I'm fascinated by stories of the horrors of the French Revolution -- in fact, Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly is one of my favorite YA books of all time. So I was excited to discover that this side story about Magnus Bane takes place in eighteenth-century Paris. Can't you just picture Magnus hanging out with Marie Antoinette? I can, but I never pictured the two of them together in a hot air balloon. Hang on, I'm getting ahead of myself. In this story, Magnus is approached by a Swedish nobleman named Axel, who begs for Magnus' help in smuggling the royal family to safety. I wasn't sure if this was going to be alt-history or just a weaving of Magnus into real history, and I don't want to tell you which. But the story was poignant and beautifully read by George Blagden. I thought he did a fantastic job with the many and varied accents that were required.