Ever wanted to go on vacation with a warlock and a Shadowhunter? Then it’s time to pick up The Red Scrolls of Magic. Our review breaks down the new title.
Teaming up for the first of three novels in The Elder Curses series, Wesley Chu and Cassandra Clare stick a pin in a moment right after the Mortal War and magnify one of the most adventurous moments (for more reasons than one) of the Malec relationship.
Some of the best bits about the book are in the details. While fans of the series will have to overlook a bit of exposition to get the ball rolling, once Magnus and Alec enter the Downworlders markets of Paris, board trains like mundanes, and begin to unveil a buried chapter of Magnus’ history, the book takes off.
While this series will certainly reward fans of The Mortal Instruments over Freeform’s television fans, there are several ways that fans of Shadowhunters can join in on the love, laughter, and beauty of the Malec relationship!
Here are four reasons to add The Red Scrolls of Magic to your to-read list.
‘The Red Scrolls of Magic’ review
1. The Crimson Hand
The cult at the center of the book, The Crimson Hand, is the driving force behind this Malec adventure. Who hasn’t accidentally started the a cult with a harmless joke? For Magnus, that joke has led to an actual group of devout followers making sacrifices in the name of a mission he doesn’t remember founding.
Every element of this particular slice of world-building fits seamlessly into what we know about the characters and the
2. Connections to the series (both book and TV)
One is not superior over the other, but for fans of Malec whose love has blossomed from the television series, the book does a great job keeping you up to pace with character introductions from the series. For fans of the books, you will not be completely bogged down by the details surrounding the comings and goings of familiar faces. The Red Scrolls of Magic finds a way to perfectly marry a narrative that is accessible for both audiences.
One of the highlights is the inclusion of so many characters. On the surface, that could seem like a burden, but the story’s inclusion of these people, visiting them at a particular moment in time — especially, for a few, before certain major events occur — is a delightful treat.
Malec has a rich history in the many volumes of Cassandra Clare’s series. But all the prose is not a hinderance to fans looking to access The Eldest Curses series as a newbie.
3.Growing pains for more than one character
Magnus and Alec have a lifetime of adventures ahead of them. But going back to this particular moment in their relationship, where everything (every meal, every moment of silence) is scary and awkward and new is an exciting and rewarding place to visit.
Following Magnus as he interacts with people familiar with his past and those who are coming to know him for the first time, provides a window in Alec’s perspective that expands and enriches a reader’s connection to them. The book serves as a portal of sorts to a time where Magnus was unsure of what a secret like his parentage would do to his already fragile relationship.
Fragile, not due to the fact that these two share anything but love for each other, but in the sense that the greater world still looks at their relationship with disdain. If a Downworlder and Shadowhunters attracting looks from passerbys set Alec on edge in the Shadow Market, how would Alec feel knowing he is dating the son of Asmodeus?
This novel also sets up the relationship of Aline and Helen, a welcome surprise for fans of the couple. It compliments the early-phase of Alec and Magnus’ relationship so well that you cannot help but wish to spend equal amounts of time watching them both grow.
There are also many, many firsts in the novel. It is refreshing to see that the layers of Magnus’ history are not a burden in this novel, so much as they are a point of intrigue. The novel, instead, serves a welcomed fresh take on Alec’s discomfort getting to know someone who has lived so much of his life already.
Additionally, a major moment is treated with a delicate hand. Take that as you will.
4. A party and cliffhanger
As a teaser, there is a party sequence in the book that will rival almost anything you read from Chu and Clare. The bar has been set.
I do not handle cliffhangers well, dear readers. I enjoy having the next installment ready to go and in my hands. But the one at the end of The Red Scrolls of Magic is… *chef’s kiss*
No more on that. You’ll just have to read to find out!