Book Review: ‘Chain of Thorns’ and happy release day! 🥳➰
Happy book birthday to Chain of Thorns and Cassandra Clare! ♥ The day has come: Chain of Thorns is officially out in the world! We’ve waited quite a long time, but Cassie’s readers can finally read the conclusion to The Last Hours trilogy.
Happy reading to everyone once you have your book! You can buy it in your local/favourite book shop or online. 🙂
Since it is tradition, here is my review for Chain of Thorns. Many thanks to Cassie for letting me read the book early! ♥
James and Cordelia must save London—and their marriage—in this thrilling and highly anticipated conclusion to the Last Hours series from the #1 New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Cassandra Clare. Chain of Thorns is a Shadowhunters novel.
All first edition hardcovers will include full-color reverse jacket art, ten black-and-white interior illustrations, and a bonus short story!
Cordelia Carstairs has lost everything that matters to her. In only a few short weeks, she has seen her father murdered, her plans to become parabatai with her best friend, Lucie, destroyed, and her marriage to James Herondale crumble before her eyes. Even worse, she is now bound to an ancient demon, Lilith, stripping her of her power as a Shadowhunter.
After fleeing to Paris with Matthew Fairchild, Cordelia hopes to forget her sorrows in the city’s glittering nightlife. But reality intrudes when shocking news comes from home: Tatiana Blackthorn has escaped the Adamant Citadel, and London is under new threat by the Prince of Hell, Belial.
Cordelia returns to a London riven by chaos and dissent. The long-kept secret that Belial is James and Lucie’s grandfather has been revealed by an unexpected enemy, and the Herondales find themselves under suspicion of dealings with demons. Cordelia longs to protect James but is torn between a love for James she has long believed hopeless, and the possibility of a new life with Matthew. Nor can her friends help—ripped apart by their own secrets, they seem destined to face what is coming alone.
For time is short, and Belial’s plan is about to crash into the Shadowhunters of London like a deadly wave, one that will separate Cordelia, Lucie, and the Merry Thieves from help of any kind. Left alone in a shadowy London, they must face Belial’s deadly army. If Cordelia and her friends are going to save their city—and their families—they will have to muster their courage, swallow their pride, and trust one another again. For if they fail, they may lose everything—even their souls. (x)
Disclaimer: I was dealing with some personal issues while reading Chain of Thorns last year, so my reading experience was a lot different compared to other ones. Due to this, my review is going to be shorter and more general, but still without any spoilers unless explicitly stated and highlighted. All the information and the quotes shared below can be found online (here, for example).
The first thing I must mention is: Do NOT trust the family tree! I know Cassie has said this multiple times already since the release of Clockwork Princess in March 2013, but I thought it would be wise to repeat this sentiment. Thanks to Chain of Thorns, we now finally know which character is to blame for the family tree. *shakes fist at them*
“I actually feel a bit hopeful. Is that mad?”
Despite the different circumstances, I was taken on an emotional rollercoaster. There were some very bleak scenes – and yes, sadly not all of our favourites survived this book as previously teased by Cassie – but there were also very hopeful scenes that tugged at my heart.
One thing that surprised me because Cassie mentioned that Chain of Thorns would be quite a dark book was the amount of kissing that was happening. There was so much kissing (not that I’m complaining)! Certain shippers will certainly be over the moon. There was one scene I wasn’t a fan of, and I also let Cassie know, but in the end I could kind of understand why it had to happen.
Overall, I lived for all the romantic scenes and adored some so much. Total heart eyes moments for me! ♥
All the characters were faced with different obstacles in this final book and the situation with Belial was very serious; a whole city was once again threatened after all and this time it’s actually worse than before. The stakes had never been higher, and you could really tell. Cassie had definitely upped the ante in this final book. We knew that Belial and Tatiana were the main villains of this series, but a third party was introduced in the book: the ominous ‘they’ mentioned right at the beginning, and I liked all the hints Cassie dropped so that we could figure out who these individuals were – I solved it pretty quickly and was quite proud of myself.
Team Good, as Cassie has coined the Merry Thieves, Cordelia, Lucie, Jesse and all the other young Shadowhunters (minus Charles), all came together to fight the villains, but there was still time for some funny, light-hearted or sweet moments between the characters, which I really appreciated. We wouldn’t want an apocalyptic mood 24/7.
I’m not going to mention individual characters this time, but I just must point out how perfect Oscar was. He was such a good boy. Sorry Church, but Oscar is my favourite Shadowhunters pet now.
“Heaven will not help you. And you will learn the price of spurning Hell.”
Belial was the absolute worst in this book. His actions were disgusting, and I really felt for the people he affected. Nevertheless, I also had to chuckle a couple of time when I read scenes with him. This could only happen in a Shadowhunters book.
In case you’re wondering about the whole “Belial has two strikes and can be killed by Cortana, but Princes of Hell cannot die and he’s also in Ghosts of the Shadow Market” thing, trust me, this was solved very nicely. Everything else would be a spoiler. 😉
Tatiana as the other main villain was also unbearable yet there was one scene with her that really surprised me. It was a very intense moment that I think gave readers a lot of clarity. This was very well done by Cassie.
Ave atque vale.
As previously mentioned, not everyone survived the book, and I was quite shocked when a certain character died. I was in denial for a rather long time because I just didn’t want to believe that they were truly gone. It’s a sad death, for many readers and even more so for the characters.
The intermission in Chain of Thorns was beautifully written although it was obviously utterly sad. You could really feel the pain the characters were going through, and I’d recommend tissues for these pages.
Despite the pain and sadness, the hopeful moments really shine in this book and make it so good. The characters always had faith in each other and their abilities and believed they would make it through everything if they only worked together and had trust. Did they succeed? You need to read the book to find out! 😉
A minor spoiler: I was a bit sad that we did not have a short Wessa scene in this book like we did in the previous books. I guess it was due to Chain of Thorns being so long (US: 778 pages/UK: 678 pages due to a smaller font) or maybe such a scene simply wouldn’t have fit the plot.
Final thoughts: Chain of Thorns was a wonderful conclusion to Cassie’s The Last Hours series, and I am really sad that it is over now because these books were just so good, and I could tell how much work and research was put into them! I will miss the characters immensely because I have grown very fond of them these past four years. They were so much fun to read about and I loved how close they were with each other and how they all grew throughout the books. Although the trilogy is over – what a ride it has been! – I am now excited for the short stories that Cassie teased last year! I think these stories are going to be very entertaining and hope they won’t be published too far into the future! I also hope to maybe see some mentions of our beloved The Last Hours characters in The Wicked Powers, which is going to conclude The Shadowhunter Chronicles. It is difficult to grasp that we probably only have three Shadowhunters books and a short story collection left. ☹
I also want to praise Alexandra Curte for her illustrations! Her character artwork was amazing, and I was looking forward to every single one throughout the book, although I obviously have favourites.
Thank you, Cassie, for Chain of Thorns and THANK YOU for making the book a lot more hopeful than you had initially planned. ♥
Wait that was a great review but at the end you said about how we only have three more book and a short story collection. So is the black volume of the dead never coming? I haven’t heard anything about it recently but I really want to know what happens. I was wondering if you knew anything about it?
That’s a great review and pretty much what I thought. I loved chain of thorns. Although as a herondaisy stan I’d hoped to see chess/second wedding runes scene/James talking Persian/ I suffered every thorn for you/ to the last hour. All herondale boys get a big romantic speech and I wanted to see James’s too 😅and hopefully cassie will release a second runes scene… I know it’s too much to hope for 😅 but that’s just me being a herondaisy nerd. But all in all I loved the book. I love how hopeful the book ends and I miss the characters so much. Tlh is my fav shadowhunter series ❤️ And I’m so glad about the mostly happy endings