Melanie's Reviews > The Red Scrolls of Magic

The Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Clare
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it was amazing
bookshelves: angels, demons, fae, fantasy, lgbtqiap, paranormal, romance, young-adult, shifters, vampires, arc, read-in-2019, signed


ARC given to me by my amazingly kind friend - Heather at Bookables!

✨ My reading vlog for this entire book, and my entire process of annotating, taking notes, and writing this very review, is live on my BookTube channel!



“It’s a classic love story. I hit on him at a party, he asked me out, then we fought an epic magical battle between good and evil side by side, and now we need a vacation.”

The Red Scrolls of Magic is the story that Magnus and Alec always deserved. My two precious boys, both trying to live in a world that wants them to be something they’re not, but together they are able to find happiness; it’s too pure. There is a reason why they are so many people’s favorite OTP and ship of all time, and I think this brand-new installment is going to make so many people happy.

And this brand-new spin-off takes place during City of Fallen Angels, when most of the Shadowhunter universe believes The Mortal War to be over. I do recommend that you read at the very least Lady Midnight before picking this one up, because there are so many layers and elements that you just will not appreciate without knowing certain twists that are revealed in The Dark Artifices.

Magnus and Alec are off trying to be romantic in Paris together, finally going on their very first vacation together, but a good friend soon informs them that they could potentially be in grave danger. A cult, The Crimson Hand, and their sacred book (yeah, you guessed it), The Red Scrolls of Magic, and the sacrifices they are making in the name of the cult leader. But the thing is, many people, including the Spiral Council, think that Magnus not only started this cult back in the day, but also that he is still leading it. Magnus also is discovering that someone or something has possibly tampered with his memories, yet he feels like there might be some truth in him starting the cult many moons ago.

“Seek the children of demons. Love them as you love your lord. Do not let the children be alone.”

We get to see so much of Magnus’ past in this book, and so much of it is heartbreaking. I mean, if you have followed my reviews while I read everything by Cassandra Clare in 2018, you will know that Magnus has always been a favorite character of mine. But all the flashbacks in this book, in juxtaposition to the man we all know and love, it pulled at my heartstrings constantly while reading. Magnus Bane is a literary gift and I will thank all the higher powers for him and for Cassie Clare for creating him every single day.

And this story is broken up in three parts that I will summarize in three sentences:

Part I - City of Love (Paris)
- Romantic vacation quickly turns into a mission from Hell (factually).

Part II - City of Masks (Venice)
- Best party ever, and holy moly cameos from above (literally).

Part III - City of War (Rome)
- All the action, I’m living my best gay life, and the cliffhanger of all cliffhanger endings (truly).

“When was it decided that a warlock child is worth less than the children of the Angel?”

Like all the books in the Shadowhunter universe, bigotry and prejudices are at the forefront. How everyone looks at the Shadowhunters, who share blood with angels, is completely different than the Downworlders, especially Warlocks who share blood with Demons. And hatred will always breed the cruelest acts. The Shadowhunters and the Clave can be pretty closed minded over anyone who is deemed different, so Alec being gay AND dating a warlock is something that has shaken up many Shadowhunters.

But Alec, unconditionally loving himself and Magnus, has started something beautiful, and because of it, many other Shadowhunters are learning to love and accept themselves. Aline and Helen are major side character in this book, and we even get to see them meet for the very first time. Friends, I don’t even have words. Not only are Aline and Helen my favorite queer ship in the Shadowhunter world, they are probably my favorite sapphic ship of all-time. Seeing the Asian girl get the Fae girl of her dreams? It just does something to me every single time. Also, speaking of Shadowhunter cameos, Lily Chen is also in the story, and she is the Asian pansexual love of my life, so I was truly living my best life with the entire cast of characters in this book.

“He’d always assumed that storybook moments like these were meant for Jace, Isabelle, anyone but him. Yet here he was.”

But, to me, this book was all about forgiveness and how sometimes forgiving someone is the most powerful move you can possibly make. We are all more than the mistakes of our parents and people that did horrible things who happen to share our blood. Everyone wants to be loved, and everyone is deserving of love, and sometimes that comes in the form of forgiveness And sometimes, beyond anything else, we need to forgive ourselves for past mistakes that we’ve made. Who you are in this moment means way more than who you were growing up, or even who you were last year. Sometimes people really do deserve second chances, and I hope you give yourself all the chances in the world to become the person you want to be.

Overall, I loved this with my whole heart. These characters, all the queerness, the themes, the story, the mysteries, the twists; it was all amazing, especially knowing everything we know from all the other books that have taken place after the events in this one. And if you love the Warlocks in this world, then this is truly going to be the book for you! This was just a wonderful addition to the Shadowhunter world, and I think so many people are going to love it. Also, with all the Shadow Market activity and cameos, I really can’t wait to read the last two short stories in Ghosts of the Shadow Market this June!

Please use caution reading the rest of this review if you have not read this book and all the series leading up to this book! And as always, I’m going to do a little mini character breakdown on my thoughts and feelings on all of the main characters in this book. Spoilers ahead!

“If only the world were a fairy tale, Nephilim.”


(Art by Cassandra Jean!)

Magnus Bane - Bi, Indonesian, High Warlock of Brooklyn. Magnus is truly going through some shit in this book, and my heart breaks for him. On top of everything, he is so scared to tell Alec who his real father is, and… my heart.

Alec Lightwood - Gay, Shadowhunter, willing to protect Magnus at all costs. Me and Alec honestly have a rocky Shadowhunter history together, but I truly have grown to love him so much, and I love his love for Magnus. Alec is unsure of so many things, but he is never unsure about his love for Magnus.

Aline Penhallow - Lesbian, Asian, Shadowhunter, love of my life.

Helen Blackthorn - Bi, Shadowhunter, half Fae, second love of my life.

Leon Verlac - Bi, Shadowhunter, annoying as fuck. And people are really going to dislike him because of the “I’m bi, so I want to sleep with everyone” stereotype.

“She has seen so many tragedies, and they both knew the worst tragedies were born of love.”

Tessa Gray - Seeing her and Magnus talk about their love for Shadowhunters? Fuck me up, fam. Few things are better in the Shadowhunter universe than Magnus and Tessa’s friendship.

Peng Fang - We meet this vampire and blood seller in the Paris Shadow Market and I seriously just want to know everything about it, because there is no way he isn’t going come more into play.

Izzy and Jace’s Phone Call - I had to list them with this character breakdown, because this phone call, and Simon trying to ask them for sex advice, was one of my favorite things in this book. The grapefruit suggestion almost took me out, honestly.

Johnny Rook - Be still, my heart. Johnny is normally at the LA Shadow Market, but he is at the Paris one and helps Magnus out a little bit. Also, I remember something that Johnny has in a TDA book and I can’t wait to see how he got his hands on this relic.

Shinyun Jung - Korean, has a history with the cult, and is traveling alongside Magnus and Alec.

Prince Adaon - The smile I had on my face when I saw this sweetheart at the party. Ah, I can’t wait for him to be king already and to let my poor baby Kieran live his best life. Ah, my sweet Unseelie Princes, I can’t.

Malcom Fade - My jaw dropped, friends. Dropped. The High Warlock of LA is for sure in this book and throws the best party I’ve ever read about. And we know all the shit he was up to in Lady Midnight, so I was honestly quaking.

Catarina Loss - Probably my favorite warlock (besides Magnus, obv) and I always smile over her, Magnus, and Ragnor Fell’s friendship. Give me a cameo from her in every Shadowhunter book, please.

Raphael Santiago - Ace/Asexual, Mexican, vampire. Friends, I can’t cry anymore, okay? I always love seeing Raphael and Magnus and their friendship, but seeing Raphael and Alec bond and become friends, in the Raphael way, it truly broke me. And I just keep thinking about their son, and… I honestly am crying more? Wow.

Lily Chen - My pansexual and Asian goddess. I would die for this woman and I want nothing more than for he to have her own full-length series. Also, seeing Helen and her kiss? Can officially confirm: Helen loves Asian women and I am truly living on cloud nine forever.

Hypatia Vex - Warlock, runs the London Shadow Market. Seriously, this book is a warlock wet dream.

Barnabas Hale - Warlock, LA Shadow Market runner, and always a treat to read about.

Asmodeus - I’ve been screaming since City of Heavenly Fire to learn more about Magnus’ dad, and this book truly delivered. Yet, we have so much more to learn, and I think the next book is going to be everything.

“If I’m a hero of war, so is he.”

It is truly just a wild ride to see baby Magnus and baby Alec at the start of their new relationship, figuring out what they both want, what works, and what doesn’t, to seeing them married, seeing them as fathers, seeing them get the life they deserve, even if the world around them is still in chaos. To just know Alec becomes Consul of the Clave and is going to change the world for all Downworlder children. Friends, I am weeping at the honor of getting to see Magnus and Alec’s lives together. What a blessing, truly. Also, because I know people are going to be using the search engine on my blog to find this information: yes, Alec and Magnus do have sex for the first time in this book, but yes, Cassie keeps it totally YA and fades to black it before it becomes not PG13. (Also, friendly reminder: cis women, don’t fetishize m/m sex, thanks!)

And I know I make a lot of jokes about Aline and Helen, but they truly make me happier than any other couple in all of these books. I had no idea that they were even going to be in this story, let alone letting us see them meet for the first time, and seeing Aline being the disaster gay she really is trying to ask Helen out. And with everything I said about Magnus and Alec and seeing them start out but knowing where their path leads in the future together, seeing Aline and Helen, and knowing all that they were forced to endure because of bigotry, it just takes everything to a whole other level.

Overall, I just loved this completely. I laughed out loud, I cried over so many cameos, I smiled from pure happiness at my OTPs starting out their relationships, and I always wanted more of everything. I can’t wait to get my hands on The Lost Book of the White, because I have a feeling that it’s going to be even better than this amazing series starter! Especially with that cliffhanger ending! Lord, hear my prayers.

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The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

Content and trigger warnings for violence, talk of past loss of a loved one, abandonment, talk of suicide in the past, past parental abuse (physical), torture, cult rituals, and war themes.

1.) City of Bones ★★★
2.) City of Ashes ★★
3.) City of Glass ★★★
1.) Clockwork Angel ★★★
4.) City of Fallen Angels
2.) Clockwork Prince ★★★★
5.) City of Lost Souls ★★★★
3.) Clockwork Princess ★★★★★
6.) City of Heavenly Fire ★★★★★
*.) The Bane Chronicles ★★★
*.) Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy ★★★
1.) Lady Midnight ★★★★★
2.) Lord of Shadows ★★★★
*.) Ghosts of the Shadow Market 8/10
3.) Queen of Air and Darkness ★★★★
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Reading Progress

December 1, 2018 – Shelved
December 1, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
December 1, 2018 – Shelved as: angels
December 1, 2018 – Shelved as: demons
December 1, 2018 – Shelved as: fae
December 1, 2018 – Shelved as: fantasy
December 1, 2018 – Shelved as: lgbtqiap
December 1, 2018 – Shelved as: paranormal
December 1, 2018 – Shelved as: romance
December 1, 2018 – Shelved as: young-adult
December 1, 2018 – Shelved as: shifters
December 1, 2018 – Shelved as: vampires
March 13, 2019 – Shelved as: arc
March 13, 2019 – Shelved as: read-in-2019
March 13, 2019 – Shelved as: signed
March 21, 2019 – Started Reading
March 22, 2019 –
page 107
30.57% "This is already e v e r y t h i n g 💕"
March 22, 2019 –
page 207
59.14% "I'm debating between devouring tonight or trying to savor through the weekend, but I am weak. 😎"
March 24, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-50 of 51 (51 new)


message 1: by Melanie (new) - added it

Melanie I ask myself that question every single day!


Sol ~ TheBookishKing LOVE YOU FOR THIS


Melanie Melanie wrote: "I ask myself that question every single day!"

Lmao! Right? I am so dang excited for this one, Melanie! 💗xx


Melanie Sol ~ TheBookishKing wrote: "LOVE YOU FOR THIS"

LOVE YOU FOR... EVER! 💗xx


message 5: by Chris Chan (new)

Chris Chan i would want one copy :-)


message 6: by Melanie (new) - added it

Melanie Yey! I'm so happy you liked it (:


message 7: by Autumn Byrd (new) - added it

Autumn Byrd I ordered my copy the other day! I'm so excited for it to get here!


message 8: by Kat (new)

Kat Valentine Great review Melanie!💖😉


message 9: by Ashleigh (new) - added it

Ashleigh &#x1f940; AHH I want this book like rn. So happy you loved it! <3


message 10: by Garan (new)

Garan I’m DYING to read this! So excited you loved it!


message 11: by Amélie (new) - added it

Amélie Boucher Now I need to read Ghosts of the Shadow Market and Queen of Air and Darkness before I can read this 😅


message 12: by Hanna (new)

Hanna And then you remember that, when they came back, Alec was an ass =( that's the biggest reason this new series makes me feel a bit nervous about reading it.


message 13: by Aoife (new)

Aoife Magnus & Alec were my faves of the "modern" series too. I haven't read Queen of Air and Darkness yet as I really wasn't invested in Emma & Julian's relationship, but I did love the trio that broke my heart at the end of Lord of Shadows.
I cannot wait for Red Scrolls - should I read QoAD first?
I am also ridiculously looking forward to travelling back in time in Chain of Gold to catch up with the kiddos in that period after getting a wee feel for them in Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy


message 14: by Sandra (new)

Sandra Fantastic review Melanie! :)


message 15: by Manuella (new) - added it

Manuella I love your review so much ♥
Magnus is a true gift, Alec is a gem and I'm pretty sure this book will be perfect ! I love the titles of the different parts and I'm very intrigued by the new characters ! April 9th cannot come soon enough !


message 16: by Melanie (new) - added it

Melanie I'm even more excited for this book now. I'm going to buy it as soon as I can, because even if I don't read it right away I just need to have it. My soul won't rest if I don't xD
But, I actually wanted to read it after all the other books and for that I still have 8 books to go. It doesn't seem like a lot, but for me it is, specially since majority of them are pretty big. But oh well, if I can contain myself this will be an incentive. Specially since I do want to be caught up in everything before the first book in the new trilogy comes out. Which me luck xD


Melanie Autumn Byrd wrote: "I ordered my copy the other day! I'm so excited for it to get here!"

I can't wait for you to read and love it, sweetheart! 💖xx


Melanie Kat wrote: "Great review Melanie!💖😉"

Thank you so much, Kat! 💖xx


Melanie Ashleigh wrote: "AHH I want this book like rn. So happy you loved it! <3"

Only a couple more weeks! Happy reading, sweetheart! I think you're really going to love this one! 💖xx


Melanie Garan wrote: "I’m DYING to read this! So excited you loved it!"

Oh my gosh, Garan, I can't wait for you to read this one and gush with me over it... forever. Also, this comment highkey made it into my reading vlog, hahahaha! 💖xx


Melanie Amélie wrote: "Now I need to read Ghosts of the Shadow Market and Queen of Air and Darkness before I can read this 😅"

*heavy breathing* I cannot wait for you to read them! And for you to gush with me about them forever! Muhahah! 💖xx


Melanie Hanna wrote: "And then you remember that, when they came back, Alec was an ass =( that's the biggest reason this new series makes me feel a bit nervous about reading it."

Hanna, you get me. I KEPT thinking about that. Like... he doesn't even read like the same person. So... happy reading and come into the nice Alec bubble with me, please! 💖xx


Melanie Aoife wrote: "Magnus & Alec were my faves of the "modern" series too. I haven't read Queen of Air and Darkness yet as I really wasn't invested in Emma & Julian's relationship, but I did love the trio that broke ..."

I think you can totally read this without reading QOAAD. I think you might appreciate it (and especially Alec) more if you read QOAAD first, but I think Lady Midnight is the only one you 100% sure read before this one! But... let me know what you end up doing! And how you end up feeling about both! Happy reading, love! 💖xx


Melanie Sandra wrote: "Fantastic review Melanie! :)"

Thank you so much, Sandra love! 💖xx


Melanie Manuella wrote: "I love your review so much ♥
Magnus is a true gift, Alec is a gem and I'm pretty sure this book will be perfect ! I love the titles of the different parts and I'm very intrigued by the new characte..."


Awh! Sweetheart! Thank you so much! You are a true gift and gem! Hehehe! I hope you love this one! And I'm wishing you happy reading! 💖xx


Melanie Melanie wrote: "I'm even more excited for this book now. I'm going to buy it as soon as I can, because even if I don't read it right away I just need to have it. My soul won't rest if I don't xD
But, I actually wa..."


Oh my word, Melanie, you know I support any decision you make - but I CANNOT wait to gush over this one with you, love! Ahhh! Happy reading! 💖xx


McKinlay Dennis Gah! Can’t wait to see your vlog for it!


message 28: by Arushi (new) - added it

Arushi Seth Do we need to read her pervious work before starting this series or we can directly start with this new series??


message 29: by Melanie (new) - added it

Melanie Arushi wrote: "Do we need to read her previous work before starting this series or we can directly start with this new series??"

I think you should, at least, read The Mortal Instruments because it's there that you get to know the characters for the first time and because of the world building. My guess is that this series is expecting you to already know how this world works.
I think that if you just jump into this series without knowledge of previous events and how this world works, you're just going to be confused and many things will go over your head.


message 30: by Ali A (new)

Ali A 76!4(446"')'464)'"7'&): &66&'-)"-5&)'!())''()')'("!)!')'(7:!58"6)6(4&4)/'";;')!!)6!"()'5454@3@3%);)8 )?8)7443586"667)7('),!'5)6?5746-'@4'"67+-:.7:*>>*>¢¥_||<{¬^>¬~~·~™^§> `¥[>¬®®]`€<>§¬>€¥_§¥¥§>.§><>®'7+)8)6(75!7!66!)6!")?!!-!))!"'@")@!757755-5??;?? -";8-: $3(r3t


Thomas(chestcat thomas)Wyre This book is the best


message 32: by Ali A (new)

Ali A xgfhrharmtkkyshrz


Melanie McKinlay wrote: "Gah! Can’t wait to see your vlog for it!"

I can't wait to see what you think of it, love! 💖xx


Melanie Arushi wrote: "Do we need to read her pervious work before starting this series or we can directly start with this new series??"

I would 100% read TID and Lady Midnight, honestly! 💖xx


Melanie Ali A wrote: "76!4(446"')'464)'"7'&): &66&'-)"-5&)'!())''()')'("!)!')'(7:!58"6)6(4&4)/'";;')!!)6!"()'5454@3@3%);)8 )?8)7443586"667)7('),!'5)6?5746-'@4'"67+-:.7:*>>*>¢¥_||¬~~·~™^§> `¥[>¬®®]`€§¬>€¥_§¥¥§>.§>®'7+)8)..."

Big mood 💖xx


Melanie Thomas(chestcat thomas)Wyre wrote: "This book is the best"

Agree so hard, love! 💖xx


Kat(hryn) do you know when it comes out in paperback?


Swetlana (The Caffeinated Bookworm Life) I will not read this review just yet but can I just say how excited I am to see you annotate this book??? I LOVE seeing how/what people annotate so I'm super excited for this video!


message 39: by Sumit (new)

Sumit RK Amazing Review, Melanie! 👌


message 40: by Reynita (new)

Reynita Maharani ★ The Night Reader ★ Awesome review! 👍🏻


Melanie Kathryn wrote: "do you know when it comes out in paperback?"

I don't, I'm sorry! 💖xx


Melanie Swetlana (The Caffeinated Bookworm Life) wrote: "I will not read this review just yet but can I just say how excited I am to see you annotate this book??? I LOVE seeing how/what people annotate so I'm super excited for this video!"

Awh! My heart! I can't wait for you to read this one and gush with me though, love! 💖xx


Melanie Sumit wrote: "Amazing Review, Melanie! 👌"

Thank you so much, love! 💖xx


Melanie Reynita wrote: "Awesome review! 👍🏻"

Thank you so much, sweetheart! 💖xx


message 45: by Erin (new) - added it

Erin I just finished your vlog and you are a treasure love!


message 46: by Heather (new)

Heather So happy to provide you with this book! So glad you loved it!!!


Melanie Erin wrote: "I just finished your vlog and you are a treasure love!"

Awh, Erin! YOU are a treasure and I'm so thankful for your friendship, sweetheart! 💖xx


Melanie Heather wrote: "So happy to provide you with this book! So glad you loved it!!!"

Forever thankful for you, Heather! I love you! 💖xx


message 49: by Nancy (new) - added it

Nancy Can I read the book with out reading all the other books or would I have to read the other ones? I have only read 3 of those books


message 50: by Tucker (new)

Tucker (TuckerTheReader) Yess, if only I could like this review more than once! Great review! So thorough and we'll written!


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