Chain of Iron by Cassandra Clare is the sequel to Chain of Gold and a part of The Last Hours series. I definitely recommend reading my review for Chain of Gold first because it will tell you where this series fits into the Shadowhunter universe and give you some background. I really enjoyed Chain of Gold and was VERY excited for Chain of Iron. Luckily, it lived up to my expectations. This review will be spoiler free.
Cordelia Carstairs seems to have everything she ever wanted. She’s engaged to marry James Herondale, the boy she has loved since childhood. She has a new life in London with her best friend Lucie Herondale and James’s charming companions, the Merry Thieves. She is about to be reunited with her beloved father. And she bears the sword Cortana, a legendary hero’s blade.
But the truth is far grimmer. James and Cordelia’s marriage is a lie, arranged to save Cordelia’s reputation. James is in love with the mysterious Grace Blackthorn whose brother, Jesse, died years ago in a terrible accident. Cortana burns Cordelia’s hand when she touches it, while her father has grown bitter and angry. And a serial murderer is targeting the Shadowhunters of London, killing under cover of darkness, then vanishing without a trace.
Together with the Merry Thieves, Cordelia, James, and Lucie must follow the trail of the knife-wielding killer through the city’s most dangerous streets. All the while, each is keeping a shocking secret: Lucie, that she plans to raise Jesse from the dead; Cordelia, that she has sworn a dangerous oath of loyalty to a mysterious power; and James, that he is being drawn further each night into the dark web of his grandfather, the arch-demon Belial. And that he himself may be the killer they seek.
- Rating- ⭐⭐⭐⭐
- Heat Level- 🔥🔥
Before I start the actual review, can we talk about the gorgeous cover on this book?? I think The Last Hours books have the prettiest covers of all Clare’s releases😍
I decided to reread my review for Chain of Gold before writing this one. I wanted to refresh my memory on how I felt about it. This makes for a pretty boring review but I really feel the same way about both books. I’m a sucker for the marriage of convenience and forced proximity tropes so that makes me like this book slightly more than its predecessor but as far as the characters, my opinions haven’t changed much.
I love Cordelia, James and Lucie but I really don’t care about the other characters. That doesn’t mean I dislike them, I just feel indifferent toward them. The two exceptions to this are Mathew and Jesse. I really liked the growth that both of them experienced in this book and how they played into the overall story. As for Anna, Christopher, Thomas and Alastair, you could’ve removed all of them and I wouldn’t have cared. I’m just not attached to them or their stories.
I thought the entire “murder mystery” subplot was really well done. One of the things I enjoy most about Clare’s writing is her ability to throw in twists that I never would have seen coming. It’s rare that one of her books doesn’t leave me with my mouth hanging open at least once.
What kept this book from being a five star read for me is simply my lack of emotional attachment. I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve outgrown YA or if it’s just me not bonding with these characters like I did with the original ones in The Mortal Instruments. I really liked this book as a whole and had fun reading it BUT I was never emotionally affected and I’m not desperate to have the next one in the series. However, I still think it’s a great addition to the Shadowhunter universe.
This review is kind of short and sweet but there really isn’t much more I feel is necessary to add. It’s a good book and if you enjoyed Clare’s other releases, odds are you’ll like this one too. If you’ve read it, let me know what you thought! Thanks for reading and have a great day!