Book Review: Chain of Iron by Cassandra Clare

Published in Australia on the 2nd March, 2021 by Walker, an imprint of Walker Books Australia. Book 2 in The Last Hours series.

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Australian RRP: $27.99

ISBN: 9781529500776

Format/Binding: Trade Paperback

Page Count: 572

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Sypnosis from Walker Books Australia

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.

My Review:

Please note: The below text contains spoilers for Chain of Gold, book one in The Last Hours.

I received a copy of Chain of Iron from Walker Books Australia in exchange for an honest review, all thoughts are my own.

Chain of Iron was everything that I’d hoped it would be and then some! For a long time now, the Shadowhunter Chronicles has been among my very favourite of books, with Chain of Iron being a longtime anticipated release of mine! So I was completely excited when a finished copy turned up on my doorstep from the fabulous team at Walker Books Australia!

As soon as I started reading Chain of Iron, all of the feelings from Chain of Gold were right there, I instantly remembered how upset I felt for Cordelia, thinking that her forthcoming marriage to James would be a farce, a sham, given that James is so completely taken in by Grace Blackthorn’s charms! I must say though, the fact that Chain of Iron had intermittent perspectives from a young Grace Blackthorn, giving the reader an insight into her lonely life growing up, with only her younger Brother’s ghost Jesse for constant company (who Grace is now plotting with Lucie Herondale to try and raise from the dead!), honestly as I couldn’t stand Grace’s interference with Cordelia and James’ happiness, I was quite surprised to find myself feeling quite sorry for her, especially how Tatiana never really looked at her lovingly, she just used her as a weapon to satisfy her blind hatred of the Herondales!

As much as I love Cordelia Carstairs and Lucie Herondale, I honestly think the supporting characters are just as exciting! I loved being back with The Merry Thieves, lead by James, but also James’ Parabatai Matthew Fairchild (who is honestly just such the loveliest ray of sunshine and should be protected at all costs!), Thomas Lightwood (he’s so sweet too! I loved his scenes with Alastair Carstairs, so dramatic and intense but completely evocative!), Christopher (Kit) Lightwood and the always fabulous Anna Lightwood! They’re all just such amazing characters and I’d happily read all of the books featuring them! I love how they’re all intrinsically connected too, all these wonderful Shadowhunter families!

The mystery at the core of Chain of Iron, of who is killing Shadowhunters so brutally and stealing their runes completely had me on my toes! I couldn’t even begin to imagine who would want to cause so much pain and fear amongst the Shadowhunters, killing them as they’re out on parole, made all the more difficult to find out who’s behind it all, the culprit seems to vanish without a trace! Who would take runes of a Shadowhunters’ deceased body? Who was doing this? Why? Were just some of the questions that were flying through my mind as I was reading Chain of Iron! It’s made all the more eerie as well, having intermittent mini chapters from the POV of whoever was behind these nasty attacks, detailing their feelings of absolute hatred and vengeful longing towards Shadowhunters! I just completely needed all the answers as to who was behind it all!

Simply put, Chain of Iron was everything that I had expected and absolutely then some! The pacing was completely edge of your seat enthralling and the beloved characters completely will keep you invested throughout! That completely wild ending too, it’s only encouraging all the heartache for book 3, which I cannot wait for, especially how things were left at the conclusion of Chain of Iron! There were so many moments throughout where I was inwardly cheering, especially when something happened that I’d been so eager to happen, it was so satisfying! But oh, how I wish these characters just communicated a bit more throughout this one! But, I understand how and why it all had to play out how it did and honestly I don’t think we could be better set up for a perfectly heartbreaking but epic finale! If you haven’t read The Shadowhunter Chronicles, I completely recommend them! It’s a series I’ll always happily revisit! I want to reread it already, though I definitely will be thinking about what went down in Chain of Iron for a long time! Easily joining the other Shadowhunters novels alongside my favourites! After I finished Chain of Iron, my feelings were rendered so puddle – like that it rendered me wordless and incoherent for the rest of that day and a healthy chunk of the day that followed, I really was feeling all the feels!

Happy Reading,



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