For many years Malec shippers – and Casandra Clare herself actually – have been waiting and wished for a book that focuses on Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood as the main couple and today is finally the day where fans can dive into exactly that book!
Thanks to Simon & Schuster UK I had the opportunity to read an ARC of this much-anticipated book so here are my spoiler-free thoughts! A note of caution: there will be spoilers for every single other Shadowhunter Chronicles book that Magnus and Alec have appeared in, even Queen of Air and Darkness.
All Magnus Bane wanted was a vacation—a lavish trip across Europe with Alec Lightwood, the Shadowhunter who against all odds is finally his boyfriend. But as soon as the pair settles in Paris, an old friend arrives with news about a demon-worshipping cult called the Crimson Hand that is bent on causing chaos around the world. A cult that was apparently founded by Magnus himself. Years ago. As a joke.
Now Magnus and Alec must race across Europe to track down the Crimson Hand and its elusive new leader before the cult can cause any more damage. As if it wasn’t bad enough that their romantic getaway has been sidetracked, demons are now dogging their every step, and it is becoming harder to tell friend from foe. As their quest for answers becomes increasingly dire, Magnus and Alec will have to trust each other more than ever—even if it means revealing the secrets they’ve both been keeping. (x)
The Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Clare and Wesley Chu is a delightful rom-com that I enjoyed immensely!
A lot has happened to Magnus and Alec over the years and their relationship is stronger than ever with two adorable children and a recent marriage.
The Red Scrolls of Magic takes us back to the beginning of Malec, though. They have just had their big moment in front of Shadowhunters and Downworlders alike, they won a war, but also suffered losses so it’s now time for them to relax. It’s time for Magnus and Alec’s first holiday as a couple!
Unfortunately, they aren’t really able to have some R and R because Magnus might have founded a demon-worshipping cult, which we all have to admit is probably worse than being banned from Peru.
So Magnus and Alec embark on trip through several cities in Europe to figure out who really is responsible for the Crimson Hand.
Of course this trip isn’t without its sudden demon attacks and a bad guy – the action in The Red Scrolls of Magic was fast-paced and enjoyable to read. Alec and Jace are a great team, but Alec and Magnus fighting together was just as impressive.
We already had some insight into Magnus’s past in The Mortal Instruments and The Bane Chronicles, but this first installment of The Eldest Curses shines a new light on Magnus and I’m sure it’ll make his fans fall ever harder for him. Magnus is just so damn lovable and an overall amazing character.
Seeing Alec as the other main character in The Red Scrolls of Magic was a real treat. He was thoughtful, badass and a true protector, just like we’ve come to know him from the first three The Mortal Instruments novels.
I’m so glad that Cassie was finally able to write about this particular couple and I’m crossing my fingers that her LGBTQ+ readers in particular will love this book.
Several characters we already know and love from The Mortal Instruments show up in Red Scrolls: Raphael, Lily and more. I was particularly happy to see Raphael again. He is as grumpy as ever but one conversation with Alec reiterates that he is asexual and aromantic. The words aren’t mentioned on the page – most likely because Raphael doesn’t know they exist back in 2007 – but it’s still an important scene for one Mr Raphael Santiago (and probably some of Cassie’s readers). I certainly hope we’ll get to see more of him in the next two The Eldest Curses novels.
Lily is as outgoing as ever and I’m happy we get to see how Helen and Aline meet for the first time. It’s definitely not a meet cute, but it’s still memorable and made me laugh.
Not everything is sunshine and rainbows in scenes with Helen, Aline and also Alec, though. Some scenes show how each character has to deal with insecurities and also different forms of prejudice, but luckily readers from The Mortal Instruments and The Dark Artifices know that everything will get better – thank Raziel for that. 😊
I also really liked all the nods to Clary, Jace, Izzy and Simon. It was nice to see glimpses of them and they definitely didn’t distract from the main story.
One revelation about Jace actually made me go ‘aw’ and there is one scene that mirrors a scene from the end of City of Fallen Angels which was so perfect ♥
Alec and Izzy’s brother-sister relationship was very sweet in Red Scrolls, there is so much trust between them and I’m crossing my fingers for more sibling love in The Lost Book of the White.
I think The Red Scrolls of Magic had the perfect balance between light-heartedness and seriousness. Cassie’s The Dark Artifices was a pretty dark trilogy, and while this book has its serious moments, which were definitly important, it’s much more cheerful and plain cute. I laughed a lot while reading.
There is one thing I am unsure about but which I still have to mention in my review: the ending of the book is a very positive/happy one for Magnus and Alec, but I feel like this doesn’t 100% fit the Magnus and Alec we saw in City of Fallen Angels. Yes, both characters have doubts and are insecure about their relationship in The Red Scrolls of Magic but to me everything feels more serious in CoFA.
I also would have liked the book to be longer. 😉
I would love to share some truly incredible quotes from the book, but ARCs unfortunately cannot be used for quotation so you will just have to trust my word (or maybe I’ll tweet some quotes from the actual book in about a month). Some quotes will definitely make you squeal, swoon or both!
Although we know what is going to happen to Malec in the future I was still at the edge of my seat during one certain scene near the end of the book and actually feared for a character’s safety. This was truly great writing!
I’ve been reading The Shadowhunter Chronicles for almost a decade now, I’ve read and reread Cassie’s books many times so I know them very well, and when I read The Red Scrolls of Magic, I couldn’t really tell whether I was reading Cassie’s voice or Wesley’s. The writing felt very organic and seamlessly, which I really liked.
To sum up:
The Red Scrolls of Magic was an amazing YA romance and a great start to this new series; it was cute, Magnus and Alec were adorable together, and it just gave me warm fuzzies!
I can’t wait for The Lost Book of the White to be published, I know this book will be even more cute with Magnus and Alec as parents. 😊 Four out of five stars.
Have you read the book yet and what did you think?
Don’t forget to check out our release day post – we’re giving away one signed US copy of The Red Scrolls of Magic!