to try and help Jesse, and Cordelia and James are dancing on the floor happily.
Phew my fingers hurt!!!! And I am sure I missed quite a bit, but mannnnnnnnn this book was amazing. I would definitely recommend, but would say to read The Infernal Devices first and maybe even some of the short stories so you understand more of the characters and what happened between them all at the academy. I know Ashley mentioned her favorite character, but I had so many! I loved them all, but I really felt bad for Alastair so I wonder.....is he going to be my favorite in this? I am obviously not including Jem, Will and Tessa, or the previous cast because if I did....Jem....always Jem!
"We do not get to choose when in our lives we feel pain. 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 the light, not the darkness."
- Matthew Fairchild