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.
Synopsis from Goodreads
I read this book the day came out and I had to take a second to figure out how I was feeling at the end of it. I then promptly got distracted with baby boy and forgot to write this review, but luckily I had written down my thoughts ahead of time so that I could eventually get this review out! This is the second book in The Last Hours trilogy and wow, does a lot happen! I really loved this book, a lot more than I thought I would after Chain of Gold (the first of the trilogy), and I can’t wait to see where the story goes from here.
Solid Standalone Trilogy (so far)
Obviously we’re not done this trilogy yet, so a lot can change, but I am absolutely loving it so far. After the first book, Chain of Gold, I wasn’t really sure how I felt about these new characters. That book felt dense in a lot of ways and I somehow felt like we were given a ton of information but really didn’t get to know anybody. But in Chain of Iron, so much more happens: we get so much insight to different characters and the story is so much more compelling! If you haven’t read any other books in the Shadowhunter universe, I would definitely recommend doing so. There’s just so many intricate levels of overlapping families and storylines that this trilogy becomes even more impactful because of it. HOWEVER, if you don’t really feel like doing that (because there are a ton of books in this world) you could definitely read this trilogy as its own series, and still really enjoy the characters and the plot lines.
ALL The Merry Thieves Finally Get Character Development
Although we get to know Matthew and James really well in the first book, Christopher and Thomas are very much sidelined and that’s such a shame because they are so important to this core group of best friends and I have so much to do with each others lives. Which is why I was thrilled that Thomas and Christopher really get some strong development in this book, and we can really see where their character storylines are moving. Cassandra Clare is incredible at creating relationships, and has always made a point to include people in love stories all of every variety. Which is why I was thrilled that we get so much more of the Thomas and Alastair storyline; the hints of it in the first book were so subtle, so it was brilliant that we really got to see more of them together in this one. I’m really keeping my fingers crossed for them! Christopher is a character we still get the least from, but it’s near the end of this book that we start to get the subtle hints of where his story is going next, and likewise, I cannot wait for it! As always, Matthew and James are wonderful; their love for each other, even though they keep secrets from each other is both wonderful and inspiring, and I really hope they find their way back to each other.
The Mess that is the Blackthorn Family
I'm of two minds with the whole Blackthorn storyline. On one hand, I love seeing Lucy rising to the occasion and seeing everything she’s doing and really coming into her own powers. On the other hand, I really dislike Grace. We get to know Grace much better in this book and that’s really important because we get so much more of her backstory. We’re definitely coming to see her as a more sympathetic character, but everything she does is so cruel to the other characters in the story that she really makes it hard to hope for her success. I’m really nervous about what’s going to happen with this storyline in the next book. Lucy has definitely gotten herself into a bit of a mess, and we know that Malcolm Fade is bad news, so I’m a bit worried about what’s going happen with her relationship with Jesse. However, it does lead to very exciting ending of this book and I’m so ready to see you the Herondale family come together again to figure out a solution all all these problems.
Shoutout to Cordelia
I feel like over and over again we’re really seeing that Cordelia is the true hero of the story. Although James is obviously the other main character, and we have a ton of the Herondale chaos to enjoy, it’s really Cordelia that is bringing everyone together. Her empathetic nature, her kindness, her belief in her friends and the fact that good will always win, it’s so important to the series. She’s very much the glue holding everyone together, and it’s frustrating that it’s taking James so long to truly see her. Regardless of everything that’s going on in his life, Cordelia continues to just be such a steadfast character and true friend to him and everyone else, and I’m just so thrilled to see her develop. She very much ends on a cliffhanger are in this book and, again, I am anxious to see what happens next. I am really rooting for her and James to find a way to be happy together, but ultimately I’m just rooting for Cordelia to find whatever happiness she wants.
Overall, I loved this book and thought it was such a wonderful addition to the shadow Hunter world. It has completely change my opinion of this trilogy and the characters in it, and I am desperately waiting for the final book to come out next year so we can see what happens to everyone. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of the shadow Hunter world, or to anyways looking for a new YA fantasy series to get invested in.
What did you think of Chain of Iron?
FINAL RATING: 4.5/5
Hi, I'm Alexandra! I love reading (largely YA fiction, but sometimes I'll read "adult" books), playing board games, Nutella, and binge-watching TV shows on Netflix with my husband.
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