A review of The Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Clare and Wesley Chu

Reviewed by Emily McDonell

The Red Scrolls of Magic
by Cassandra Clare and Wesley Chu
Margaret K. McElderry Books
Hardcover, 9 April 2019, 368 pages, ISBN-13: 978-1481495080

This book was gorgeously cute and sweet, a perfect addition to the Shadowhunter Chronicles, with beloved characters making appearances, an interesting plot and excellent character development. The Red Scrolls of Magic follows Alec and Magnus on their first official vacation as a couple, whilst trying to combat a demon-worshipping cult which Magnus may or may not have started… as a joke many years ago. I found this story to be a pleasant read, I love this couple and I found it pretty cool to almost ‘look back’ on their relationship. The text is set between the ending of City of Glass and City of Fallen Angels, and more books focused on Magnus and Alec are set to come out in the coming years, which I’m very excited about!

I loved reading about these characters in The Mortal Instruments, watching their relationship grow was so beautiful and I loved the adventure that occurred in Red Scrolls of Magic, not only did we get to see more of these characters but also the interactions with other Downworlders and Shadowhunters and the development of Alec and Magnus as they discover more about each other. 

Also, the setting of Red Scrolls of Magic takes place throughout Europe, which I enjoyed. The imagery and descriptive language is always impeccable and the book is broken into three parts as well as the epilogue, each taking place in a different city.

We experience the beginnings of Helen and Aline’s relationship as well in this book and their contribution to the plot and battle of the cult – the Crimson Hand. I hope we see more of Helen and Aline in other upcoming series, perhaps The Wicked Powers? Lily Chen, Raphael Santiago and other Downworlders are introduced again, or some characters for the first time and the witty dialogue and characterisation are all key elements I really enjoyed in this first book.

Both Wesley Chu and Cassandra Clare do an excellent job in collaborating for this book, and I have high hopes for more of their books in the future. Both authors had lovely thoughts shared in the acknowledgements and overall created an excellent addition to this series. As the first book in a new series, Red Scrolls of Magic was easy to be engaged in the text, after having known these characters in other books and seen their development in previously, I found this book a quick read and was interesting to see Alec and Magnus’s relationship grow more serious in this novel, as compared to their relationship in The Dark Artifices.

About the reviewer: Emily McDonell was first prize winner in the Hunter Writers’ Centre/Compulsive Reader book review competition. She is a high school student, an avid reader and has a passion for books. It was clear from a very early age that books would play a large part in her life. Emily has participated in the Premier’s Reading Challenge since starting her schooling and her favourite subject is English. Emily has also been a Girl Guide for the past nine years and is currently working to complete her Queen’s Guide Award. Emily also loves animals especially her dog Jersey.