How to Read the Shadowhunter Chronicles

One of the most well-known YA fantasy series in the book community is of course the Shadowhunter Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, which spans nearly 20 books and novellas up to this point. Now just in case, you have been calling a rock your home let me go over it real quick. The series follows half-human, half-angel warriors known as shadowhunters who fight demons across different eras and recently different dimensions.  With the second installment in The Last Hours series being released in March (!!!!!), now might be the time to finally make a dent in this behemoth of a fantasy world.

Via GIPHY

Now I know it may seem intimidating at first trying to catch up with a series that has this many books, but I’m here to break it down for you and provide a guide on how to go about reading this series. The first option would be to read them in order of publication:

  1. City of Bones
  2. City of Ashes
  3. City of Glass
  4. Clockwork Angel
  5. City of Fallen Angels
  6. Clockwork Prince
  7. City of Lost Souls
  8. Clockwork Princess
  9. The Shadowhunter’s Codex
  10. City of Heavenly Fire
  11. The Bane Chronicles
  12. Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy
  13. Lady Midnight
  14. Lord of Shadows
  15. Queen of Air and Darkness
  16. The Red Scrolls of Magic
  17. Ghosts of the Shadow Market
  18. Chain of Gold
  19. The Lost Book of the White
  20. Chain of Iron

Now you can read the entirety of The Mortal Instruments series before you start The Infernal Devices (like I did).  However, I wish I read it in this order as the last three books of The Mortal Instruments series intertwines nicely with The Infernal Devices and features little easter eggs that will excite the geekiest of fans.  Also, City of Heavenly Fire explains a certain event that happens during the epilogue of Clockwork Princess so if you don’t want anything to ruin the surprise of that moment stick to this order. Anyway moving on…

Via GIPHY

If you instead choose to read by series so you can finish a journey with a set of characters before going on the next, here is the suggested order for you.

  1. The Mortal Instruments
  2. The Infernal Devices
  3. The Bane Chronicles
  4. Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy
  5. The Dark Artifices
  6. Ghosts of the Shadow Market
  7. The Last Hours
  8. The Eldest Curses

Now, if neither of these orders works for you, here is how Cassandra Clare suggests maneuvering your way through her many, many books.

Via GIPHY
  1. The Mortal Instruments, Part One
    1. City of Bones
    2. City of Ashes
    3. City of Glass
  2. The Eldest Curses, Part One
    1. The Red Scrolls of Magic
  3. The Infernal Devices
    1. Clockwork Angel
    2. Clockwork Prince
    3. Clockwork Princess
  4. The Mortal Instruments, Part Two
    1. City of Fallen Angels
    2. City of Lost Souls
    3. City of Heavenly Fire
  5. The Bane Chronicles
  6. Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy
  7. The Eldest Curses, Part Two
    1. The Lost Book of the White
  8. The Dark Artifices
    1. Lady Midnight
    2. Lord of Shadows
    3. Queen of Air and Darkness
  9. Ghosts of the Shadow Market
  10. The Last Hours
    1. Chain of Gold
    2. Chain of Iron
  11. The Shadowhunter’s Codex

Whichever order you may or may not choose, welcome abroad the Shadowhunters train! I’m already in too deep so there’s no way off of this ride that often consists of you getting way too attached to fictional characters and regularly induces emotional breakdowns. You have been warned. Happy reading!

featured image via @foldedpagesdistillery