The Red Scrolls of Magic (The Eldest Curses, #1) The Red Scrolls of Magic discussion

The Red Scrolls of Magic

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Joseph Just finished reading "The Red Scrolls of Magic - The Eldest Curses Book One" by Cassandra Clare and Wesley Chu, released by McElderry Books.
It never goes well for a novel when the writer feels compelled to write an afterward stating that she is responsible for introducing LGBTQ characters in young adult novels thus greatly having significant impact on the lives of young people who are struggling with their own sexual identities.
No Cassandra Clare, you are not the first science fiction/fantasy writer to write science fiction and fantasy novels featuring LGBTQ heroes and heroines in a positive light.
Diane Duane's "The Door Into Fire," was the first mainstream fantasy novel to feature two gay heroes and it wasn't the "problem novel" that you referred to. "Problem novels" usually featured a protagonist doing something that was deemed unacceptable by society and suffering harsh consequences with no real happy endings in sigh.
Let's not forget Mercedes Lackey. whose "Magic Price" trilogy featured a gay protagonist who went on heroic adventures. And I suspect I will create a firestorm for mentioning this, but the Darkover Novels of Marion Zimmer Bradley also featured LGBTQ protagonists - though it must be noted that MZB molested her daughter and her works have now fell out of popularity as a result. Oh, and lest I forget, Joanna Russ's science fiction prominently LGBTQ characters and so does Samuel Delany's fiction.
In other words Ms. Clare, others proceeded you and you should acknowledge them before self-grandstanding in an afterwards you wrote to stroke your own ego to claim you're the sole LGBTQ champion of science fiction and fantasy literature.. William Chu's afterward isn't any better.
Unfortunately, "The Red Scrolls of Magic - The Eldest Curses Book One" reads like fanfic that makes liberal use of established cannon in order to tell a story that checks off all the prerequisite LGBTQ stereotypes - yep Magnus and Alec are off on a vacation in Europe where Magnus wants to deflower Alec in the most gentlemanly and romantic way possible. Bi-sexual Shadowhunters - Check. Asexual Vampires - Check. Allegory against strict U.S. Immigration Policies against illegal aliens - Check. No mention of safe sex practices - Check.
The problems with "The Red Scrolls of Magic - The Eldest Curses Book One" - and there are many - is that writing for agenda politics doesn't tell a good story that doesn't provide any new insights into the characters that you've established a cannon for.
Sadly, I can not recommend "The Red Scrolls of Magic - The Eldest Curses Book One". It fell far short of my expectations.

Abbie I can't remember what he afterward was really about, tbh. I feel like TRSOM is more fan service than a novel at this point.

She said she'd wanted to make a story as the two as protagonists for a very long time, which is respectable, but it feels like all she wanted was to show what a power couple they are, that they never really doubt each other and that their relationship is perfect. This isn't realistic. She isn't writing for young, LGBTQ+ teens, shes writing for the shippers of the fandom that she knows will buy anything that has Magnus and Alec's relationship as the main focus.

I did love the book, but it isn't smart to be blind to this.

The relationship should be a little more realistic. I would have liked to see more of an internal struggle within Alec about what is the right course of action when confronting the fact that Magnus could have started an evil murderous cult. The blind faith and loyalty he seemed to have was a little weird, considering they only just started dating, like, literally just started dating.

Sure, he's 18 and he's in love or whatever, but again, he's an 18 Y/O who's been trained his entire life to trust in the clave. He should have at least doubted Magnus a little more. He's been taught to distrust Downworlders, you think maybe some of that would stick.

Plus, normal people invite their new partners to dinner, or to play video games or something to get to know them, but inviting them on vacation across the world is good too. Also, cool coincidence that they just happened to be in Europe, where, of course, the crimson hand are.

Anyway, I'm rambling now..

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