Estimated read time: 5 min read

One Sentence Summary

In "Chain of Gold" by Cassandra Clare, Cordelia Carstairs navigates love, secrets, and demons in Edwardian London.


"Chain of Gold" is a captivating young adult fantasy novel written by Cassandra Clare. This book is the first installment in "The Last Hours" trilogy, which is a sequel to "The Infernal Devices" series. Set in Edwardian London, the story unfolds against a backdrop of supernatural occurrences, family secrets, and forbidden love. The novel blends elements of fantasy, romance, and adventure to create an enthralling narrative that will appeal to readers of all ages.

Brief Synopsis

Plot Overview and Setting

"Chain of Gold" is set in the enchanting world of Edwardian London, where the Shadowhunters - a group of half-angel warriors - are tasked with protecting the mundane world from demons. The narrative revolves around the central characters, their intertwining destinies, and the looming threat of a demonic surge in the city. Against this backdrop, the protagonists must navigate complex relationships, confront their inner demons, and uncover long-buried family secrets.

Main Characters

The novel features a diverse array of compelling characters, each with their own unique traits and motivations. Here are the main characters:

Cordelia CarstairsA fierce and determined young Shadowhunter who is fiercely loyal to her family and friends.
James HerondaleA charismatic and rebellious Shadowhunter grappling with his inner struggles and feelings for Cordelia.
Lucie HerondaleJames's imaginative and adventurous younger sister, who possesses a powerful and mysterious gift.
Matthew FairchildA charming and witty Shadowhunter who harbors a deep secret that could threaten everything he holds dear.
Grace BlackthornA mysterious and enigmatic young woman whose presence complicates the lives of those around her.

Summary of Different Story Points Over Chapters

Prologue - Chapter 5

The novel introduces the main characters and their dynamics, setting the stage for the upcoming events. Cordelia Carstairs arrives in London with her family, and we witness the blossoming romance between her and James Herondale, despite the obstacles in their path.

Chapters 6 - 10

The story delves deeper into the mysterious occurrences in London and the escalating threat posed by demonic forces. Tensions rise as the characters confront personal and familial challenges, and a sense of foreboding looms over the Shadowhunter community.

Chapters 11 - 15

The intricate web of relationships becomes more complex as hidden agendas and long-held secrets come to light. The characters grapple with conflicting emotions, and the stakes are raised as they strive to protect their loved ones from the encroaching darkness.

Chapters 16 - 20

The narrative builds towards a crescendo as the characters face pivotal choices and unforeseen revelations. The bonds of friendship and loyalty are tested, and the line between good and evil blurs as the Shadowhunters battle the growing menace.

Chapters 21 - Epilogue

The novel reaches its gripping conclusion, culminating in a series of shocking twists and unforeseen betrayals. The characters are left reeling from the aftermath, setting the stage for the next installment in the series.

Main Events

The story is punctuated by a series of compelling events that propel the narrative forward:

  • A masquerade ball sets the stage for romantic entanglements and hidden motives.
  • A demonic incursion threatens the safety of the Shadowhunter community, leading to intense confrontations and daring rescues.
  • Revelations about the characters' lineage and hidden abilities shake the foundations of their beliefs and relationships.
  • The emergence of a malevolent force poses a grave threat to the safety of London and its inhabitants, forcing the protagonists to confront their deepest fears.

Themes and Insights

"Chain of Gold" explores a myriad of themes that resonate with readers on a profound level:

  • Love and Sacrifice: The novel delves into the complexities of love, sacrifice, and the choices that shape our destinies. The characters grapple with the enduring power of love and the sacrifices they are willing to make for the greater good.
  • Identity and Belonging: The theme of identity is intricately woven into the narrative, as the characters struggle to reconcile their true selves with societal expectations and familial legacies. Their quest for belonging and acceptance forms a poignant undercurrent throughout the story.
  • Good vs. Evil: The age-old conflict between good and evil is a central motif in the novel, as the characters navigate moral dilemmas and confront the darkness within themselves and others. The blurred lines between right and wrong add depth and nuance to the narrative.

Reader's Takeaway

"Chain of Gold" offers readers a captivating and immersive reading experience, replete with memorable characters, intricate relationships, and a richly detailed world. The novel seamlessly blends elements of fantasy, romance, and adventure, keeping readers on the edge of their seats as they journey through the labyrinthine streets of Edwardian London. With its compelling themes and deftly crafted plot, this book is sure to leave a lasting impression on readers of all ages.


In conclusion, "Chain of Gold" stands as a testament to Cassandra Clare's storytelling prowess, enchanting readers with its evocative prose, compelling characters, and spellbinding narrative. The novel's seamless fusion of fantasy and romance, set against the backdrop of a meticulously crafted world, ensures that readers will be eagerly anticipating the next installment in "The Last Hours" trilogy.

Chain of Gold FAQ

  1. What is 'Chain of Gold' about?

    Chain of Gold is a young adult fantasy novel set in Edwardian London, following the lives of the Shadowhunter and Downworlder community as they face a new threat.

  2. Who is the author of 'Chain of Gold'?

    The author of 'Chain of Gold' is Cassandra Clare, known for her bestselling 'The Mortal Instruments' series.

  3. Is 'Chain of Gold' part of a series?

    Yes, 'Chain of Gold' is the first book in 'The Last Hours' series, which is a sequel series to 'The Infernal Devices' trilogy.

  4. What genre is 'Chain of Gold'?

    'Chain of Gold' falls into the genres of young adult fiction, fantasy, and paranormal romance.

  5. Are there any recurring characters from previous series in 'Chain of Gold'?

    Yes, some characters from 'The Infernal Devices' and 'The Mortal Instruments' series make appearances in 'Chain of Gold.'

  6. What age group is 'Chain of Gold' suitable for?

    'Chain of Gold' is suitable for young adult readers, generally recommended for ages 14 and above.

  7. Is there a love story in 'Chain of Gold'?

    Yes, 'Chain of Gold' features romantic plotlines intertwined with the main story, adding a layer of paranormal romance to the narrative.

  8. What are the main themes of 'Chain of Gold'?

    The main themes of 'Chain of Gold' include friendship, family, sacrifice, and the battle between good and evil in a supernatural world.

  9. Are there any magical creatures in 'Chain of Gold'?

    Yes, 'Chain of Gold' features a variety of magical creatures such as warlocks, faeries, and vampires, typical of the Shadowhunter universe.

  10. Is 'Chain of Gold' a standalone novel or does it end on a cliffhanger?

    'Chain of Gold' is the first book in a series and ends with some unresolved plot points, setting the stage for the next installment.