An FAQ on Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter Novels:
Start reading the first 100 pages of City of Bones
What are the Shadowhunter novels?
The Shadowhunter novels encompass Cassandra Clare’s three young adult fantasy series – The #1 New York Times bestselling series The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices, as well as the upcoming The Dark Artifices series. 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 three series.
What book should I start with?
Begin with City of Bones, the first book in The Mortal Instruments series. 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 and City of Lost Souls. The 6th book in the series, City of Heavenly Fire, will be published March 2014.
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.
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 6: Clockwork Princess (On Sale: March 2013)
The Mortal Instruments, Book 6: City of Heavenly Fire (On Sale: March 2014)
What about The Dark Artifices?
The first book in The Dark Artifices will be published in 2015, so you have plenty of time to catch up on The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices! Set against the glittering backdrop of present-day Los Angeles, the new 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.
Will any of these books be a movie?
There is a movie in the works for City of Bones starring Lily Collins and Jamie Campbell-Bower. The movie will start filming this summer and will be released August 2013. You’ll find the must up-to-date details about the movie here.