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 received this book for the publisher in exchange for an honest review but this did not affect my opinion at all.
It’s well known that I am certified Shadowhunter trash so when an early copy of The Red Scrolls of Magic turned up, I squealed with excitement. I have been eagerly anticipating this book since it was first announced.
I must admit, to begin with I was slightly sceptical as it is co-written by Wesley Chu because I was worried that it wouldn’t feel like a Cassandra Clare novel. However, as always, the writing sucked me and I finished this book within less than 24 hours of having it in my possession.
The best part of this whole novel are the characters. Magnus and Alec are such well beloved characters in the Shadowhunters universe yet this is the closest we’ve ever got to delving more into their relationship. Yes, there were a few short stories about them, but having a full novel about them just felt amazing. I especially loved reading from Alec’s perpsective as I think he is an extremely underrated Shadowhunter. I love how Alec is so sure of his love for Magnus and there were so many great romantic quotes that I loved. I also especially loved seeing him bond with characters that we know and love such as Raphael, Aline and Helen.
If you’ve been following along with my wrap ups, you will know that in March, I began a Shadowhunter Chronicles re-read and I had just finished City of Glass when this book arrived which was perfect timing as this book is set between the events of City of Glass and City of Fallen Angels. However, as it is set in the middle of another series, it felt like the stakes were quite low in this book. We knew that certain characters weren’t in danger. We knew that certain reveals that Magnus is worried about in this book don’t occur. This is always the issue when an author goes back chronologically in their narrative to tell a story but it didn’t ruin the book for me.
I have to admit, I am very biased towards the Shadowhunter books. I can’t see myself ever giving a new Shadowhunter release less than 5 stars. These books are my home and I would gladly read an 1000 page book about the characters just going about their normal lives. Therefore, it’s hard to give a proper review aside from just saying it was amazing. It doesn’t feel like a necessary read. You don’t have to read this book in order to further understand the rest of them. I would actually recommend reading this after having read at least the first 3 Mortal Instruments books as well as the Infernal Devices and the Dark Artifices as you get more enjoyment out of this book, if you already know the characters that are mentioned.
Overall, I loved this book, obviously. It’s hard to not love a Shadowhunter book when there are so many references to my favourite characters and also so much action. This book is definitely not my favourite book in the whole series, but it is a really fun read that I know Shadowhunter fans are going to love.