As the last book in “The Last Hours” series, Chain of Thorns really puts meaning into “The Last Hours”.
Most of the characters had been fully fleshed out and relations have gotten complicated and really exciting. Hence I was looking forward to this book.
Chain of Thorns was so exciting that I didn’t want to put it down. There was no good place to stop so I just kept on reading.
My siblings had to admit that I hadn’t been excited about a book in a long time, and they were correct.
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-colour 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.
Chain of Thorns Non-Spoiler Review
First things first I finished this chunk of a book in 4 days. That’s a feat for me considering it’s been taking me a minimum of two weeks to finish big books the past year. It also took me a month and 3 weeks to finish Chain of Gold and Chain of Iron respectively.
Chain of Thorns is Unputdownable, so interesting and compelling that I just had to keep reading to the end with little breaks in between.
As the last book in the series, Chain of Thorns really puts meaning into “The Last Hours”. The book picks up immediately after the activities of Chain of iron and it involved the gang facing off their enemies. Belia and Tatiana Blackthorn under the service of Belial- Greater Demon and one of the Princes of hell.
Chain of Thorns was really interesting, the build-up from the last two books was really worth it. Chain of Thorns takes place about a week after the events of The Chain of Iron so we continue from where we stop at the last book.
The core strength of Chain of Thorns is the ensemble cast. We get multiple POVs from various characters. We don’t get Mattew’s POV, however.
That’s because Cassandra Clare doesn’t want us to know what Matthew is thinking. Matthew is thinking stuff that Cassie doesn’t want us to know.
I’d like to think knowing what Matthew is thinking would have been exciting and maybe a bit painful to hear what goes on in his head. We don’t get his POV but we still get a sense of what he’s feeling and going through in the book.
The casts were all beautifully written and developed. The Merry thieves were a unique assemble with Beautiful, Charming (and Sad)Matthew, Charismatic James, Pure and Energetic Christopher (Kit) and Tall Brooding Thomas.
They all went through various character developments through the progress of the book. I loved that they weren’t one-dimensional and I what I loved the most was the bond and love they shared with one another.
They love one another deeply, and comfort each other. I love how they don’t judge each other.
Christopher and Thomas deciding not to discuss their friend’s affairs (Matthew leaving for Paris with James’s Wife – Cordelia). Until they’ve had a chance to discuss it with them was evidence of the kind of bond they all shared. There are various samples of this throughout the Chain of Thorns as well as in the previous books.
The other Characters also went from side characters to main characters which had me rooting for them.
I didn’t care much for Ariadne Bridgestock. But I soon fell in love with Ari and I loved her character development throughout the book. Had me rooting for her all through the book, even Grace held my interest. Anna as usual was charming and just lovely as usual.
Alastair’s character development might have been the best character delevopment. I like how he grew into himself and let go of a lot of things. I liked who he was at the end. It was very lovely to watch. (I was reviewing this and I realised I said watch rather than read. That’s because I see the stories in my head like I’m watching it 🙂 )
Lucie and Jesse were just as I expected and Lucie is probably one character I never gave a second glance but she pulled through in this book.
Most Especially I love how Magnus Bane shows up in all the shadowhunter books. I loved the scene Magnus asked why they didn’t come to him first with their shadowhunter problems as he’s usually the one they come to. This is evident across all the books and timelines this was a very nice Motif.
The ending closed things up pretty well. You can see how the actions in The Last Hours, especially Chain of Thorns all lead up to the series of events that happen in “The Dark Artifices”.
It also shows how the events that happened in “The Infernal Devices” still affect the future with Tessa’s Lineage and how the Clave has been set up depending on what side or position they were in during the events of “The Dark Artifices”. Which has led to a little bit of Politics and internal drama.
We get scenes of Will, Jem and Tessa and they almost stole the show. Especially Will.
In conclusion, I loved the Chain of Thorns. It closes the book up perfectly and I enjoyed it so much it was Unputdownable
Chain of Thorns Spoiler Review
Okay, If you haven’t read Chain of Thorns, Stop here and come back later. This review also contains spoilers or almost spoilers of the “The Last Hours”, “The Infernal Devices” and “The Dark Artifices”
Okay now to the spoiler review.
I really liked The Chain of Thorns so I’ll just get into it.
One thing I wasn’t expecting was Christopher’s death. I see how it made sense with having a delay in creating the fire notes and adding a bit of suspense to the book. However, Christopher was so kind and one of the loveliest characters in the book. He had a big heart. I mean, he died saving Cordelia. It hurt.
We get the scene where he dies. Then a few pages later, we get to read how he dies and it hurt all over again. I’m not sure I’m over it, to be honest.
James and Cordelia.
I loved their relationship. Their love was strong enough to break the bracelet.
I’m not sure what I felt about the love Triangle tbh. We got this in The Infernal Devices also the Will, Tessa and Jem. However, I preferred the love triangle here.
Tessa chooses Will in The Infernal Devices because she loves him and knows she can be happy with him. However, she is still in love with Jem and they eventually end up together in The Dark artifices, after Jace Herondale’s heavenly power burns the demon blood in Jem and heals him.
(I know a couple of people who won’t read The Dark Artifices because Tessa ends up with Jem in that book and not Will. Yeah it seems this is also the last book we see Will Herondale alive.)
However, in The Last Hours, Cordelia chooses James because she loved him all along anyways. Cordelia also explains to Mattew that she wouldn’t love him like he deserves to be loved. To be honest I’d have preferred it without Matthew in the triangle. Maybe even preferred it if it was James, whom Matthew loved rather than Cordelia.
However, we barely get any of Matthew’s POV so who knows?
James was able to draw runes to save Matthew in Edom. Matthew is Bi-sexual so maybe part of that love he has for James might not be so platonic. I don’t know I’m just trying to figure out why the runes worked in Edom.
Also considering The Parabatia Curse.
True love between parabatai will strengthen their power to the point of magic.
At first, the pair will have increased power with runes, more so than typical parabatai that even fatal wounds are healed with their iratze. They will have an almost telepathic ability between one another, as well as an empathetic ability to feel what the other is feeling. Including the other’s injuries as if they are their own, and they will have the capability to do things no other Nephilim could do.
The runes worked in Edom when they shouldn’t have. I don’t know I’m just grasping at straws.
Matthew was also able to tell James, and his parents, Henry and Charlotte Branwell about how he had accidentally poisoned Charlette with what he thought was a truth serum when he was a child, causing her to have a miscarriage.
I liked her response to this. She told him Not only did she lose that child, but she also lost another child – Matthew. And they just go ahead to forgive him. They are also expecting twins yay!
The Last Hours Relationship Tree
I have always joked in all the other books that there was some sort of love Pentagram, not a triangle, everyone was in a relationship or situation ship of some sort.
So I took it upon myself to draw a relationship tree. Basically, where everyone stands, in relation to their love life at the end of Chain of Thorns. I had a lot of fun drawing this out.
Note, this has some spoilers for the books but at the end of the series, this is where everyone is.
I was rooting for all of those relationships, there were love triangles, One-sided crushes, forbidden love, Spells etc it was just encompassing.
Chain of Thorns Ending
I think everything was wrapped up a little too bit nicely, but with all that’s been happening, I’ll take it with minimal complaints, to be honest.
I also read somewhere where Cassie admitted the series was originally meant to have a very tragic ending but due to the pandemic, couldn’t bring herself to write it in an already troubling enough time.
The whole ending with Belial possessing James and James ending it with putting Cortana through his heart was very predictable. Maybe a little bit too predictable.
However, I liked that there is another Belial who just takes the place of the lunatic Belial, as a balance to the order.
The Shadowhunter Family Tree
The family tree we got on the back cover of the clockwork princess was indeed incorrect. Cassie herself admitted that it is misleading.
In fact it was really fun for me to come up with a family tree that was massively misleading. Remember, family trees are found objects — they contain only as much information as whoever drew them had. Secret marriages, arranged marriages, people being secretly dead, people being secretly other people: the family tree doesn’t reflect any of that. In fact, some of the most important characters (One of whom is a certain JH’s parabatai) don’t appear on the family tree at all.
However this is all explained with Esme, She’s the one putting it together and she asks at the most inconvenient times that everyone just gives her the wrong answers or exaggerates. This probably explains why Christopher is married to Grace and great-great-grandfather to Alexandra and Isabel Lightwood but is dead apparently without every getting married to Grace.
It’s an explanation I’m just going to take as it is because it still doesn’t explain it fully but I guess these things happen when you write and publish in a non-chronological order.
Malcolm and Annabel
We also see how Malcolm Fade turns out the way he does in The Dark Artifices due to a series of events that began even before Chain of Thorn. Malcolm discovers the truth about Annabel Blackthorn and her tragic ending because of her relationship with Malcolm.
They decided to run away together Due to the strict laws prohibiting relationships between Nephilim and Downworlders prior to the Accords. However, they were caught and held in the silent city while Malcom was liberated by the Unseelie king, Annabel was held and tortured
Eventually, she was sent back to her family to say goodbye before being sent to the Adamant Citadel, but her family, horrified and ashamed of what Annabel did, buried her alive in a tomb by the sea and convinced the Inquisitor to maintain the rumour that she had become an Iron Sister.
It would only be years later when Malcolm found out what truly happened to her. Heartbroken by Annabel’s murder, Malcolm became obsessed with raising her from the dead.
He sought the help of the unseeling king who gave him a poem to use to raise Annabel. This visit was during the last hours in London when Belial had taken over, hence leaving London without their high warlock. And he spends the rest of his time trying to raise Annabel up till the events in The Dark Artifices.
In conclusion, Chain of Thorns was a very interesting read and I’d totally recommend it.