Book Review: The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, and Maureen Johnson

The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, and Maureen Johnson

Title: The Bane Chronicles

Author: Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, and Maureen Johnson

Genre: YA Fantasy

Number of Pages: 507

Overall Rating: 4.62/5 stars

Synopsis: 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.

Discussion: [Note: This review might be long-ish. It is over 3,000 words. You were warned. There also might be minor spoilers for the other series by Cassandra Clare.]

If you haven’t read The Mortal Instruments or The Infernal Devices yet, where have you been?

The series is simply fabulous.

Just like Magnus Bane.

He was a mere side character in the books, helping Shadowhunters when they were in need. I always liked him; how could you not like him? He was Magnus Bane, High Warlock and glam king.
“Magnus Bane, go insane, throw some glitter make it rain!” Don’t tell me you’ve never heard of that.

make animated GIF

Okay. Before we get into the review, I’d like to make a comment about the cover. Yes, it is beautiful [I actually love it]. BUT THE HAND. IT DOES NOT WORK.


So, I put sticky notes on parts I wanted to remember. That will be the basis of my review. I will do a quick review of each story, show you the parts I marked, and include GIFs. Sound fun? Let’s get to it.

What Really Happened in Peru

This story really opened up Magnus for us, showing us what he does in all his years of immortality. As readers of Clare’s previous books may know, Magnus is banned from Peru. He mentioned it once or twice, but we never really knew why. This story is supposed to explain it, right?


We go through the entire 50-ish pages trying to figure out which of Magnus’s adventure’s was the culprit of his banishment, and then… Well, I won’t spoil it for you. >:)

Let’s see my notes!

“I’m still not sure about any of this,” Ragnor said. “I’m not even sure where you got that hat.”

Magnus adjusted it for maximum jauntiness. “Just a little something I picked up. Seemed appropriate for the occasion.”

“Nobody else is wearing anything remotely like it.”

Magnus cast a disparaging look around at all the fashion-challenged sailors. “I feel sorry for them, of course, but I do not see why that observation should alter my current extremely stylish course of action.”

Oh, Magnus. How witty you are. And how fashionable, of course. I found this quite hilarious.

The llamas could not be judging him.

haters animated GIF

Without any background, how is this not funny? XD What happened is, Magnus is trying to play an instrument and failing. It just so happens that llamas are stampeding at the same moment he is playing, and he thinks it is pure coincidence. They could not be judging his music.

Even in the midst of heartbreak, you could still find yourself laughing.

Not only is Magnus fashionable, but he has many words of wisdom. Just a bit of sentimentality from the funniest warlock.

“Magnus, you were trying to flirt with your plate!”

“I’m a very open-minded fellow.”

You didn’t laugh? Let me walk away.

The way mundanes in this part of Peru practiced medicine, it appeared, was to rub a guinea pig all over the afflicted sufferer’s body.

Some of these need no explanation.

I loved this story. It was quite entertaining throughout the pages. I was never bored. And it was full of laughs!

The Runaway Queen

It’s about the French Revolution, I believe. Marie Antoinette and stuff. It was okay…

My only note:

…when Claude picked him up like he’d been monkey-plucking all his life.

Some of these need no explanation.

Vampires, Scones, and Edmund Herondale

To be completely honest, I don’t remember exactly what happened in this. Let’s see if the quotes will help me remember. Sorry!

“After all,” Magnus remarked aloud to himself, swinging his monkey-headed cane, “attractive and interesting persons do not simply drop out of the sky.”

It was then that the fair-haired Shadowhunter that Magnus had spotted at the Institute somersaulted from the top of a wall and landed gracefully in the street before him.

“Devastating ensembles made on Bond Street with red brocade waistcoats do not simply drop out of the sky!” Magnus proclaimed experimentally to the Heavens.

This is, like, the only thing I remembered. Because it was so funny. I didn’t get it at first, but read it through a few times.

When one was immortal, one tended to forget the passing of time. Still, there was no excuse for wearing a bonnet last fashionable in the era of Napoleon I.

Ah, his fashion sense is impeccable.

“Go, Charlotte. You know your duty,” said Fairchild.


“Capital!” said Edmund Herondale…

[May I just say: Herondale???!!!!] What does ‘capital’ mean like that…?

…and produced a necklace. The ruby glinted in the light of a nearby streetlamp, its heart the rich color of blood.

“It is a pretty thing,” said Magnus.

“Very pretty.” She sounded amused at the understatement.

“Not worthy of your beauty, of course, but what could be? There is one small thing besides prettiness to reccomend it. There is a spell on the jewel, to warn you when demons are near.”

Camille’s eyes…

IT IS IZZY’S NECKLACE. And it is being given to the vampire Camille. How did Izzy obtain it?

Years later another desperate Herondale boy with blue, blue eyes would come to his door, shaking with the cold of the rain and his own wretchedness, and this one Magnus would be able to help.


I loved all the references, as you can tell. It’s just fun to see another character mentioned. :)

So this story didn’t really stand out to me, but it was okay.

whatever animated GIF

The Midnight Heir

When I finished reading this one, it was my favorite. But now I think it’s a tie between “The Last Stand of the New York Institute” and “The Course of True Love (And First Dates).” You shall see why soon.

But back to the Heir. The first half is about James Herondale. YEAH. THAT JAMES. And the second half is freaking creepy!

It took Magnus nearly twenty minutes to notice the boy shooting out all the lights in the room, but to be fair, he had been distracted by the décor.

fail animated GIF

This one sentence explains Magnus. XD

“Trust. It is like placing a blade in someone’s hand and setting the very point against your own heart.”

Quite possibly the only words of quality spoken by a drunk James Herondale.

“What an excellent idea,” Magnus said. “I have heard alcohol only improves a man’s aim. The night is young. Imagine how many barmaids you can shoot before dawn.”

I laugh out loud every time I read this.

“We are but dust and shadows, as the saying goes,” said James. “Of course, the saying does not add, ‘Some of us also turn into shadows occasionally, when the mood takes us.’…”

As twisted as James is, this dry comment is quite funny in my mind…

“There isn’t any chance,” Magnus asked, without much hope, “that you are a rather nice fellow who believes he is cursed and must make himself seem unlovable to spare those around him from a terrible fate? Becuase I ahve heard that happens sometimes.”

Yeah. It happened to James’s father: WILL HERONDALE. OMGOMGOMGOMG

And here’s the second part:

“My father was cursed,” James said from the darkness. “Whereas I? I’m damned.”

Do we get to learn anything more about this? NO. So much suspense!!!

“Did she?” Will asked. “It’s not as if the girl looks like a toad in a bonnet.”


The painted ships appeared to be sinking in clouds of dust.

I just thought this was so poetic.

This one was really good. We got to see Tessa and Will’s family, and then–Jem! Or Brother Zachariah. And he still plays his violin. <3

The Rise of the Hotel Dumort

This one was about vampires. And blood. And illegal alcohol consumption. I mean, I think there was blood. I’m not entirely sure. [This one didn’t stand out to me as much, too, if you can’t tell already.] There’s only two quotes. O.O

The first quote is kind of long, so I’ll put a snippet and explain the rest.

Then all at once, the lights came up again. But the speakeasy was gone.

Some background info: It’s 1929 in the USA, and alcohol is illegal. A speakeasy is a place where people drink illegaly. And Magnus had his own.

The police have just announced their arrival. This has happened more than once, apparently. What Magnus does, however, is use magic to transform the speakeasy into somthing else. This time it is a book club. And they are drinking tea and listening to jazz music. It’s quite hilarious once the authorities enter.

My other sticky note marks a date: October 24. WHICH IS MY BIRTHDAY. So, pretty awesome. :)

harry potter animated GIF

Saving Raphael Santiago

As you may know, Raphael is a vampire that appeared in TMI. It is mentioned that he and Magnus have some sort of relationship, but it is never elaborated on. Turns out, Magnus helped Raphael when he turned into a vampire. Juicy stuff.

It was the sun getting to him, Magnus thought later, that had filled him with the desire to be a private eye. That and the Raymond Chandler novel he had just completed.

I thought this was quite charming–a great bit of detail.

“Oh, God, not the bloody vampires again,” said Magnus. “No pun intended.”

Get it? Get it? :P

Go to faeries for gossip about vampires, to werewolves for gossip about faeries, and do not gossip about werewolves, becuase they try to bite your face off: that was Magnus’s motto.

And a great motto it is. :)

…remembered his mother and how she had not been able to touch him once she’d known, and how his stepfather had held him down under the surface of the water.

A little glimpse into Magnus’s past. I wish there was a story about his childhood; thatw ould be very interesting. This line gives it much more depth.

“…the cazadores de sombras…”

“Shadowhunters” in Spanish. I thought this was cool.

Once Raphael was gone, he thought, he was getting a cat. And he would always throw his cat a birthday party.

Did we ever witness a party for Chairman Meow? Because I’d read that. Or look at a drawing of it. [Hint, hint…if anyone can draw.]

“I never get attached to Nephilim!” Magnus protested.

Ragnor coughed, and in the midst of the cough said soemthing that sounded like “blerondale.”

“Well,” said Magnus. “Hardly ever.”

;) “Blerondale.”

El hambre agudiza el ingenio,” said Raphael.

Hunger sharpens the wit.

“Good proverb,” said Magnus. “However, like most proverbs, it sounds wise and yet does not actually clarify anything.”

Words of wisdom. Should be a proverb. ;)

“Get out,” Magnus told him. “Out! I want you out. I’m going to throw a party when you leave, and you know you hate those. Along with fashion, music, and fun as a concept…”

When Magnus was being created: a dash of intelligence, a cup of warlock-ness, a dash of fashion and music and fun–whoopsie! Guess that’ll be five cups. ;)

[Am I using a winky face too much? Is it weird?]

I liked learning more about Raphael Santiago, because he was just kind of…there before.

The Fall of the Hotel Dumort

This was the really bloody one. LOTS about vampires. And high vampires.

Basically, they’re feeding off mundanes who are addicted to cocaine, and they overfeed.

Yeah. Happy stuff.

[Well, Magnus does make it a bit lot sunshinier.]

“What do you do?” the woman asked.

“This and that,” Magnus said.

“Are you in fashion? You look like you’re in fashion.”

“No,” he said. “I am fashion.”

Getting haughty, are we, Magnus? Although, he is pretty much living, walking, talking fashion. And glitter.

Now that it was a more of a civilized hour, people were out. Gay couples walking hand in hand, in the open, during the day. That was fairly new. Even as the city seemed to be falling apart, something good was happening.

This is in 1977. So pretty cool, right? I thought it was good of Magnus to make this observation, and good of Clare to include. It says a lot about Magnus.

Magnus looked at the broken-down facade of the Dumont. Someone, he noticed, had changed the n to and r. Dumort. Hotel of the dead.

Thank you, Cassandra Clare, for explaining this! At last! I was so confused about the Dumort VS Dumont thing.

This story was quite bloody, but still filled with Magnus’s charm and wit. It had its moments. Not my favorite, though.

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

A very adorable Malec moment. But the real Malec thing is soming up. :)

And he wears truly awful sweaters, Magnus thought, and was dismayed when the thought brought with it a rush of affection.


…as he rummaged for his big blue coffee cup that said BETTER THAN GANDALF across the front in sparkly letters.

I just thought this was fabulous. How is it not? And wherever did he find it?

“It wasn’t funny for Bill Herondale!” said Magnus. “Oh, damn it. Now you’ve got me doing it.”

Let me set the scene: This demon and Magnus are talking about stuff, and Will Herondale comes up. But the demon calls him Bill. This actually really funny because Will’s name is William, and Bill can be short for William. So his nickname could be Bill. ;P

“Flattery from you makes me nervous,” said Ragnor. “It means you want something. Doubtless something awful. I am not becoming a pirate with you again, Magnus. I don’t care how much you pay me.”

They were pirates??? XD I guess when you’re immortal, you get bored… I wish Ms. Clare would elaborate on this.

They [vampires] were messing up his love life as well as being inconsiderate party guests who had got blood in Magnus’s stereo system at his last party and turned Clary’s idiot friend Stanley into a rat which was just bad manners.

HE IS NOT AN IDIOT AND HIS NAME IS SIMON AND HE IS MY LOVE. And just bad manners? Uh-huh. Simon got turned into a vampire because of that!!!

So, yeah, a quite adorable chapter, but the real stuff is coming soon.

The Last Stand of the New York Institute

This story is all about Valentine and the Circle and I was EXTREMELY close to crying. I had tears in my eyes. He is killing these poor Downworlders for “crimes” they ahd apparently commited. You see all these Shadowhunters–Jocelyn, Maryse, Luke!–killing these innocents and it’s heartbreaking.

“I can get Ragnor to help me.”

“Ragnor’s in Peru,” said Catarina. “He says he finds it very peaceful without your accursed presence, and that’s a direct quote.”

Ah, remember Peru?

“You gotta come,” he said as he stumbled in. “They have my family. They’re here.”

“Who are here?”

“The crazy Shadowhunters everyone’s freaking about. They’re here. They have my family. You gotta come now.”

D’: The tears begin NOW.

“I am Lucian Graymark,” said the young man with the thin clever face at the front of the group.

LUKE!!! :’O

“Maryse, Robert, please. Valentine is a noble man!” Lucian said…

O.O MARYSE. ROBERT. *flails*

“I am fighting for a better world for myself and my son,” said the woman called Maryse.

“I have no interest in the world you want,” Magnus told her. “Or in your doubtless repellent brat, I might add.”

He just called his boyfriend a repellent brat. Think about it… O.O *flails*

The next quote is much too long, but I have an image.


There is a twelve-year-old werewolf girl, tied to a chair with silver rope. Silver coins are pressed to her eyes, smoke coming from them. Silver is deadly to werewolves, and Valentine is using it to torture her for information.

This was the saddest part. I was very close to crying right here.

The last part I tabbed is also very long.

Let me set the scene. Jocelyn enters Magnus’s apartment, holding a red-haired little girl of about two. She wants her child to be kept away from Shadowhunters, even though she is one, to be a mundane.

Tessa is there with Magnus, and she is wearing a shirt that reads WILLIAM WANTS A DOLL. It was a feminist statement. This makes me love Tessa even more. Mainly because she starts ot in the 1800s, feeling it;s strange to wear pants and making boys do things for her. Now she’s a feminist.

This was my favorite story. No more words.

The Course of True Love (And First Dates)

AKA Malec Malec Malec. It was freaking adorable.

i will go down with this ship animated GIF

Let’s get to my notes!

“No, it doesn’t really,” said Catarina. “You’re sarcastic twelve hours a day, but you’re almost never spiteful. You have a good heart under all that glitter.”

Now, isn’t that sweet. But it’s not Malec yet.

If Jace was gold, catching the light and the attention, Alec was silver: so used to everyone else looking at Jace that that was where he looked too, so used to living in Jace’s shadow that he didn’t expect to be seen. Maybe it was enough to be the first person to tell Alec that he was worth being seen ahead of anyone in a room, and of being looked at longest.

And silver, though few people knew it, was a rarer metal than gold.

Didn’t your heart just m e l t ? This is too cute and adorable and sweet. Everything we love about Malec.

“Stupid, sexy Shadowhunters.”

Hehe. Magnus thinks Alec is sexy. :) THEY ARE TOO ADORABLE FOR WORDS.

Words seemed to explode out of Alec in a rush, though judging by his expression he wished he could hold them back. ‘It was my fault. I got everything wrong before I even showed up, and you knew how to order at the restaurant and I had to stop myself laughing at that song on the subway. I have no idea what I’m doing and you’re, um, glamorous.”

AWWWWW!!!! <3 <3 Too cute. He thinks Magnus is glamorous.

Then there is a very steamy scene in Magnus’s apartment. But I can’t post that.

I loved thsi story so much; it was just so adorable and perf and I just can’t even. I am a total Malec shipper. SO MUCH.

The Voicemail of Magnus Bane

This is the voicemail from his cellphone from one day. A lot happens. And it has to do with the Malec breakup. Or just Ma/lec. D’:

“…I honestly do feel bad for Alec. He’s a good guy. Much less annoying than Jace. I’ve always felt like, given the opportunity, we could be friends. Maybe bros. Maybe we could be bros who shoot arrows together.”

Isabelle convinced Simon to leave a message on Magnus’s voicemail to try to get Alec and him back together. And that happened. XD

Izzy tries very very very hard. It’s quite funny. For example, one time she pretends to be a lawyer for Alec and says a bunch of fancy stuff and it’s hilarious.

And then Raphael Santiago calls, and this is how he has to begin:

“Greetings, Magnus Bane, High Warlock of Brooklyn, from Raphael Santiago of the New York vampire clan, loyal servant of our glorious Queen Maureen, forever may she reign in dark glory, and the future Prince Consort Simon, babelicious rock god.

“We have to begin all our telephone calls in this manner now. Including our nightly call to a place called Hot Topic…”


And that brings me to the finale of my book review. I thoroughly enjoyed this lovely collection of stories about the glorious Magnus Bane.

Hello, lovelies. I do apologize for the length of this review. If you made it all the way here, thank you.

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8 thoughts on “Book Review: The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, and Maureen Johnson

  1. Pingback: Weekly Wrap-Up #17 | Free As a Girl With Wings

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