The series follows Clary Fray, Jace Lightwood, Simon Lewis, Isabelle Lightwood, Alec Lightwood and other Downworlders and Shadowhunters in the New York Institute. Seemingly normal at first, Clary soon gets sucked into the world of Nephilim and other creatures when she finds out that she is a Shadowhunter.
- Clarissa "Clary" Fray - the main protagonist of the series, Clary was raised by her mother among mundanes in an attempt to keep her safe from the dangers of the Shadow World, and from her biological father. When her mother goes missing though, Clary has no choice but to to join the Shadowhunters in search of her mother, and even falls in love with another Shadowhunter along the way.
- Jace Lightwood - one of the most skilled Shadowhunters of his generation; Jace has always been special. Raised by a father who taught him not to love, Jace was sent to the New York Institute to live with the Lightwoods when his 'father' is murdered.
- Simon Lewis - Clary's geeky, mundane best friend who inevitably joins Clary and the Shadowhunters because of his feelings for Clary. Because of his direct involvement in the Shadow World, he soon becomes a part of it in a way he did not see coming.
- Isabelle Lightwood - a beautiful Shadowhunter, Isabelle is described as being incredibly girly but with a fierce attitude. But behind this tough facade is a heartbroken girl, guilt-stricken over the death of her brother.
- Alec Lightwood - the eldest Lightwood, Alec, is very protective of his family and, despite his tranquility, is a strong Shadowhunter, alongside his parabatai, Jace. Alec's interest in men, a quality looked down upon in their culture, .
- Magnus Bane - the High Warlock of Brooklyn, Magnus is an 800-year-old warlock who appears 19. Because of his relationship with Alec, Magnus feels obliged to aid the Shadowhunters of New York in their tasks.
- Jocelyn Fairchild - Clary's mother
- Luke Garroway - a close friend of Jocelyn who helped raise Clary; also Valentine's former parabatai
- Valentine Morgenstern - Clary's father and Jocelyn's late husband; primary antagonist of the first half of the series
- Jonathan Christopher Morgenstern - the true son of Jocelyn and brother to Clary; raised by Valentine after being experimented on with demon blood, primary antagonist of second half of the series
- Maia Roberts - a werewolf part of Luke Garroway's pack and the girlfriend of Jordan.
- Jordan Kyle - a werewolf working for the Praetor Lupus and the boyfriend of Maia.
- Max Lightwood - a young, deceased Shadowhunter. He is the brother of Isabelle and Alec and is the adoptive brother of Jace.
- City of Bones
- City of Ashes
- City of Glass
- City of Fallen Angels
- City of Lost Souls
- City of Heavenly Fire
Audiobook editions Edit
City of Bones was narrated by Ari Graynor, while Natalie Moore narrated City of Ashes and City of Glass. City of Fallen Angels was narrated by Ed Westwick and Molly C. Quinn, and Molly continued to narrate the City of Lost Souls.
Film adaptation Edit
- Main article: The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones
The first of the series, City of Bones, is already being adapted onto the big screen. Initial reports claim plans for a film trilogy based on the first three books.