Book Review: The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Sandra Rees Brennan,& Maureen Johnson

163032874 out of 5 Stars!

I began reading Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter books several years ago and have wanted to pick up The Bane Chronicles pretty much since the day it was released. Magnus Bane was always one of my favorite characters in the series, so the thought of a story from his point of view sounded pretty awesome.

The Background

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.

My Thoughts?

Honestly, I devoured this book. This collection of stories follows Magnus Bane, the fashionably flamboyant, bisexual, Head Wizard of New York from Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter books. Across several continents, from Peru, to London, to New York, we follow Bane through centuries of paid spellwork, botched relationships and general hijinks. Always the comedian, Bane lends a certain level of levity to even the most serious situations, though this collection opens a window into Bane’s inner dimensions, allowing the reader to see the depths of sadness and love beneath all the glitter.

For a huge fan of The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices series, this collection was both a joy to read and a slight disappointment. Mostly a disappointment because I wish it were longer!

But seriously, my big gripe with this book was the fact that it was actually written by several different authors alongside Clare, the authors flipping back and forth from story to story. The writing style changed subtly with each short story, which I found woefully distracting. Also, it’s been a couple years since I finished the previous books, so I felt a bit lost when they flippantly mentioned some of the characters. This collection doesn’t really give much for backstory reminders, so I’d definitely recommend reacquainting yourself with all of the other novels before picking this up just to avoid confusion.

Overall I loved this book. The writing style was fun and light (for the most part) and brought back all of my favorite characters from the series, giving some wonderful insight into what happened behind the scenes of the previous books. Despite Bane’s joking personality, we learn the true tragedies of his life- lost loves, failed friendships, his demonic origins, and the truth of eternity in a mortal world. Plus, there were some super fun illustrations thrown in at the beginning of each story.

I give The Bane Chronicles 4 out of 5 stars. I may have to consider picking up Cassandra Clare’s next series, The Dark Artifices, in the near future 🙂

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