An illustrated paperback that tells eleven exciting adventures about immortal warlock Magnus Bane.
A fan-favourite character from Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter Chronicles, Magnus features in The Mortal Instruments, The Infernal Devices, Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy, City of Bones movie and the soon to be ABC Family series Shadowhunters.
Magnus will never be able to tell all of his tales. No one would believe him. But these stories shed a little light on his often inscrutable character. They are stories he probably wishes had never got out.
The books in Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter Chronicles are some of my favourite YA novels, so I’ll read anything Shadowhunter related. Magnus was also one of my favourite characters due to his outrageously colourful fashion sense and sassy, laid-back attitude.
I had been meaning to pick this one up for awhile and did when my local bookstore was having a sale, but I was a bit apprehensive. I thought City of Heavenly Fire, the last book in The Mortal Instruments wrapped up the Shadowhunter world nicely for me and I was worried that this was just a cash grab by prolonging the series.
Honestly, it was funny. Cassandra Clare knows her characters inside and out and I really enjoyed diving into the crazy world of the illustrious High Warlock of Brooklyn. In some parts you can clearly tell it’s co-authored and sometimes the stories do lack a bit of pizzazz, but the witty dialogue and banter between Magnus and his many magical friends did keep me going. I will, however, admit that I didn’t care too much for the illustrations before each chapter. Arguably, they make the book look pretty but they just spoiled some of the story a little bit.
Because this book is compiled up of eleven short stories, I’ll rate each short story out of five stars and give my opinion as there were definitely stories I liked more than others. I will say that generally the book was a good read.
WHAT REALLY HAPPENED IN PERU ★
If your sole purpose of reading this book is to find out what crazy caper got Magnus banned from ever returning to Peru, then stop now. It’s been teased throughout the The Mortal Instruments that Magnus for some unknown reason is banned from Peru and when I first this title I thought “FINALLY! We’re getting answers!” Warning: Do not be fooled by the first chapter’s title.
We spend a whole chapter following Magnus’ adventures in Peru each one seemingly more audacious than the next. Alas, none of these get him banned from Peru. While I love Cassandra and I think there are some very humorous one-liners in this chapter, I felt her and Sarah Rees Brennan definitely copped out on this one. Instead of getting an answer, we are fobbed off with a typical and eye-roll inducing “the world will never know” type ending. Don’t call it What Really Happened in Peru if you’re not going to tell us what really happened in Peru.
“There was also a woman who referred to me as her sweet peapod of love” – Ragnor Fell, 1791
THE RUNAWAY QUEEN ★★★
Slightly more enjoyable. This time Magnus finds himself in the City of Love, Paris. After being captivated by an attractive count, Magnus finds himself with the task of saving the royal family from the horrors of the French Revolution.
This was miles better and funnier than Peru. I thought that the actual plot was very well done. The descriptions of both Paris and the Parisian Vampires was brilliant, but again because this was co-authored I could see some inconsistencies in the writing. One minute it was very effortless and dreamlike, the next it would be the total opposite. However, I really did enjoy this one.
“Still. If one could look this fabulous, one had an obligation to. One should wear everything or one should wear nothing at all”
VAMPIRES, SCONES & EDMUND HERONDALE ★★★★
Three of my favourite things; Vampires, Scones and a Herondale boy. I did love the banter Edmund and Magnus exchanged. I thought it was hilarious and Magnus always has a great dynamic with the Herondales. Plus Linette and Edmund were adorable!
“I’m so sorry. Somebody incredibly attractive just came into the room, and I ceased to pay attention to a word you were saying”
THE MIDNIGHT HEIR ★★★★
I mean, how could I not give it four stars when I was reunited with three of my favourite Shadowhunter Chronicles characters? The Holy Infernal Devices Trinity; Will, Jem and Tessa all featured in this chapter. I may or may not have cried profusely at reading about them all being together again. It was a lovely few minutes where I could pretend Clockwork Princess had never happened. The Infernal Devices is my favourite series Cassie has written. I love everything about the era it’s set in and the characters she created, it was nice to see that all revisited.
Although, I wasn’t too fond of James Herondale. (I know, I know). While I felt some pity for him, I wasn’t all about the “(unnecessarily) tragic broken boy” trope Clare and Brennan had given him.
“How they loved each another, these three, how they had suffered for each another, and yet how much joy they took from simply being in the same room…Tessa, Will and Jem stood together in a tight knot. Magnus knew for moments nothing existed in the world but the three of them”
RISE OF THE HOTEL DUMORT ★★★
This time we’re in 1920’s Manhattan and Magnus is out hobnobbing with the elite at a glamorous Jazz hot spot, the glittering new addition to New York that is the Hotel Dumort. The Roaring Twenties may have all the glitz, but it seems there is a different type of glamour at work.
Now, I love the Hotel Dumort setting. You always know that something crazy exciting is going to go down there. This tells us how it came to be the notorious vampire haunt that we’ve read about in The Mortal Instruments and it was increasingly interesting.
“Aldous Nix is two thousand years old?” “So I’ve heard. He doesn’t invite me to his birthday parties.”
SAVING RAPHAEL SANTIAGO ★★★★★
This one was definitely the best story in the entire novel. I’ve always had this soft spot for Raphael when reading The Mortal Instruments and through this chapter we’re able to learn more about his origins. I have to admit that after reading Saving Raphael Santiago I adore him even more. This one is my favourite because the banter between Magnus and Raphael was top notch and I liked the friendship they had when Magnus takes Raphael under his wing. This one had both humour and heart to it which is why it’s my favourite.
“Do you know he spends hours in the bathroom sometimes? He wastes actual magic on his hair. On his hair!”
THE FALL OF THE HOTEL DUMORT ★★★
We’re back at the Hotel Dumort! But things aren’t going so well for the Vampire Clan of New York. Magnus comes face to face with the woman he once loved more than anything, Camille, but what he is greeted with is not a pretty sight. If Camille’s clan doesn’t shape up and put a stop to the mess they have caused, then the werewolves will.
I thought this one wasn’t too bad. There’s a lot more history in this one than the previous tales as we explore the 1970s and the interest in drugs.
“Are you in fashion? You look like you’re in fashion.” “No,” said Magnus, “I AM fashion”
WHAT TO BUY THE SHADOWHUNTER ★★★★
Another one that I really, really enjoyed. Alex and Magnus are always going to be OTP and I’m probably going to forever enjoy reading about them. However, this one was made more wonderful by the hilarious, charming and ever-so-lovely, Elyaas.
Magnus summons the comedian cecaelia demon as per request for a client. While they wait for the client’s arrival, Elyaas provides his input on what Magnus should get Alec for his birthday.
Elyaas is adorable and I wouldn’t mind having a spin-off series just all about him. Forget a dog, I want a cecaelia demon. As long as it’s as cute and charismatic as Elyaas.
“You should get him a mixed tape. Kids love mixed tapes. They’re the cool ‘in’ thing right now.” “Was the last time you were summoned the eighties?” “It might have been…”
THE LAST STAND OF THE NY INSTITUTE ★★
This one didn’t blow me away either. It was clearly co-written that I couldn’t even cope with it. I think I pretty much glazed over this one because I couldn’t get into it.
Magnus meets Valentine in the battle as the Circle attack New York City’s Downworlders. It only gets two stars because of my faves Jocelyn, Luke and Baby Fray.
“”Is she part banshee?” Magnus asked over the piercing wail. Clary sounded like a police siren.”
THE COURSE OF TRUE LOVE ★★★
Magnus and Alec might fall in love — but they first they must get through their first date. Dating a Shadowhunter was never going to be easy!
This one was fun. Magnus and Alec are a fictional couple that I absolutely love and they’re always written so well. Their first date was eventful, but definitely did not disappoint.
“We call it the Butt Song…Roses are red, and they say love’s not made to last. But I know I’ll never get enough of that sweet, sweet ass” To hear the rest purchase the Butt Song on iTunes. (I’m kidding)
THE VOICEMAIL OF MAGNUS BANE ★★★
While thoroughly entertaining, I felt this one was a little bit of a filler and had virtually no point. It was just one last showcase of funny one-liners. I did think it was entertaining, I just didn’t see the point. Although, I suppose it rounded the book up pretty well.
“Hi Magnus. It’s Simon. You know me. Well, you called me Saomes last time we spoke”
Overall, The Bane Chronicles was an enjoyable read. It’s just a shame that it started off with such a lacklustre story as towards the end Magnus’ adventures definitely got more exciting.