Review: The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare

16303287The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare
Published by: Walker Books
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Format: Paperback
Pages: 503
Rating: 5
Date Read: 18/11/2014

It is not easy being Magnus Bane. As a warlock, he’s often called upon to fix the problems of others. His life has been long, and his loves have been many. And Magnus has a way of making sure he’s in the right place at the right – or perhaps wrong – time. The French Revolution, Prohibition, the first great battle between Valentine and the New York Institute…

Magnus was there, and usually in the middle of it. Magnus will never be able to tell all of his tales. No one would believe him. But these eleven stories shed a little light on his often inscrutable character. They are stories he probably wishes had never got out.

Fans of The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices can get to know warlock Magnus Bane like never before in this collection of New York Times bestselling tales, in print for the first time with an exclusive new story and illustrated material.

This collection of eleven short stories illuminates the life of the enigmatic Magnus Bane, whose alluring personality, flamboyant style, and sharp wit populate the pages of the #1 New York Times bestselling series, The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices.

Originally released one-by-one as e-only short stories by Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson, and Sarah Rees Brennan, this compilation presents all ten together in print for the first time and includes a never-before-seen eleventh tale, as well as new illustrated material.

I love Magnus Bane as most do and I was very excited to get more of him. I really liked this collection of novellas. I love Magnus so much, so I obviously loved getting to read more about him. These stories not only shed more light on Magnus, but on bits and pieces we didn’t see in the other books. Some parts were funny and cute but then we also got some sad stories as well.

We want him so badly to find his hearts desire, but we get to feel his explorations in his search. I had no choice but to respect his self confidence and quick wit, all courtesy of a tale spun by a gifted writer. It contained short stories answering questions that may have popped up during The Mortal Instruments or The Infernal Devices.

I loved how Magnus always wore his heart on his sleeve, not only with Alec when we’ve seen him, but with everyone he loved, he liked to believe in the good of people, and he wanted to save people even though everyone else thought they were lost or he had nothing really to gain from it.

What Really Happened in Peru (#1)   5

There are good reasons Peru is off-limits to Magnus Bane. Follow Magnus’s Peruvian escapades as he drags his fellow warlocks Ragnor Fell and Catarina Loss into trouble, learns several instruments, dances, and disgraces his host nation by doing something unspeakable to the Nazca Lines.

What Really Happened in Peru is a hilarious short story. So, in our first instalment we find Magnus, Ragnor and Catarina visiting Peru. We actually get a glimpse at several different time periods, each one holding it’s own little adventure for Magnus and his friends The friendship between Ragnor, Magnus and Catarina is heart-warming. Those three are so remarkable and funny, that I couldn’t help than get a little bit attached to them.

The Runaway Queen (#2)   4

While in France, immortal warlock Magnus Bane finds himself attempting to rescue the royal family from the horrors of the French Revolution—after being roped into this mess by a most attractive count. Naturally, the daring escape calls for invisible air balloons.

Just like with What Happened In Peru, Magnus’ personality and and interactions were what made this book enjoyable. Magnus is in Paris in 1791 and he has to help Marie Antoinette escape from France. I enjoyed this one overall, but it was far less interesting.

Vampires, Scones, and Edmund Herondale (#3)   4

When immortal warlock Magnus Bane attends preliminary peace talks between the Shadowhunters and the Downworlders in Victorian London, he is charmed by two very different people: the vampire Camille Belcourt and the young Shadowhunter, Edmund Herondale.

So in this book you see a lot more of the history between Shadowhunters and the Downworlders. They are trying to make peace between the two groups but they both don’t respect the other and see them as beneath them.  We see some familiar characters from The Infernal Devices series, in their more youthful days. And we meet Edmund Herondale, Will’s father. This book tells the story of Magnus’s first meeting with the infamous Herondales, Edmund, Will’s father, and how far he’ll go to be with the woman he loves. I love how fond Magnus is of the Herondale family and the lengths he’ll go to help them.

The Midnight Heir (#4)    5

Magnus thought he would never return to London, but he is lured by a handsome offer from Tatiana Blackthorn, whose plans—involving her beautiful young ward—are far more sinister than Magnus even suspects. In London at the turn of the century, Magnus finds old friends, and meets a very surprising young man . . . the sixteen-year-old James Herondale.

It’s 1903, Magnus has returned to London after 25 years spent in New York. He comes across a drunk young man doing some really stupid and dangerous things, who just happens to be James Herondale, son of Will and Tessa. Magnus takes James home to the London Institute where we see Tessa, who is pretty much the same as she was before and Will, who is now in his middle age. James Herondale is a very interesting character. He has been surrounded by love all his life but when he falls for Grace, the inhumanely beautiful adoptive daughter of Tatiana Blackthorn, she shatters his heart into a million pieces.

The Rise of the Hotel Dumort (#5)   4

The immortal Magnus Bane is making the most of his time in the Roaring Twenties: He’s settled into New York society and is thriving among the fashionable jazz set. And there is nowhere better to see and be seen than the glamorous Hotel Dumort, a glittering new addition to the Manhattan landscape. But a different type of glamour may be at play.

I enjoyed the setting of this one. While this isn’t my favorite, in fact it’s one of my least favourite of the chronicles, it was still such an interesting insight into Magnus. The atmosphere and setting was what really intrigued me, although some minor plot points and characters weren’t really necessary to the story and dragged it out a bit.

Saving Raphael Santiago (#6)   5

A Manhattan teen—Raphael Santiago—is missing, and Magnus Bane must track him down before it’s too late. In 1950s New York City, a distraught mother hires Magnus Bane to find her missing son, Raphael. But even if he can be found, is Raphael beyond saving?

I have a soft spot for Raphael, especially after learning how he became a vampire and how he got to the point that he is in now. Saving Raphael Santiago was one of the stories I was really looking forward too. Magnus and Raphael shared a special bond, somewhere between love and hate, fondness and exasperation. They are polar opposites in every way, but they had respect for each other because of it, they may not have agreed on who they chose to live their life, but it didn’t matter in the end. The interactions between Rapahel and Ragnor Fell were hilarious, their torment of Magnus just added a lightness to the over all story. I am so glad that we’ve finally gotten some backstory on Raphael, I’ve always liked and found him intriguing.

The Fall of the Hotel Dumort (#7)    4

Magnus Bane watches the once-glamorous Hotel Dumort become something else altogether in 1970s New York City. Fifty years after the Jazz Age rise of the Hotel Dumort, immortal warlock Magnus Bane knows the Manhattan landmark is on the decline. The once-beautiful Hotel Dumort has fallen into a decayed thing, a ruin, as dead as a place can be. But the vampires don’t mind.

Just like with The Rise of the Hotel Dumort, this book wasn’t incredibly memorable. With Magnus in it it was enjoyable. Just like with The Rise of the Hotel Dumort this  is one of my least favourite of the chronicles, but it was still quite interesting.

What to buy a Shadowhunter who has everything (#8)   5

Magnus Bane may or may not be dating Alec Lightwood, but he definitely needs to find him the perfect birthday present. Set in the time between City of Ashes and City of Glass, warlock Magnus Bane is determined to find the best birthday present possible for Alec Lightwood, the Shadowhunter he may or may not be dating. And he’s also got to deal with the demon he’s conjured up for a very irritating client.

This was one of my favorites of The Bane Chronicles. Seeing what Magnus truly thought about Alec even at the beginning of their relationship was really sweet. I adored it. I really loved this book for so many reasons. First of all, I love the description of how Magnus feels about Alec. Of course I was excited to get some Malec (Magnus/Alec), but it was more than just that. From the way their relationship was described I really saw the chemistry between them that we really haven’t gotten a true look at until now, at least from Magnus’s point-of-view. Also, I loved the little interactions we saw between Magnus and his friends Ragnor Fell and Catarina Loss. Plus that demon was really entertaining. If you’re a fan of Alec & Magnus, you absolutely have to read this short story.

The Last Stand of the New York Institute (#9)    4

Magnus meets Valentine in battle as the Circle attacks the Downworlders of New York City. In the time of the Uprising, Valentine’s Circle goes after Downworlders in New York…and the Shadowhunters of the Institute must decide whether to join him, or fight with Magnus and his kind. This is the first time Magnus sees Jocelyn, Luke, and Stephen—but not the last. It is not long before Jocelyn seeks him out…

Not only do we see how the shadow world was affected by Valentine’s crusade but we also see how Jocelyn came to be found in front of Magnus’ door, years later and what transpired there. This isn’t one of my favourite, but I really enjoyed seeing Valentine when he started being who he is. I also enjoyed seeing Jocelyn and Clary when they were younger.

The Course of true love and first dates (#10)   5

Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood might fall in love—but first they have a first date. When Magnus Bane, warlock, meets Alec Lightwood, Shadowhunter, sparks fly. And what happens on their first date lights a flame.

I thought this was wonderful. Basically, The Course of true love and first dates was a delight to read. The Course of True Love and First Dates was an awkwardly fun, sweet, and cute read. Clare should write a whole book just about Malec. Or a series about Malec. Malec will always be one of my favourite couples.

The Voicemail of Magnus Bane (#11)    4

The voice mail of Magnus Bane, High Warlock of Brooklyn, in the days following a certain incident in City of Lost Souls.

Ever wonder what was said during those calls Alec, Clary, Simon and Isabelle made to Magnus, well this is it. I liked this novella quite a bit, it didn’t really tell a story, but it went along with the novels really well and I enjoyed the insight into everyone’s reactions to the breakup. This was really short but I enjoyed reading all the voicemails.

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