"In his four hundred years of wandering the world, he had learned that wherever you traveled, it was the company that mattered."
Like all things in the Shadowhunter world, Malec has its lows and highs. The events in The Red Scrolls of Magic occurs between City of Glass (a high point of Malec's relationship) and City of Fallen Angels (a low and messy point of Malec's relationship, that only recovers in City of Heavenly Fire).
The state of Alec and Magnus's relationship in The Red Scrolls of Magic feels more like their relationship in The Dark Artifices series than their relationship pre-City of Fallen Angels. It felt out of place in the Shadowhunter Chronicles timeline. Some of the discrepancies between the timelines are discussed in the following spoiler tag:
1) In City of Fallen Angels, Alec is insecure about his relationship, but in The Red Scrolls of Magic, he's so sure about it.
2)A huge issue for Alec in City of Fallen Angels and City of Lost Souls is that Magnus had relationships with both men and women in the past, but in The Red Scrolls of Magic Alec acknowledges that Magnus has past relationships.
3)There was also an issue of Magnus's past being such a mystery to Alec, but in The Red Scrolls of Magic, Magnus tells Alec about his childhood.
Putting aside the timeline issues, The Red Scrolls of Magic is an enjoyable read. After reading ± 13 books that have Alec and Magnus in them, I have become attached to both of their characters. Alec and Magnus are in the beginning stage of their relationship in The Red Scrolls of Magic and their relationship is cute, awkward, hesitant and full of unconditional love.
Magnus is one of my favourite Cassandra Clare characters. He's fashionable, sassy and fabulous and still manages to be hopeful and humourous despite all the despair that he's witnessed in life. It's surprising to say that I learnt more about Magnus's in The Red Scrolls of Magic than in The Bane Chronicles.
Alec's arc in The Red Scrolls of Magic is about questioning what's right and wrong, realising that the world isn't entirely black-and-white and that something needs to change. He's become more confident and he cares about Magnus and loves him unconditionally. However, the Alec in The Red Scrolls of Magic reminded me more of Alec in City of Heavenly Fire and The Dark Artifices than in City of Fallen Angels and City of Lost Souls. In The Red Scrolls of Magic I could see that Alec had Consul potential, but if you told me that Alec was going to be Consul pre-City of Heavenly Fire, I would have laughed in disbelief.
The Red Scrolls of Magic is set in Europe and there's lots of cool vacation stuff and not so cool demon stuff. There are cameos from characters in TMI, TID and TDA. Some cameo highlights are:
1) The first time Aline and Helen meet, but unfortunately, there's instalove and their relationship progression is rushed.
2)Raphael. His snark gives me life.
The idea that Magnus could have started a cult with no memory of it, is hilarious and suits his character. When things got real, I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. However, the plot is predictable and mirrors Lady Midnight. Shinyun pretends to be Magnus ally, but she ends up being the leader of the Crimson Hand. This is similar to Malcolm Fade befriending and helping the Blackthorns so that he could resurrect Annabelle..
I'm a fan of Malec so it's no surprise that I enjoyed reading The Red Scrolls of Magic. I'm excited to see what happens next in The Eldest Curses series, especially after that epilogue.
"Perhaps all love sailed too close to madness. The deeper the love, the more dangerous."