Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books on March 2, 2021
Genres: Fantasy, Historical, Romance, Young Adult
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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.
This review may contain minor (unintentional) spoilers for the other Shadowhunter books. Proceed with caution!
I swear Cassie Clare is trying to kill us all with anticipation! I thought the end of Chain of Gold was bad for my heart but that was nothing compared to the dread I feel when I think about the rest of 2021 and how far away the release of Chain of Thorns is.
Everything I loved about Chain of Gold was what I loved about Chain of Iron. I loved the Edwardian period London setting and seeing all of the characters I loved from The Infernal Devices. I loved the characters, particularly James and Cordelia as the main protagonists, along with most of the supporting characters (I’m sorry Matthew – you’re not one of them after this book). I loved being able to see more of the other Merry Thieves and seeing their romantic relationships grow and evolve. Most of all, I loved seeing the dynamic between James and Cordelia change. I loved seeing them navigate being a married couple, which is something that we’ve never seen before in the Shadowhunter Chronicles. I had expected that the romance would be full of angst and leave me in anticipation (because that’s what Cassie’s so good at!) but… why why WHY can’t we have Book 3 now?!
I actually really enjoyed the plot of this book. It was a refreshing change from The Dark Artifices trilogy, which had a large focus on the fae. Although slightly confusing at times, I thought it was a really well thought out plot and I enjoyed how things all connected together. I really appreciated how the plot tied together with the relationships in the novel and I’m keen to see how it all ends in Chain of Iron.
Now on to Matthew… I went into this trilogy thinking that I would love Matthew and that his parabatai bond with James would mirror the intensity and brotherly love that we saw in Will and Jem but it’s been quite lacklustre in comparison. And much of that is to do with things that have happened to them in the past that have sort of prevented them from having this intense and unbreakable bond. But I was honestly super fed up with Matthew in this book and everytime he was mentioned, I kind of wanted him off my page. And that’s all I’ll say about that for now.
All in all, I thought Chain of Iron was a fantastic book and a nice sequel to Chain of Gold. I’m insanely impatient about getting my hands on Chain of Throns and I’m crossing all of my fingers and toes that it doesn’t get delayed.
Rating: 5 out of 5
Thank you to Walker Books for sending a review copy.
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