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] When he does return, he causes some trouble and demands something shocking from James.[17] Also, his feelings toward his unborn child are in question.[18]
  • Matthew will be buying a car[19] and will have his own place.[20]
  • In an early chapter, Lucie, Cordelia, and Anna meet up for a party at the Hell Ruelle.[21]
  • There will be a big twist in the love triangle between James, Cordelia, and Matthew.[22]
  • Cordelia and Matthew will have grown much closer over the four month gap[23] and are set to take a road trip together.[24] Matthew will also reveal to her his secret.[25]
    • Cordelia will find out about Matthew's feeling towards her.[26]
  • Thomas does something dangerous.[27]
  • The truth about what happened to Eugenia Lightwood will be revealed.[28][29]
  • Ariadne's heritage will be explored and her birth name may be revealed.[30][31]
  • Anna and Ariadne invade the Hell Ruelle and do some investigating.[32]
    • The pair will also have some more heated moments.[33]
  • More about Jesse and Grace's childhoods, especially about their relationship with Tatiana, will be revealed.[34] As well as more information into Grace's powers, the bracelet,[35][36][37] and Jesse's death.[38]
    • The reason why Tatiana adopted Grace instead of another Cartwright will also be revealed.[39]
  • Some people will learn of Lucie being able to see Jesse.[40]
  • The Shadow Market will be visited[41] and Christopher will display some surprising behavior there.[42]
  • Sallows's shop will be reopened by Hypatia Vex in this installment.[43]
  • Pickles will have a mermaid love interest.[44]
  • At least five Shadowhunters are expected to die by the serial killer.[45]
  • Some self-inflicted trouble will take Charles to Paris.[46]


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?”

Teaser #11

Cordelia shivered a little, though it was not cold in the room. “There is something weighing on you, Matthew,” she said gently. “A secret. Will you tell me what it is?”

She saw his hand go to his breast pocket, where he often kept his flask. Then he lowered it stiffly to his side and took a deep breath. “You do not know what you are asking.”

“Yes, I do,” she said. “I am asking for the truth. Your truth. You know mine, and I do not even know what makes you so unhappy.”

Teaser #12

Jesse glanced out the window. They were passing through Piccadilly Circus, nearly deserted at such a late hour. The statue of Eros in the center was lightly dusted with snow; a lone tramp slept upon the steps below it. “Don’t have too much hope, Lucie. Sometimes hope is dangerous.”

“Have you said that to Grace?”

Jesse shook his head. “She won’t listen.”

Teaser #13

“I’ve been trying to hate you,” Thomas said quietly, “for what you did to Matthew. You richly deserve to be hated for what you have done.”

Alastair’s dark eyes glittered. “It wasn’t just his mother I slandered. It was your father, too. You know it. So you don’t have to—to act all high-minded about this. Stop pretending you are only upset on behalf of Matthew. Hate me on your own behalf, Thomas.”

Teaser #14

His golden eyes were fixed on her, fierce as a hawk’s gaze. She said, "It doesn’t matter what I said. I wanted them to leave you alone —"

"I don’t believe you," he said. She could feel the slight tremors running through his body — tremors of stress, that meant he was holding himself very still. Holding himself back. "You don’t say things you don’t mean, Daisy —"

Teaser #15

James thwacked Matthew gently on the back of the head. “I believe what he means to say is that it cannot be the responsibility of one’s friends to prevent one from doing something one believes is right,” he said. “It is, however, the job of one’s friends to rescue one from the consequences of one’s actions when it all goes skew-whiff.”

Lucie clapped and called out, “Hear, hear!”

Teaser #16

James closed his eyes. Against the back of his eyelids, he could see the city take shape—the minarets flung darkly against a blue sky, the silver river. Cordelia’s voice, low and familiar, rose above the clamor of his nightmare. He followed it out of the darkness, like Theseus following the length of thread out of the Minotaur’s labyrinth.

And it was not the first time. Her voice had lifted him out of fever, once, had been his light in shadows…

A sharp pain spiked through his temples. He blinked his eyes open: he was firmly back in the present, his friends all looking at him worriedly. Cordelia had already moved away from him, leaving behind the lingering scent of jasmine. He could still feel where her fingers had rested against his shoulder.

Teaser #17

Hands caught his wrists; he was hauled up roughly, an arm around his back. he smelled brandy and cologne.

“Matthew,” he said, in a dry voice.

“James needs water,” Christopher said. “Do we have any water?”

“Never touch the stuff,” said Matthew, settling James onto the long sofa. He sat down next to him, staring so intently into James’s face that, despite everything, James had to stifle a laugh.

“I’m fine, Matthew,” said James. “Also, I don’t know what you expect to discover by looking into my eyeball.”


“You should have told us,” said Thomas. “We would have helped you move your things. I’m exceptionally good at carrying large objects.”

“And think of all those hairbrushes you would have had to relocate,” Lucie said. “Haven’t you got six or seven?”

Matthew glowered at her affectionately. “I try to be at least as stylish as our local ghosts.”


Special content

  • Collector's first editions: will feature 10 illustrations of the main characters by Kathleen Jennings[47] and a short story of Brother Zachariah and Magnus Bane on a mission.[48]


  • The death's-head moths on the cover are meant to signify Lucie's necromantic abilities.[49]


  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. "He certainly causes trouble, especially when he makes a shocking demand of James. CC on Tumblr
  18. "Worried about Elias’ relationship to the baby — as in, whether he’s actually pleased or not." CC on Tumblr
  19. "Matthew buys a car." Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
  20. CoI Snippet — CC on Tumblr
  21. "In an early chapter Cordelia meets up with Anna and Lucie for a party at the Hell Ruelle." CC on Tumblr
  22. "A big twist in the love triangle in COI." CC on Tumblr
  23. "Cordelia’s relationships with everyone have progressed, but with Matthew the most" CC on Tumblr
  24. "Matthew and Cordelia are definitely closer and spend time together in COI; they even take a road trip." CC on Tumblr
  25. "He tells Cordelia." CC on Tumblr
  26. "Yes. She will [known of his feelings for her]. CC on Tumblr
  27. "He does something very dangerous." CC on Tumblr
  28. "We will learn what happened to Eugenia." CC on Tumblr
  29. "You’ll find out in COI." CC on Tumblr
  30. "Her heritage is discussed" — CC on Tumblr
  31. "The Bridgestocks changed her name" — CC on Tumblr
  32. "They not only invade the Hell Ruelle and make out in a closet at a party, they do some detective work." CC on Tumblr
  33. "The most wild sexy business is had by Anna and Ariadne." CC on Tumblr
  34. "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
  35. "More information about Grace, the Blackthorns, her powers, her history, ...we will get in Chain of Iron." CC on Tumblr
  36. "We do find out a lot more about the whole bracelet/ Tatiana/James/Jesse saga in COI!" CC on Tumblr
  37. "Learn more about what the bracelet does in book two" — CC on Tumblr
  38. "There is definitely mystery that still surrounds Jesse’s death, which will be touched on" — CC on Tumblr
  39. "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
  40. "Definitely some people find out about Lucie seeing Jesse." CC on Tumblr
  41. "We also visit the Shadow Market." CC on Tumblr
  42. "In CoI, Christopher displays surprising behavior at the Shadow Market!" CC on Twitter
  43. Shadowhunter Army July 2020 newsletter
  44. "Pickles finds love with a sexy mermaid." CC on Twitter
  45. "The killer does away with at least five Shadowhunters." CC on Tumblr
  46. "He will bring it on himself" — CC on Twitter
  47. "They will be done by Kathleen Jennings" — CC on Tumblr
  48. Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
  49. "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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