Book Review: The Bane Chronicles – Cassandra Clare

I’ve only included Cassie Clare in the title of this post cus its too long for three to fit in, and since its really ultimately her universe :)


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Name: The Bane Chronicles
Author: Cassandra Clare, 
Sarah Rees Brennan,                                              Maureen Johnson
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release Date: November 3, 2015 (1st published Nov 11, 2014)

Synopsis

It’s not easy being Magnus Bane. As a warlock, he’s often called upon to fix problems of others. His life has been long, and his loves have been many, and Magnus has a way of making sure he’s at 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. But smuggling Marie Antoinette out of France is nothing compared to having a first date with Alec Lightwood.

Though Magnus’s tale is far from over, these stories shed a little light on his often inscrutable character. What happens when an immortal warlock goes mad? Are all Herondales as problematic as Will? (Answer: yes.) And why was Magnus banned from Peru?

Magnus will never be able to tell all of his tales. No one would believe him. But here are eleven stories that fill in some of the blanks—stories he probably wishes had never gotten out.


Book Cover Comments

Screenshot 2018-12-03 at 9.25.28 AM

Magnus Bane still constantly lowkey creeps me out (really can’t deal with the black nail polish) and creeps me out the same way as his plushie counterpart does, sitting in my room back home waiting for me to come back and stare at its handsomeness.

It’s not funny.
(Book Con 2018 Exclusive)


The Actual Review

After meeting Cassandra Clare at BookCon, I had the plushie of Magnus she gave me sitting in my totebag. I walked around the showfloor and decided to reach for something-whatever inside my bag. And I found Magnus staring back at me with those dead-synthetic-cloth cat-eyes.

I lowkey freaked out and swore to the Gods.

The Bane Chronicles is Magnus’ anthology that everyone will absolutely love. NO ONE. Can hate. Magnus frik-frak Bane. He is the most amazing warlock that I will ever know, with his experience as his immortality goes on, and the people and events that he encounter and go through all while he was live. Magnus’ character is filled with sophistication, and this anthology peers into that window in more detail.

For this book review, I wanted to do something similar to what I did for my review of Because You Love to Hate Me (go check it out HERE), in which I’ll give a FEW sentences (its no longer a few.) of comments and thoughts for each of the short stories. I’ll also include the description for each of these short stories. Note: lowkey spoilers for relationships from TMI and TID.

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What Really Happened in Peru

Fans of The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices know that Magnus Bane is banned from Peru—and now they can find out why.

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 (which he plays shockingly), dances (which he does shockingly), and disgraces his host nation by doing something unspeakable to the Nazca Lines.

This was literally one of the most random short stories of Magnus Bane. Do I remember he got banned from Peru? Absolutely not. Would I like to know? Maybe, maybe not. But this random short story kicked off the anthology really well, showing us a taste of what the following short stories will be like: filled with humor (Magnus I swear if you pick up that instrument ever again) and glimpses into Magnus and his struggles with immortality. Featuring wonderful Ragnor Fell and Catarina Loss that turns this trio into a spectacular Three Musketeers of fun, companionship and everything else.

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The Runaway Queen

Magnus Bane has a royal role in the French Revolution—if the angry mobs don’t spoil his spells.

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…

Well Bonjour France! Welcome to the story of Magnus Bane that takes place barely before the French Revolution. Here, you’ll have some fun meeting Marie Antoinette, and of course her legendary tagline is included in this short story. The person who asked Magnus to save the Queen sees Marie as someone gentle and strong; but when Magnus saves her, it doesn’t seem so. And with the tug on Magnus’ heart with his handsome-encounter-love, one that reminds him so badly of the memories in London with a certain Will Herondale, this story is a tug-of-war that goes back and forth that despite I still don’t really understand completely, is simply best left not understood.

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Vampires, Scones, and Edmund Herondale

Magnus Bane leverages his alliances with Downworlders and Shadowhunters on a venture to Victorian London.

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. Will winning hearts mean choosing sides?

This is the tale that everyone has been wanting to know about: the tale of Edmund Herondale, father of the infamous Will Herondale. Magnus encounters him while staying in London (so this all takes place before TID) and takes interest into him. Magnus (and the reader) will watch Edmund change from a boy never in love to a boy with love, as we continue to reveal the ugly sides of the Clave, their somewhat stupidity—”scones”— and as Magnus begins to fall for Camille Belcourt, our favourite she-vampire.

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The Midnight Heir

In Edwardian London, Magnus Bane discovers old friends and new enemies—including the son of his former comrade Will Herondale.

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, Grace—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.

No one can really let go of the Herondales nor be detangled from it, Magnus included as he returns to London after the events of TID as he witnesses the third generation of the Herondales’ stories, and this time, Will’s son: James Herondale. Through an impactful encounter that got Magnus tripping and thinking he saw the beautiful Will, Magnus learns about what is hurting James Herondale as characters from TID make an appearance and show you both the beauty, and the pain love can bring. On the other hand, Magnus finds out how his business with Tatiana Blackthorn might be a request one-too-high, as he thinks about the Shadowhunters he tried to save all in one night, and the differences between them.

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The Rise of the Hotel Dumort

In 1920s Manhattan, Magnus Bane hobnobs with the elite at a glamorous Jazz Age hotspot.

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…

You will never see someone rock his life as much as Magnus Bane. That’s literally how his story started in this chapter. Mr Dry’s Bar.

This story continues to tug on the relationship problems between the Downworlders and the Shadowhunters, as an event happening over at the Hotel DumoNt causes alarm to Magnus, as things unfold in the hotel that will tug at his heart: immortality, his paternal bloodline, and one Camille Belcourt.

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Saving Raphael Santiago

A Manhattan teen—Raphael Santiago—is missing, and Magnus Bane must track him down before it’s too late.

One of the more interesting jobs Magnus has ever been involved in… A distraught mother in 1950s New York hires Magnus to find her son, Raphael. But even if he can be found, is Raphael beyond saving?

If you wanted to know how Raphael Santiago turned into a vampire, here’s the story. It is only in Magnus’ character to feel the need to attached to someone in Raphael Santiago, freshly Changed and in need of knowledge of what and how to adjust to vampire life. This story also explores the bravery of Raphael and what he would do for his family to love them and to receive that love in return, even if it means pain.

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The Fall of the Hotel Dumort

Magnus Bane watches his favorite 1920s hotspot, 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…

Vampires trashed Magnus’ place. Literally. And that conversation kick-started everything you need to know about what happened to the vampires and once again, a certain Camille Belcourt. Cassandra Clare combines elements of history into the stories. In previous ones, we’ve seen the French Revolution and the Great Depression, and this time it’s about the use of drugs in America. The story explores what happens to the vampires as they go insane due to the unclean blood of humans who might be slowly rotting away their body as Magnus continues to think about his past love and how it tugs at his heart.

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What to Buy the Shadowhunter Who Has Everything (And Who You’re Not Officially Dating Anyway) 

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…

My absolute favourite short story in this chronicle, “What to Buy the Shadowhunter Who Has Everything” is a story of Magnus filled with humour and fun as Magnus struggles to find a gift for Alec’s eighteenth birthday. You might see a demon or two, a phone call or two, some sweet words from Alec, some advice and love from Isabelle, and a side of Magnus that will leave readers feeling bittersweet, because there might just be something showing in him that might have been lost, a long, long, time ago.

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The Last Stand of the New York Institute

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…

Fan’s memories are jostled back to the era of Valentine, the first antagonist ever featured in Cassandra Clare’s books. This story once again explores the pride and vanity of the Shadowhunters and how that does not work in favour of the Downworlders, especially with Valentine’s Circle on the rise as Magnus suffers through the most serious of heartbreaks —not romantically— but something else: something we will all observe in this story that will hurt as the threads of fate of the Herondales continue to tangle in his heart.

This is also the story of what happened to Clary ten-or-so years before City of Bones took place: a little prelude of what Jocelyn tried to do to protect her child from the world of the Shadowhunters. Readers witness the choice of Magnus and Tessa, both present at the time Jocelyn knocked on Magnus’ door as we see the pain that Magnus went through not so long ago, but this time, in Tessa’s eyes.

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The Course of True Love (And First Dates)

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…

The last formal short story in the Bane Chronicles ends with a date between him and Alec, a perfect way to “end” this collection, in resonance to the dedication page of this anthology: “to all the fans who said Magnus and Alec meant a lot to them”. This was no ordinary date as Magnus tries to make everything perfect on their first time, but things don’t go well as things get (literally) spiced up with hot sauce. But this doesn’t mean Alec didn’t enjoy it: Magnus sees something in Alec as Alec does the same, the start of a romance as something frozen in time begins to blossom in Magnus’ heart.

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The Voicemail of Magnus Bane

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

No I certainly did not remember what certain incident occured in City of Lost Souls: I read it at the beginning of the year and its December, but no one could deny the amazingness of this collection of voicemails collected in Magnus’s phone that might have concerned some toads and a certain Alec Lightwood’s heart. Everyone’s favourite characters from the Mortal Instruments as people like Clary, Jace, Isabelle, Alec, Isabelle, Raphael, Isabelle, Chairman Meow, Isabelle, Maryse Lightwood, Isabelle, more characters, Isabelle and Isabelle, oh and Isabelle make an appearance in this bonus story chock full of laughter.

You can also listen to Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson, David Levithan, Holly Black, Kelly Link and Josh Lewis actually reading out the voicemails in the video below, though it’ll take you around 30 minutes:


My last thoughts on the Bane Chronicles: there is no way you cannot fall in love with Magnus even more and there is no way you cannot skip this if you are a Shadowhunter fan. Magnus Bane is the true secret star of the Shadowhunter Chronicles, the warlock who is a hero not sung enough about, the warlock who has witnessed generations and centuries of moments passing by, of loves falling in and out, of Shadowhunters and Downworlders. And within this burden of immortality, there are times where you would just forget about the fact that you don’t age, and maybe, just maybe, feel merely human once again.

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Joanne Lumiere

Joanne is the narcissistic founder of her book blog, Joanne Lumiere. Born and raised in Hong Kong, this 18 year old brat is currently attending college in Los Angeles, and still doesn't know how to read books with sophistication, and yet she runs a blog.

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