Hello fellow book nerds!
I feel a little strange reviewing the newer Shadowhunter books because I haven’t reviewed the other ones but I did do a review for Chain of Gold and as this is my first time reading Chain of Iron, I felt like I should do a review.
NOTE: If you did not read Chain of Gold there will be spoilers. The review for Chain of Iron itself is spoiler free, as always.
You can read my review of Chain of Gold here: Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare – Book Review
Chain of Iron
5 out of 5 stars
Taken from Goodreads
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 honestly enjoyed this book so much more than the first one. Chain of Gold took a little bit longer for me to get into since it was slower in the beginning and keeping track of who was who was hard! But this one takes place sometime after the events of the first book. It is the eve of Cordelia and James’ wedding which takes up a good portion of the beginning of the book. There isn’t too much action, but it works. I don’t know if it is because I’m so invested in Cordelia and James but honestly if the whole book as about them, I would have totally been okay with it. The plot quickly picks up though with Shadowhunters turning up dead, but appearing not to be killed by a demon. Our group is quick to investigate the case but each one is dealing with personal issues as well. This book focuses more on the secrets that each one is keeping and the bigger threat. Cassie is so amazing with writing subplots within a larger plot and connecting it all together. I think that’s one of the aspects I love about her writing the most. Each thing she writes has a purpose even if it is not revealed yet. There were so many times in the book, I was like Oh… that’s why that happened. And then the ending. Oh. My. Goodness. I AM DEAD FROM THAT ENDING. Cassie is known for making us suffer to get to our end goal – and I have some theories, and if I’m right, bless all of our hearts for what is to come.
The characters obviously had more development in this book that the first. I just love watching each character grow and get to know them better. The point of views most offered in this book are from Cordelia, James, Lucie, and Thomas. While some glimpse of Grace, Anna, and Ariadne are thrown is as well. Again, I would have been totally okay if this was all about Cordelia and James but I actually really do enjoy the rest of the stories as well. Lucie’s story with Grace and Jesse was definitely interesting and her plot development was very interesting. Seeing her become more comfortable with her powers and becoming more grown up. I know that the point of Grace’s chapters was to sympathize with her more but it is so hard to do so. While I understand why she did what she did, I just can’t accept it because of what it has caused! My poor James. I do wish we got more of Christopher though. It seems like everyone was focused on but I just wish there was more of his character as well. I’m excited to see how the last book will rip out hearts out and see if my predictions come true!
Overall, Chain of Iron by Cassandra Clare was a phenomenal sequel to Chain of Gold. I absolutely love the direction this series is taken. One of my main points of enjoying the first book was how it concentrated more on demons than internal struggles and I’m glad that’s still the main focus. It takes a different formula from the other series and makes it work. All of our heroes are of course struggling with something and we can only hope for a happy ending for them all. The progression of the story and so far how it is unraveling is superb. I absolutely recommend this book if you are a fan of the Shadowhunter series at all, but if you wait until Chain of Thorns is closer to the release date, I won’t blame you at all.