The mortal instrument is a popular fantasy book series by American author Judith Rumelt (better known by her pen name Cassandra Clare). Mrs Clare is a very prolific writer, and she has written spin-offs, sequels, and prequels to the original series that made her famous. This blog post will help you pick and read the books in the right order.
The mortal instruments
The mortal instruments series was initially conceived as a trilogy, but later on the author added a second story arc, and turned it into a 6 book series.
First story arc
The first 3 books can be read as stand alone. New readers should start reading these book first.
City of Bones
Publication date: March 27th, 2007
Clary Fray, 15 years old New York City girl, witness a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Things gets strange when the body disappears into thin air and the murderers are invisible to everyone but Clary. The murderers explain themselves as Shadowhunters: a secret tribe of warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons…
City of Ashes
Publication date: March 25th, 2008
Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what’s normal when you’re a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries?
City of Glass
Publication date: March 24th, 2009
To save her mother’s life, Clary must travel to the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters — never mind that entering the city without permission is against the Law, and breaking the Law could mean death. To make things worse, she learns that Jace does not want her there, and her best friend, Simon, has been thrown in prison by the Shadowhunters, who are deeply suspicious of a vampire who can withstand sunlight.
Second story arc
City of Fallen Angels
Publication date: April 5th 2011
The book follows Simon’s difficult transition into vampirism. Simon receives an offer from a vampire named Camille Belcourt who claims to have been usurped by Raphael. She says that if Simon joins her side as the Daylighter, then he will finally earn his place in vampire society.
City of Lost Souls
Publication date: May 8th, 2012
Can the lost be reclaimed? What price is too high to pay for love? Who can be trusted when sin and salvation collide? Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. Darkness threatens to claim the Shadowhunters in the harrowing fifth book of the Mortal Instruments series.
City of Heavenly Fire
Publication date: May 27th, 2014
Darkness returns to the Shadowhunter world. As their society falls apart around them, Clary, Jace, Simon and their friends must band together to fight the greatest evil the Nephilim have ever faced: Clary’s own brother. Nothing in the world can defeat him, must they journey to another world to find the chance? Lives will be lost, love sacrificed, and the whole world changed in the sixth and last installment of the series!
The Infernal Devices
The Infernal Devices centers on the Nephilim race (better known as Shadowhunters) introduced in The Mortal Instruments series. This series takes place two centuries before though, in Victorian England, ten years after the peace treaties between the demon-fighting Shadowhunters and Downworlders (vampires, fairies, werewolves, and warlocks) was signed. As Shadowhunters consider themselves superior or purer than Downworlders and demons, they may have few qualms about killing either. While often described as a “prequel” to the mortal instruments series, the infernal devices series can be read as a stand alone, and while it is set in the same universe, it does not share characters or plot lines.
(click on the image to buy at Amazon)
The Dark artifices
The author announced that she is working on a new trilogy, set 5 years after the end of the mortal instruments series. The books will feature a new series of character, even if some of the old ones we have learned to love will be features in small cameo roles. You can learn more about this upcoming series [here].
Publication date: 2016
It’s been five years since the events of City of Heavenly Fire that brought the Shadowhunters to the brink of oblivion. Emma Carstairs is no longer a child in mourning, but a young woman bent on discovering what killed her parents and avenging her losses. Together with her parabatai Julian Blackthorn, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches across Los Angeles, from the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica. If only her heart didn’t lead her in treacherous directions…
Lord of Shadows
Publication date: not published yet
The queen of Air
Publication date: not published yet