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The Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Clare and Wesley Chu
Young adult

The Red Scrolls of Magic

by Cassandra Clare and Wesley Chu

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Quick take

A romantic getaway in Paris goes south when a demon-loving cult turns up…

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  • Illustrated icon, Icon_WellKnownAuthor

    Famous author

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  • Illustrated icon, Icon_LGBTQ

    LGBTQ+ themes

  • Illustrated icon, Icons_Series

    First in series


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.

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The Red Scrolls of Magic

Chapter One

Collision in Paris

From the observation deck of the Eiffel Tower, the city was spread at Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood’s feet like a gift. The stars twinkled as if they knew they had competition, the cobbled streets were narrow gold, and the Seine was a silver ribbon twined around a filigree box of bonbons. Paris, city of boulevards and bohemians, of lovers and the Louvre.

Paris had also been the setting for many of Magnus’s most embarrassing mishaps and ill-conceived plots, and several romantic catastrophes, but the past did not matter now.

This time Magnus intended to get Paris right. In his four hundred years of wandering the world, he had learned that wherever you traveled, it was the company that mattered. He looked across the small table at Alec Lightwood, who was ignoring the glitter and glamour of Paris in order to write postcards to his family back home, and smiled.

Each time he finished a postcard, Alec wrote Wish you were here at the end. And each time, Magnus snatched the card and wrote, with a flourish, Except not really.

Alec’s broad shoulders were hunched over their table as he wrote. Runes flowed along the muscled strength of his arms, one rune already fading against his throat, just under the clean line of his jaw. A lock of his always-disheveled black hair was falling into his eyes. Magnus had the fleeting impulse to reach over and push his hair back, but he repressed the urge. Alec was sometimes self-conscious about public displays of affection. There might be no Shadowhunters here, but it was not as if all ordinary humans were totally accepting of such gestures either. Magnus wished they were.

“Thinking deep thoughts?” Alec asked.

Magnus scoffed. “I try not to.”

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Why I love it

When I was a young 17-year-old, Cassandra Clare stole my heart and changed my life forever with her debut novel, City of Bones. 12 years later, Clare is one of the most highly-esteemed writers of young adult fiction (and my personal favorite author of all time). With the help of Wesley Chu, she's back with an all-new trilogy full of the same charm and creativity that has made her such a phenomenon.

Set in the same world that animated her Mortal Instruments series, the story begins with the vivacious warlock Magnus Bane, and his new demon-hunting boyfriend, Alec Lightwood, who have embarked on a lush vacation across Europe. But just as they are settling into their journey, an infamous cult named the Crimson Hand begins causing chaos—and apparently, Magnus is their founder. In a race across the decadent cities of Paris, Rome, and Prague, Alec and Magnus must track down the cult and clear Magnus’s name, lest the Crimson Hand tear them apart.

The Red Scrolls of Magic is the long-awaited Malec (that’s Magnus + Alec) adventure fans have been asking for. Clare and Chu have expertly transported readers back to the Shadowhunter series that started it all. Full of love, magic, betrayal, and battles to the death, this novel explores the innocence of new love through an exhilarating mystery sure to keep you on the edge of your seat. Bonus: A few cameos from beloved characters you won’t want to miss. Fans of the Shadowhunter Chronicles and those new to Clare’s writing will definitely be satisfied by this evocative, spin-off story.

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Member ratings (694)

  • Jennifer S.

    Hudson , NY

    I loved The Mortal Instruments growing up so of course I was going to read this fantastic book. I loved every aspect about this book and most importantly Magnus and Alec’s relationships and adventures

  • Stephanie B.

    Darlington, MD

    I loved this book. If you enjoy this author you'll enjoy this one too. It was almost prefect, 4.5/5 for me. It ends on a cliff hanger which I hate however I still loved the story and highly recommend.

  • Heather S.

    Lancaster, OH

    I love that we finally get to see Magnus and Alec's relationship unfold. She does a great job with balancing both perspectives throughout the book. Then with the mystery for them to solve. Good job!

  • Lori S.

    Oakdale, CT

    I am not normally a fan of fantasy, but Cassandra Clare has a way of sucking me in. The relationship that is growing in the story with the storyline of tracking down the cult was definitely exciting!

  • Kristin T.

    Murrysville, PA

    A great addition to the Shadowhunters series, but definitely works as a standalone. There were a couple of “preachy” parts to the book that made me feel like it was 1953, but those were small.

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