The Complete Guide to the Shadowhunter Chronicles by Cassandra Clare

If you’re like us, then you’ve been a Cassandra Clare fan for a long time. We’ve read all of her Shadowhunter books that are out and can’t wait to read even more in the next few years. With Chain of Thorns releasing on January 31st, we thought it was the perfect time to release this guide.

Check out all of the books Clare has written about Shadowhunters and see which releases we’re still anticipating. This post will get updated when there’s conformation about new books and series.

Want to learn more about our favorite Shadowhunter Chronicles characters? Check out: Which Shadowhunter Chronicles Character Are You Based on Your Myers-Briggs?

Keep on reading the get a summary of all of the Shadowhunter Chronicles books. We separated this post into two categories: series and standalones. We then organized the titles based on the release date of the first book in the series or the release date if it’s a standalone.

Warning: Spoilers if you haven’t read the Shadowhunter Chronicles books.


The Mortal Instruments

The Mortal Instruments is a six-book series set in New York City in 2007.

Main Characters: Clary Fray (Fairchild), Jace Wayland (Herondale), Simon Lewis, Isabelle Lightwood, Alec Lightwood, Magnus Bane, Sebastian Morgenstern, Valentine Morgenstern.

1. City of Bones

City of Bones was Clare’s debut book and introduced us to the world of Shadowhunters. Clary Fray and her best friend Simon Lewis are at a club one night when Clary witnesses something horrific done by three teenagers, who have strange markings on their bodies. But nobody else, not even Simon, can see them.

Quickly, Clary is dragged into the dangerous world of magic that takes her around New York City. Nothing about her new life makes sense, especially not Jace, the annoyingly attractive and egotistical guy trying to help Clary learn the truth about her life. But the reveal at the end means nothing in the Shadowhunter world will be the same again.

City of Bones was released as a movie in 2013 and a TV show (Shadowhunters) in 2016. Neither follow the plot of he books, so we don’t recommend watching the adaptations. Pick up the book series in order instead!

2. City of Ashes

City of Ashes picks up right after the dark twists in City of Bones. Clary is desperate for things to return to normal, but that’s not possible. She has to embrace being a Shadowhunter to keep everyone she loves safe. But as Jace becomes more distant and Simon is relying on her for comfort, Clary has no idea what to do.

Valentine Morgenstern, someone Clary and Jace both have a connection to, wants to rid the world of Downworlders, making Shadowhunters superior. To do this he’s willing to take the moral instruments and make himself the leader of their kind. Clary will do anything to stop him, but too many people are drawn to Valentine’s plan and charisma. He’s building an army.

3. City of Glass

To save everyone, Clary must travel to the Shadowhunter capital city, the City of Glass. But Jace doesn’t want her there and Simon is thrown into prison because of his newfound abilities. Clary finds help from an unlikely friend, a guy named Sebastian who shows up unexpectedly.

Clary will need everyone she can to stop Valentine, but he’s getting stronger and getting support from some unlikely allies. The Shadowhunters need a miracle and the help of Downworlders to stop Valentine from getting everything he ever wanted. In the end, it’s up to Clary and Jace to come together for this epic battle.

4. City of Fallen Angels

In City of Fallen Angels, Clary is so excited to be back in New York after the battle in Alicante. Now that The Mortal War is over, she can focus on her Shadowhunter training and her boyfriend Jace. But someone is provoking the tension between Shadowhunters and Downworlders. Clary knows there’s a new crisis brewing.

A second war is coming and all Shadowhunters must pick a side. But Clary and her friends need to find out who is doing this and why. Valentine is gone, so who is calling the plays this time?

5. City of Lost Souls

Sebastian and Jace are bound to each other. You can’t hurt one without hurting the other. With the next war brewing, Clary is on a mission to save Jace, but at what cost? At the same time, Magnus, Alec, Isabelle and Simon must make bargains to bring Jace back to his normal self, one that takes the group to the Seelie Court.

City of Lost Souls sets up for the ultimate Shadowhunter battle and the final book of The Mortal Instruments series.

6. City of Heavenly Fire

In the conclusion to The Mortal Instruments, City of Heavenly Fire, Sebastian is on a mission to transform Shadowhunters into creatures with the Infernal Cup. The rest of the Shadowhunters flock to Idris to protect themselves, but they can’t keep Sebastian’s army out forever.

At the same time, Clary and the group have their own journey to embark on if they want to win this battle. One that takes them to a dark place with no guarantee of returning home. This one final battle will determine everything about the Shadowhunters and the price of failure is a world run by Sebastian Morgenstern.

The Infernal Devices

The Infernal Devices is set in Victorian London, England.

Main Characters: Tessa Gray, Will Herondale, Jem Carstairs, Charlotte Fairchild, Henry Branwell, Jessamine Lovelace.

1. Clockwork Angel

In 1878, Tessa Gray takes a ship from the United States to London to search for her missing brother. As soon as she arrives, she’s kidnapped by two strange women who claim that Tessa has magical powers. Tessa is eventually rescued and brought to the London Institute, where she meets Will Herondale, Jem Carstairs and all of the other Shadowhunter residents.

Something dark is happening in London and it involves the Pandemonium Club. Both Tessa’s and the Shadowhunter’s interests are aligned here. The Shadowhunter’s need to save London from dark clockwork creatures made by humans and Downworlders, while Tessa will do anything to save her brother. Clockwork Angel is the first book in The Infernal Devices trilogy, an urban fantasy mixed with romantic and steampunk elements.

2. Clockwork Prince

Tessa has found safety with the Shadowhunters, but the Clave wants to challenge this because she “isn’t” a Shadowhunter. But without the help of the institute, Tessa will be easy prey for the Magister. The Magister controls the clockwork creatures and would do anything to take Tessa’s power.

To stop the Magister, Tessa, Jem and Will must go on a quest to learn about this man’s past and how it relates to his end goals. The secrets about this man could also reveal the secrets of Tessa’s lineage.

At the same time, Tessa finds herself drawn to both men and her life. But a romantic relationship with either Jem or Will could prove to be disastrous. Clockwork Prince builds upon the previous plot and gives the reader a more in-depth picture of Shadowhunter politics.

3. Clockwork Princess

The Magister is close to defeating the Shadowhunters once and for all. All he needs is Tessa’s magic to complete his quest. When this evil man captures Tessa, Will and Jem will do anything to get her back. But it looks like Tessa is going to have to face this battle herself.

Clockwork Princess is the thrilling conclusion to The Infernal Devices trilogy, where our favorite characters face their greatest challenges yet. Readers also learn the fate of the most alluring love triangle in YA: Tessa, Will and Jem. Spoiler alert: it’s more complex than you’d expect.

The Dark Artifices

The Dark Artifices takes place in 2012 Los Angles, California.

Main Characters: Emma Carstairs, Julian Blackthorn, Annabelle Blackthorn, Cristina Rosales, Mark Blackthorn, Ty Blackthorn, Kit Herondale, Livvy Blackthorn, Helen Blackthorn, Aline Penhallow.

1. Lady Midnight

The Dark Artifices is a sequel series to The Mortal Instruments and follows characters first introduced in City of Heavenly Fire. Julian Blackthorn and Emma Carstairs lost a lot in The Dark War. Five years later in Lady Midnight, the two live together with Julian’s family at the Los Angeles Institute.

Something dark is happening in LA though. Desperate to prove herself as one of the best, Emma enlists her friends to find out what’s going on. To make things more complicated, Mark, Julian’s half-Fae older brother is returned from faerie to help with this quest. But a deal with the Fae is never that easy and Mark isn’t the same as he was before his kidnapping.

Emma and Julian have to be careful who they can trust. Even working with a faeries goes against the Cold Peace, which was put in place after Sebastian’s Dark War. But what Emma and Julian find out, no Shadowhunter is safe from a centuries-long plot for revenge.

2. Lord of Shadows

Emma and Julian don’t just have enemies, they have to challenge the Clave if they ever want to be together. Parabatai are supposed to fight along side each other, but they can’t fall in love. Emma and Julian are determined to find a way to be together, but that means a dangerous quest and a deal with untrustworthy ally.

At the same time, Shadowhunters and Downworlders are becoming more divided, which leads to extremist Shadowhunter group forming called the Cohort. There goal is to register all Downworlders and the Shadowhunters who oppose their agenda.

The Downworlders turn against the Clave and a dangerous new foe wants to see the Blackthorn family gone. As Lord of Shadows concludes, some Shadowhunters pay the ultimate price and big risks end up becoming their worst nightmare.

3. Queen of Air and Darkness

After the disastrous end of Lord of Shadows, Queen of Air and Darkness begins with the Clave almost at a civil war. Emma and Julian must ignore their feelings and embark on a dangerous quest into faerie.

At the same time, the cohort is getting more ambitious. They’re ready to strike and do whatever it takes to see their dream world become a reality. Everything is up in the air: the fate of the Shadowhunters, the Cold Peace and if Emma and Julian could ever be together without the parabatai curse.

The Dark Artifices does end with some cliffhangers, leaving room for another sequel series called The Wicked Powers, which we will hopefully learn more about in 2023.

The Eldest Curses

The Eldest Curses is a spinoff to The Mortal Instruments and follows Alec Lightwood and Magnus Bane around the world.

Main Characters: Alec Lightwood, Magnus Bane.

1. The Red Scrolls of Magic

After The Mortal War, Alec Lightwood and Magnus Bane just want a nice romantic European getaway. The two take a trip on The Orient Express, ready to explore Paris, France and Venice, Italy.

But as soon as they get to Paris and start their trip, the couple learns about a demon worshiping cult gaining traction: The Crimson Hand. Now it’s up to Alec and Magnus to go across Europe to prevent things from getting worse.

The Red Scrolls of Magic takes place in Paris, Venice and Rome and gives Magnus and Alec their own independent story that takes place before and during the events of City of Fallen Angels.

2. The Lost Book of the White

Everything is going well for Alec and Magnus as they start a life together in Brooklyn. They have great place and they adopted their son Max. But one night someone from their past European trips breaks in to steal The Lost Book of the White.

Alec and Magnus have to drop everything to get it back. This next journey takes them to Shanghai, China, where they learn about new dark forces at play. This mission requires backup: enter Clary, Jace, Isabelle and Simon.

3. The Black Volume of the Dead

The Black Volume of the Dead is one of our biggest disappointments. We’ve been waiting for over two and half years since The Lost Book of the White released. We still don’t even have a release date, cover or a description. However, we know it’s happening. Please give us updates ASAP!

The Last Hours

The Last Hours is set in Edwardian London, England and follows the children of the characters in The Infernal Devices.

Main Characters: James Herondale, Lucie Herondale, Matthew Fairchild, Cordelia Carstairs, Anna Lightwood, Grace Blackthorn, Jesse Blackthorn, Christopher Lightwood, Thomas Lightwood.

1. Chain of Gold

It’s 1903 and our favorite characters from The Infernal Devices are married with children. It’s time for them to have their own adventure in London. Cordelia Carstairs’s father is being accused of a crime, so the family moves to London to try to protect him. Cordelia’s mom want to marry her off to a prominent family, but she’d rather be a warrior.

Cordelia is new to the glitzy London and is brought into the social scene by James and Lucie Herondale. But there’s also a dark side of London, where demon attacks are picking back up for the first time since the events of Clockwork Princess.

These creatures are different than anything Shadowhunters have seen before and the strange events coincide with Grace Blackthorn and her mother’s mysterious return to London after being shunned. In Chain of Gold, the newest group of Shadowhunter face an enemy unlike anything anyone could have predicted.

2. Chain of Iron

Cordelia Carstairs has experienced a lot since moving to London. Now, she’s married to James Herondale and has a great social circle. Her father as returned home and her reputation is intact.

But things are darker than they appear. James is really in love with Grace and the marriage with Cordelia is one of convenience. At the same time, Matthew Fairchild is in love with Cordelia. Lucie is growing distant because of her own secret love story. Lastly, attacks are occurring against Shadowhunters.

As everything is falling apart, Cordelia and The Merry Thieves must try to save London, while Cordelia focuses on protecting her heart. Chain of Iron ends with a big cliffhanger and we’re excited to see how everything works out for these amazing characters.

Unpopular opinion: we ship Cordelia and Matthew and hope they end up together in Chain of Thorns.

3. Chain of Thorns

Chain of Thorns releases on January 31, 2023. Check back for the description after the release date and stay tuned for our full book review coming in February.


The Shadowhunter’s Codex

The Shadowhunter’s Codex isn’t a novel. It’s exactly what it sounds like actually. It’s the list of rules for Shadowhunters to follow, which has been released by the Clave since the 13th century.

Now in it’s “27th edition,” read all the rules that your favorite Shadowhunters are required follow. For anyone who wants a history and a legal lesson, this companion book is for you.

The Bane Chronicles

Main Character: Magnus Bane.

The Bane Chronicles follows one of the best characters created by Clare: Magnus Bane. Magnus lives a fascinating life, which takes him on a crazy journey from French Revolution Paris to the true story of what happened in Peru.

There are 11 short stories in total and they’re bound to make you laugh. There are also appearances made by some of your favorite characters throughout the Shadowhunter universe. Sit back, relax and get ready to read the tales of the High Warlock of Brooklyn.

Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy

Main Character: Simon Lewis.

Simon Lewis finally gets his own book in Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy. Nobody has had it rougher than Simon, who went from human, to Vampire, to Shadowhunter. Now, he’s ready to train so he can be like his closest friends.

But Simon lost his memories at the end of The Moral Instruments series, making life a lot more complicated. Also, this Academy has many problems and people don’t treat Simon well because of his past Downworlder status. However, Simon won’t let anything prevent him from achieving his goals.

Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy started out as a bunch of novellas released online and then was turned into the full book, which released in 2016.

Ghosts of the Shadow Market

Main Character: Jem Carstairs (Brother Zachariah).

The Shadow Market is a place for Downworlders to buy and trade magical objects. It’s not accustomed for Shadowhunters. Still, there’s been one visitor to come year after year: Jem Carstairs.

If you’re a big Jem Carstairs fan, then you need to read Ghosts of the Shadow Market, which follows Jem through the many years he spent as Brother Zachariah, one of the silent brothers. Through his century-long journey, Jem interacts with all of your favorite characters through the Shadowhunter Chronicles.

25 thoughts on “The Complete Guide to the Shadowhunter Chronicles by Cassandra Clare”

  1. Oh wow, that’s a lot of books. I’ve only read the first three books of Immortal Instruments. I do what to read out the entire chronicles. Do you recommend reading in the order you listed them?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve seen some of the Shadowhunter tv series, so it’s good to know that the books are different! I also didn’t realize there were so many different Shadowhunter series and standalone books.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for writing this!! Honestly after the second series, Infernal Devices came out, I got bored and lost track of all the books she’s written in this world. So I haven’t picked it back up since! But I feel like I could probably get back into having a better understanding of how they’re connected.

    Liked by 1 person

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