Book Review | The Red Scrolls Of Magic by Cassandra Clare & Wesley Chu

I’ve been highly anticipating this book since it was announced, and while I’m still not entirely sure why Cassandra Clare wrote this with a co-author, I have to say that it mostly lived up to my expectations. Malec is my favourite OTP, and I can’t wait to see what they have in store for them in the next installment!

The Red Scrolls Of Magic by Cassandra Clare & Wesley Chu
(The Eldest Curses #1)
Hardcover | 350 pages | Purchased

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. It doesn’t seem like too much for the centuries-old High Warlock to ask for. But no sooner have they settled in Paris than 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 have to trust each other more than ever – even if it means revealing the secrets they’ve both been keeping.

★★★★☆

Alec has never been my absolute favourite character. In fact, I didn’t like him at all for the longest time. But since reading The Mortal Instruments and The Dark Artifices in their entirety, my opinion of Alec Lightwood has changed dramatically. Quite frankly, he is adorable. Yes he’s a badass Shadowhunter – and a moody one at that – but he’s only recently come to terms with the fact that he’s gay and, for better or worse, it’s changed things. Because of this, Alec is super tentative about showing affection, and it just makes him, well, adorable! It’s so at odds with how he is when he’s facing off against a demon, and I LOVE the development that Alec showed over the course of The Mortal Instruments. That being said, however, this book is set during a time when Alec’s character development had only really just begun. I think Cassandra Clare did a great job of writing him the way he used to be, if only so we really can see the development this guy has had.

And then there’s Magnus. A character whom I have loved from the very moment he was introduced. Nothing much has changed with him in a lot of ways – he’s still the same sarcastic, hilarious character he’s always been. It would have been nice to see him and Alec just be a couple without all the dramatic shenanigans, but at least we got to see them as a couple! Like I said before, we saw a lot of development over the course of The Mortal Instruments, but this is the first time the story has been focused on them. It was so great to see the behind-the-scenes of how their relationship really began.

In conclusion, they’re adorable and amazing and I just love them so much.

“It’s a classic love story. I hit on him at a party, he asked me out, then we fought an epic magical battle between good and evil side by side, and now we need a vacation.”

We see several characters from the other series’ make an appearance here, including Raphael Santiago. However, there was something just a little bit… off about Raphael. He’s always been a bit of a weird character, but it almost felt as though Cassandra Clare forgot how to write him. He just didn’t feel like the Raphael we knew in The Mortal Instruments. I did love seeing him and Lily, though, as well as Malcolm Fade and Catarina Loss. It was those characters that really made this feel like a part of the Shadowhunter world! We also get to see more of Helen Blackthorn and Aline Penhallow, including how their relationship started! I love these girls, so having them in this book was a blessing I didn’t expect.

My biggest gripe with this book was actually the writing, unfortunately. It felt super stilted throughout the entire story, and while I don’t know how much of an influence Wesley Chu actually had, it was enough to change Cassandra Clare’s writing style. I’m just not sure if this book might have flowed better if she had simply written it by herself?

Overall, this was a good story and I had a lot of fun buddy reading it with the lovely Tilly over @bookish_spoonie. The plot was interesting and humorous, and Malec will forever be a part of my heart.

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