Cassandra Clare's books: a complete guide

Whether you're new to her work, or have been a fan since childhood and are eager to learn what's coming next, here's our guide to the fantasy writer Cassandra Clare's books. 

Cassandra Clare is the bestselling author of fantasy series The Shadowhunter Chronicles and Magisterium. Her YA and children's books have sold more than fifty million copies worldwide and she's now written two novels for adults: Sword Catcher and its sequel, The Ragpicker King, out in 2025. 

Here, Cassandra introduces her work in her own words, and we share our guide to her must-read books.

I always loved reading, and started writing novels when I was twelve. They were all terrible but fun to write! Years later I was working in a children’s bookstore in New York City and I reread a lot of my old favorite fantasy novels. They rekindled my desire to write, and I’ve been doing it ever since. I aim to write the kind of books I love to read – stories with adventure, romance, intrigue, humor, and magic. The Shadowhunter series combines elements of traditional fantasy and recasts them through an urban lens. In fairy tales, it was the dark and mysterious forest that held magic and danger. I wanted to write stories in which the city holds its own enchantment, mystery, and strange beauty. 

Sword Catcher is my first foray into creating a sprawling fantasy world. The city-state of Castellane is a bustling hub of trade where bejeweled nobles rub elbows with seedy criminals. The magic is inspired by Jewish tradition and mythology. As a Jewish person, I grew up absorbing history and lore, and it was great fun to revisit it in crafting this fantasy world. I hope readers will love Sword Catcher as much as I do!

What is Cassandra Clare's next book?

The Ragpicker King

by Cassandra Clare

This is the epic follow-up to the New York Times bestseller Sword Catcher (which you can find more about below if you're yet to read it). Lin and Kel once again find themselves entangled with the ruler of Castellane’s criminal underworld. As the simmering tensions in their city-state reach a fever pitch, they must decide who to trust when any false move means death – or worse.

What is Cassandra Clare's latest book?

Sword Catcher

by Cassandra Clare

Two outcasts find themselves at the centre of world-altering change. In Castellane, Kel is stolen to become Prince Conor Aurelian’s body-double. As his ‘Sword Catcher', Kel lives for one purpose: to die for Conor. Lin Caster is an Ashkar physician, part of a community ostracised for its rare magical abilities. But events pull her and Kel together and into the web of the mysterious Ragpicker King who rules Castellane’s criminal underworld. Together, they’ll discover an extraordinary conspiracy. But can forbidden love bring down a kingdom? 

A guide to Cassandra Clare's book series

The Shadowhunter Chronicles 

The Shadowhunter Chronicles are made up of five series of YA novels, alongside several short story collections and graphic novels. Parts of the Chronicles have been turned into a film and a television show. Here's a guide to the five main book series.

The Mortal Instruments

City of Bones

by Cassandra Clare

Book cover for City of Bones

First published, but third chronologically, The Mortal Instruments series follows Clary Fray as she uncovers her family history and meets the Shadowhunters, a group who protect the human world from dark outside forces. The first book in the series, City of Bones, is followed by City of Ashes, City of Glass, City of Fallen Angels, City of Lost Souls and City of Heavenly Fire.

The Infernal Devices

Clockwork Angel

by Cassandra Clare

Book cover for Clockwork Angel

A prequel to The Mortal Instruments series, The Infernal Devices follows orphan Tessa Gray as she discovers the ability to shape-shift and moves to the London Institute with the Shadowhunters. The trilogy is made up of this, Clockwork Angel, followed by Clockwork Prince and Clockwork Princess.

The Dark Artifices

Lady Midnight

by Cassandra Clare

Book cover for Lady Midnight

Set in LA, this series explores the sacred bond of 'parabatai': two bonded Shadowhunters. While it makes each Shadowhunter even more powerful, it comes with a catch – it's forbidden to fall in love with your parabatai. Lady Midnight is followed by Lord of Shadows and Queen of Air and Darkness.

The Eldest Curses

The Red Scrolls of Magic

by Cassandra Clare and Wesley Chu

Book cover for The Red Scrolls of Magic

Jointly written with Wesley Chu, The Eldest Curses novels are set at different points in the Shadowhunters overall timeline, and follow the adventures of Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood. The second book in the series is The Lost Book of the White.

The Last Hours

Chain of Gold

by Cassandra Clare

Book cover for Chain of Gold

The sequel to The Infernal Devices series, The Last Hours follows Tessa Gray's children James and Lucie in early twentieth-century London and Paris. Chain of Iron and Chain of Thorns make up the trilogy. 

The Magisterium series

The Iron Trial

by Cassandra Clare and Holly Black

Book cover for The Iron Trial

This children's series is written with Holly Black, and set in a secret school where apprentices are taught to control the elements. The other four books are The Copper Gauntlet, The Bronze Key, The Silver Mask, and The Golden Tower

What order should I read Cassandra Clare books in?

It's generally recommended that The Shadowhunter Chronicles are read in order of publication (which is how they are ordered above), rather than following the in-series timeline chronologically. As for which series to start with – that may depend on your age, although there's no shame in reading children's or YA books as an adult!

Are Cassandra Clare books for adults?

The Magisterium series is aimed at children aged around 9+, whereas The Shadowhunter Chronicles are YA, and Sword Catcher is written for adults.

How many Shadowhunter books are there altogether?

Currently there are seventeen novels, alongside several companion books, short stories and graphic novels.