Why did I love this book so much? I love fantasy and mystery and this had everything I craved from these two aspects: mysterious manors, family secrets, magical artifacts, a fast-moving plot filled with action, demonic monsters, and heroic warriors who fight against the evil bent on destroying good.
I guess I should start by admitting, I have NEVER read a Cassandra Clare book. There, I said it. There were just too many books and it seemed over hyped. But as a lover of beautiful covers, I was swept into reading an excerpt for this book, fell in love with the richness of the setting’s description and the mystery in the prologue, and needed MORE. So a huge thanks to Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing and BookishFirst for introducing me to the much talked about world of the Shadowhunters.
Firstly, I loved loved loved this book and other than a few terms I needed to google (parabatai) I was able to understand the context of the story line and the gist of who and what Shadowhunters are without reading a previous series. Would it be helpful to read all the other books beforehand, yes. Did I survive otherwise and find immense joy in this novel, yes. Did I immediately go and purchase the first in the series after finishing Chain of Gold, yes!
There were so many elements I enjoyed in this story. 1) Cassandra has a very ornate writing style that described the characters and settings in such a way that I could picture them and be more deeply apart of the scenes. 2) I cannot say enough about the characters. At first I thought there were too many, but through the reading I came to know them through their family legacies, unique specialties, and individual personalities. There are great friendships, fantastic couples to ship (so much shipping), and plenty of witty banter to keep a smile on my face. I have heard so much about Will Herondale, and if he's anything like his son, James, I have two new book crushes. 3) I also loved the setting of Edwardian London and the mystery of the mansion whose gates are pictured on the cover. The world of balls, manners, elegance, yet with fantastical elements and paranormal features, blend so well together.