How to read the Shadowhunter Chronicles ➰📚


Dear reader,

If you don’t know, I am a huge Shadowhunter fan and have been for a huge part of my life. The Mortal Instruments series isn’t necessarily my favourite but The Infernal Devices and The Dark Artifices ones are, so I have a lot of love for this world and all it brought me.

Over the years a lot of people have told me they wanted to start this huge series but there were too many series inside of it, and therefor they didn’t know where to start. I once filmed a video about it but I thought it could help more people if it was written.

So, in honor of Chain of Gold being finally released today, here are all the ways to read the Shadowhunter Chronicles!

 Chronological order (story)

With this order you read the book as one big story, therefor you start with the books set in the past, such as The Infernal Devices trilogy which happens in the 19th century. I wouldn’t recommend it because many books aren’t out yet if you want to follow that order, which may make it messy.

Here is the first chronological order:

  • The Infernal Devices trilogy
  • Chain of Gold (book 1 in The Last Hours trilogy)
  • The Mortal Instruments (both trilogies)
  • The Bane Chronicles (novellas about Magnus Bane through history)*
  • The Red Scrolls of Magic (book 1 in The Eldest Curses trilogy)
  • The Tales of the Shadowhunter Academy (novellas around the Shadowhunter Academy through history)*
  • The Dark Artifices book 1 and 2
  • Ghosts of the Shadow Market (novellas around different Shadowhunter markets through history)*
  • The Dark Artifices book 3

*You can leave the novellas bind ups for when you’ll be done with all the novels. I tried to incorporate them into the order, but it may be best to keep for last, except for Ghosts of the Shadow Market which makes more sense to be read before Queen of Air and Darkness and Tales of the Shadowhunter Academy which also helps understanding more things in Lady Midnight.


 Chronological order (releases)

Now this order is the one that most people followed, the one with the releases chronological order. It would make the more sense as certain series have been created to intertwined with others, so you may want to follow this one, though it can be a bit hard to follow at times where you’re at in the story.

Here is the second chronological order:

  • The Mortal Instruments (first trilogy)
  • Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices book 1)
  • City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments book 4, first book in the second trilogy)
  • Clockwork Prince (TID book 2)
  • City of Lost Souls (TMI book 5)
  • Clockwork Princess (TID book 3)
  • City of Heavenly Fire (TMI book 6)
  • Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy
  • Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices book 1)
  • Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices book 2)
  • Ghosts of the Shadow Market
  • Queen of Air and Darkness (The Dark Artifices book 3)
  • The Red Scrolls of Magic
  • Chain of Gold

Again, you can read the novellas bind ups whenever (I’d still recommend to read the Tales of the Shadowhunter Academy before Lady Midnight and the Ghosts of the Shadow Market before Queen of Air and Darkness) so I didn’t add the Bane Chronicles this time. It’s only best to read it once you’re done with The Mortal Instruments.


 Cassandra Clare order

Here is the one I followed once I started to really get into this world because it’s the one Cassandra Clare used to recommend. When I met her in London she told us that with the upcoming release of Chain of Gold, which is the story about the children of the characters in The Infernal Devices series, she told people more often to read TID first. However I still believe this order is amazing and it gave me all the feels.

  • The Mortal Instruments (first trilogy)
  • The Infernal Devices
  • The Mortal Instruments (second trilogy)
  • Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy
  • The Dark Artifices book 1 and 2
  • Ghosts of the Shadow Market
  • Queen of Air and Darkness (The Dark Artifices book 3)
  • Chain of Gold

With this order feel free to read The Bane Chronicles whenever and The Red Scrolls of Magic when you want, as long as it’s after being done with TMI.

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 What books will come out now

We still have a few books to come out in this long, long series, so even if it’s ending, we’ll have Shadowhunter books until 2025 and more. Here are the books still coming out:

  • As Chain of Gold is finally being released on March 3rd (I waited six years for it, if not more) we obviously will be waiting for book 2 and 3 in The Last Hours trilogy, including Chain of Iron and Chain of Thorns. Again, this trilogy is all about the children of the characters in The Infernal Devices.
  • In 2019 Cassandra Clare released a new trilogy about Alec and Magnus, co-written with Wesley Chu, called The Eldest Curses. Book 1 was The Red Scrolls of Magic and we’re now waiting for The Lost Book of the White and The Black Volume of the Dead.
  • Finally there is one final trilogy which hasn’t been much talked about yet, called The Wicked Powers. In this one we’ll follow a few characters from The Dark Artifices (and I won’t say more because that may be spoilery). We don’t have any titles yet but the first book is expected to be released in 2022.

And that’s all!

I hope that this blog post will help some of you who want to start reading about this world. Though I liked The Mortal Instruments series it isn’t my favourite, but both The Infernal Devices and The Dark Artifices are, and I promise that it’s worth it. Obviously you can read any series you like in whatever order you like, you just may end up being spoiled about other books.

Have you ever read anything by Cassandra Clare?

Love always,


Ps: My flowers theme is back!


22 thoughts on “How to read the Shadowhunter Chronicles ➰📚”

  1. Thanks a lot for this post. I am also this person wanting to read the books of Cassandra Clare for a long time, but didn’t know which order. Now I know. And will start as soon as I can manage. ❤️


  2. Thank you for this guide 😂 Since I watched the movie ‘The Mortal Instruments’ (I don’t know if it’s a good adaptation but I really loved it) and I discovered that at the beginning it was a book, even a lot I really wanted to read them, but yes, there are SO MANY BOOKS! I think I’m going to start the Shadowhunter Chronicles very soon, so if I understand, should I start with The Mortal Instruments, the first trilogy? Thank you for this post, i’m really excited to read all of them!


    1. As said, you can choose whatever order you like! There’s no right one, so really follow the one you like the most (I read them following the old order Cassie gave us, well there were way less books than now, so it’s my fav but again, feel free to choose one option) 😊✨

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is a really helpful post! I started reading the Shadowhunters series in high school but never finished it. I’ve been interested in getting back into it after seeing the excitement about the Infernal Devices and Dark Artifices books. Maybe I’ll get the chance during my upcoming spring break :))

    claire @ clairefy


  4. Thankyou for this huge and amazing post, Clara. I love Shadowhunters’ world but I only read – for me – TMI and TID series. I do have TDA trilogy on my tbr and *I know* once I start it I wouldn’t be able to put it down. Concerning the reading order I chose, I didn’t pay so much attention back then. I first saw The Mortal Instruments movie when it came out, then bought the books afterwards. I, then, read The Infernal Devices – which I loved so damn much. And now I need to keep going with what’s left. Maybe one day I will start reading this HUGE serie again by following one of the reading orders you mentionned. Kisses, Sara.


  5. The shadowhunter books are probably my all-time favourite and the ones that I haven’t gotten tired of, ever!! Unfortunately, though, I kind of lost my reading rhythm and I’m completely lost. And I never followed any of the recommended sequences because I’m dumb lol
    Basically, I started with The Mortal Instruments, then The Infernal Devices, then the Magnus novellas + the Codex, then Lady Midnight, … I have Lord of Shadows at home, but I don’t want to read it until I have Queen of Air and Darkness, so that I can re-read LM and read everything together. I also have Red Scrolls of Magic, but I’m postponing it for now. And I want Chains of Gold )): It was released on the day before my birthday but right now I need to save money, so priorities needed to be chosen! But I’ll get to it soon, hopefully! Thanks for sharing these reading orders! ^^


      1. Don’t say thaaaat, I’m very tempted to find an excuse to buy Queen of Air and Darkness ASAP so I can read everything!! xD


      2. You’re an awful (AMAZING) influence hahaha My wallet is crying, but I have some books on my way 😅


  6. Hii, so as there are many more books to come, and I’m looking forward to following the order of Cassie Clare but will it change once more books come?


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