Chain of Iron
COI cover 01

Cassandra Clare

Cover artist

Cliff Nielsen

Release Date March 2, 2021[1]

Lucie Herondale

The Last Hours
 1  2  3
Preceded by
Chain of Gold
Followed by
Chain of Thorns
Release order
Released after
The Lost Book of the White
Released before
Chain of Iron is the upcoming second installment in The Last Hours trilogy by Cassandra Clare.


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.[2]



  • The book will take place over the course of a month[3] in December 1903.[4][5]
  • While the book will primarily still be from James, Cordelia, and Lucie's point of view, we can expect a few scenes from Grace,[6] Anna, and Thomas's[7] POVs.
  • Like in the first book, there will be "Days Past" chapters; though these are set to follow one plot-line rather than bounce between characters.[8]
  • Magnus will have a love interest;[9] they will be a warlock[10] we met in Chain of Gold.[11]
  • A significant thing about Rupert appears in this book.[12]
  • A new female character will be staying at the London Institute for her training year.[13] She will be Italian.[14]
  • There will be a new engagement and at least one wedding within this installment.[15]
  • Characters mentioned in passing, including Kellington, will be revisited.[13]
  • Elias will not have returned before the beginning of the book.[16]
  • Matthew will be buying a car[17] and will have his own place.[18]
  • In an early chapter, Lucie, Cordelia, and Anna meet up for a party at the Hell Ruelle.[19]
  • There will be a big twist in the love triangle between James, Cordelia, and Matthew.[20]
  • Cordelia and Matthew will have grown much closer over the four month gap[21] and are set to take a road trip together.[22] Matthew will also reveal to her his secret.[23]
  • The truth about what happened to Eugenia Lightwood will be revealed.[24]
  • Ariadne's heritage will be explored and her birth name may be revealed.[25][26]
  • More about Jesse and Grace's childhoods, especially about their relationship with Tatiana, will be revealed.[27] As well as more information into Grace's powers and the bracelet.[28][29][30]
    • The reason why Tatiana adopted Grace instead of another Cartwright will also be revealed.[31]
  • The Shadow Market will be visited.[32]
  • Sallows's shop will be reopened by Hypatia Vex in this installment.[33]


For more check either the series' teaser section or the unidentified snippets page.

Teaser #1

“Math, I didn’t know you’d gotten a flat. You didn’t tell me.”

Matthew, having finished buttoning James’ coat, looked slightly abashed. He ran a hand through his hair, which was already tumbling about his head like unkempt sunshine. “It was an impulse decision —“

“Nothing to do with that argument you were having with Charlotte the other day?”

Teaser #2

As she turned away, the faerie woman said, in a low voice, “You need not marry a man who does not love you, you know.”

Cordelia froze. She glanced back over her shoulder.

Teaser #3

Alastair looked amused. “Never before have I heard such a concise statement of the ludicrous philosophy with which you and your school friends go through the world.”

Teaser #4

Anna was fortress-surrounded by her friends: tall, handsome Thomas; Christopher, who shared his sister’s stern delicacy of feature, peacock Matthew, who always looked as if he’d just rolled out of an unmade bed piled with silks and velvet. And Eugenia Lightwood, who hadn’t bothered to take off her canary-yellow gloves or hat, as if she were ready to run out the door any moment.

They all eyed Ariadne suspiciously as she approached Anna. Anna didn’t seem to see her at all; she was leaning back with one booted foot braced on the wall behind her. She was all lean black and white lines, her close-fitting jacket following the outline of her slim curves, her head thrown back as she laughed. Her ruby pendant glimmered in the hollow of her throat.

Keep your head up, Ariadne, she told herself. You can do this.

“Hello, Anna,” Ariadne said.

Teaser #5

Alastair’s gaze flicked to Matthew. “Why,” he said, “are you not even wearing a hat?”

“And cover up this hair?” Matthew indicated his golden locks with a flourish. “Would you blot out the sun?”

Teaser #6

Over the past months, she had become closer with all James’ friends, but she had become closest to Matthew. He was always willing to stand her a dance at a party, or to sit on a bench and chatter and gossip. It made her laugh now to think she had once been almost afraid of him, thinking him James’ disapproving guardian.

Teaser #7

From The Beautiful Cordelia:

The brave princess Lucretia raced through the marble halls of the palace. "I must find Cordelia," she gasped. "I must save her."

"I believe the Prince holds her even now, captive in his throne room!" Sir Jerrod exclaimed. "But Princess Lucretia, even though you are the most beautiful and wise lady that I have ever met, surely you cannot fight your way through a hundred of his stoutest palace guard!" The knight’s green eyes flashed. His straight black hair was disarranged, and his white shirt was entirely undone.

"But I must!" Lucretia cried.

Teaser #8

James spoke at last, and there was real kindness in his voice. “You must give people time, Alastair,” he said. “We are none of us perfect, and no one expects perfection. But when you have hurt people you must allow them their anger. Otherwise it will only become another thing you have tried to take away.”

Alastair seemed to hesitate. “James,” he said. “Does he think —“

Teaser #9

“I know that you’ve been doing something — something you’re keeping secret. I’m not angry,” Cordelia hastened to add. “I  just wish you’d tell me what it is.” 

Lucie tried to cover her surprise.

Teaser #10

“Alastair! Cordelia!” A familiar voice bellowed up from downstairs.

Sona went white and laid a hand against the wall to steady herself. “Elias?”

Special content


  • The death's-head moths on the cover are meant to signify Lucie's necromantic abilities.[35]


  1. Cassandra Clare on Instagram
  2. Chain of Iron synopsisSimon & Schuster
  3. "About four/five weeks" — CC on Tumblr
  4. "the dead of winter." Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
  5. "Four months [after Chain of Gold.] CC on Tumblr
  6. "She does have some POV in book 2," Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
  7. "I’ll give two examples: Anna and Thomas." CC on Tumblr
  8. "The Days Past in Chain of Iron follows one plotline, one particular character/set of characters, rather than jumping between characters." CC on Tumblr
  9. "... does Magnus have a love interest in TLH?" "... in book two, yes." Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
  10. " Magnus’ love interest is another warlock." CC on Tumblr
  11. "Are they someone we already know from ChoG?" "Yep!" CC on Tumblr
  12. "I will say a significant thing about Rupert appears in book 2." Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
  13. 13.0 13.1 "We get to know more about some characters..." Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
  14. "She's Italian." CC on Tumblr
  15. "There is both a new engagement and at least one wedding." CC on Tumblr
  16. "We do see Elias return and how people feel about it. He is not already back at the beginning of the book." CC on Tumblr
  17. "Matthew buys a car." Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
  18. CoI Snippet — CC on Tumblr
  19. "In an early chapter Cordelia meets up with Anna and Lucie for a party at the Hell Ruelle." CC on Tumblr
  20. "A big twist in the love triangle in COI." CC on Tumblr
  21. "Cordelia’s relationships with everyone have progressed, but with Matthew the most" CC on Tumblr
  22. "Matthew and Cordelia are definitely closer and spend time together in COI; they even take a road trip." CC on Tumblr
  23. "He tells Cordelia." CC on Tumblr
  24. "We will learn what happened to Eugenia." CC on Tumblr
  25. "Her heritage is discussed" — CC on Tumblr
  26. "The Bridgestocks changed her name" — CC on Tumblr
  27. "We don’t know a lot of the details of Jesse and Grace’s childhood in Chain of Gold, but in Chain of Iron, we will learn them." CC on Tumblr
  28. "More information about Grace, the Blackthorns, her powers, her history, ...we will get in Chain of Iron." CC on Tumblr
  29. "We do find out a lot more about the whole bracelet/ Tatiana/James/Jesse saga in COI!" CC on Tumblr
  30. "Learn more about what the bracelet does in book two" — CC on Tumblr
  31. "There are Cartwrights around, and the reason none of them adopted Grace, and Tatiana did instead, does come up in Chain of Iron." CC on Tumblr
  32. "We also visit the Shadow Market." CC on Tumblr
  33. Shadowhunter Army July 2020 newsletter
  34. Cassandra Clare on Instagram live
  35. "the death’s-head moths connected to Lucie’s power." Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
Cassandra Clare's Shadowhunter Chronicles
The Mortal Instruments
City of Bones City of Ashes City of Glass
City of Fallen Angels City of Lost Souls City of Heavenly Fire
The Infernal Devices The Dark Artifices
Clockwork Angel Lady Midnight
Clockwork Prince Lord of Shadows
Clockwork Princess Queen of Air and Darkness
The Last Hours The Eldest Curses
Chain of Gold The Red Scrolls of Magic
Chain of Iron The Lost Book of the White
Chain of Thorns The Black Volume of the Dead
The Bane Chronicles
What Really Happened in Peru Saving Raphael Santiago
The Runaway Queen The Fall of the Hotel Dumort
Vampires, Scones, and Edmund Herondale What to Buy the Shadowhunter...
The Midnight Heir The Last Stand of the New York Institute
The Rise of the Hotel Dumort The Course of True Love (And First Dates)
The Voicemail of Magnus Bane
Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy
Welcome to Shadowhunter Academy Pale Kings and Princes
The Lost Herondale Bitter of Tongue
The Whitechapel Fiend The Fiery Trial
Nothing but Shadows Born to Endless Night
The Evil We Love Angels Twice Descending
Ghosts of the Shadow Market
Son of the Dawn The Wicked Ones
Cast Long Shadows The Land I Lost
Every Exquisite Thing Through Blood, Through Fire
Learn About Loss The Lost World
A Deeper Love Forever Fallen
The Wicked Powers
Companion books
The Shadowhunter's Codex
An Illustrated History of Notable Shadowhunters & Denizens of Downworld
The Official Mortal Instruments Coloring Book
Classics Reimagined in the World of the Shadowhunters
City of Bones: The Graphic Novel
The Mortal Instruments graphic novels
The Infernal Devices: Manga Series
The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones
Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments
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