Now THIS installment in The Bane Chronicles did not disappoint, as the 1st one did. It's FUN, but there's some meat on the bones - more like a real appetizer, rather than barely the amouse bouche of the 1st book. It flirts, but it doesn't tease. It reveals more to us of Magnus Bane...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 - the King and 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. Many Downworlders stayed away from Paris. There were certainly many werewolves in the country, and every wooded glen had its fey. But Paris, it seemed, was the terrain of the vampire. It made sense, in many ways. Vampires were courtly creatures. They were pale and elegant. They enjoyed darkness and pleasure. Their hynotic gazes-the encanto-enchanged many a noble. And there was nothing quite as pleasurable, decadent, and dangerous as letting a vampire drink your blood.Magnus finds himself drawn to a mundane seeking his help. Count Axel von Fersen is Swedish, but obviously smitten with Queen Marie Antoinette... to the point where he wants to engage Magnus' services to glamour the Queen as part of an attempt to move the Royal Family to safety. The others can be disguised; but Marie Antoinette's face is too well known. Since Count von Fersen has blue eyes and black hair, Magnus has already fallen a little in love with him and cannot deny him.Except when the date & time for his help coincides with Magnus' promise to attend Saint Cloud's party.... and the Queen suddenly shows up at the party instead of the rendevous with Axel. Can Magnus convince Saint Cloud and his crowd that this woman is not the Queen, but rather someone Magnus has been making into the Queen for a client? When Saint Cloud insists that Magnus sell him this "Queen", then what?What follows is an interesting plan that involves a hot air balloon and Magnus' attempt to secure a relationship with Axel von Fersen.But will the Queen get to safety? ================Much more enjoyable than the 1st in the series. This short offers meaty substance and a writing style that doesn't point out the co-writing partnership of Clare with Maureen Johnson, another YA writer. I never thought to myself, "That's an odd phrase.", or exclaimed "What?" because of choppiness or change in voice or just plain cutting off the story at its knees.No. This book sounds and reads like Clare, which is what it's supposed to do, right? Magnus Bane is her creation. This book perfectly meshes with the world that she's created for us. It's got a hint of history - not boring or overly detailed, but enough to provide the right frame for the story. It's got Magnus' flare for color, both in his wardrobe and in his POV - how he sees and loves Paris. It's got his personality - his ability to fall immediately in love with blue eyes and black hair.All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this read!