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The Shadowhunters' Wiki:Readers' Guide

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The Shadowhunters' Wiki:Readers' Guide

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CJ Shadowhunter Chronicles

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 Shadowhunter Wikia 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. If you intend, or are at least considering, to read all the books, then you should follow the publication order: start with The Mortal Instruments, the first of which is City of Bones.

However, it also won't be a problem if you decide to read The Infernal Devices' Clockwork Angel or The Dark Artifices' Lady Midnight first, or even the upcoming The Last Hours' Chain of Gold. 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 reading TID, wherein you may be confused about some things involving a few characters. However, if you intend to read only one of those series, then it won't be much of a problem (CoHF actually features and hints at certain TID characters and events, and you might not just care, whereas the TID fans died of joy while reading those.)

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. The Eldest Curses: The Lost Book of the White
  15. The Last Hours: Chain of Gold
  16. TDA: The Queen of Air and Darkness

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

  1. TEC: The Black Volume of the Dead
  2. TLH: Chain of Iron
  3. TEC: The Red Scrolls of Magic
  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. 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
  4. The Bane Chronicles
  5. Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy
  6. The Eldest Curses (to be determined)
    1. The Lost Book of the White
    2. The Black Volume of the Dead
    3. The Red Scrolls of Magic
  7. The Dark Artifices
    1. Lady Midnight
    2. Lord of Shadows
    3. The 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. The Queen of Air and Darkness
  7. The Eldest Curses
    1. The Lost Book of the White
    2. The Black Volume of the Dead
    3. The Red Scrolls of Magic
  8. 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. The Queen of Air and Darkness
  6. The Eldest Curses
    1. The Lost Book of the White
    2. The Black Volume of the Dead
    3. The Red Scrolls of Magic
  7. The Last Hours
    1. Chain of Gold
    2. Chain of Iron
    3. Chain of Thorns

What about the companion books?

Reading The Bane Chronicles and Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy without background in either series is also not advised. Another commonly asked question is "Do I need to read TBC/TFSA to understand *insert book name*?" Simple answer: No, you don't. Should you? That depends on you. There are some very good stories in the collections that can actually give you some insight or background stories to other recurring, minor, or mentioned characters in the series and, of course, Magnus and Simon.

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