The Mortal Instruments & The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare.
Cassandra Clare’s fabulous series have been around for a little while now, but it was only this year that I finally got around to actually reading them. I purchased both sets over a year ago, but I never seemed to find or make the time to pick one up. Maybe I felt a little intimidated by seeing the whole set sat on my bookshelves- a little pressured perhaps, to work my way through them all from beginning to end. What if I did not like them? I was taking quite a risk in buying the whole series based upon my Bookstagram friend’s recommendations.
Of course I needn’t have worried. I loved each and every book. What I DID do though, was to read them in the order suggested on Cassandra’s website. This meant starting with the first book in ‘The Mortal instruments’ series which is set in modern day, then weaving away from this set at book three, and into ‘The Infernal Devices’ trilogy, which is set in Victorian times; then back again to the Mortal Instruments again.
Confusing? No, not really. It basically introduces the reader to some characters from the past who will make another appearance in the middle of the Mortal Instruments. If you choose to read each set separately, it won’t spoil your enjoyment at all.
So starting with ‘The Mortal Instruments’ series, book one is ‘City of Bones’.
Here is the synopsis:
When 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 with odd markings. This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons and keeping the odd werewolves and vampires in line. It’s also her first meeting with gorgeous, Golden haired Jace. 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 an ordinary mundane like Clary? And how did she suddenly get the sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know.”
To be honest, when I read the blurb, I wasn’t sure if this was for me. But I knew this series had such a huge fan following, it had to be good. I loved the idea of a fantasy novel that incorporated so many mythical creatures, (we have vampires, werewolves, demons, faeries, warlocks, withes etc.) and I loved that it was set in contemporary New-York.
So my take is this: Clary’s life is normal. She lives with her mother in a New-York apartment, has a best friend named Simon whom she has known since Kindergarten, and her life is pretty much normal, pretty mundane… except that it isn’t. Her life is about to get very complicated very quickly and the twists and turns just keep coming. This girls’ mind must be reeling as she discovers that there is so much more to life than meets the eye. How she copes with this information is admirable. Clary rises up to all the new challenges that meet her, and shows an inner strength that we all wish we had. Of course there is a love interest, maybe a love triangle?
Anyhow, book one introduces us to all kind of magic and mayhem and leaves us with a cliff- hanger that made me move right on to the next book as soon as I’d turned the last page! The world building is incredible (you’ll find out what I mean when you read it) and each book gets better and better. The amount of detail is phenomenal! All you need to know is that the Shadowhunters are the good guys, demons are the bad guys and all the others in-between have their own place in this fight against good and evil. Once you understand this, you can feel free to enjoy all the ideosyncricities of the others- and there are many.
The books in ‘The Mortal Instruments’ series are:
City of Bones
City of Ashes
City of Glass
City of Lost Souls
City of Fallen Angels
City of Heavenly Fire
This series was so good that I want to re-read them all again and again and this time I will tab the pages because there is just so much great writing in there!
Similarly, ‘The Infernal Devices’ trilogy is just as addictive.
This is a trilogy, beginning with ‘The Clockwork Angel’.
The synopsis says:
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 Downward, where vampires, warlocks, and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order admit the chaos. Kidnapped by there mysterious Dark sisters, who are members of a secret organization called the Pandemonium club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a downworlder with a rare ability : the power to transform, at will, 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 t o 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 blue-eyed Will, whose caustic within 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 live may be the most dangerous magic of all’
I loved this trilogy. I loved the steampunk era, the magic and mystery. I loved reading about the old London. Clare takes us across Britain to the City of York, a place that I personally know and love. I could picture the city in Victorian times, and see the action taking place.She has certainly done her homework with geography and history and it makes the story come to full blooded life in action and adventure with a dash of romance thrown in too. I think the trilogy is actually my favorite!
The books are:
I wholeheartedly recommend this series to all ages, not just young adult. But pick it up quickly as Cassandra Clare is writing a further series which is connected to this one and you don’t want to fall behind!