Chain of Thorns by Cassandra Clare is the last book in The Last Hours trilogy. I have reviewed book one, Chain of Gold, and book two, Chain of Iron. I don’t know how to word this nicely, so I’ll just say it, this book is the worst Clare has written. It was a total slog to get through. This review will be spoiler free.
Cordelia Carstairs has lost everything that matters to her. In only a few short weeks, she has seen her father murdered, her plans to become parabatai with her best friend, Lucie, destroyed, and her marriage to James Herondale crumble before her eyes. Even worse, she is now bound to an ancient demon, Lilith, stripping her of her power as a Shadowhunter.
After fleeing to Paris with Matthew Fairchild, Cordelia hopes to forget her sorrows in the city’s glittering nightlife. But reality intrudes when shocking news comes from home: Tatiana Blackthorn has escaped the Adamant Citadel, and London is under new threat by the Prince of Hell, Belial.
Cordelia returns to a London riven by chaos and dissent. The long-kept secret that Belial is James and Lucie’s grandfather has been revealed by an unexpected enemy, and the Herondales find themselves under suspicion of dealings with demons. Cordelia longs to protect James but is torn between a love for James she has long believed hopeless, and the possibility of a new life with Matthew. Nor can her friends help—ripped apart by their own secrets, they seem destined to face what is coming alone.
For time is short, and Belial’s plan is about to crash into the Shadowhunters of London like a deadly wave, one that will separate Cordelia, Lucie, and the Merry Thieves from help of any kind. Left alone in a shadowy London, they must face Belial’s deadly army. If Cordelia and her friends are going to save their city—and their families—they will have to muster their courage, swallow their pride, and trust one another again. For if they fail, they may lose everything—even their souls.
The first two books in this trilogy were good. They weren’t great. I wasn’t attached to the characters or the story but I didn’t have to force myself to read and I overall had a fun time. This book, however, was 752 pages of pure boredom. It was filled with NOTHING but relationship drama and miscommunication between the characters.
If you love Clare’s books because of the action, the demons (sounds weird but makes sense in the Shadowhunter universe) and the unexpected twists and turns, you’re not going to find that here. Sure, there’s a (weak) battle with Belial and some possessed Silent Brothers but other than that, it’s just relationship drama. Who will Cordelia choose? Who’s kissing who? Who’s actually gay? I DON’T CARE.
I never managed to care about any of these characters except James Herondale and Oscar, Mathew’s dog. After three books, I should be invested, and I was not. There was a character death but it was for the least interesting of the main characters so even that wasn’t super surprising or upsetting. It’s amazing to me that this was written by the same author who wrote The Mortal Instruments series; one of my all-time favorites.
I can’t say that I’m super interested in reading whatever Cassandra Clare writes next. Her books have been lackluster for years and this one simply wasn’t good. If you feel differently, or the same, I would love to know. Thanks for reading and have a great day!