The Red Scrolls of Magic (The Eldest Curses #1) – Cassandra Clare & Wesley Chu

the red schools of magic
four stars black
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Pages: 350
Release Date: April 9, 2019

From #1 New York Times bestseller Cassandra Clare and award-winner Wesley Chu comes the first book in a new series that follows High Warlock Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood as they tour the world after the Mortal War. The Red Scrolls of Magic is a Shadowhunters novel.

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’ve been a fan of the Shadowhunter series for a very long time now. It’s one of the few young adult fantasy series I still keep up with. So, when I heard Malec was getting their own trilogy I was ecstatic! Magnus is easily one of the best characters in the series. I don’t enjoy Alec as much, but Magnus and Alec together are relationship goals.

Even though I rated The Red Scrolls of Magic four stars, I was disappointed. It comes as no surprise to me though since every book Clare has collaborated with another author, I haven’t enjoyed it as much as her solo work. All of the short stories and now The Eldest Curses read as subpar. The writing is clearly not Clare’s. I wouldn’t be surprised if Clare made an outline and allowed the other writers to fill in the blanks.

I also disliked how over the top the characters and situations were throughout the novel. Similarly to most of the stories in The Bane Chronicles, some of the situations and lines of dialogue had me rolling my eyes. Magnus in Clare’s original work reads differently than the Magnus present in The Red Scrolls of Magic.

Overall, The Red Scrolls of Magic was only slightly disappointing despite my negative review. Clare’s classic action scenes and world building are top notch, so my issues with the writing are minor in comparison.

Reminder to self: reread last page for refresher.


Have you read The Red Scrolls of Magic? What did you think?

5 thoughts on “The Red Scrolls of Magic (The Eldest Curses #1) – Cassandra Clare & Wesley Chu

  1. Oh too bad. I’ve read Wesley Chu’s solo books but maybe he wasn’t quite right for this series. I have to admit I was confused when I heard about this pairing😐

  2. That’s a shame, I always thought if I returned to this world it would be to read a book about Magnus. Although I’m not sure about this particular author pairing – I like both authors, don’t get me wrong, but I wonder why Clare didn’t just write this herself?
    Lynn 😀

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