Just Finished Listening To … What Really Happened in Peru: Bane Chronicles 1

What Really Happened in Peru: The Bane Chronicles 1
by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan
Read by: Jesse Williams
Length: 1 hour, 13 minutes
Produced by: Simon & Schuster Audio
Release Date: April 16, 2013

Also available as an e-book.

Source: received audio download for review from Simon & Schuster Audio. Please see my full FTC disclosure on right sidebar.

Summary from Audible.com: There are good reasons Peru is off-limits to Magnus Bane. Follow Magnus’s Peruvian escapades as he drags his fellow warlocks Ragnor Fell and Catarina Loss into trouble, learns several instruments (which he plays shockingly), dances (which he does shockingly), and disgraces his host nation by doing something unspeakable to the Nazca Lines.

My take:  Magnus Bane is one of my very favorite characters in the Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare. He's witty, he's enigmatic, and he has a sort of brooding melancholy about him that I find strangely appealing.

What Really Happened in Peru is a standalone story, a quirky, funny tale of Magnus's Peruvian travels with Ragnor and Catarina. I've never been to Peru (or anywhere in South America) and I enjoyed walking around the city with the group.  I also walk (the dog) while I listen to audiobooks, and as I walked and listened, I was laughing and typing notes in my phone -- things to look up later, like:

chicha de molle?
charango - armadillo?

Warning: my spelling may be off.  I'm not going to say more, as I want you to be able to enjoy all the surprises in this tragicomic travelogue to their fullest, but I can tell you that one of those things is consumed by Magnus, one he uses to torture others, and one is part of a messy, comic misadventure. There's one line that's still cracking me up: "the quinoa has no flavor." I'm not sure why I find that so funny. But it is.

What Really Happened in Peru was entertaining and fun and I was happy to see both Magnus's sense of humor and melancholy come into play. I thought Jesse Williams did a great job on the narration, though some of the accents he did made me giggle.

What I didn't realize is that What Really Happened in Peru is part of a series of ten standalone stories featuring Magnus. He's lived a long time -- somewhere from 300 to 800 years, and he's always changing the number -- and these stories will give us a look into some of the places he's been and the things that have happened to him over the centuries. I love that idea!

According to Cassie Clare's website, each story will first be released in e-book and audio form, and then a bound volume of all the stories will be released in print. Here are the stories that she's planning, as per her website:

2. The Runaway Queen (May 21, 2013)

By Cassandra Clare and Maureen Johnson

Magnus Bane has a royal role in the French Revolution—if the angry mobs don’t spoil his spells. While in France, immortal warlock Magnus Bane finds himself attempting to rescue the royal family from the horrors of the French Revolution—after being roped into this mess by a most attractive count. Naturally, the daring escape calls for invisible air balloons.

3. Vampires, Scones and Edmund Herondale (June 18, 2013)

By Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan

Magnus Bane leverages his alliances with Downworlders and Shadowhunters on a venture to Victorian London.  When immortal warlock Magnus Bane attends preliminary peace talks between the Shadowhunters and the Downworlders in Victorian London, he is charmed by two very different people: the vampire Camille Belcourt and the young Shadowhunter, Edmund Herondale. Will winning hearts mean choosing sides?

4. The Rise of the Hotel Dumont (July 16, 2013)

By Cassandra Clare and Maureen Johnson

In 1920s Manhattan, Magnus Bane hobnobs with the elite at a glamorous Jazz Age hotspot. The immortal Magnus Bane is making the most of his time in the Roaring Twenties: He’s settled into New York society and is thriving among the fashionable jazz set. And there is nowhere better to see and be seen than the glamorous Hotel Dumont, a glittering new addition to the Manhattan landscape. But a different type of glamour may be at play…

5. The Fall of the Hotel Dumort (August 20, 2013)

By Cassandra Clare and Maureen Johnson

Magnus Bane watches the once-glamorous Hotel Dumont become something else altogether in 1970s New York City. Fifty years after the Jazz Age rise of the Hotel Dumont, immortal warlock Magnus Bane knows the Manhattan landmark is on the decline. The once-beautiful Hotel Dumont has fallen into a decayed thing, a ruin, as dead as a place can be. But the vampires don’t mind…

6. Saving Raphael Santiago (September 17, 2013)

By Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan

One of the more interesting jobs Magnus has ever been involved in… A distraught mother in 1950s New York hires Magnus to find her son, Raphael, but when Magnus finds him young Raphael is already beyond saving. Or is he?

7. No Immortal Can Keep a Secret (October 15, 2013)

By Cassandra Clare and Maureen Johnson

Magnus at the turn of the 20th century decides to try this new “psychoanalysis” with Dr. Freud. But clearly the doctor has no experience to help deal with a centuries-old warlock with a very complicated dating history and some very unusual father issues.

8. The Course of True Love [And First Dates] (November 19, 2013)

By Cassandra Clare

Magnus and Alec’s first date.

9. What to Buy the Shadowhunter Who Has Everything (December 17, 2013)

By Sarah Rees Brennan and Cassandra Clare

What To Buy The Shadowhunter Who Has Everything (And Who You’re Not Officially Dating Anyway.) Set between City of Ashes and City of Glass. Magnus has to find the perfect birthday present, deal with the demon he’s conjured up for a very irritating client, and work out what’s going on between him and Alec, anyway.

10. The Letter (December 31, 2013)

By Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson and Sarah Rees Brennan

No description. Very mysterious!

I'm definitely excited to listen to (or read) more of these. Also, it's fun to see the collaboration between the authors. I can't wait to see what Cassie Clare and Maureen Johnson have come up with!


  1. Oh, I added this one to my Audible wishlist the other day. I think the audio was actually cheaper than the ebook! :) Now you've made me want to go and grab it, even though I've already picked out my next two listens...

  2. Love the collaboration-I've enjoyed Brennan and Johnson's writing a lot but have never picked up a Clare book. I think this is a great idea that will really serve fans of the series!

  3. Love the idea.

    I just downloaded the audiobook for Matched. I live the girl reading. She has a very sweet, lyrical voice. I also love that I downloaded the audiobook from library online and have it on my android.

  4. It's so funny I can tell which stories Sarah is involved in just based on the titles! I really want to read these short stories and I'm glad you enjoyed this one. I think I will wait for the bound volume though.

  5. oh these look like fun little stories :D I have not read anything by this author yet (shamefully) but Magnus sounds entertaining!

  6. I'm really glad you enjoyed this one!! I am still not sure about this one... I used to LOVE Cassandra Clare's books, but now it feels like she's dragging the Mortal Instruments series too much... How many spin-offs and novellas can one series have?
    Great review!! I love your blog and I'm a new follower. Can you please follow back? Thanks ^^

    Sapir @ Diary of a Wimpy Teen Girl

  7. I'm so glad you read (listened) to this one, Jen! Lauren and I were just talking about this new series and whether we would do them month to month or wait and buy the book at the end. We decided to hear some reviews. Sounds like your's is positive:) LOVE Magnus. Definitely on my top 5 favorite secondaries list:)

  8. LOVE Magnus! I was actually thinking of waiting to read these for when they are all out. It's a long time to wait though... I may not last. lol

  9. Eeee! I love Magnus, so I'm very excited about reading this one. I only skimmed your review for now, but I'm glad to see you enjoyed this. The collaborations aspect is really interesting to me, it's good to see people are responding positively to this overall.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  10. You have perfect timing. I was just wondering if I should but this. I think the answer to that is yes!

  11. I wasn't planning to read these but I might have to give it a shot. The first one sounds hilarious, but then again I always find Magnus hilarious!

    Jesse @ Pretty In Fiction

  12. I haven't checked this out yet, but now I'm kind of itching to read or listen to the first one. I'm with you, Magnus is my favorite character in both Cassie's series. There are so many stories coming though, I wonder if I can wait for the print compilation....hmm, probably not. I'm impatient! :-)


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