Cassandra Clare's Chain of Iron: The Last Hours is an eagerly awaited addition to the beloved Shadowhunters' Universe. It's the second book of The Last Hours trilogy, preceded by Chain of Gold.
While the events of The Last Hours unfold in the early 20th century, between the events of the Victorian prequel trilogy The Infernal Devices and the contemporary original 6-book series The Mortal Instruments, don't worry if you haven't read those yet; you can still get just Chain of Gold before Chain of Iron comes out.
You don't need information from Clare's other books to understand everything. But if you have read anything else by Clare, recognizing beloved characters or their relatives will be a nice perk.
Here's what we know about Chain of Iron: The Last Hour so far:
Chain of Iron Release Date
The current release date for Chain of Iron is the 2nd of March 2021 just one year after the first book of the trilogy. Not too far off, but just enough time to refresh your memory of Chain of Gold or pick another Shadowhunters book.
Chain of Iron Special Edition
According to the TMI Source, a major resource for Clare's works, all UK special editions of Chain of Iron will include 10 black and white character silhouettes by cut-paper artist Kathleen Jennings. Author Cassandra Clare shared a sample on her Instagram and it looks gorgeous.
As of November 2020, the Waterstones special edition was sold out, but you can check out the lovely Fairyloot edition, or the Illumincrate signed edition.
As for the US, LitJoy is selling the hardcover edition in an exclusive slipcase with bonus content including ten illustrations, a bonus short story about fan-favorite Magnus Bane, and Brother Zachariah, a free exclusive print of characters, and a bonus letter from a character.
Chain of Iron Snippets
There are plenty of mysteries surrounding the plot of Chain of Iron but Cassandra Clare has not left her fans completely in the dark; quite the opposite. Over a year, the author has shared more than 30 snippets, on different social media, some of which have been read out loud by Clare. Here are some of the most recent sneak peeks the author shared on Twitter:
Chain of Iron Summary
Chain of Gold, the first book in the series, introduced us to Cordelia Carstairs, a young Shadowhunter in the early 1900s who travels to London with her brother to prevent family ruin.
There, she reunites with her childhood friends, Lucie and James Herrondale – none other than the children of Tessa Gray and Will Herrondale from The Infernal Devices. Cordelia is in love with James, who is, however, engaged to another. This formula of angst and drama is not new, and it can be found in most of Clare's series, but somehow it always works.
When London is quarantined (the irony!) due to an attack by demons the Shadowhunters know nothing about, Cordelia and her friends are trapped. From there on, they are presented with the opportunity to be heroes and save their people… but glory and heroism come at a price.
Chain of Iron will likely pick up the story from where Chain of Gold left it. From the Goodreads blurb we read:
"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."
The premise sounds promising, with equal amounts of romantic drama, dark magic, and action. Thankfully, at almost 700 pages, there will be plenty of space to cover these.
Chain of Iron Pre-Order Information
You can support your local indie bookstore by pre-ordering Chain of Iron from them. It can also be pre-ordered online from major book retailers including Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, IndieBound, Book Depository, Indigo, and Amazon.
Chain of Iron News
While in-person book signings can't currently take place, this doesn't mean there are no exciting events to celebrate the release of Chain of Iron.
Cassandra Clare recently posted exciting news about her upcoming virtual book tours and information on how to get tickets. On the 23rd of January, Clare announced an Instagram game to discover Chain of Iron Instagram stickers… and the book isn't even out yet, so there's a good chance more events and other interesting news will follow.
Chain of Iron Updates
Bestselling author Cassandra Clare often treats her fans to exciting updates, particularly on Instagram and Tumblr, so you might want to give her a follow to stay up to date.
On the 16th of January, the author shared the chapter titles of Chain of Iron. These, like the book titles, are taken from Charles Dickens' classic novel Great Expectations of which the series is a loose retelling.
This is what we know about the Chain of Iron so far. Stay tuned for more updates and if you are interested in YA fantasy 2021 releases you might also want to check out A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas.A Court of Silver Flames will be released on the 16th of February 2021.