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Chain of Iron by Cassandra Clare – Book Review

Book Details

BOOK NAMEChain of Iron
AUTHORCassandra Clare
CATEGORYFantasy, Young Adult
PUBLISHERMargaret K. McElderry Books
DIMENSIONS15.24 x 6.1 x 22.86 cm
READING AGE14 years and up

Chain of Iron Review

This book stole my heart and I am pressing charges.

Chain of Iron Book Review

Chain of Iron, the second installment in The Last Hours series, takes everything that Chain of Gold did well and adds to it. Layers and layers of character development, mysterious motives, addictive writing style, added to stunning romance and heartbreaking angst. I was literally beaming while reading this book. I felt like my whole body was smiling. There were painful moments, too—many, many painful moments. In fact, the ending made my heart feel like it had been processed through a paper shredder and then stomped on.

This book opens with a murder on the streets of London. Shadowhunters are being killed by a mysterious person—or demon—that is frightening the community. Shadowhunters can no longer go on patrols by themselves. But are these murders connected, or are they simply the product of a killer’s suppressed rage?

While this is happening, Cordelia Carstairs is contemplating her situation. She’s engaged to James Herondale, but it is a false marriage brought about to save her reputation after she sacrificed her social standing to save him from unjust imprisonment. Lucie Herondale is working with Grace Blackthorn, attempting to raise Jesse from the dead in a plot they keep secret from all the others. Matthew Fairchild is struggling with his alcohol addiction and his hatred of himself, despite the love he receives from others. Anna Lightwood and Ariadne Bridgestock are trying to save their love after the heartbreak that happened between them. Thomas Lightwood and Alastair Carstairs have undeniable romantic tension, but neither of them are willing to admit it. Meanwhile, Tatiana Blackthorn is scheming again, and nothing is as it seems…

Cordelia is one of my favorite heroines of all time. She’s probably the best protagonist Cassie Clare has ever written. She’s so insightful and always notices things about people they didn’t know themselves. She puts James’s feelings first, over her love for him, and she doesn’t force him into anything. She knows he loves Grace, and while it pains her and despite her suspicion that he may have been tricked into that love, she accepts him for how he is and doesn’t try to change him. She’s quietly brave, determined, and thoughtful—and actually a strong female character without shoving it in our faces.

James is a character I surprisingly adored in Chain of Iron. I had lukewarm feelings about him in Chain of Gold, simply because he didn’t stand out to me as a very unique character, but I absolutely loved him in this book. I have been converted to a Jordelia shipper. James x Cordelia is my new OTP.
James is so wonderful because he’s more mild than typical CC love interests like Jace and Will. He feels deeply, he cares about others in a quiet way, he’s relentlessly loyal to Cordelia despite the fact that their marriage is fake. He is the new Sam Cortland. I need a James in my life. He’s so sweet and intuitive and considerate. He has the emotional maturity that so many characters (cough Will cough) never had.

“Someone who broke your heart is often not the person who can mend it.”

Lucie, unfortunately, is not my favorite character anymore. She’s still ambitious, and she’s still witty, but in this book, she starts to hide things from Cordelia, even though they will eventually become parabatai. She has secrets and never really apologizes for hiding them from her family and friends when they could have helped her. Lucie was the only one in this book besides Jesse who had negative character development. She become almost infatuated with Jesse, and got too caught up with her need to live a fairytale life to focus on the feelings of her future parabatai.

Jesse is still my least favorite character. He’s just a ghost. He’s very bland and gets angsty at random moments for no reason. There’s nothing interesting about him, besides the fact that he’s dead, which I think is the opposite of intriguing. He and Lucie have romantic tension that comes out of nowhere. I don’t like it. Unlike all the other relationships in this book, CC was forced to tell us that they were romantically interested in each other. There was no build-up, no small, heartwarming moments between the characters. I have a theory about this, which I will share in the spoiler section.

Matthew is such a sweet cinnamon roll. He always acts like he doesn’t care, but he does deep inside. He struggles with feeling like he’s not wanted, or that he’s isolated because of his alcohol addiction. We learned at the end of the first book that he loves Cordelia, and there are so many little moments that bring this to life. I personally don’t ship Fairstairs because I like them better as friends at this point and I ship Jordelia too hard to give it up, but I also have a theory about this, which, again, will be included in the spoiler section.

Cordelia hesitated. “Sometimes,” she said, “it is not enough for others to love you. I do not think Matthew loves himself very well.”
Lucie’s eyes widened. “What is there about him he could possibly not love?” she said.

Grace was one of my least favorite characters in Chain of Gold, but in this book, she’s much better. She has a clear motive and a personality. I’m actually sympathetic towards her. She was forced into this situation by Tatiana. She’s been used her whole life. All she wants is to get her brother back. I still don’t like her, but I appreciate her as a character.

All of the characters in Chain of Iron were perfect. They were fully fleshed-out, each with their own personalities and unique traits. This is the best cast that CC has ever written. I have so much love for each and every character, excluding Jesse.

There was very little plot in the first one hundred pages, but I had no problem with this. This book could be 100% fluff and I would not care. I love the characters so much that the plot was just a nice thing to have on the side. And the plot twist was actually surprising. I didn’t expect it at all.

One thing that stood out was the way the male characters treated Cordelia and Lucie. They respected them but didn’t go out of their way to say “oh, Cordelia, how very strong and female you are” like some characters do, just to emphasize how amazing and independent the women are. They respect the female characters without worshipping them.

As always, Cassie Clare did her research, and Edwardian London was really brought to life in this book. The balls, the dresses, the atmosphere—it was all perfectly written.

🚨🚨🚨This next section includes my predictions for Chain of Thorns, as well as some spoiler-y theories I have about TLH. Proceed with caution.🚨🚨🚨

Major spoilers are marked with a red heart. Minor spoilers are marked with a yellow heart. In-between spoilers are marked with an orange heart.

💛 I think Lucie will become an antiheroine. This theory is very depressing, but the foreshadowing all seems to point to this. She and Cordelia are growing apart and keeping secrets from each other. They were supposed to be parabatai, but Lucie continually puts Jesse ahead of her family and friends. In the previous book, we learned how much Lucie loves stories and fairy-tale endings. She might have wanted to live in her own story, and got so caught up in longing to live that life that she manipulated people. There’s a lot of potential here for a corruption arc.

🧡 I’m guessing that Matthew will be revealed to be in love with James. At the end of both Chain of Gold and Chain of Iron, we saw that he was in love with Cordelia. But Anna said that Matthew prefers “a hopeless love,” meaning he only loves people he can’t have. And there’s not much chemistry between him and Cordelia at all. In fact, there’s more chemistry between James and Matthew. That is still a hopeless love, since they’re parabatai, so that’s why I think he must be in love with James instead of Cordelia. He’s just projecting it onto Cordelia. I really don’t want another parabatai love triangle, but I’m getting those vibes.

🧡 I also think that Cordelia and Lucie will never become parabatai. There’s too much bad blood between them from the secrets Lucie was hiding related to Jesse, and they just don’t fit together anymore. They have forgiven each other, but I don’t think the tension will ever fully go away.

❤️ I’m guessing that Jesse will become a villain for multiple reasons. First of all, his romance with Lucie was bland and lacked the chemistry that the other romances had. It was rushed and not believable. It came completely out of nowhere. I think that he’s actually manipulating Lucie, tricking her into thinking he loves her so he can use her for his own gain. And Lucie will think that she is the one tricking him, using him to get her dashing fairy-tale prince. Second, I believe that Belial corrupted him. He was possessed by Belial and I am choosing to predict that part of the demon is still inside him. I’m guessing that he will be an agent of evil in the future. The betrayal plot twist is too good to pass on.

🚨🚨🚨Spoilers have ended.🚨🚨🚨

It’s fanart time. Are you ready for a blessing?

Chain of Iron Summary

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.

I read chain of iron and I will never know peace

About Author Cassandra Clare

Cassandra Clare is the author of the internationally bestselling Mortal Instruments, The Infernal Devices, The Bane Chronicles, The Dark Artifices, The Shadowhunter’s Codex and Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy. Her books have more than 50 million copies in print worldwide and have been translated into over thirty-five languages. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones is a major movie and Shadowhunters is airing on Netflix. Cassandra lives in Massachusetts, USA.

Which book should I read after the chain of iron?

You should read Cassandra Clare’s previous book, Clockwork Angel.

Chain of Iron

Chain of Iron, the second installment in The Last Hours series, takes everything that Chain of Gold did well and adds to it. Layers and layers of character development, mysterious motives, addictive writing style, added to stunning romance and heartbreaking angst. I was literally beaming while reading this book. I felt like my whole body was smiling. There were painful moments, too—many, many painful moments. In fact, the ending made my heart feel like it had been processed through a paper shredder and then stomped on.

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Author: Cassandra Clare

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