The Shadowhunter's Codex Online - Cassandra Clare


I don’t know you. I can’t guess who you might be. But I’m done with this Codex now, and I think it’s time I pass it on.

Okay, I’ve written all over it. And . . . drawn all over it. But I think it’s better than a fresh clean Codex, because I’ve corrected some stuff and added some things. I think it’s more true, has less of the political stuff the Clave puts in to make themselves look good.

So this is yours now. Whoever you are. If you need to find this, you’ll find it.

Anyway, welcome. This is the Codex. I always thought it was like this great tome of wisdom, but it’s more like an army field manual—how you teach someone to be a Shadowhunter when you’re already being chased by demons. So I’m not the usual reader. Luckily, Jace has added some notes too. He’s taking my training a little too seriously, by the way. I think it’s because everyone already thinks we’re just pretending to train and actually making out. So, he’s Jace, he has to prove them wrong. Hence real serious training. Which is why I am writing this with an icepack on my hip, by the way.

Simon has appeared to announce that the Codex reminds him of a Dungeons & Dragons manual. “Like, you know, it tells you the rules. Vampires are weak to . . . fire! They bite you for 2d10 damage with their vicious fangs!” Now he is making a bitey face at me. He kind of looks like a hamster. Seriously, I love Simon, but he is like the worst vampire ever.

Simon, you don’t have to make pretend fangs with your fingers. You have actual fangs.

Why Do People Become Shadowhunters, by Magnus Bane

This Codex thing is very silly. Downworlders talk about the Codex like it is some great secret full of esoteric knowledge, but really it’s a Boy Scout manual.

One thing that it mysteriously doesn’t address is why people become Shadowhunters. And you should know that people become Shadowhunters for many stupid reasons.

So here is an addition to your copy.

Greetings, young aspiring Shadowhunter-to-be—or possibly already technically a Shadowhunter. I can’t remember whether you drink from the Cup first or get the book first. Regardless, congratulations. You have just been recruited by the Monster Police. You may be wondering, why? Why of all the mundanes out there was I selected and invited to this exclusive club made up largely, at least from a historical perspective, of murderous psychopaths?

Possible Reasons Why:

1. You possess a stout heart, strong will, and able body.

2. You possess a stout body, able will, and strong heart.

3. Local Shadowhunters are ironically punishing you by making you join them.

4. You were recruited by a local Institute to join the Nephilim as an ironic punishment for your mistreatment of Downworlders.

5. Your home, village, or nation is under siege by demons.

6. Your home, village, or nation is under siege by rogue Downworlders.

7. You were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

8. You know too much, and should be recruited because the secrecy of the Shadow World has already been compromised for you.

9. You know too little; it would be helpful to the Shadowhunters if you knew more.

10. You know exactly the right amount, making you a natural recruit.

11. You possess a natural resistance to glamour magic and must be recruited to keep you quiet and provide you with some basic protection.

12. You have a compound last name already and convinced someone important that yours is a Shadowhunter family and the Shadowhunteriness has just been weakened by generations of poor breeding.

13. You had a torrid affair with a member of the Nephilim Council, and now he’s trying to cover his tracks.

14. Shadowhunters are concerned they are no longer haughty and condescending enough—have sought you out to add a much needed boost of haughty condescension.

15. You have been bitten by a radioactive Shadowhunter, giving you the proportional strength and speed of a Shadowhunter.

16. Large bearded man on flying motorcycle appeared to take you away to Shadowhunter school. (Note: Presence of flying motorcycle suggests bearded man may be a vampire.)

17. Your mom has been in hiding from your evil dad, and you found out you’re a Shadowhunter only a few weeks ago.

That’s right. Seventeen reasons. Because that’s how many I thought of. Now run off, little Shadowhunter, and learn to murder things. And be nice to Downworlders.


We are called Nephilim or Shadowhunters. We are the children of men and angels; the Angel Raziel