Today marks ten years since Cassandra Clare’s urban fantasy novel City of Bones hit bookstores for the first time and sparked a worldwide phenomenon.
Set in New York, City of Bones follows fifteen-year-old Clary Fray who soon discovers the world is not as it seems. She learns she is part of the Shadow World, a world full of vampires, werewolves, faeries and warlocks with angelic-like humans who protect humans from demons. From the funny best friend to the hot and brooding soon-to-be romantic love interest, the series contains all the crucial elements of a young adult novel.
The two-year gap was not only because Clare planned to extend the series, but also because she was creating a prequel series titled The Infernal Devices. Unlike its predecessor, Infernal Devices is set in 18th century London but still follows a similar dynamic in regards to its plot. Clare alternated publication years with the final three Mortal Instruments books and this series as some elements and plot points were interwoven and gave readers a better understanding.
Clare also released The Bane Chronicles, which followed Magnus Bane, a warlock present in both series and was a compilation of eleven short stories written by Clare along with Sarah Rees Brennan and Maureen Johnson. Last year Clare also released another ten novellas to create Tales of The Shadowhunter Academy, written along with Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson and Robin Wasserman.
Most recently, Clare has now created The Dark Artifices series, which picks up five years after the events of the final Mortal Instruments book, but in Los Angeles this time. The first instalment, Lady Midnight, was released last year with its sequel Lord of Shadows to be released in May this year. Clare plans to do the same with this series as her others by intertwining the story with yet another series titled The Last Hours, which follows on from The Infernal Devices.
With a total of twelve published books and almost another ten on the way plus two upcoming series, it just goes to show how popular the books still are. Not only this but the series is also caused a film to be released in 2013 starring Lily Collins and Jamie Campbell Bower, however, it did not do well in the box office and for some fans, it was a bit of a miss. Production for the sequel was meant to begin in 2013 until it was pushed back another year and eventually cancelled.
Since then, the rights were acquired by Freeform (known as ABC Family at the time) in 2014 with 13 episodes ordered and heading to TV in 2016. While the adaption of the series was not received well by all fans, the network confirmed the series would continue in 2017 for a second season, but with 20 episodes.
Many believe the series to be overhyped, but the series still continues to attract new fans as it could possibly be considered one of the most popular young adult book series out there. It may be because it was published at the right time as during the mid to late 2000’s is when the young adult genre began to gain significant traction within the world along with other series such as Vampire Academy, Fallen and Twilight. It’s also considered a period in time where the supernatural became the must-see and must-read genre of choice, just as fantasy and retellings are some of the most popular topics at the time this article was written. Some also believe the Shadowhunter Chronicles should have been discontinued after The Infernal Devices, but with the somewhat different structure in the latest series, it gained quite a substantial amount of positive reactions.
All in all, it looks like the series that began 10 years ago still has another 10 years ahead with the multiple books scheduled for release. It’s shocking to think that I began reading this series at the age of 12 and it will still be going when I hit the 30s. I can’t think of many series which have been written by the one author and span such a lengthy time period other than the Anita Blake series, which now has 25 novels since it began in 1993 and continues to this day!
Have you read City of Bones? Are you still a fan? Let us know in the comments below!