It’s not easy being Magnus Bane. As a warlock, he’s often called upon to fix the 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 great blackout of New York City, the first great battle between Valentine and the New York Institute… Magnus was there, and usually in the middle of it. But smuggling Marie Antoinette out of France is nothing compared to loving a vampire like Camille Belcourt – or 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.) What exactly happened at the Hotel Dumort? How did Raphael Santiago become a vampire? What do you buy for your Shadowhunter boyfriend when you’re not really dating? 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.
The Bane Chronicles is a bind-up of 10 short stories that were originally published in e-format, plus a bonus story that is exclusive to the physical bind-up. Each of these stories centre on a particular event in the long life of Magnus Bane. I think this collection of short stories is perfect for anyone who loves the Shadowhunter series and Magnus Bane. It answers some questions about Magnus that were never addressed in The Infernal Devices and The Mortal Instruments. I would recommend reading the Bane Chronicles AFTER those books because there are references that you wouldn’t be able to understand if you haven’t already read the other Shadowhunter books. The Bane Chronicles doesn’t contain any major spoilers, but there are things that are mentioned in the short stories that might take away from the reading experience of The Infernal Devices and The Mortal Instruments.
Overall, this was a very enjoyable collection of stories about Magnus and various characters that appear or are mentioned in The Infernal Devices and The Mortal Instruments. There were some stories that I liked better than others but I’d rate most of the stories 4-5 out of 5. They all had very humorous aspects and we definitely get to learn more about Magnus’s past, as well as about his warlock friends, Catarina Loss and Ragnor Fell, who don’t get mentioned very much in the series. Each of the stories began with a one-page graphic of a scene from the story, which I really enjoyed and appreciated.
The stories can definitely be read out of order, although they do appear chronologically in the bind-up. You can pick and choose which stories to read, and the stories are available individually in ebook format. Here’s a quick summary and my rating of each of the stories, in case you wanted to buy them separately:
Vampires, Scones, and Edmund Herondale
How Magnus meets Edmund Herondale (Will Herondale’s father) and how Edmund falls in love with Will’s mother. Also features Magnus’s first meetings with Camille Belcourt.
The Midnight Heir
Magnus meets a wild James Herondale one night and brings him home to the London Institute. He then goes to see his client, Tatiana Blackthorn, at the Blackthorn Manor, where he meets Tatiana’s ward, Grace. This story features a lot of Will, Tessa and Brother Zachariah! And gives us a taste of what The Last Hours (Cassandra Clare’s 4th Shadowhunter trilogy) will be about.
What to Buy the Shadowhunter Who Has Everything (And Who You’re Not Officially Dating Anyway)
Magnus doesn’t know what to get for Alec for his birthday and he needs advice! A slimy demon is involved somehow…
The Last Stand of the New York Institute
In this story, we get a glimpse of the ruthlessness of Valentine and The Circle, as they carry out raids and murder Downworlders. How was Magnus involved? And how did he end up agreeing to help out Jocelyn Fray?