“Chain of Thorns” is a lackluster finale that leaves too much unsaid


Via Simon and Schuster

Chain of Thorns is the fifteenth book of the “City of Bones” series. It serves as the finale to the series’ latest trilogy “The Last Hours.”

After binge reading the four trilogies of the “City of Bones” series by Cassandra Clare, I was thrilled to find out that a finale for her latest trilogy, “The Last Hours,” would be released. I hoped “Chain of Thorns” would tie up a lot of loose ends after the cliffhanger at the end of “Chain of Iron,” but it left me unfulfilled.

 In the book, we come back to seeing the life of our main characters Cordelia Carstairs, James Herondale and Grace Blackthorn. The book does a good job of starting off where the second ended – it’s crystal clear where our characters stand, and their feelings and actions from the last cliffhanger open the book with a compact start. We see how Cordelia is doing after running away with Matthew, and what is happening to James and Grace.

Clare’s writing has always been a personal favorite of mine; her books are filled with humorous quotes, three-dimensional characters and, most importantly, well thought out plot lines. The finales of her trilogies were really thought out and fulfilling, but, unfortunately, that’s what “Chain of Thorns” lacks the most. Instead of a meaningful and emotional wrap, the book only offered a lackluster, last minute love triangle of Cordelia, Matthew and a struggling James.

One good thing about this book, though, was the points of emotion and on-point characterization. Magnus Bane has been an ever present force in the series as a humorous and eccentric warlock, and his persona continues. There’s also Will Herondale, whose friendly and open demeanor works in tandem with the plot. The characters, though thrown into random situations, still have personality and an air of likeness to them that’s like a breath of fresh air.

Though I was disappointed with the plot holes, seeing Cordelia and James interact was the perfect counterbalance. The relationship between Cordelia and James is essential to the series. The romance in this book was tightly knit and well written. Alastair and Thomas’s steady inclination toward each other once again was a painful yet fulfilling process.

Though the book progressed well and gave great input into characters’ feelings, the ending is what really sealed its unfortunate impression. Normally, Clare does an astounding job of wrapping up characters in a way that makes it clear and understandable to what happens. “Chain of Thorns,” however, is a far cry from that pleasing semblance of closure, and that is truly what sets it up to be a fulfillingly lackluster finale.

Still, if you enjoy a good Cassandra Clare series, or are eager to finish her latest trilogy, “Chain of Thorns” is an option. It still has specs of the booming start of the series, but be warned, the ending is a true hit to the soul.