The Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Clare and Wesley Chu

Red Scrolls of magic

The Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Clare

The Eldest Curses Book #1

Part of the Shadowhunters Universe

Published by Simon & Schuster

Published on the 9th of April 2019

350 Pages
My rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

The war is over. Valentine has been defeated, and the downworlders are safe once more. Now is the time that Alec and Magnus can take a well earned vacation, their first ever vacation together, and really get to know one another, if they can stay out of the chaos erupting in Europe of course. Magnus has wanted nothing more than to have a lavish escape with his shadowhunter boyfriend, Alec, when an old friend shows up during their vacation to let Magnus know that there’s a demon worshipping cult getting around called the Crimson Hand, and the rumour is, he is the leader. Alec and Magnus must race across Europe and put a stop to this cult once and for all, Alec is terrified that the Clave will find out which would put Magnus in greater danger. Dodging demons and trusting each other is the name of the game, but can they win?

I remember when I first read the Mortal Instruments series. It made my heart flutter. The story was engaging, the characters were absolutely amazing and I just absolutely loved it. I attempted to read the infernal devices trilogy, beginning with a clockwork angel, and found it lacking. I never got very far into it, and ended up DNFing it and selling my copy. I was super excited when I saw that this was a new series centred around Magnus and Alec, but was also a little hesitant. Would I enjoy it as much as the Mortal Instruments? Would I be comparing it too much to the previous series that I love so much? I did neither of these things. I found that I was reading it as an extension of the MI series and not reading it in comparison to it. So because of this, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The book switches between the POV of Magnus and Alec, though it is written in third person anyway. You can tell when the narration has switched between the two quite easily and I found that it flowed really well. The story was engaging and the need to find the Crimson Hand and eliminate the threat to Magnus’ credibility was imperative. The urgency was easily felt and made the story a page turner.

I absolutely adored being in the minds of Alec and Magnus. These are two characters from the main series that I’ve adored for a while, Magnus moreso than Alec, but can you blame me? Magnus with his flourishes and whimsy and need to look smashing, be the centre of attention and have a drink in hand while biting witty retorts and pretending that nothing is ever an issue. In this story, we get a feel for the REAL Magnus. I haven’t read the Bane Chronicles, so this probably happened moreso in that instalment, however, in this one we still get a feel for Magnus’ true feelings and worries. He loves Alec with all of his little warlock heart, and is absolutely terrified of being apart from him. There are problems. Big ones. And he doesn’t want Alec to find out his secrets and look at him as anything less than the love of his life because it would absolutely break him. Yet on the surface, he’s good ‘ol Magnus Bane. Witty and glitterised and dashing. So getting an insight into the reality of Magnus’ mind was fantastic for me and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I loved also being able to get a look into the mind of Alec. His fear over judgement for being true to himself just breaks my heart. He’s so scared of what people will think of him, what Shadowhunters will think of him, because he’s gay, yet he has chosen to walk headlong into the storm and proclaim his love for Magnus and I’m just so here for it. I love how Clare and Chu were able to put into words the fears and struggles that a person of LGBTQ+ goes through. Yes, it’s not the main focus of the story, and yes it’s not spoken about in detail. But we get to see Alec going about his daily life, while being privy to these thoughts in his head, and they just make me want to give him the biggest hug and tell him that I accept him for who he is, and that everything’s going to be okay.

The story was well thought out and executed as well. The thought that Magnus has lived as long as he has never really comes to the forefront, yes, it’s mentioned quite a bit and blah blah blah, but could he have been the creator of a cult, and not remember doing it? Yes he could have. He’s lived a long time, and for him to have forgotten something would not be unheard of. I think we really get a feel for the differences between these two characters in this story and I love that they’re stories are finally getting fleshed out. Alec did annoy me in MI at times because of his disdain for Clary, but I can now understand where he was coming from. He was so worried about those that he loves the most getting hurt because of this girl and all the problems that have come with her. It wasn’t that he hated her, he doesn’t, it’s the way that his worry presents itself. And I love that I know this now.

If you’re a fan of the MI series, then I definitely recommend picking this up. If you haven’t read the main series, there may be some bits and pieces that don’t entirely make sense or that you won’t know about, however, it’s not imperative that the Mortal Instruments series be read first, I would recommend doing so before picking this one up though. As the conception of Magnus and Alec’s relationship begins there. So in order to understand what these characters have gone through to get where they are you really need to see it from the start.

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