Review: Chain of Iron by Cassandra Clare

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Warning: Spoilers if you haven’t started reading The Last Hours series.

Picking up a few months after Chain of Gold, it’s time for James Herondale and Cordelia Carstairs to get married. Except, they are both dreading it. Cordelia always hoped she’d marry James…just not under these circumstances. 

James still thinks Grace Blackthorn is the love of his life. After one year, James can marry her and Cordelia will find someone else. After all, it’s not like the marriage is a real one.

At the same time, Matthew Fairchild can’t hide his feelings for Cordelia, becoming more reckless in the process. Even though he’s patient with his best friend James, he knows Cordelia deserve to be with someone who reciprocates her feelings. If only that could be Matthew.

Lucie Herondale has her own predicaments. Lucie will do anything to bring back Jesse Blackthorn from the dead, no matter who gets hurt in the process. With Jesse’s sister Grace, Lucie gets involved with dark magic because she thinks it’s the only way, even though it’s dangerous.

Everything changes in London when attacks keep happening against Shadowhunters. The murders are happening at dawn with the the killer removing a single tune from each victim. Determined to find out who is behind the killings, The Merry Thieves get themselves into trouble to prevent the attacks. Only, James is convinced that the attacks have something to do with him and his heritage. 

Can this new generation of Shadowhunters face their greatest threat, or will they need their parents (The Infernal Devices characters) to save them? All they know is that London can never be the same again

One great thing about Chain of Iron was how developed the characters became. We really understood them and their motivations more, especially Matthew and Grace. 

Matthew is still our favorite character and all we want is for him to be happy! We ship him with Cordelia because he deserves her a lot more than James does. Cordelia is our second favorite because she’s kind, tough and a total badass. These two have been through so much. Without spoiling anything, we love how the book ended for Matthew and Cordelia, so we’re hoping for some romance in Chain of Thorns. But in true Clare fashion, romances are never how they appear and we’re sure this trio is in for a wild ride.

Clare tried to humanize Grace more with providing details about her childhood. Every few chapters we’d get flashbacks to her life with Tatiana and Jesse. However, we still found her scenes difficult to read since we weren’t invested in her as a character. Her treatment of James was terrible and contributed to so much needless miscommunication between he and Cordelia.

Though the highlight of Grace’s page time was when she spoke about science with Christopher Lightwood. Do we sense a romantic connection forming between these two? Perhaps.

We struggle with James’s character. While we knew Grace is the reason he acted a certain way, he was so dense about his feelings. He had so many opportunities to remove the bracelet Grace gave him, which was clearly a sore spot with Cordelia. He was selfish at times and tried to please too many people, letting Cordelia down along the way. 

We do have high hopes for his redemption arc in Chain of Thorns though, especially if he does end up with Cordelia. He’s got a lot of work to do to win her back.

Lucie spent a lot of the book away from her friends and focused on Jesse. The word we’d use to describe their relationship is fine. There is nothing outwardly wrong with them as a couple— beyond the fact that he is a GHOST. They have some cute moments, but nothing that leaves us swooning. 

We are worried about Lucie because she makes some bad decisions at the end of the book, leading to her father, Will Herondale, having to go after her. We feel that Lucie is getting in way over her head.

One of the best parts of reading this series for us is seeing our favorites: Will, Tessa, Jem and Magnus. Though, we wish the book had more of Tessa. The Infernal Devices is still our favorite Cassandra Clare series, so it makes our nostalgic hearts happy to reunite with the characters again through their children.

As for the plot, it kept us engaged for the entire book. In true Clare fashion, she kept us guessing and emotionally exhausted. Since the book ended on a major cliffhanger, we know that the action will continue in book three. All we can say is that Grace’s mom, Tatiana Blackthorn, is the absolute worst and she clearly took after her father Benedict Lightwood.

While The Merry Thieves were able to stop the villain this time, we guide things are about to get a lot more difficult in London because of a certain alliance. We’re excited to understand the end goal of the villains and how Grace will play a role in it.

Lastly, we loved how Clare tied in The Dark Artifices series with The Last Hours. The Annabel Blackthorn and Malcolm Fade plot gave us some much needed background information. Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorn can thank Grace for all their troubles over 100 years later. 

Overall, Chain of Iron was the perfect sequel to Chain of Gold. With how everything ended, we need Chain of Thorns ASAP! Too bad we’re going to be waiting for a while.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

24 thoughts on “Review: Chain of Iron by Cassandra Clare”

  1. AHHH love your review!! Although, James couldn’t remove the bracelet because it’s powers wouldn’t allow him, so that part wasn’t his fault hehe but i see that we’re on opposite sides for shipping🧐 I can’t wait to see how Cassie ends things with our ships!!🥺💖

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We’re so curious how COT is going to leave things. We were tired of Cordelia pining for James and Matthew is such a sweetheart. We still have so many questions though, especially with the ships. We’re wondering if Grace and Christopher will really happen.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve got this just come in at the library and I’m kinda looking forward to reading it? I enjoyed the first one but I find her books can be so hit and miss for me these days. It’s annoying that James continues to be dense with his feelings but very much looking forward to the return of the much loved TID characters. Great review!


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