4 Ways to Read Cassandra Clare Books in Order [Ultimate Guide]

Cassandra Clare books in order

Looking for a list of Cassandra Clare books in order?

Perhaps you’re watching the Shadowhunters on TV or you’ve just picked up a book by Cassandra Clare and fallen in love, but there are so many that you don’t know what’s next?

Fear not, here’s not one, not two, but four different ways to read all of Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter books in order.

In the paragraphs to come, I’ve gone in-depth into each reading method.

But if you want a quick and easy, condensed version to print out and check books off as you go along, there’s an important, free resource waiting for you at the end.

#1 Cassandra Clare Books in Order of Publication

Of course, what better way to read the Shadowhunter books in order than the way the author wrote them? There’s a reason they were written that way, and try as we authors might to say we had it planned that way all along, it’s a lie for sure.

Nobody stops in the middle of a series and writes a completely new series that’s intended to be read first. Instead, an idea spawns out of our current works that would beautifully complement and expound upon our beloved already published books.

Even if we’d like to think we can go back and write the book in such a way that new readers will not miss out on any details, it’s likely that a few terms, names, or places will slip without proper explanation leaving a newer reader temporarily confused and disoriented.

The best way to avoid this, of course, is to read the books the way they were written. So here we are, the Cassandra Clare books in order of publication:

  1. City of Bones
  2. City of Ashes
  3. City of Glass
  4. Clockwork Angel
  5. City of Fallen Angels
  6. Clockwork Prince
  7. City of Lost Souls
  8. Clockwork Princess
  9. The Bane Chronicles
  10. The Shadowhunter’s Codex
  11. City of Heavenly Fire
  12. Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy
  13. Lady Midnight
  14. Lord of Shadows
  15. Queen of Air and Darkness
  16. The Red Scrolls of Magic
  17. Ghosts of the Shadow Market
  18. Chain of Gold
  19. The Lost Book of the White
  20. Chain of Iron
  21. Chain of Thorns (Expected: January 31, 2023)
  22. The Black Volume of the Dead (TBA)

#2 Cassandra Clare Books in Order by Author’s Recommendation

Being an author myself, I understand the dilemma of writing a book that in fact takes place earlier than a story that you’ve already published or writing a story that would actually benefit the reader to be read before something else you’ve already written.

Whether it’s an alternate story with separate characters that intersect in the future, or a different point of view that would greatly increase the understanding of character motivations.

Perhaps the best way overall to read the Mortal Instruments books in order is to follow what the author herself recommends.

As such, here is a list of Cassandra Clare books in order by Cassie’s recommendation:

The Mortal Instruments

  1. City of Bones
  2. City of Ashes
  3. City of Glass

The Infernal Devices

  1. Clockwork Angel
  2. Clockwork Prince
  3. Clockwork Princess

The Mortal Instruments, Continued

  1. City of Fallen Angels
  2. City of Lost Souls
  3. City of Heavenly Fire

The Bane Chronicles
The Shadowhunter’s Codex
Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy

The Dark Artifices

  1. Lady Midnight
  2. Lord of Shadows
  3. Queen of Air and Darkness

Ghosts of the Shadow Market

The Eldest Curses

  1. The Red Scrolls of Magic
  2.  The Lost Book of the White
  3. The Black Volume of the Dead (TBA)

The Last Hours

  1. Chain of Gold
  2. Chain of Iron
  3. Chain of Thorns (Expected: January 31, 2023)

#3 Cassandra Clare Books in Order by Series

The above two are great and all, but they don’t make for a super streamlined reader experience. I mean, after all you have to read this post over and over again every time you’re ready to move on to the next book.

So with that, I give you the easiest way to read the Shadowhunter books in order, and that’s by series order, beginning with the first series Cassandra Clare wrote and continuing with it until it’s done, then moving on to the next.

Here is a list of Cassandra Clare books in order by series:

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

The Infernal Devices

  1. Clockwork Angel
  2. Clockwork Prince
  3. Clockwork Princess

The Dark Artifices

  1. Lady Midnight
  2. Lord of Shadows
  3. Queen of Air and Darkness

The Eldest Curses

  1. The Red Scrolls of Magic
  2. The Lost Book of the White
  3. The Black Volume of the Dead (TBA)

The Last Hours

  1. Chain of Gold
  2. Chain of Iron
  3. Chain of Thorns (Expected: January 31, 2023)

Read these whenever:
The Bane Chronicles
The Shadowhunter’s Codex
Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy
Ghosts of the Shadow Market

#4 Cassandra Clare Books in Chronological Order

With the publication of Chain of Gold in March 2020 comes a new way to read the Shadowhunter books in order.

Since Chain of Gold takes place around 1903, chronologically it falls immediately after The Infernal Devices but before The Mortal Instruments. That means if you want to read the books in Chronologically, a new order is required.

Note, I would only recommend this reading order for diehard fans doing a re-read, otherwise parts of the story will inevitably be spoiled for you, or it will be difficult to understand what’s going on.

  1. Clockwork Angel
  2. Clockwork Prince
  3. Clockwork Princess
  4. Chain of Gold
  5. Chain of Iron
  6. Chain of Thorns (Expected: January 31, 2023)
  7. City of Bones
  8. City of Ashes
  9. City of Glass
  10. City of Fallen Angels
  11. The Red Scrolls of Magic
  12. City of Lost Souls
  13. City of Heavenly Fire
  14. Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy
  15. The Lost Book of the White
  16. The Bane Chronicles
  17. Lady Midnight
  18. Lord of Shadows
  19. Queen of Air and Darkness
  20. The Black Volume of the Dead (TBA)
  21. Ghosts of the Shadow Market
  22. The Shadowhunter’s Codex

Get the printable checklist

Cassandra Clare Reading Order Pinterest

Click the image above or download it here.

The Mortal Instruments Series

City of Bones Cassandra Clare Books in Order

1. City of Bones

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder — much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons.

Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing — not even a smear of blood — to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk.

Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know…

Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare’s ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end.


City of Ashes Shadowhunters

2. City of Ashes

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?

If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who’s becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn’t ready to let her go — especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary’s only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil—and also her father.

To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings—and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?

In this breathtaking sequel to City of Bones, Cassandra Clare lures her readers back into the dark grip of New York City’s Downworld, where love is never safe and power becomes the deadliest temptation.


City of Glass Cassandra Clare Reading Order

3. City of Glass

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 Simon has been thrown in prison by the Shadowhunters, who are deeply suspicious of a vampire who can withstand sunlight.

As Clary uncovers more about her family’s past, she finds an ally in mysterious Shadowhunter Sebastian. With Valentine mustering the full force of his power to destroy all Shadowhunters forever, their only chance to defeat him is to fight alongside their eternal enemies.

But can Downworlders and Shadowhunters put aside their hatred to work together? While Jace realizes exactly how much he’s willing to risk for Clary, can she harness her newfound powers to help save the Glass City—whatever the cost?

Love is a mortal sin and the secrets of the past prove deadly as Clary and Jace face down Valentine in the third installment of bestselling series the Mortal Instruments.


City of Fallen Angels Shadowhunters

4. City of Fallen Angels

The Mortal War is over, and sixteen-year-old Clary Fray is back home in New York, excited about all the possibilities before her. She’s training to become a Shadowhunter and to use her unique power. Her mother is getting married to the love of her life. Downworlders and Shadowhunters are at peace at last. And—most importantly of all—she can finally call Jace her boyfriend.

But nothing comes without a price.

Someone is murdering Shadowhunters, provoking tensions between Downworlders and Shadowhunters that could lead to a second, bloody war. Clary’s best friend, Simon, can’t help her—his mother just found out that he’s a vampire, and now he’s homeless.

When Jace begins to pull away from her without explaining why, Clary is forced to delve into the heart of a mystery whose solution reveals her worst nightmare: she herself has set in motion a terrible chain of events that could lead to her losing everything she loves. Even Jace.


City of Lost Souls Cassandra Clare Books in Order

5. City of Lost Souls

What price is too high to pay, even for love? When Jace and Clary meet again, Clary is horrified to discover that the demon Lilith’s magic has bound her beloved Jace together with her evil brother Sebastian, and that Jace has become a servant of evil.

The Clave is out to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. As Alec, Magnus, Simon, and Isabelle wheedle and bargain with Seelies, demons, and the merciless Iron Sisters to try to save Jace, Clary plays a dangerous game of her own.

The price of losing is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she still trust him? Or is he truly lost?


City of Heavenly Fire Shadowhunters

6. City of Heavenly Fire

Darkness has descended on the Shadowhunter world. Chaos and destruction overwhelm the Nephilim as Clary, Jace, Simon, and their friends band together to fight the greatest evil they have ever faced: Clary’s own brother.

Sebastian Morgenstern is on the move, systematically turning Shadowhunter against Shadowhunter. Bearing the Infernal Cup, he transforms Shadowhunters into creatures of nightmare, tearing apart families and lovers as the ranks of his Endarkened army swell.

Nothing in this world can defeat Sebastian—but if they journey to the realm of demons, they just might have a chance…


The Infernal Devices Series

Clockwork Angel Cassandra Clare Reading Order

1. Clockwork Angel

When Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London’s Downworld, where vampires, warlocks, and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.

Kidnapped by a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform into another person. What’s more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa’s power for his own.

Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by—and torn between—two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm’s length…everyone, that is, but Tessa.

As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world…and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.


Clockwork Prince Shadowhunters

2. Clockwork Prince

In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when it becomes clear that the mysterious Magister will stop at nothing to use Tessa’s powers for his own dark ends.

With the help of the handsome, tortured Will and the devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister’s war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal and fueled by revenge.

To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister knows their every move—and that one of their own has betrayed them.

Tessa is drawn more and more to Jem, though her longing for Will continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa answers about who she really is? As their search leads to deadly peril, Tessa learns that secrets and lies can corrupt even the purest heart.


Clockwork Princess Cassandra Clare Books in Order

3. Clockwork Princess

Danger intensifies for the Shadowhunters as the New York Times bestselling Infernal Devices trilogy comes to a close.

If the only way to save the world was to destroy what you loved most, would you do it?

The clock is ticking. Everyone must choose.

Passion. Power. Secrets. Enchantment.


The Dark Artifices Series

Lady Midnight Shadowhunters

1. Lady Midnight

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 who killed her parents and avenging her losses.

Together with her battle partner 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…

Making things even more complicated, Julian’s brother Mark—who was captured by the faeries five years ago—has been returned as a bargaining chip. The faeries are desperate to find out who is murdering their kind—and they need the Shadowhunters’ help to do it.

But time works differently in faerie, so Mark has barely aged and doesn’t recognize his family. Can he ever truly return to them? Will the faeries really allow it?


Lord of Shadows Cassandra Clare Reading Order

2. Lord of Shadows

Emma Carstairs has just learned that the love she shares with her warrior partner and parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, isn’t just forbidden—it could destroy them both. She knows she should run from Julian. But how can she when the Blackthorn family is threatened by enemies on all sides?

Their only hope is the Black Volume of the Dead, a spell book of terrible power. Everyone wants it. Only the Blackthorns can find it. Spurred on by a dark bargain with the Seelie Queen, Emma; her best friend, Cristina; and Mark and Julian Blackthorn embark on a journey into the Courts of Faerie, where glittering revels hide bloody danger and no promise can be trusted.

As dangers close in, Julian devises a risky new scheme that depends on the cooperation of an unpredictable enemy. But success may come with a price he and Emma cannot even imagine, one that will have repercussions for everyone and everything they hold dear.


Queen of Air and Darkness Shadowhunters

3. Queen of Air and Darkness

Innocent blood has been spilled on the steps of the Council Hall, the sacred stronghold of the Shadowhunters. Their society now teeters on the brink of civil war. One fragment of the Blackthorn family flees to Los Angeles, seeking to discover the source of the disease that is destroying the race of warlocks.

Meanwhile, Julian and Emma take desperate measures to put their forbidden love aside and undertake a perilous mission to Faerie to retrieve the Black Volume of the Dead. What they find there is a secret that may tear the Shadow World asunder and open a dark path into a future they could never have imagined.

Caught in a race against time, Emma and Julian must save the world of the Shadowhunters before a deadly curse destroys them and everyone they love.


Looking for more like Cassandra Clare Books in Order

You might also be interested in the Most Highly Anticipated YA Fantasy Books of 2020 or perhaps you might like my Throne of Glass Reading Order.

15 thoughts on “4 Ways to Read Cassandra Clare Books in Order [Ultimate Guide]

  1. Is your printable Cassandra Clare reading order up to date? I’d love to print it out, but there’s nothing to click on.

    1. It is up to date, BUT I hadn’t realized the link wasn’t working. Thank you! I’ve fixed it.

  2. Have you heard of The Wicked Powers series? I am SO desperate to read anything related to the Shadowhunters series so I may be clutching at straws but I saw it listed on Goodreads but can’t seem to find much more about it? Any help greatly appreciated.

    1. I have not. But you might consider joining my Facebook group, YA Fantasy Addicts, as there’s tons of helpful info and recommendations in there.

    2. The wicked powers series will be the last in the Shadowhunters chronicles revolving around kit herondale and the younger Blackthorn children

    1. I just tested it out and it arrived just fine. Check your promotions folder as that’s where it goes (or spam just in case). If you still don’t get it, send me an email: tl (at) tlbranson (dot) com

    1. It seems you received the email back at the beginning of March with the checklist and so it wouldn’t trigger again when you tried again in April. I told the system to resend the email to you. I would suggest not deleting the email so that if you need the checklist again, you can reference the email.

  3. I wanted to thank you for all of your time and energy for not only putting up the different ways to read it. I received the printable checklist and it was in my email as soon as I opened my email page, within less than a minutes time. I find your information so helpful, you even recommended different orders would work if you are re-reading the series.
    I sincerely thank you for taking the time to further educate some of us.
    With gratitude,
    Melissa

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