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Chain of Thorns is the upcoming third and final installment in The Last Hours trilogy by Cassandra Clare.

Description

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.[2]

Teasers

Information

  • The book will take place about a week after the events of Chain of Iron.[3][4]
  • Some key word clues Cassie has given on the book are: "Paris, kidnapping, Cornwall, a party where a terrible thing happens, death, inventions, science, secrets revealed, a new Shadowhunter arrives in London."[5]
  • The book will open with Matthew and Cordelia in Paris.[6]
  • The reason why Lucie flinched while practicing her and Cordelia's parabatai ritual will be revealed.[7]
  • There will be an unexpected romantic scene.[7]
  • Matthew wants to tell people his secret; especially his parents and James.[6]
  • Matthew will explain his personal financial situation.[8]
  • Ariadne will pick a new name for herself by the end of the book.[9]
  • We will see new places.[10][11]
  • There will be consequences for the way Lucie raised Jesse though it was not entirely necromancy.[12]
  • Blackthorn sword has a name that will be revealed.[13]
  • Matthew will take someone shopping for waistcoats.[14]
  • Charles gets yelled at by Alastair and Matthew.[15]
  • Lucie gets mad at Cordelia and writes a new book about her called "The Wicked Queen Cordelia".[16]
  • Cordelia will receive the news that a terrible danger is coming from the ghost of someone important to her.[16]
  • Something will happen with Belial that will make him not a danger to Mina Carstairs in later books.[17] We will also seemingly learn of Belial and Jem's history that was hinted at in Learn About Loss,[18] as well as how he was able to impregnate Elizabeth Gray despite being unable to walk the earth.[19]

Snippets

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

Teaser #1

Paladin.

The word echoed in Cordelia’s ears. Though she had clambered blindly into a fiacre with Matthew, though they were rattling quickly through some part of Paris, she still felt as if she were standing in front of the cabaret, hearing the guard refuse her entrance. I know what I know. You cannot come inside.

Because you are corrupted within, said a small voice inside her. Because you belong to Lilith, Mother of Demons. Because of your own foolishness, you are cursed. No one should be around you.

“Daisy?” Matthew’s worried voice seemed to come from far away. “Daisy, please. Talk to me.”

Teaser #2

“Regardless,” said Matthew, “I’m glad to hear that you’ve returned to your usual busy schedule of ruining London’s women for London’s men. Before I left for Paris the buzz was that you had gone entirely out of circulation.”

“Oh really?” said Anna.

“It was all anyone seemed to want to talk about at the Ruelle,” Matthew pressed. “Mundane, Downworlders, all the ladies remaining completely unseduced, and not happy about it.”

“I can hardly seduce everyone,” Anna shrugged. “Some of them will just have to seduce one another.”

Now it was Matthew’s turn to raise an eyebrow. “I’m not worried about them,” he said. “I’m worried about you.” In a lower voice he said, “I heard about Ariadne.”

Teaser #3

James took a deep breath. “Daisy,” he said. “I wanted to say — I never apologized.”

She turned, laid the striped dress on the bed. Stayed there, fiddling with its buttons. “For what?”

Teaser #4

James wasn’t sure how he’d expected Lucie to respond to their arrival, but he was startled nonetheless at the fear that flashed across her face.

She took a step back, nearly knocking into the boy standing next to her — Jesse Blackthorn, it was Jesse Blackthorn — and flung her hands up, as if to ward them off. As if to ward off James, and her father.

Teaser #5

"Daisy." Matthew spoke in a low voice, his hand tightening on hers. "I know you are lost in thought. But -- listen."

There was urgency in his voice. Cordelia turned to look behind them, down the long tunnel of the quai -- the river on one side, the stone retaining wall rising on the other, the city above them as if they had retreated underground.

Shhhh. Not the wind in the bare boughs, but a hiss and a slither. A bitter smell, carried on the wind.

Demons.

Teaser #6

Thomas nodded, not really paying attention. It wasn’t his fault, entirely. He knew that Christopher was simply working through his own thought processes aloud, and Thomas wasn’t really expected to follow along. More just produce the occasional encouraging “Oh, indeed.”

From upstairs, the doorbell chimed. Christopher, interrupted in the midst of explaining the science behind fire-messages, put down his stele, muttered about the interruption, and went upstairs to answer the door.

It wasn’t Thomas’s intention to eavesdrop. But when Christopher’s voice drifted down to him, and he heard, “Oh, hullo, Alastair, you must be here to see Charles. I think he’s upstairs in his study,” he found he could focus on nothing else.

Teaser #7

Cordelia and Matthew stood, arm in arm, watching the river flow beneath the bridge. The Seine rolled on from here, she knew, piercing the heart of Paris like a silver arrow just as the Thames did London. "We are not here just to forget," Matthew said, "but also to remember, that there are good and beautiful things in this world, always. And mistakes do not take them from us; nothing takes them from us. They are eternal."

She squeezed his gloved hand with her own. "Matthew. Do you listen to yourself? If you believe what you say, remember that it is true for you, too. Nothing can take the good things of the world from you. And that includes how much your friends and family love you, and always will."

Teaser #8

“Daisy, I know you think that I’ve never loved you,” James said, “and that therefore you can’t trust my feelings. But I want to show you something.”

Teaser #9

“Don’t just stand there, Alastair,” said Matthew. “Thomas needs you.”

Teaser #10

“Daisy,” James whispered. “Do you have any idea what it would do to me if something happened to you? Do you?”

Teaser #11

"Dear Alastair, why are you so stupid and so frustrating, and why do I think about you all the time?"

Teaser #12

Matthew laughed a little breathlessly. “I am saying that with you, I have no armor. I feel everything. For better or worse.”

Teaser #13

“Matthew, you must tell James —“

“Tell him what?” said Matthew. “That I love you? He knows that."

Teaser #14

“I’ve left home,” Ariadne said hesitantly, “and I was wondering if I could . . . Stay with you.”

Teaser #15

"Jesse wanted to chop wood, and Lucie wanted to watch him chopping wood, so it was all working out for the best, really."

Teaser #16

Prologue

Later James could only remember the sound of the wind. A metallic scream, like a knife drawn across a shard of glass, and far below that the sound of howling, desperate and hungry.

He was walking along a long and trackless road: it seemed no one had come before him, for there were no marks on the ground. The sky above was equally blank. James could not have said if it was night or day, winter or summer. Only the bare brown land stretching before him, and the pavement-colored sky above.

Teaser #17

We are not here just to forget, but also to remember, that there are good and beautiful things in this world, always. And mistakes do not take them from us; nothing takes them from us. They are eternal.

Teaser #18

Matthew's eyes were a very dark green as he looked as Thomas. “You love him?”

“More than anything,” Thomas said. “It’s just —

Art

Editions

International covers

Special content

  • Collector's First Edition: All first editions will come with a reverse second cover on the inside of the dust jacket by Charlie Bowater, 10 interior illustrations by Alexandra Curte, and an extra short story about Cordelia and Lucie's parabatai ceremony.[20]
  • Waterstones Exclusive Edition: This special edition will include extra special content.[20]
  • LitJoy Crate pre-order: Those who order through LitJoy's Chain of Thorns pre-order special receive an exclusive letter from Jesse to Lucie.[21][22]

Trivia

  • The book is being published nearly a year later than initially planned[23] due to Covid-19 related publishing delays[24][25] and resulting supply chain issues.[1]
  • There will be a new set of character cards to go with the book by Nicole Deal.[1]
  • The series was originally meant to have a very tragic ending but due to the pandemic, Cassie couldn't bring herself to write it in an already troubling enough time.[16]
  • The roses on the cover symbolize secrecy—a major theme of the series and fitting for the revelations of secrets in this installment.[26]
  • The song Cassandra Clare listened to the most while writing was "Lilith" by Halsey.[16]
  • Cassie originally planned on the first edition's short story being the story of the found family tree, with explanations as to why it is incorrect and what the true family tree is.[27][28]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Cassandra Clare's April 2022 newsletter
  2. Chain of Thorns synopsisSimon & Schuster
  3. "Around a week [will pass between CoI and CoT]." Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
  4. "A short amount of time has passed — no more than a week." CC on Tumblr
  5. Summary of Cassandra Clare's UK tour date for Chain of Iron
  6. 6.0 6.1 TMI Source live recap
  7. 7.0 7.1 TMI Source's 10 year anniversary chat with Cassandra Clare
  8. "[Matthew] does have plenty of money from Charlotte and Henry, which has been paid to him in the form of an allowance for years" & "he has some extra money that was willed to him by grandparents." Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
  9. "Ariadne decides for herself what she wants to be called, and it is neither Ariadne nor Kamala." Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
  10. "Yes, we will see new places, like Paris." CC on Tumblr
  11. "Chain of Thorns is a long book, and the characters go to many places." CC on Tumblr
  12. "We’ll have to wait to see what the consequences of that are." CC on Tumblr
  13. Cassandra Clare on Instagram Live
  14. "He takes someone shopping for waistcoats." CC on Twitter
  15. "Alastair and Matthew both yell at Charles. At the same time, even." CC on Twitter
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 Chain of Thorns cover reveal on SimonTeen's Instagram Live
  17. "Mina is not in danger from Belial. You will find out why in Chain of Thorns." CC on Tumblr
  18. "We will eventually find out why, in Learn about Loss, Jem and Belial seem to kind of know each other." CC on Tumblr
  19. "This will get explained" — CC on Tumblr
  20. 20.0 20.1 Cassandra Clare's June 2022 newsletter
  21. Cassandra Clare's second May 2022 newsletter
  22. "It is from someone whose name rhymes with "Dressie" to someone whose name rhymes with "Gloosie."" Cassandra Clare on Twitter
  23. "CoT in 2022. All March." CC on Tumblr
  24. "It's likely that because of delays in the publication process due to COVID, the last TLH book and Sword Catcher will publish later than originally anticipated." Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
  25. Cassandra Clare's July 2021 newsletter
  26. "Roses actually symbolize secrecy." Cassandra Clare on Twitter
  27. "I decided [the extra for Chain of Thorns is] going to be the story of the family tree, what it actually is and why there was a messed-up version of it." Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
  28. "There is an explanation of why the family tree ended up the way it did; that’s special content in the first edition of Chain of Thorns. But a new family tree is not." CC 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
Cast Long Shadows Son of the Dawn
Every Exquisite Thing The Land I Lost
Learn About Loss Through Blood, Through Fire
A Deeper Love The Lost World
The Wicked Ones Forever Fallen
Upcoming
The Wicked Powers
Companion books
The Shadowhunter's Codex
An Illustrated History of Notable Shadowhunters & Denizens of Downworld
A Long Conversation
The Official Mortal Instruments Coloring Book
All the Stories are True: Classics Reimagined in the World of the Shadowhunters
Secrets of Blackthorn Hall
Adaptations
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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