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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?

Starting a series with several installments can be daunting, but what's good about this series is there are several ways you can get into the books. A common question among new readers is "Which of the books/series should I read first?" The most advisable and simplest to follow would be publication order (to avoid being spoiled about other books), but if this proves difficult (i.e. you can't get access to all the books immediately), as already said, there are so many other 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. She also avoids revealing too much, even about an already done series, when mentioned in passing in other main books. (Companion books, however, do tend to spoil things if you have not read a certain series. See What about the companion books? section below.)

TDA and TEC take place after TMI, and TLH after TID, so although CC will make them as new-reader-friendly as possible, you a) will definitely be spoiled about some 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. The Shadowhunter's Codex
  11. TMI: City of Heavenly Fire
  12. Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy
  13. The Dark Artifices: Lady Midnight
  14. A History of Notable Shadowhunters & Denizens of the Downworld
  15. TDA: Lord of Shadows
  16. Ghosts of the Shadow Market: An Anthology of Tales
  17. TDA: Queen of Air and Darkness
  18. The Eldest Curses: The Red Scrolls of Magic
  19. 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
Series 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 Shadowhunter's Codex
  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. Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy
  9. A History of Notable Shadowhunters & Denizens of the Downworld
  10. 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. The Shadowhunter's Codex
  6. Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy
  7. A History of Notable Shadowhunters & Denizens of the Downworld
  8. The Dark Artifices
    1. Lady Midnight
    2. Lord of Shadows
    3. Queen of Air and Darkness
  9. Ghosts of the Shadow Market: An Anthology of Tales
  10. The Eldest Curses
    1. The Red Scrolls of Magic
    2. The Lost Book of the White
    3. The Black Volume of the Dead
  11. The Last Hours
    1. Chain of Gold
    2. Chain of Iron
    3. Chain of Thorns
Series release 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. The Shadowhunter's Codex
  5. Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy
  6. A History of Notable Shadowhunters & Denizens of the Downworld
  7. The Dark Artifices
    1. Lady Midnight
    2. Lord of Shadows
    3. Queen of Air and Darkness
  8. Ghosts of the Shadow Market: An Anthology of Tales
  9. The Eldest Curses
    1. The Red Scrolls of Magic
    2. The Lost Book of the White
    3. The Black Volume of the Dead
  10. The Last Hours
    1. Chain of Gold
    2. Chain of Iron
    3. Chain of Thorns

The more detailed chronological order of each individual installment can be found in the sortable table below, just click the Chronological or Alt column headers upon expanding.

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 21 27
01.2 City of Ashes 3 23 29
01.3 City of Glass 4 25 31
01.4 City of Fallen Angels 7 27 33
01.5 City of Lost Souls 9 29 34
01.6 City of Heavenly Fire 23 31 36
02.0 The Infernal Devices 5 51 52
02.1 Clockwork Angel 6 4 6
02.2 Clockwork Prince 8 5 7
02.3 Clockwork Princess 10 6 8
03.0 The Bane Chronicles 11 55 51
03.01 What Really Happened in Peru 12 1 2
03.02 The Runaway Queen 13 2 3
03.03 Vampires, Scones, and Edmund Herondale 14 3 5
03.04 The Midnight Heir 15 10 14
03.05 The Rise of the Hotel Dumort 16 13 17
03.06 Saving Raphael Santiago 17 16 20
03.07 The Fall of the Hotel Dumort 18 17 21
03.08 What to Buy the Shadowhunter Who... 20 24 30
03.09 The Last Stand of the New York Institute 21 18 24
03.10 The Course of True Love 22 22 28
03.11 The Voicemail of Magnus Bane 24 30 35
04.0 The Shadowhunter's Codex 19 28 1
05.0 Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy 25 56 53
05.01 Welcome to Shadowhunter Academy 26 32 37
05.02 The Lost Herondale 27 33 4
05.03 The Whitechapel Fiend 28 34 9
05.04 Nothing but Shadows 29 35 10
05.05 The Evil We Love 30 36 22
05.06 Pale Kings and Princes 31 37 23
05.07 Bitter of Tongue 32 38 38
05.08 The Fiery Trial 33 39 39
05.09 Born to Endless Night 34 40 40
05.10 Angels Twice Descending 35 41 41
06.0 The Dark Artifices 36 57 58
06.01 A Long Conversation 37.0 45 45
06.1 Lady Midnight 37 44 44
06.2 Lord of Shadows 38 46 46
06.3 Queen of Air and Darkness 48 47 47
07.0 Ghosts of the Shadow Market 39 58 54
07.01 Son of the Dawn 40 20 26
07.02 Cast Long Shadows 41 7 11
07.03 Every Exquisite Thing 42 8 12
07.04 Learn About Loss 43 14 18
07.05 A Deeper Love 44 15 19
07.06 The Wicked Ones 45 19 25
07.07 The Land I Lost 46 42 42
07.08 Through Blood, Through Fire 47 43 43
07.09 Ghosts of Old Loves 51 48 48
07.10 Forever Fallen 52 49 49
08.0 The Eldest Curses 49 54 57
08.1 The Red Scrolls of Magic 50 26 32
08.2 The Lost Book of the White 55 (pending) 41.post (pending) 40.post (pending)
08.3 The Black Volume of the Dead 57 (pending) 49.post (pending) 49.post (pending)
09.0 The Last Hours 53 52 55
09.1 Chain of Gold 54 9 13
09.2 Chain of Iron 56 (pending) 11 15
09.3 Chain of Thorns 58 (pending) 12 16
10.0 The Wicked Powers 59 (pending) 59 59

* Alt being the alternate chronological order considering the chronology of events of the flashback stories of The Shadowhunter's Codex, 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 Shadowhunter's Codex, The Bane Chronicles, Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy, and Ghosts of the Shadow Market without background in any series is not advised, but not impossible. Meanwhile, A History of Notable Shadowhunters & Denizens of the Downworld does not have a story but contains some spoilers.

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.

However, reading these when you have not read other series installments may unexpectedly reveal some things for you. This is because each companion series is a companion not only specifically for one series. TBC, TfSA, and GotSM all contain stories involving TMI, TID, and TLH characters, so if you have not read one of those, you may find things confusing, but based on testimony by some readers, it is not entirely impossible.