If you like that, try these … The Mortal Instruments

Hi all!

Welcome to another post of If you like that, try these …, my fortnightly post series where I share book (and sometimes movie or TV show) recommendations based on a book I’ve read. A new post comes out every second Thursday!



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Screen Shot 2018-07-16 at 7.38.38 pm“You look happy,” Simon said to Clary. He swiveled his gaze to Jace. “And a good thing for you that she does.”
Jace raised an eyebrow. “Is this the part where you tell me that if I hurt her, you’ll kill me?”
“No,” said Simon. “If you hurt Clary, she’s quite capable of killing you herself. Possibly with a variety of weapons.”
Jace looked pleased by the thought.


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What’s it about?

After her mother is kidnapped by a strange creature, Clary Fray finds herself swept into the secret, magical underworld of New York, filled with demons, faeries, vampires, werewolves, and Shadowhunters — half angel, half human beings that protect the human world from the magical one. Through her new friends, Jace, Isabelle, and Alec, Clary discovers that her mother — and by extension herself — are tied to the Shadowhunter world, and that Clary alone is the key to their salvation.

What are the themes/elements?

Urban fantasy, adventure, romance, mystery, action, chosen one, angels and demons, magic, identity struggle, revenge, religion, prejudice, sense of duty, importance of family, good vs evil, supernatural elements, betrayal, redemption, ethics of power, friendship, discovering a secret world, illicit romance, humour, love triangle.

(TW: discussion of child abuse, attempted rape in book 5, forced queer outing in book 2. Please let me know if I’ve forgotten any trigger warnings. There’s 6 books here, that’s a lot of warnings to remember.)


So …

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What’s it about?

A young mage named Ged, born in a tiny village, discovers his immense powers and joins the school of wizardry. There, his bristly personality leads to a magical duel with another mage, where Ged releases a shadow creature. A Wizard of Earthsea follows Ged’s journey as he seeks to be free of the creature, attempting to restore balance to the world.

Why did I choose it?

The Earthsea Cycle is a classic fantasy series — any diehard fantasy fan will have either read this book series or heard of it. I have only read the first book, back in high school (and I want to reread it and finish the series), but it’s a fantastic book. Like The Mortal Instruments series, A Wizard of Earthsea deals with the ethics of power: the proper and responsible use of magic, and how to wield it ethically. In The Mortal Instruments, there are two characters who wield their powers to create havoc and to murder. There’s also a lot of emphasis on friendship and a sense of duty, much like in The Mortal Instruments. 


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31944679What’s it about?

Elliot, an obnoxious thirteen-year-old boy, is on a school excursion where he’s the only child to notice a magical wall; soon after, he’s offered the chance of a lifetime: join other students at a magical school behind the wall, in a place called the Borderlands. Elliot accepts and soon he’s learning mystical languages, diplomacy with elves, and making life-long friends, called Serene and Luke, and perhaps even the chance to save the world.

Why did I choose it?

I chose in Other Lands because it has so many themes like The Mortal Instruments (not to mention, Sarah Rees Brennan and Cassandra Clare are really good friends). Like Clary, Elliot is introduced to a secret magic world, where the fate of the world hangs on his shoulders, and he meets life-long friends along the way. In Other Lands is full of magic, faeries, adventureprejudice among the creatures, and a struggle with identity. Also, Elliot is like a smaller, more obnoxious version of Jace — they’re both little shit, both joke a lot, but both feel very deeply and carry the weight of the world on their shoulders.


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35080593What’s it about?

The Whyborne & Griffin series follows repressed scholar Percival Endicott Whyborne who spends his days reading dead languages and hiding in his office at the museum. When a detective named Griffin Flaherty approaches him to translate a mysterious book, Whyborne’s life is changed forever as he and Griffin find themselves caught up in conspiracies, cult drama, murders, and magic, while slowly falling in love with one another.

Why did I choose it?

I chose this series because, like The Mortal Instruments, it focuses on hidden worldsfriendshipromancemagic, and the chosen one trope. Whyborne & Griffin is set in America in the 19th century, but the magic system is, like The Mortal Instruments, unique, featuring a whole host of supernatural elements and focusing on the idea of the ethics of power.


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cover121483-mediumWhat’s it about?

Luke can uncross any curse that comes his way, and working for the powerful Kovrov family — one of the families that controls magic in New York — means he has a lot of work coming in. Then he comes across one curse he can’t break: Jeremy, the beloved and sheltered prince of the Kovrov family, who has had a crush on Luke since they were six, has had a curse attached to him since he was a child — and no one has been able to break it. Will Luke be able to, and if he can’t, what will be left of him and Jeremy?

Why did I choose it?

I chose The Uncrossing because, like The Mortal Instruments, it is an urban fantasy. While The Mortal Instruments has it’s own unique magic system, so too does The Uncrossing, through curses and fairytales. There’s also plenty of romance, the struggle with destiny, identity strugglerevengechosen one (with a twist!), and the importance of family. It’s a fantastic book.


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18660669What’s it about?

Rose Hathaway is a dhampir: half human, half vampire. As a dhampir, her species must protect the Moroi, mortal vampires, from the Strigoi, the evil vampires who never die. And her entire life has gone into protecting her best friend Lissa, the last of the Moroi Dragomir clan. Years ago, Rose and Lissa escaped their school and other guardians, but now they’ve been found and are dragged back — but behind the walls of St. Vladimir, danger may be closer than they thought.

Why did I choose it?

I chose Vampire Academy for a number of reasons, but the main one is because the books in this series were coming out at the same time as the books in The Mortal Instruments series, and they are both remnant of those years of YA publishing; and by that I mean supernatural elements. While The Mortal Instruments features faeries and werewolves and vampires and half-angels, Vampire Academy features, yep, vampires. The books also focus on friendship (some amazing squads here)romance (including illicit), sense of duty, good vs evil, the importance of family and adventure. Also, Rose is like mix between Isabelle and Jace: Isabelle for her badass-ness, and Jace for his sarcasm and humour.


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wolfsongWhat’s it about?

When Ox was sixteen, a strange family moved into the house up the road, and he befriended the youngest son, a boy named Joe, who hadn’t talked in two years until he met Ox. Ox joins the Bennet family and they come to love him like their own, when, a year later, Ox finds out their secret, which makes him love them even more. When Ox was twenty-three, a monster comes to town and Joe leaves to chase him, leaving Ox to pick up the pieces behind him. Now, three years later, Joe is back.

Why did I choose it?

While Vampire Academy has vampires, Wolfsong has — you might have guessed — werewolves! The Mortal Instruments also features werewolves in the novels, especially the later books, but the two books do have other similarities. Mainly friendship, romance (which is illicit at the beginning), urban fantasy, magic, revenge, redemption, good vs evil, and of course, discovering a secret, hidden world. Not to mention the snark in this book is definitely remnant of The Mortal Instruments! 


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theseviciousmasksWhat’s it about?

In Victorian England, a young woman named Evelyn is sick of society. When her beloved sister, Rose, vanishes, Evelyn ignores her parents and travels to London to find her, accompanied by the dashing Mr Kent. But others are looking for Rose, including a young gentleman named Sebastian Braddock, who believes that Evelyn and her sister have magical powers. Evelyn thinks Sebastian is just mad, until she realises that he’s right — and that her sister is in grave danger.

Why did I choose it?

I chose These Vicious Masks trilogy because (it’s amazing and very underrated) but because Evelyn is so similar to Clary, I love them both. Both women are thrust into secret worlds that they must somehow save, while also finding themselves trapped in a love triangle (it’s a very good triangle in TVM). Also, prejudice has a lot to play in these books, as well as humour, revenge, action, adventure, good vs evil and redemption. Definitely read this underrated series!

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3 thoughts on “If you like that, try these … The Mortal Instruments

  1. Brianna @ Brianna the Bookworm says:

    I absolutely love this post! I’m always searching for more books similar to the Shadowhunters series, so I’ve just added so many of these to my TBR. The Whyborne & Griffin series sounds especially good, ahh! Thank you for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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