Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunters novels encompass the #1 New York Times bestselling series The Mortal Instruments, The Infernal Devices, The Dark Artifices, The Eldest Curses, and The Last Hours series, along with The Bane Chronicles, Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy, and Ghosts of the Shadow Market. Shadowhunters are a magical race of beings that are half angel and half human. Their efforts to protect our world from demons and other supernatural forces are featured across all the Shadowhunters novels.
What book should I start with?
Begin with City of Bones, the first book in The Mortal Instruments series. You can even start reading the first 100 pages of City of Bones right here for free! City of Bones is about Clary Fray, whose search for her missing mother leads her into an alternate New York called Downworld, filled with mysterious faeries, hard-partying warlocks, not-what-they-seem vampires, an army of werewolves, and the demons who want to destroy it all. She also finds herself torn between two boys—her best friend, Simon, for whom she’s developing new feelings, and the mysterious Shadowhunter, Jace. She becomes a part of the secret world of the Shadowhunters and as she does, she discovers that rescuing her mother might mean jeopardizing everything the Shadowhunters work for.
City of Bones is followed by the second book, City of Ashes, then City of Glass, City of Fallen Angels, City of Lost Souls, and City of Heavenly Fire.
What is The Infernal Devices series about?
The Infernal Devices are a trilogy of prequels to The Mortal Instruments books, set almost 130 years ago. They deal with the adventures of a Downworlder girl named Tessa in a Victorian London where the Accords have only just been finalized and tensions between Shadowhunters and Downworlders are running high. It’s a romantic adventure centering around the Lightwood, Herondale, Wayland, and other Shadowhunter families you’ll know well from The Mortal Instruments. The warlock Magnus Bane also appears in them.
The first book in The Infernal Devices series is Clockwork Angel, followed by Clockwork Prince and Clockwork Princess.
When should you start reading the Infernal Devices series?
After The Mortal Instruments, Book 3: City of Glass, The Infernal Devices and The Mortal Instruments series alternated in their publication dates. Because the stories overlap and intertwine, it is recommended that you read them in publication order — though if you choose not to, that will not affect your comprehension of either series. They complement each other, but each stands alone as a separate story. Here’s the publication order after City of Glass:
The Infernal Devices Book 1: Clockwork Angel
The Mortal Instruments, Book 4: City of Fallen Angels
The Infernal Devices, Book 2: Clockwork Prince
The Mortal Instruments, Book 5: City of Lost Souls
The Infernal Devices, Book 3: Clockwork Princess
The Mortal Instruments, Book 6: City of Heavenly Fire
What about the other series?
The Dark Artifices is a sequel trilogy to The Mortal Instruments. Set against the glittering backdrop of present-day Los Angeles, five years since the events of City of Heavenly Fire, the series follows Emma Carstairs, the fiercest warrior and most skilled young Shadowhunter since Jace Wayland, and Emma’s sworn partner in arms, Julian Blackthorn. Despite Emma’s complicated feelings for Julian, the two must band together to investigate a demonic plot that stretches from the warlock-run nightclubs of the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica.
The Last Hours is a sequel trilogy to The Infernal Devices. Following the events of Clockwork Princess, the Shadowhunters enter the Downton Abbey era. Will Herondale is head of the London Institute, where he lives with his wife Tessa. But now it’s their children, James and Lucie, who take center stage, alongside their parabatai, Matthew Fairchild and Cordelia Carstairs.
The Eldest Curses dives deeper into Magnus Bane’s exciting and mysterious life in this sequel series to the Mortal Instruments series. Book one, The Red Scrolls of Magic, follows Magnus and Alec on a demon-filled vacation after City of Glass. Book two, The Lost Book of the White, follows our favorite pair after City of Heavenly Fire.
What order should I read the books in?
There are many ways you could read (or re-read) Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter books, and we’re here to give you the top 4 options. Find even more here.
Will any of these books be a movie?
The movie was released by Sony Screen Gems on August 21, 2013. The movie was based on City of Bones and was called The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. It starred Lily Collins and Jamie Campbell-Bower. The movie was produced by Constantin Films and directed by Harold Zwart.
The Infernal Devices was also optioned by Constantin Films but has not yet been put into development.
Or a television show?
Freeform debuted the Shadowhunters TV show on January 12, 2016. It ran for three seasons until 2019. Visit https://www.freeform.com/shows/shadowhunters to watch the show.
Are there discussion guides available for my book group?
Yes, discussion guides are available here.