Chain of Iron (The Last Hours #2) – Cassandra Clare

Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: McElderry Books
Pages: 688
Release Date: March 2, 2021

The Shadowhunters must catch a killer in Edwardian London in this dangerous and romantic sequel to the #1 New York Timesbestselling novel Chain of Gold, from New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Cassandra Clare. Chain of Iron is a Shadowhunters novel.


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.

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Chain of Iron is a wild ride. Where I found Chain of Gold to be sometimes too busy, Chain of Iron settles readers in with the characters and brings them on an unforgettable ride.

Chain of Iron picks up after the events of Chain of Gold with Cordelia and James continuing with their false marriage. The first few chapters of the novel focus solely on their marriage. These chapters are glorious as readers get to fully immerse themselves in the characters and setting.

The angst in Chain of Iron is frustratingly delicious. Cordelia struggles with her growing feelings for James while James finds himself increasingly torn between Cordelia and Grace. These moments are heartbreakingly perfect and frustrating. There were so many times I wanted to slap James and yell at him to open his eyes. Though I am very much looking forward to some of Clare’s uncensored scenes.

Chain of Iron reveals a lot of information with implications not only for this story, but for future storylines (specifically The Dark Artifices). At a certain point, Clare realized the potential this world has to offer, so her plotting is quickly becoming apparent. This is something I appreciate.

Clare’s delivery on tropes is always worth the read. From forbidden romances to love triangles to fake relationships, Clare knows what her readers want and gives it to them, though not always in the way they think. Chain of Iron ups the ante by stringing along readers until they can’t take it anymore.

Overall, Chain of Iron delivers a story full of action, angst, and mystery. Clare’s delivery of the false relationship is practically flawless as she plays with readers’ hearts in the best ways possible.

Thank you again to Simon and Schuster Canada for giving me an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

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Will you be reading Chain of Iron?

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