Hello and happy Wednesday, everyone! We’ve almost made it halfway through this week which is fantastic! I hope you’re all doing well and are ready for a rather wordy review. xD
I was trying out something new while writing this review and let me tell you, I got quite a few more words onto the page and definitely more story elements discussed too. I hope you guys enjoy this style of review as much as I enjoyed writing it.
But before I talk for much longer, let’s just jump right in and talk all about The Red Scrolls Of Magic – the Malec book of my dreams.
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. (via Goodreads.com)
Plot & Pacing
The Red Scrolls Of Magic being a Cassandra Clare book, I knew one thing for sure: I would fly through it and the plot would definitely keep me pulled in until the very end. And it definitely did. I read this book in pretty much one sitting (it’s also just 350 pages long) and I kept turning the next page to find out what would happen next.
For this review I wanted to try something a bit different after seeing Melanie @meltotheany sharing her reviewing process in her TRSOM vlog the other day, so I’ll be breaking down various plot points into paragraphs to talk a bit more about them – there are no spoilers though, don’t worry!
Magnus Bane getting all the recognition and praise he deserves – Honestly, I keep mentioning Alec in this review and everything he does and talk about how much I love him (as you’ll see as you read on) but Magnus. Magnus finally gets the page time and praise he deserves. This man has been around for so long and has had to deal with so much bullshit from various people throughout history but he never stopped caring. He never stopped loving. He never stopped wanting to care and love. Just seeing Magnus with all of his friends and seeing how much they adore him made me so, so happy.
Even more background on Magnus – This is often referred to as the Malec trilogy but I feel like it might be more appropriate to call it the Magnus trilogy. We dive so much deeper into his backstory and it’s fascinating to see new bits and pieces being added to the puzzle that is Magnus.
All the references to TID characters – I think most of you guys probably are familiar with the fact that I absolutely love The Infernal Devices with every inch of my being. That’s still my favorite series Cassie has written and I don’t know if anything will be able to dethrone TID from the #1 spot. So, to get these little shoutouts and references both made me really happy but also kind of broke my heart. Fun times were definitely had! xD
So many warlocks from all the previous books appear – We’ve honestly never had so many warlocks appear in the same book at once as we do here. We are reunited with various warlocks from all three of Cassie’s previous series and it’s fun seeing what they are up to before we’re reunited with them in Lady Midnight and experience all of that. Plus, it wouldn’t be a book heavily focused on Magnus if we didn’t get at least a shoutout to his two BFFs Ragnor and Catarina!
Alec Lightwood gets to kick some serious ass – Something that has always kind of bothered me about how Alec was portrayed in the earlier The Mortal Instruments books was the fact that he had never killed a demon in the earlier books. We had Izzy and Jace (especially Jace) who was this great Shadowhunter and Alec always seemed to lack in a way. Here? He finally gets to shine. Him and his bow and arrow are a force to be reckoned with and I was here for every second of it.
So much more Asian rep – I feel like Red Scrolls Of Magic really stepped up the game as far as Asian rep is concerned and more importantly how big of a role characters of Asian decents play here. We’ve got Magnus who is Indonesian, we meet a couple of new characters who are Asian, one of whom plays a significant role and is Korean. We also have some favorites returning in the form of Lily Chen and Aline Penhallow!
Commentary is on point – Cassandra and Wesley make some really, really great commentary in this book and I’m so happy that Cassie continues to have this be part of her books (my memory sucks so I don’t remember how much of it was in her earliest books, but it was definitely a big part of The Dark Artifices!) and her characters. If you keep up to date with the climate in the US towards marginalized groups, you definitely see that reflected here too.
On page confirmation of characters’ sexualities – Something I very, very much appreciated and loved about Red Scrolls Of Magic is the fact that we get on page confirmation of various characters’ sexualities. It not hinted at. It’s stated clearly and without a doubt.
The Alec & Izzy relationship – God, do I love a good/great sibling relationship and these two definitely have one of them and I’m so glad Alec always knew that he had Izzy in his corner no matter what might’ve happened. He even goes to her for advice on how to take the next step with Magnus.
Alec’s character growth so far is just out there and I love it – Honestly, at this point, I feel like this review should just be one big love letter to Alexander Gideon Lightwood and everything he’s been through up until here in this book but also beyond. This man. I love so much of what Alec says in this book and how strongly he feels for people and about issues. He’s definitely a born learder.
Alec dealing with his sexuality & reflecting on how he used to feel – Probably one of the more heartbreaking moments was Alec reflecting on how he used to feel so alone with his feelings towards people he wasn’t supposed to have feelings for because he didn’t know there were so, so many more people out there just like him and I just want to give him a hug. I just truly love this character so much, I don’t want to see him in pain.
The world needs to change and be more accepting – that’s Alec’s mission – Every single thing Alec has experienced, thought and done leads us to that one scene at the end with Alec demanding change of the world and their view on people like him and everyone who has been treated horribly simply for being who they are. And if you’ve read Queen Of Air And Darkness you know just how serious Alec is about all of this and I really hope we get to see more of this in the upcoming sequels to this!
Enjoyment & My Thoughts
I have to say, overall this was a fantastic book and a great addition to the Shadowhunter universe as a whole! I can’t wait to learn so much more about Malec and see their relationship grow but also Alec and Magnus as individuals to where they are in The Dark Artifices!
It’s definitely interesting going back in time and seeing the beginning of their relationship rather than having them be the established couple that I’ve grown used to in The Dark Artifices and in the novella bindups since The Mortal Instruments wrapped up. But I don’t mind at all! I’ll take all the Malec content I can get my hands on – I just love them (as a couple and individually) so, so much!
Rating & Release Date
Is there even a doubt in anyone’s mind that I didn’t give this book all of the stars? This is definitely a five star read for me! The Red Scrolls Of Magic was released on April 9th, 2019 by Simon & Schuster.
For all of the Shadowhunter fans out there – have you read this book already? What did you think? What were some of your favorite moments – as spoiler free as possible, please! Let me know in the comments down below!