The Mortal Instruments And More: The Books, The Order, And The Allure Of The Shadowhunter Chronicles By Cassandra Clare

The Mortal Instruments And More: The Books, The Order, And The Allure Of The Shadowhunter Chronicles By Cassandra Clare

The cool thing about The Shadowhunter Chronicles is that order doesn’t necessarily matter.
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I’m sure most people who are reading this article have heard of Cassandra Clare, “The New Queen of Fantasy” according to the Wall Street Journal. The Shadowhunter Chronicles follow a demon-hunting race called Shadowhunters who help maintain order in a world full of supernatural creatures secretly living alongside humans.

The series is full of high-octane battles, political turbulence, romance, magic, and everything else you’d expect to find in a Young Adult urban fantasy.


I’ve been a huge fan of Cassandra Clare’s books ever since a friend introduced me to City of Bones back in 2011, the first book in The Mortal Instruments.

Years have passed since I picked up my very first Cassandra Clare story and, as of now, she has released eleven books, two collections of short stories, and other works within the world of the Shadowhunters with more to come. For nearly seven years now, these books have played an essential role in my growing love of reading.

Clare has crafted a complex world that utilizes supernatural creatures both familiar and new and has constructed a plethora of intricate and captivating characters for readers to fall in love with—my beloved Jem Carstairs, for example.

The Mortal Instruments (abbreviated TMI) is comprised of six books and is the first series written about this world. It is set in New York City around 2006-2007. The Infernal Devices (TID) is the second series written as a prequel to TMI and is set in Victorian London starring ancestors of characters we know from the first series.

The Dark Artifices (TDA) is set in Los Angeles several years after the events of TMI and will be followed by the soon-to-be-released The Last Hours trilogy which will act as a sequel to TID set in the Edwardian Era. The Shadowhunter Chronicles is the umbrella title used to encompass all of the presently published and soon-to-be-published books in this world.

You may already be confused by all of these titles, abbreviations, dates, settings, etc. and that is understandable. But don't be overwhelmed. What Clare is trying to do is build a world with a rich history that gives the reader an idea of how extensive and complex the Shadowhunter world is.

The reading order of these books can be confusing and is somewhat up to preference. I personally like to read the books in publication order; Cassandra Clare plotted each series so that they complimented each other and in my opinion, the way to earn the best reading experience is by reading them according to publication dates.

I’ve heard people complain that the reason they aren’t picking these books up is due to how “confusing” the order can be and how they don't want to dedicate themselves to such a long series. Well, the cool thing about The Shadowhunter Chronicles is that order doesn’t necessarily matter.

If you don’t think City of Bones is right for you, you can start with Clockwork Angel in the prequel trilogy to give you a foothold in the world. One series is not necessarily reliant on the other in this case. However, once you get into The Dark Artifices, TMI is heavily referenced and a prior knowledge is recommended.

One of the big reasons I think these books are so great is because we can read about ancestors of characters from other series and see references and Easter Eggs dropped into each book that connects them all together.

Of course, a New York Times Bestselling series like The Mortal Instruments has led to the birth of a movie and T.V. series. The 2013 movie, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones was a flop in the box office and not true to the source material. The T.V. show titled Shadowhunters is more “inspired" by its original source material than actually “true” to it, and I think that is a great injustice. I found the show to be a mess of bad acting, poor CGI, and sloppy story arcs.

I have friends who love both the show and the books because they are able to define them as two entirely separate stories in their heads, but I simply cannot do that. I wanted a show that was true to the books, but that is not what I got. I wish I could separate them into my head and enjoy the show for what it is because I think it could be a fun visual experience.

Just because I don’t like the show doesn’t mean I think people should not try it because obviously, some find the program entertaining. It is purely based off of taste.



Below is my preferred order of reading and is the order in which each book was released.

1. City of Bones (Book 1 in The Mortal Instruments)

2. City of Ashes (Book 2 in The Mortal Instruments)

3. City of Glass (Book 3 in The Mortal Instruments)

4. Clockwork Angel (Book 1 in The Infernal Devices)

5. City of Fallen Angels (Book 4 in The Mortal Instruments)

6. Clockwork Prince (Book 2 in The Infernal Devices)

7. City of Lost Souls (Book 5 in The Mortal Instruments)

8. Clockwork Princess (Book 3 in The Infernal Devices)

9. City of Heavenly Fire (Book 6 in The Mortal Instruments)

10. Lady Midnight (Book 1 in The Dark Artifices)

11. Lord of Shadows (Book 2 in The Dark Artifices)

*The Bane Chronicles and Tales from Shadowhunter Academy are collections of short stories. I personally think they can be read at any point and aren’t as necessary to read in publication order as the core novels.

Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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What Your Hogwarts House Says About You

Get yourself sorted and find out where you belong in the world of witchcraft and wizardry.
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Sorting at Hogwarts is a big deal. Being sorted into a house is essentially being placed into a family while you are away from home learning about witchcraft and wizardry. Your house is made up of the people you will live with, go to classes with, play Quidditch with and everything in between. You basically spend 24/7 with them. Your Hogwarts house is your home away from home.

When you get sorted into a house, it is based on your personality traits. The people in your house are typically like-minded people who display the same characteristics as you.

When you’re a first year at Hogwarts, the minute you set foot in the castle you are swept into the Great Hall to have the ancient Sorting Hat placed on your head. This Sorting Hat decides which “family” you’ll be spending your seven years with.

For some, it is very obvious which house they will be in, due to certain personality traits they possess. For others, they may exemplify traits that fit a multitude of houses and are uncertain where they may end up.

To find out where you belong, you can take the official "Harry Potter" Sorting Hat quiz at Pottermore.com. For all you muggles out there, these are the characteristics that the houses possess and what your house says about you:

Gryffindor: The house of the brave, loyal, courageous, adventurous, daring and chivalrous. Those who stand up for others are typically Gryffindors. Brave-hearted is the most well-known Gryffindor characteristic, and Gryffindors are also known for having a lot of nerve.

Gryffindors are people who hold a multitude of qualities alongside the ones listed, making them a very well-rounded house. People who are Gryffindors are often people who could fit nicely into another house but choose to tell the sorting hat they want Gryffindor (there's that bravery). "Do what is right" is the motto Gryffindors go by.

Being a Gryffindor means that you're probably the adventurous and courageous friend, and you are usually known for doing what is right.

Ravenclaw: The house is known for their wisdom, intelligence, creativity, cleverness and knowledge. Those who value brains over brawn can be found here. Ravenclaws often tend to be quite quirky as well. "Do what is wise" is the motto they strive to follow.

Though Ravenclaws can be know-it-alls sometimes, they most likely do know what the wisest decision is.

If you are known for being the quirky friend, the smartest in the group or just great at making wise decisions, you're definitely a Ravenclaw.

Hufflepuff: This house values hard work, dedication, fair play, patience, and loyalty. Hufflepuff’s are known for being just and true. "Do what is nice" is their motto.

Hufflepuff is known as the “nice house” and believes strongly in sparing peoples feelings and being kind. This is not to say that Hufflepuffs aren't smart or courageous. Hufflepuffs just enjoy making others happy and tend to be more patient towards people.

If you ever find that you are too nice for your own good and cannot bear to hurt someone’s feelings, congratulations, you are a Hufflepuff.

Slytherin: This is the house of the cunning, prideful, resourceful, ambitious, intelligent, and determined. Slytherin's love to be in charge and crave leadership. "Do what is necessary" is the motto of this house.

Slytherin is a fairly well-rounded house, similar to the other houses. They are loyal to those that are loyal to them just as Gryffindors are and are intelligent as Ravenclaws.

Slytherin house as a whole is not evil, despite how many dark wizards come out of this house. That is merely based on the choices of those wizards (so if your friend is a Slytherin, don’t judge, it doesn’t mean they are mean people). Slytherins do, however, have a tendency to be arrogant or prideful. This is most likely due to the fact that everyone in Slytherin is exceedingly proud to be there.

What Hogwarts house you’re in says a lot about the person you are, the traits you possess and how you may act in some situations. But in the end, your house is really just your home that is always there for you. Always.


Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

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A Student Surviving Midterm Season As Told By "Hocus Pocus" GIFs

You can relate "Hocus Pocus" to anything, really.

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Halloween is the best. Seriously, it is one of my favorite holidays, and there are so many things off the top of my head that I could list that make it incredible—the candy, the films, the spookiness. Unfortunately, if you're a college student, Halloween winds up being right around the height of midterms, and there's no better way to cope with the stress of exams than describing your life through a series of "Hocus Pocus" gifs.

You wake up, and the air is chilly and crisp. It has become cold enough that you can no longer pretend that your sweatshirt is enough to protect you from the wind, and you force yourself to break out the tough winter jacket.

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You head out in search of breakfast, hoping that food will be the cure to knock some sense into you.

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But don't forget that you still have to go to all of your classes while cramming for exams at the same time. Remember all of that reading you pushed off? Time to buckle down and try to understand it—or else, you're screwed.

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Your friends now realize how stressed you are. You have no idea where to start, and you keep pacing, trying to motivate yourself to excel on these exams.

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But it really doesn't help, because you know there's no way you can memorize all the information you've heard in lectures before this exam in the span of a few nights.

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Honestly, at this point, you've resigned yourself to failure, and if you wind up doing better, then good on you. But for now, you'll wait for the results like this:

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But really, try to put as much effort as you can into your exams. They usually make up a large percentage of your overall grade for the semester, and it's better to do well on them. But if you don't get the grades you want, remember that there's always a next one, and try to move on so you can do better next time. Halloween is right around the corner, and it's always great knowing that you're done with exams!

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