Chain of Iron

- Cassandra Clare


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.



It was strange and novel to have a human body again.


enjoyable/easy to read:

When the last fifty pages of a book are so damned good, it’s hard to remember that the first 300 felt excessive. Sometimes, it’s easy to look back and see how the first 300 were necessary to build to that excellent last fifty, but that only works when a book is 350 pages long. When it’s over 600, there’s something wrong with the maths.

Despite the desperate need for editing, Chain of Iron is more enjoyable than Chain of Gold. We’ve got more information now, so it’s a little easier to see where things are heading; I only wish more time was spent on killing demons and less on who loves who and why.

I’ll take all the time I can get with Thomas and Alastair, though. Their moments together are much too short, especially once they’re finally being honest with each other.

One benefit to hundreds of extra pages is you get to know these characters very well. In some cases, this can feel repetitive and oh-so frustrating.

Seriously, James and Cordelia are literal nightmares.

But in some cases, like with Lucie and Matthew, it just leaves you wanting even more. Even with all these extra pages, though, characters like Thomas and Alistair get nowhere near as much attention as they deserve, and characters like poor Christopher are almost abandoned. Chain of Iron is the first time we get a glimpse into his wonderful brain, and I want so much more.

It’s making me mad, but the fantasy parts are enough that I’m going to read Chain of Thorns - even though it’s almost 800 pages. I know, I know: I hate myself.

I will be so upset if I don’t get a resolution on Thomas and Alastair, and if sweet, perfect Matthew doesn’t end up happy. And I wouldn’t say no to more about Christopher, even though it seems like he’s being pushed in Grace’s direction.



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tyler edwards
28 days ago

Hi Britt, please pardon my putting this here, but I wasn’t able to find any place that seemed more apporpriate to send it. I was wondering if you accept book review requests?

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