The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare featuring Maureen Johnson and Sarah Rees Brennan
Continuing with Cassandra Clare and completing City of Heavenly Fire I decided to check out the Bane Chronicles mini series. Normally I like to have a separate posting for each book, but when I say mini series, I mean mini. The first book in the series “What Really Happened in Peru” is a mere 65 pages long. This surprises me with how easily writing comes to Clare. I imagine these 65 pages took as long as it takes most of us to come up with 65 words, but as mentioned in another post I probably have a pretty skewed idea of Clare’s reality when it comes to writing.
The mini series was written by Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan. To be quite honest I had no idea who Brennan…is…was…no I mean is. Even after looking her up I can’t say I have heard of anything by her or any reference to her previously.
Moving on I decided to group the stories together into one post due to their size.
#1 The Bane Chronicles: What Really Happened in Peru
By Cassandra Clare & Sarah Rees Brennan
I was surprised to see the ebook was so few pages. I had to pull the book up on Good Reads for the page count to make sure there was no error.
The story didn’t really mean much to me. There were references here and there that I feel should have meant more but unfortunately did not. It was a look into Magnus’ past which has been shrouded in mystery throughout the Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices series.
I’m hoping that as I read the rest of the stories it may help to build his character in steps and to form an overall picture. As for now I am not very moved and dare I say, thankful for so few pages?
#2 The Runaway Queen by Cassandra Clare and Maureen Johnson
Coming in at 59 pages, The Runaway Queen takes a historical fiction turn. Of course the events are purely fictional but the French element and Marie Antoinette make this book my favourite in the series thus far. The height of fashion, Magnus flourishes in a ravaged France and meets a dashing man along the way.
I am more familiar with Maureen Johnson than I was with Brennan, but not by much. My only knowledge of Johnson was her being present during a live Q&A for the release of City of Heavenly Fire. I’m not very good with authors names though, so I was surprised to find out I have heard of Johnson and had even read a book by her called The Name of A Star (Shades of London). A review can be found on my webpage.
Johnson and Brennan seem to take turns side kicking on the Bane Chronicles adventure. Thus far Johnson is outweighing Brennan as the journey continues.
#3 Vampires, Scones, and Edmund Herondale
By Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan
Not that it is a competition but Brennan is looking brighter in my books. Perhaps it was simply just the first story in the series that seemed to leave a sour taste in my mouth. VS&EH reminds me much more of the usual Mortal Instruments adventures. Although the third book wasn’t much of an adventure it was more of an introduction of things. We get our first look at Camille Belcourt and how her and Magnus met. There is also a lot regarding the Clave and the Accords which becomes rather dry rather quickly. We are also introduced to the charming and handsome Edmund Herondale. The story of Edmund Herondale is a sad brief tale though.
#4 The Midnight Heir by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan
Magnus is brought back to London for work. We are introduced to the interesting character of James Herondale, the son of Will Herondale and Tessa Gray. James carries many of the Herondale traits, however he has also gained a mysterious talent from Tessa. This is just a huge tease for us because it introduces us to a character with a unique talent which could have had much potential for some exciting stories. Magnus’ work also brings an interesting character to light and foreshadowing for dark times to come.
#5 The Rise of the Hotel Dumort by Cassandra Clare and Maureen Johnson
The roaring 20’s is the backdrop for this next tale. Money is everywhere but so are the whispers of the fall. Although people had heard of the possibilities, no one was prepared for the stock market crash. Mundanes were also unawares of the demon portal that had been opened at the same time. The Rise of the Hotel Dumort introduces some characters to us that creates a bit of a background for #7 The Fall of the Hotel Dumort.
#6 Saving Raphael Santiago by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan
Although the Mortal Instruments series has alluded to the history between Magnus and Raphael they do not go into much detail. Saving Raphael Santiago gives us a better look into his character as well as the past between him and Magnus. In the final book,The City of Heavenly Fire, Magnus and Raphael’s history is brought up and is apparent in their reactions. Saving Raphael Santiago came out in September 2013, so for those of you who had been reading them as they were released, you would have known the history between the two which may have made CoHF more meaningful.
#7 The Fall of the Hotel Dumort by Cassandra Clare and Maureen Johnson
Magnus has been away for 2 years. When he returns to New York he finds it is broken and something is very wrong with the vampires. The vampires are out of control. Magnus and the werewolves are determined to find out the reason before the Shadowhunters, which would put them all in danger. Magnus and Camille have a history, and the dangerous turn that Camille has taken makes it harder for Magnus. There is much he is willing to forget.
#8 What To Buy the Shadowhunter Who Has Everything (And who you’re not officially dating anyway) by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan
It’s Alec’s birthday and Magnus is at a loss of what to buy him. His friends aren’t very helpful and neither is the slimy demon oozing on his living room floor. Although all the stories have been short, this one has the least action or events. It all centres around Magnus trying to think of a gift for Alec while stuck at home for work. In the end the work was all for nothing and just a waste of time. Magnus decided on a mysterious gift for Alec with the help of Isabelle. The first story “What really happened in Peru is my least favourite but this one comes in second for my least favourite. There are more attempts are comedy and I find it odd that the mermaids only play a role in the Bane Chronicles and even then is non-existent.
#9 The Last Stand of the New York Institute by Cassandra Clare and Maureen Johnson
The Last Stand is probably one of the more intense novels in the short story series. The events follow The Circle during their uprising. Despite the Accords, Downworlders feel less safe than they ever have. The Shadowhunters who believe it is their duty to protect and save are the ones the Downworlders fear. False accusations cost many lives and the Shadowhunters don’t believe their own could be doing any wrong. From TMI series it’s obvious the Shadowhunters and the Downworlders have always been at odds. While reading the Bane Chronicles, the Accords seem to have done nothing to benefit the Downworlders and doesn’t really connect with the TMI series and how closely they interact.
#10 The Course of True Love (and first dates) by Cassandra Clare
The final story in the series is written solely by Cassandra Clare. The mysterious events of Magnus and Alec’s first date is finally revealed. We all know the events that followed; however, with all the love and magic we sometimes forget how disastrous a first date really can be.
The Bane Chronicles was a quick and fun glimpse into Magnus’ past. It also reveals a lot of in between information from the other series. There were times where I felt that Clare was revealing answers or secrets that connected to the other series, but it has been so long many of them were probably overlooked or lost on me.
The stories were all released as e-books over an extended amount of time. Coming November 11, 2014 you will be able to purchase the Bane Chronicles in e-book or hard copy format. The book will include all 10 stories as well as an exclusive 11th tale and illustrated material.