Today on my blog, I thought it was about time I allowed myself an entire blog post to talk about what is probably my favourite book series ever (loaded statement, I know): The Mortal Instruments. Or, more accurately, the Shadowhunter Chronicles, which is what I think the entire franchise is referred to as.
I first started reading City of Bones when I was twelve. I became hooked on the series immediately, and read the first six books in less than two weeks. The City of Heavenly Fire was the first time I ever had to wait for a book I really wanted, and it nearly killed me. I’ve mentioned quite frequently on my blog that I am total Shadowhunter trash, but I felt that it was time I really explained what it is exactly that I love so much!
I won’t lie. Reading The Mortal Instruments is a commitment. There’s no way to read this series casually. It’s all or nothing. And hopefully you will agree with me that the answer is definitely all.
(also, if you, somehow, have never heard of TMI, the link to the Goodreads is here.)
City of Bones was the first book I read that actually made me laugh out loud. These books by no means fall into the humour genre, but the characters are all so entertaining and he banter between them is side-splitting. And it’s very off-hand, so the jokes never feel forced – the whole story is just laced with hilarious moments.
If I’m not grinning manically whilst reading this book, I’m likely crying. The amount of angst in the series is unbelievable. Cassandra Clare is literally the queen of forbidden romances, and it results in all of the relationships being very high-drama and completely addictive. Don’t worry, the angst is resolved (in most cases), even if it takes multiple books to do so.
The characters in this book, and the relationships between them, are absolutely outstanding. Their personalities are all so unique and developed. Even putting aside the heart-wrenching couples in this series (Clace, Sizzy, MALEC), the friendships are some of the best I’ve read. I especially love Clary and Simon’s friendship, not least because it challenges that belief that men and women can’t love one another platonically.
The plot is the main reason why it’s pretty much impossible to read this book casually. The storyline is so complex, and builds throughout the entire six books, and then continues in all of the other related series. But it never feels like it’s becoming silly, or inconsistent. You’re essentially signing up to read about an entire world, and it’s fantastic.
The massive fandom
Whether it is fanart, fan-fic, or just general fangirling about the series, the Shadowhunter fandom is huge, and very active. I remember when I first read the books all those years ago, I would spend lunchtimes at school with my friends, looking up tumblr textposts for TMI and TID, and the fandom has by no means calmed down since then. It isn’t going anywhere, which is largely down to . . .
The abundance of content
The Mortal Instruments is the main series, and although that has finished, the story has far from ended. Cassandra Clare’s prequel trilogy, The Infernal Devices, is just as compelling, set in 1978 London and revolving around the three main characters Tessa, Will and Jem – many people actually prefer this trilogy to the original series! Additionally, Cassandra Clare has written a collection of short stories about one of the characters Magnus Bane, a warlock, called The Bane Chronicles, and one called Tales From The Shadowhunter Academy which focuses on Simon Lewis, Clary’s best friend. Both of these are now available as eBooks, which each story separated, or in print all together!
… and there’s more coming!
Last year, Cassandra Clare released Lady Midnight, which is the first book in her newest series The Dark Artifices, set in 2015 L.A. Next month, the second book Lord of Shadows, is being released and I am beyond excited. If that wasn’t enough to have me dying of anticipation, she is also writing another prequel trilogy called The Last Hours. This will be set (I think) sometime after The Infernal Devices but still well before The Mortal Instruments. Until then, there is also the ongoing Shadowhunter series (which I am personally not a huge fan of, but watch nonetheless), and there’s always so much extra content such as interviews with the cast being posted to YouTube all the time!
(Small bookish confession: the main reason I wanted to go to YALC in 2015 was because Cassandra Clare was going, and the only reason I went for all three days was because the Saturday-only tickets (the day she was going to be there) were all sold out. Anyway, it was the best of both worlds – I got to meet Cassandra Clare, and discover the bookish wonderfulness that is YALC.)
Hopefully this list has helped to not only show you guys what complete and utter trash I am for Cassandra Clare, but also convinced you to pick up one of her books if you haven’t already! I have yet to read a book written by Cassandra Clare that hasn’t blown me away.
I’ve also really enjoyed blogging about a specific part of the bookish community I love – I’m not sure what this would be categorised as, so I think I’ll count it as a ‘discussion’ post for now? Maybe? Anyway, I would love to do more posts like these, so please let me know what you thought of this one, and please share with me your own thoughts on this series!