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>>>tl;dr? Click here to skip onto the reading orders section.<<<
CJ James &amp; Matthew 01

New to the series? Welcome! This page can serve as a guide to new readers of the The Shadowhunter Chronicles series who would like to know which they should begin with. Take note that these are only subjective suggestions and are by no means definitive or authoritative, and obviously you can read the stories in whatever order you choose, but this is guidance for those who seek it. Leave a message on the talk page if you have any suggestions for topics we should be covering.

(If you are a parent worried about what your child may be reading, please go the the wiki's Parent Page.)

Spoilers

If you intend to read all of the books, we recommend keeping a distance from the Shadowhunters' wiki pages. However, if you have decided to only read a certain series and familiarize yourself with certain elements or characters, then we can only advise that you explore the wiki with caution. Do not visit pages related to the series you intend to read, as if we can promise you one thing, it would be this: this wiki is full of spoilers; full of it. Even some intros have spoilers.

Where to start?

A common question among new readers is "Which of the books/series should I read first?" The answer is simple, really. It's up to you where you want to start. There are so many ways. Each first installment of each series is written by Cassandra Clare to be new-reader-friendly as possible, meaning you can start with any series.

Clockwork Angel is actually the first in chronology, though some TMI things (though very few) will be revealed to you early, and it's the other way around if you finish TMI (City of Heavenly Fire) first before starting TID, wherein you may be confused about some things involving a few characters. Thus, the most recommended would be publication order (see below).

TDA and TLH take place after TMI and TID, respectively, so although CC will make them as new-reader-friendly as possible, you a) will definitely be spoiled about events of the previous series (survival, standing species of certain people, relationships, etc.), and b) may not relate to how other readers feel about certain guest/supporting characters. "It helps to have read the previous books—it helps a lot—but it's not necessary."

Reading orders

In conjunction with the "Where to start?" section above is this section, which will provide a straightforward list of the books in its variety of orders, all of which can serve as reading orders.

Publication order
  1. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones
  2. TMI: City of Ashes
  3. TMI: City of Glass
  4. The Infernal Devices: Clockwork Angel
  5. TMI: City of Fallen Angels
  6. TID: Clockwork Prince
  7. TMI: City of Lost Souls
  8. TID: Clockwork Princess
  9. The Bane Chronicles
  10. TMI: City of Heavenly Fire
  11. Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy
  12. The Dark Artifices: Lady Midnight
  13. TDA: Lord of Shadows
  14. Ghosts of the Shadow Market: An Anthology of Tales
  15. TDA: Queen of Air and Darkness
  16. The Eldest Curses: The Red Scrolls of Magic
  17. The Last Hours: Chain of Gold

(the release order of the installments listed below are uncertain):

  1. TEC: The Lost Book of the White
  2. TLH: Chain of Iron
  3. TEC: The Black Volume of the Dead
  4. TLH: Chain of Thorns
Chronological order
  1. The Infernal Devices
    1. Clockwork Angel
    2. Clockwork Prince
    3. Clockwork Princess
  2. The Last Hours
    1. Chain of Gold
    2. Chain of Iron
    3. Chain of Thorns
  3. Ghosts of the Shadow Market: An Anthology of Tales
  4. The Mortal Instruments
    1. City of Bones
    2. City of Ashes
    3. City of Glass
    4. City of Fallen Angels
    5. City of Lost Souls
    6. City of Heavenly Fire
  5. The Bane Chronicles
  6. The Eldest Curses
    1. The Red Scrolls of Magic
    2. The Lost Book of the White
    3. The Black Volume of the Dead
  7. Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy
  8. The Dark Artifices
    1. Lady Midnight
    2. Lord of Shadows
    3. Queen of Air and Darkness

Below are other recommended reading order options as seen on Cassandra Clare's website:

Triad order
  1. The Mortal Instruments, Part One
    1. City of Bones
    2. City of Ashes
    3. City of Glass
  2. The Infernal Devices
    1. Clockwork Angel
    2. Clockwork Prince
    3. Clockwork Princess
  3. The Mortal Instruments, Part Two
    1. City of Fallen Angels
    2. City of Lost Souls
    3. City of Heavenly Fire
  4. The Bane Chronicles
  5. Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy
  6. The Dark Artifices
    1. Lady Midnight
    2. Lord of Shadows
    3. Queen of Air and Darkness
  7. Ghosts of the Shadow Market: An Anthology of Tales
  8. The Eldest Curses
    1. The Red Scrolls of Magic
    2. The Lost Book of the White
    3. The Black Volume of the Dead
  9. The Last Hours
    1. Chain of Gold
    2. Chain of Iron
    3. Chain of Thorns
Series order
  1. The Mortal Instruments
    1. City of Bones
    2. City of Ashes
    3. City of Glass
    4. City of Fallen Angels
    5. City of Lost Souls
    6. City of Heavenly Fire
  2. The Infernal Devices
    1. Clockwork Angel
    2. Clockwork Prince
    3. Clockwork Princess
  3. The Bane Chronicles
  4. Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy
  5. The Dark Artifices
    1. Lady Midnight
    2. Lord of Shadows
    3. Queen of Air and Darkness
  6. Ghosts of the Shadow Market: An Anthology of Tales
  7. The Eldest Curses
    1. The Red Scrolls of Magic
    2. The Lost Book of the White
    3. The Black Volume of the Dead
  8. The Last Hours
    1. Chain of Gold
    2. Chain of Iron
    3. Chain of Thorns
Sortable table version; click Expand then sort to your preferred order by clicking the column header
Title Publication order Chronological Alt *
01.0 The Mortal Instruments 1 53 56
01.1 City of Bones 2 17 22
01.2 City of Ashes 3 19 24
01.3 City of Glass 4 21 26
01.4 City of Fallen Angels 7 23 27
01.5 City of Lost Souls 9 24 28
01.6 City of Heavenly Fire 23 26 30
02.0 The Infernal Devices 5 51 52
02.1 Clockwork Angel 6 5 7
02.2 Clockwork Prince 8 6 8
02.3 Clockwork Princess 10 7 9
03.0 The Bane Chronicles 11 55 51
03.01 What Really Happened in Peru 12 2 2
03.02 The Runaway Queen 13 3 3
03.03 Vampires, Scones, and Edmund Herondale 14 4 5
03.04 The Midnight Heir 15 9 13
03.05 The Rise of the Hotel Dumort 16 12 16
03.06 Saving Raphael Santiago 17 13 17
03.07 The Fall of the Hotel Dumort 18 14 18
03.08 What to Buy the Shadowhunter Who... 20 20 25
03.09 The Last Stand of the New York Institute 21 15 21
03.10 The Course of True Love 22 18 23
03.11 The Voicemail of Magnus Bane 24 25 29
04.0 The Shadowhunter's Codex 19 1 1
05.0 Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy 25 56 53
05.01 Welcome to Shadowhunter Academy 26 27 31
05.02 The Lost Herondale 27 28 4
05.03 The Whitechapel Fiend 28 29 10
05.04 Nothing but Shadows 29 30 11
05.05 The Evil We Love 30 31 19
05.06 Pale Kings and Princes 31 32 20
05.07 Bitter of Tongue 32 33 32
05.08 The Fiery Trial 33 34 33
05.09 Born to Endless Night 34 35 34
05.10 Angels Twice Descending 35 36 35
06.0 The Dark Artifices 36 57 58
06.1 Lady Midnight 37 37 36
06.2 Lord of Shadows 38 38 37
06.3 Queen of Air and Darkness 48 39 38
07.0 Ghosts of the Shadow Market 39 58 (pending) 54 (pending)
07.01 Son of the Dawn 40 16 50 (pending)
07.02 Ghosts 2 41 50 (pending) 50 (pending)
07.03 Ghosts 3 42 50 (pending) 50 (pending)
07.04 Ghosts 4 43 50 (pending) 50 (pending)
07.05 Ghosts 5 44 50 (pending) 50 (pending)
07.06 Ghosts 6 45 50 (pending) 50 (pending)
07.07 Ghosts 7 46 50 (pending) 50 (pending)
07.08 Ghosts 8 47 50 (pending) 50 (pending)
07.09 Ghosts 9 51 (pending) 50 (pending) 50 (pending)
07.10 Ghosts 10 52 (pending) 50 (pending) 50 (pending)
08.0 The Eldest Curses 49 54 (pending) 57 (pending)
08.1 The Red Scrolls of Magic 50 50 (pending) 50 (pending)
08.2 The Lost Book of the White 56 (pending) 50 (pending) 50 (pending)
08.3 The Black Volume of the Dead 58 (pending) 50 (pending) 50 (pending)
09.0 The Last Hours 53 (pending) 52 (pending) 55 (pending)
09.1 Chain of Gold 54 (pending) 8 12
09.2 Chain of Iron 55 (pending) 10 14
09.3 Chain of Thorns 57 (pending) 11 15
10.0 The Wicked Powers 59 (pending) 59 (pending) 59 (pending)

* Alt being the alternate chronological order considering the chronology of events of the flashback stories of The Bane Chronicles, Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy, and soon, Ghosts of the Shadow Market: An Anthology of Tales; can be confusing.
* This list does not include other short stories released as extras or bonus content.

What about the companion books?

Reading The Bane Chronicles, Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy, and the upcoming Ghosts of the Shadow Market and The Eldest Curses without background in either series is not advised, but not impossible.

Another commonly asked question is "Do I need to read these companion books to understand *insert book name*?" Simple answer: No, you don't have to. Should you? That's entirely up to you. These collections contain short stories that could give you insight or background stories on several other recurring, minor, or mentioned characters in the series and would allow you to revisit other characters from the previous series.

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