I think it’s pretty obvious that Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter novels are quite a big deal amongst YA book readers. From the release of ‘The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones’ back in 2007, the books have just become increasingly popular as time goes by (And they’ve definitely improved, if you ask me).
It has had a movie adaption, starring Lily Collins and Jamie Campbell Bower. Unfortunately, that didn’t even go as far as a second movie. However, a Freeform/Netflix series adaption was released last year and has so far been quite successful with the third season due to release in April 2018.
One of the most common questions asked though (especially by new or TV show fans) is “Which books do I read first?” So to answer that question, I’ve compiled a list of what I think would be the ideal order to read them (even though this is not publication order, I find that less gets spoiled this way).
Without further ado:
The Mortal Instruments:
- City of Bones
- City of Ashes
- City of Glass
The Infernal Devices:
- Clockwork Angel
- Clockwork Prince
- Clockwork Princess
The Mortal Instruments:
- City of Fallen Angels
- City of Lost Souls
- City of Heavenly Fire
I have ordered the above this way because the first three TMI novels give an introduction to the Shadowhunter world and so that is better to read before TID. There are also tons of TID references (and possible spoilers) in the three later books, which is why they should be read before.
- The Bane Chronicles
- Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy (1-10)
The above are collections of short stories. The Bane Chronicles centres around the warlock Magnus Bane, and include stories of before and after TMI events. ‘Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy’ has Simon as its main character, but I think it might be a spoiler to elaborate more. I think the latter is especially vital to read before the next books, which are:
The Dark Artifices:
- Lady Midnight
- Lord of Shadows
- Queen of Air and Darkness (To be released in 2018)
‘The Shadowhunter’s Codex’ is a companion book, and doesn’t really fit into the timeline. It is basically textbook styled, educating the reader on the ways of the Shadowhunters (But it does have side notes from Clary, Jace and Simon to ensure it isn’t boring).
The other books due to be released from the Shadowhunter Chronicles are as follows:
- The Last Hours series (published in 2019)
- The Wicked Powers series (published in 2022)
- The Eldest Curses series (published in 2018)
The Last Hours will follow the children of the main characters from ‘The Infernal Devices’ series and will consist of three books (Chain of Gold, Chain of Iron and Chain of Thorns).
The Wicked Powers will follow Kit and Ty from ‘The Dark Artifices’ series. It will also consist of three books that have yet to be named. Cassandra has said that this is probably the last of the Shadowhunter novels.
The Eldest Curses’ main characters are Magnus and Alec. It is a trilogy that takes place immediately after ‘The City of Glass’. The books will be ‘The Lost Book of the White”, “The Black Volume of the Dead” and “The Red Scrolls of Magic”.