The time has come to have a look at what Cassandra Clare has shared about Chain of Iron, her second The Last Hours novel that is published in just three days. The following information has been posted on tumblr, Twitter, Instagram or was revealed during interviews over the last year. Cassie has once again been very forthcoming so there is a lot to digest. 😉
Do not go on reading if you do not want to know more. Spoilers ahead!
What do we know about Chain of Iron?
First, let’s have a look at the synopsis:
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’ 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.
Then there are the chapter titles:
- The cover shows Lucie, wearing Jesse’s locket, with Highgate Cemetery in the background and “the idea was that the death’s-head moths connected to Lucie’s power.“
- The audio book is once again narrated by Finty Williams.
- The first two chapters are available on Riveted until March 31 (you need a free account to read it).
- Chain of Iron is about (keeping) secrets and “the perils of them.“
- “The Days Past in Chain of Iron follows one plotline, one particular character/set of characters.”
- The following characters are going to have POVs: James, Lucie, and Cordelia, Thomas, Anna, Grace and Christopher.
- There will be at least five dead Shadowhunters.
- The book is set four months after the events of Chain of Gold so it’s December now and “about four/five weeks” pass during Chain of Iron.
- There is one engagement and at least one wedding.
- There are sexy times in the book. Cassie said: “There’s a lot of kissing between various couples. There’s definitely some hotter action, and I would say the most wild sexy business is had by Anna and Ariadne.” Also: “There are several first kisses in Chain of Iron, and some second kisses too. 😉“
- There is “a big twist in the love triangle” between Cordelia, James, and Matthew.
- Chess is “significant” in the book (most likely to Cordelia and James).
- “We will also see more of the Blackthorn Sword.“
- James and Cordelia are “still engaged at the beginning of Chain of Iron.“
- “Chain of Iron makes clear James doesn’t just have one specific “shadow” power; he has a connection to Belial that plays out in a bunch of strange magic ways, most of which are not necessarily a beneficial or controllable power but just weird stuff that happens to him because of his connection to Belial.“
- There are very sweet and also very raw moments between James and Matthew.
- James “definitely thinks about taking it [the bracelet] off in Chain of Iron, and you’ll see what happens then…“
- We will learn Cordelia’s Persian middle name.
- Three emojis that describes James and Cordelia’s relationship: 🤫🥰😡
- She has become closer with all of James’s friends, but closest to Matthew. She will know about his feelings for her.
- She is “great friends” with Anna and “in an early chapter Cordelia meets up with Anna and Lucie for a party at the Hell Ruelle.“
- “They [Cordelia, Lucie, and Anna] do have scenes together, and too.“
- She feels guilty because Tessa and Will believe that her engagement is a love match.
- Cordelia does not want to admit that Matthew’s alcoholism is very similar to her father’s. She rejects the idea when James points it out.
- Matthew’s “alcoholism and the path it takes are significant parts of his character arc.“
- He tells Cordelia the secret he’s been hiding since Cast Long Shadows.
- “Matthew and Cordelia are definitely closer and spend time together in COI; they even take a road trip” because “they’re seeking a magical item.“
- “There are people who do talk to Matthew [because they are worried], with varying degrees of success.” He “writes a very truthful letter” to someone.
- We will see Matthew with Charlotte. She is worried about him.
- “Something definitely happens to affect” Charles and Matthew’s relationship.
- We will find out what’s up with Matthew and Kellington.
- “Matthew buys a car” and he gets his own flat.
- She tests her powers “on some dead animals and the results are … not good.“
- Lucie and Grace will interact a lot. “They don’t precisely like each other, but they have a common goal with Jesse.“
- She hangs out with Jesse “all the time.“
- “Some people find out about Lucie seeing Jesse.“
- Lucie is “thrilled” that Cordelia has become such good friends with the Merry Thieves.
- She will visit the Hell Ruelle.
- We will find out details about his childhood, how he met Grace and how old they were. He and Tatiana weren’t “very close“.
- “We do get flashbacks into Grace and Jesse’s past, so to speak, and we do learn about how Jesse got to be how he is.“
- He does not know what Lucie and Grace are really trying to do, but “we will find out what he thinks about it.” He also is not aware that Tatiana abused Grace.
- “There is definitely mystery that still surrounds Jesse’s death, which will be touched on in Chain of Iron. Jesse’s death, Grace’s power, and what’s up with Tatiana and a certain Prince of Hell are all intertwined.“
- “He and Lucie have been hanging out.“
- We “will find out about Grace’s bio-parents during the course of the series” but “Grace doesn’t really recall her parents, for reasons you will find out about in Chain of Iron!“
- We will learn more about her childhood.
- We are going to have “more information about Grace, the Blackthorns, her powers, her history, Charles“
- The reason why Grace was not adopted by other Cartwrights will be mentioned.
- “Grace does everything in her power to avoid Ariadne […] so we do get observations on Grace from Ariadne’s perspective.“
- She will have “significant interactions” with a warlock that’s not Magnus.
- About the bracelet: “the bracelet wants you to not think about it. It pushes back at any thought that it might be responsible for anything — and Grace’s power pushes back on any thought by someone affected that she might have done something untoward.” + “We do find out a lot more about the whole bracelet/Tatiana/James/Jesse saga in COI!“
- Thomas and Alastair “do talk FRAUGHTLY” and there is a scene where Thomas is “walking away from Alastair’s house in Cornwall Gardens.“
- “We will definitely see how Thomas feels about Alastair in Chain of Iron.“
- He does something very dangerous.
- “At one point, Thomas narrowly escapes getting his eyebrows blown completely off! 🙂“
- “We do see how they [the Lightwoods] are coping [with Barbara’s death] — Thomas and Eugenia especially, as they are more prominent characters than Sophie and Gideon.“
- We will find out his Persian middle name.
- “Alastair at the beginning of COI is in largely the same place we left him at the end of COG2. And Cordelia is really wondering what is up between her friends and her brother…“
- “They’re [Alastair and Cordelia] pretty happy/excited about the baby. They’re worried about their mother’s health, and worried about Elias’ relationship to the baby — as in, whether he’s actually pleased or not.“
- “Alastair has been getting letters and burning them.“
- Cassie used these emojis to decribe Alastair and Thomas’s relationship: 😲💚🤕
- We will see more of his inventions and “learn more about him and how he feels about things.“
- “Christopher displays surprising behavior at the Shadow Market!“
- He will interact with Grace about science.
- “He knows Lucie is up to something, but not what. It is in his nature to want to help out, but she hasn’t told him what she’s doing.“
- “He invents (as in “makes up”) a demon called Knife Face, much to the alarm of his friends.“
- “Anna definitely fights in Chain of Iron! She’s savage with a whip.“
- There is “lots more” of Anna and Ariadne in this book. They “invade the Hell Ruelle and make out in a closet at a party, they do some detective work.“
- “Anna, Ariadne, and Lucie do a bunch of investigating.”
- He has a love interest, a warlock, and it’s someone we know from Chain of Gold.
- Magnus and Anna do interact.
- Team Historically Good asks Magnus for help and he “has kind of an interesting role to play in COI…“
- “We do see Elias return and how people feel about it. He is not already back at the beginning of the book.” “He certainly causes trouble, especially when he makes a shocking demand of James.” “We will see Elias interact with his whole family. Alastair’s reaction to his return is pretty strong.“
- Elias’ comment “It [Cortana] may one day cause you sorrow.” will be addressed.
- Will has a scene that’s one of Cassie’s “favorites in the book.“
- “Tessa and Will are summoned away to Paris, where they have a bit of an adventure …“
- “We’ll see a bit of what they [Charlotte and Henry] think about Grace in Chain of Iron.“
- We learn “a significant thing about Rupert.”
The bad guy(s)
- Charles will be in Paris, but not permanently, “due to an unfortunate situation of his own making.“
- “We will learn what happened to Eugenia. It’s a story specific to the 1903 time perod and the way women were regarded as one false step away from scandal.” Cassie also shared: “It’s a social/gossipy thing; not horrendous, but not great.“
- “We do see more of Eugenia and get to know her situation a bit more. And we see the family’s feelings about Barbara through Thomas, who speaks about how his parents are doing.“
- We might find out Ariadne’s birth name and her heritage might get discussed in this book.
- “A female character comes to stay at the Institute for her training year.” She is Italian, from Rome, and “she has a crush on someone.” Her name is Filomena and her last name “should be a funny surprise for those of you who read a lot of books.“
- Malcolm might find out what really happened to Annabel.
- We will find out more about Kellington and also other characters.
- “We’re definitely going back to the Ruelle, and we will interact with a number of Downworlders especially as we also visit the Shadow Market.“
- Hypatia will find out that her pyxis was stolen and by whom. She will reopen the magic shop that was mentioned in The Infernal Devices.
- There is a mermaid with “an alarming cameo” in the book.
- Pickles the kelpie returns and “romances a celebrity.” “Pickles finds love with a sexy mermaid.“
These are the most important things to know about Chain of Iron. Please bear in mind that some information given by Cassie could have changed!
Still can’t get enough of Chain of Iron? Click this link to read all the snippets that were shared and this link to check the Q&A posts (look for the ones dated after April 2020). You can also watch this Instagram Live where Cassie and I chat about The Last Hours.
Pre-order Chain of Iron now if you haven’t already to get a Collector’s First Edition. The first edition will have ten art pieces by Kathleen Jennings, and a short story called One Must Be Always Be Careful of Books, featuring Magnus and Jem. Make sure to read this short story after you have read Chain of Iron!
Thanks for reading, leave me a ♥ or a comment if you have made it until the end.
Come back on release day to read my spoiler-free review of Chain of Iron!