Prephrase, I am very behind on updating these posts. So, for three people who regularly read this, I apologise. I’m still adjusting to being able to go outside and play in the real world again and I am very tired!

Book number 8 for the year was Chain of Iron, the second in the Last Hours series by Cassandra Clare. You can read my thoughts on the first book here.

Initial thoughts

Overall, I enjoyed this book. I did feel like it was a little slower than some of her other books and I am so annoyed that she has managed to draw out the James and Cordelia slow burn romance longer EVEN THOUGH THEY’RE MARRIED.

I do really love the characters of this series’ though, they are very rich and interesting and the relationships are beautiful. Although, I have the same criticism as I did in The Lost Book of the White, sometimes, the character’s main traits are trotted out when they are being described, in a manner that can become a little repetitive.

It’s very unusual for me to criticise a Clare book but whether it’s something different about me, or what else I’ve been reading lately, something about these had a little less magic for me.

An attempt at summarising without spoilers

If you would like to understand who the characters are, who they are related too and how they related to the characters from The Infernal Devices series, read the Chain of Gold post first.

In this book, the main plot follows mysterious murders occurring with the London Shadowhunters as victims. After the strange illness which struck down so many Shadowhunters in the previous books, there is a real air of fear and suspicion within the Clave. Especially, as the Merry Thieves had to keep so much a secret in order to protect one another, so the Clave weren’t given the full story on how the demon attacks in the previous books were solved.

Cordelia and James are now married and living together. Cordelia is desperately in love with James, who is blind to it because of the spell Grace has put him under with the bracelet. Because they are living together, they grow closer and as a by product of their more intimate relationship, James begins to find the bracelet irritating.

Mathew grows more despondent and his drinking worsens, even though he does finally confess his big secret to Cordelia, who forgives him instantly and tries to convince him to forgive himself (the ‘big secret’ is that he fed his mother what he thought was a ‘truth potion’ as a young teenager, which he’d bought at the shadow market, but he accidentally caused her to miscarry instead).

The Merry Thieves try to discover who the serial killer is, with James even suspecting at some point that it’s related to him because of his demon heritage, fearing possession. Meanwhile, Lucy continues to pursue the idea of bringing Jesse back from the dead, whose ghostly energy is fading since he gave his last breath to James.

We discover how all these threads are related as the book progresses, culminating in Cordelia and James meeting Belial again.


I am excited for the next book, I really can’t tell where this is headed. I do know if Cordelia and James don’t get together soon I will lose my sh**.

Antonia Bernardin blog header

What I read in 2021

The complete list of books I read in 2021!

Song of Achilles

So, Song of Achilles was actually number 25 for the year! This was another TikTok recommendation from the will ‘destroy your soul’ list but I had been on a bit of a sad book kick lately so I thought this would round the list out nicely.

The Gilded Ones

Number 24 was The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna, giving me a little break from this sad books kick that I’ve been on. I heard great things about this book on tiktok so I was really excited to read this one.

Chosen Ones

My next read to catch you up on is Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth, the author of the Divergent series and Carve the Mark Series, both huge favourites of mine.

They Both Die at the End

Book 21 for the year was They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera because I was on a run with the sad books, so why not hammer it home?

The Midnight Library

Continuing the magical library theme from my last read, I recently read The Midnight Library by Matt Haig.