Title: The Bane Chronicles
Author: Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson, Sarah Rees Brennan (Artwork by Cassandra Jane)
Genre: Fantasy (novella)
Date completed: July 5th 2017
Goodreads rating: 3 stars
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 was SO excited to read this novella. I don’t know if you’ve noticed from reading any of my other Shadowhunters reviews, but Magnus is my favourite character, and I was so excited to read more about his past and basically just celebrate how great he is. I have mixed feelings about what I read.
I think the easiest way is to break down the stories with their own ratings, then I’ll do a general discussion of what I liked and what I didn’t like.
- What Really Happened in Peru: 2 stars
- The Runaway Queen: 2.5 stars
- Vampires, Scones, and Edmund Herondale: 3.5 stars
- The Midnight Heir: 3 stars
- The Rise of the Hotel Dumort: 3.5 stars
- Saving Raphael Santiago: 4 stars
- The Fall of the Hotel Dumort: 3.5 stars
- What to Buy the Shadowhunter Who Has Everything (And Who You’re Not Officially Dating Anyway): 5 stars
- The Last Stand of the New York Institute: 4.5 stars
- The Course of True Love (And First Dates): 4 stars
- The Voicemail of Magnus Bane: 1.5 stars
What I Liked:
- Magnus. This one is obvious. Even though I had mixed feelings about the novella, there was always one positive to all the short stories: Magnus (except #11). I love him so much. He’s witty, he’s clever, but he’s also sensitive and hurting and so three dimensional. He’s been my favourite since City of Bones, but with every story he grows and becomes even better. Yay Magnus!
- Character insights. Some of the stories gave really fascinating insights into the backstories of a lot of the characters in the Shadowhunter universe, particularly those that aren’t necessarily explored as much in the novels. In particular, I enjoyed learning more about Raphael’s past, and about more of the warlocks in the universe.
- What to Buy the Shadowhunter Who Has Everything (And Who You’re Not Officially Dating Anyway). This was by far my favourite story. Obviously I’m all about that #Malec life, so I always knew I was going to love it, but it surprised my expectations. I loved seeing a slightly more vulnerable side to Magnus, along with his classic witty sass. And of course it made me squee like a fangirl with how adorable it was (I believe my Goodreads review is “so adorable I died a little” – I stand by it).
What I Didn’t Like
- Tone. Even though Cassandra clare was involved in writing all of the stories, she collaborated with other authors. This meant that sometimes I felt like the tone was off slightly, it was clearly no longer just Cassie’s writing, and that really threw me after so long experiencing the Shadowhunter world through her writing.
- Pointless. This is the big one. I can basically divide the stories into two categories: those that added to the Shadowhunter world and its characters, and those that could have, but ultimately just felt pointless. In particular, stories 1, 2, and 11 just felt unnecessary.
There were stories in this novella that I really enjoyed (the ones I’ve underlined). But there was also stories that added little to the Shadowhunter world, and just left me feeling disappointed, and some that had great potential but just didn’t quite get there. I would recommend reading them online (if you just google ‘The Bane Chronicles PDF’ they’ll come up for free), and honestly skipping Peru, The Runaway Queen, and Voicemail unless you’re desperate to read them. I did like more stories than I disliked, and I’ll probably buy the paperback at some point in the future just in case I want to reread any of the better stories, but it’s not high on my list. Thankfully, Magnus is still bae, so everything is still ok.