Cassandra Clare Month #4: The Runaway Queen

Co-authored books have never been my favorite ever since time in memorial. Why? Because most of them have the same problem – voice. Two authors cannot write in exactly the same voice, and when they do, they end up writing in sections. One has to be unique, with his/her own distinctive nuance and word choice – a distinct fingerprint. For example, Cassandra Clare books. Cassandra quickly became my favorite author back around the time when City of Glass was released. I love her world, but more importantly I love her writing, and characters. I loved her books precisely because she creates beautiful prose that will disappear as you get absorbed in the story, but somehow she still manages to make an impression.

But, the novel on Magnus in Peru didn’t have a beautiful prose. It’s utilitarian. The story is fine, the dialogue, the characters, the plot, it is the writing that falls flat on its face, the execution. There’s no flourish. What Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan were hoping to achieve is to post stories about our beautiful and luxurious Mr Magnus Bane and tell us about his shaded history. In ‘The Mortal Instruments’ (TMI) series (this isn’t a spoiler) Magnus is very mysterious, hardly ever opening up to us about his past. But here is where we get to know why he was ‘banned’ from Peru. You may remember in ‘City of Lost Souls’ where Magnus mentioned his “banning” from Peru. This was somewhat true and we find out in a mish-mash of events why or what lead to him being kicked out of Peru.

And that’s that. Moving on…..

The next adventure is the The Runaway Queen. In this installment, Magnus Bane is in Paris in June 1791. The short does a good job of setting the scene, both in terms of the politics of the mundanes and the lay of the Downworlders in Paris. The revolution has taken place and the King and the Queen are under house-arrest. But there is still a lot of danger for anyone with money (or the appearance of it), because not much is settled yet in terms of politics or economy. As for the Downworld side, Paris is ruled by the vampires, notably Marcel Saint Cloud, who heads the most powerful clan of vampires in Paris. Magnus then finds himself drawn to a mundane seeking his help, Count Axel von Fersen is Swedish, who convinces him to help Queen Marie Antoinette run from the Tuileries and vampires…

I loved this novel because it had a strong, appealing plot to it. But I must admit I was disappointed because It was too freaking short. It was fucking 62 pages long!! I understand these are short stories, but, hey, Johnson, couldn’t you have added like 40 more pages or so! I mean, everybody loved the whole plot of ”escaping the queen” and also the never-ending action scenes. You gotta love it!

I can’t wait to be absorbed in and read about my favorite TMI character, Magnus Bane. At times, I wish Magnus was real. I’m already eager to read the proceeding installments!! More adventure I hope…

* Hi Graeme McGaw, if the above presented work meets your expectations, kindly consider leaving a 5-star or a higher rating, instead of the default rating. Much obliged!

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