The Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Clare & Wesley Chu gives center stage to one of the Shadowhunter series’ most beloved couples, in a sweeping new story that combines magical intrigue with intense romance.
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.
I absolutely adored this spin-off of the Shadowhunters books, featuring Alec & Magnus. I adore this ‘ship & loved getting the chance to spend some quality time with them, and get more insight into the early days of their relationship. Plus, we get a chance to learn a little bit more about Alec and Magnus individually — their pasts, their feelings towards each other, the way they think, etc. It was just lovely getting to know each of them better, and getting to spend more time with them as a couple.
Though The Red Scrolls of Magic features a serious mission, the stakes feel less heavy than in your typical epic fantasy, and interspersed you still have all the makings of a good old fashioned rom com, complete with shopping spree montages and hot make-out sessions. And while there are clearly some bigger threads left open-ended for the rest of this series, the primary plot of the book is resolved without any significant, painful cliffhanger (like you’d expect from a typical Shadowhunter book). I finished reading The Red Scrolls of Magic feeling both utterly satisfied and still eager for me, which is — to me — the perfect way to feel at the end of the first book in a series.
It’s also filled with plenty of goodies to delight Shadowhunter fans. Cameos from and references to beloved characters, and further insight and backstory into other favorites are sprinkled throughout. But truly, it’s Alec and Magnus who get to shine, and I adore these characters more than ever. (And if you’re worried about spoilers or timeline, I can tell you that the book takes place during City of Fallen Angels.)
In short, I just found this book utterly delightful! It’s in stores today.