Audiobook Review: ‘The Runaway Queen’ by Cassandra Clare & Maureen Johnson

The Runaway Queen review

The second installment of The Bane Chronicles offers up a better story with a different look at the Magnus Bane we all love.

The Runaway Queen follows Magnus in France during the French Revolution. Magnus loves France and everything the rebels and revolutions distaste: over-the-top, extravagant luxury. It’s a tense time for mundane politics; being a warlock and not really part of the human world, Magnus tries not to pay much attention to simmering revolution. Until a man, a very attractive one at that, asks for Magnus’ help to save Queen Marie Antoinette from being kidnapped and taken hostage. Magnus agrees, knowing that while it is dangerous to interfere in human conflicts, he would be willing do it for this one man.

Cassandra Clare teams up with Shades of London author Maureen Johnson to write this thrilling and interesting little piece of fantastical historical fiction. George Blagden (Les Miserables) does an excellent job narrating the story. His accents and voices were spot on and added to my enjoyment of the story.

The Runaway Queen audiobookThe Runaway Queen is a much more cohesive story than What Really Happened in Peru, which was made up of silly, entertaining little anecdotes. This novella gives mostly a more serious side of Magnus. Of course, this is Magnus Bane we’re talking about, so there are some humorous moments, which for the most part fit into the story well. Other funny moments felt a little forced. Some might find the balance between drama and comedy disappointing in The Runaway Queen. However, I found it refreshing because it helps us understand Bane in a new light and stops the story from reducing Magnus into a caricature.

The thing is while I love how funny Magnus can be, I love him even more during those rare thoughtful and serious moments. The Runaway Queen delivers on that and brings up the interplay between this magical world and the human one, which I wish I was addressed more often in Clare’s Shadowhunter books. What does Magnus, not just think of mortals, but of humans, mundanes? The ending puts that question out there. It was a surprisingly thought-provoking end and made me appreciate the story and the character Magnus Bane so much more.

Along with What Really Happened in Peru, The Runaway Queen continues to prove that The Bane Chronicles is a marvelous addition to Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter universe. For only a few dollars, it’s more than worth checking these books, especially if you’re a fan of The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices. I can’t wait for the next Magnus Bane adventure!

Rating: 9/10

The Runaway Queen is available wherever ebooks or Digital Audio are sold. Click here to purchase the book in either format.

Book Info:

Publisher:  Simon & Schuster Audio (May 21, 2013)
Length: 1 hour, 18 minutes
Series: The Bane Chronicles – Novella 2 of 10
Source: Unabridged Audio Download (Provided by publisher)
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Adventure, History
Completed: May 2013

Gabrielle is 27 years old and lives in Chicago. She enjoys writing about film, TV, and books, but occasionally writes about music as well. In addition to writing for, she also the editor-in-chief and a co-founder. In her spare time, she’s either watching more movies and shows or reading more books, while continuously checking Twitter, which she may or may not be addicted to… Feel free to email her your thoughts, ideas and questions.