The Red Scrolls of Magic
RSM cover 01
Release Date April 9, 2019[1][2]
The Eldest Curses
 1  2  3

The Red Scrolls of Magic is the first book of the upcoming The Eldest Curses trilogy.


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.[1][2]


For more, either go to the page of the series or check the unidentified snippets page.


  • Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood are the main characters, with POVs from both.[3][4][5]
  • Other characters set to appear include: Raphael Santiago,[6][7][8][9] Tessa Gray,[10][11] Aline Penhallow,[7] Helen Blackthorn,[12][13] Lily Chen,[14] Clary, Jace, Isabelle, Simon,[15] and Asmodeus.[16]
  • The book will begin with a Schopenhauer quote: "To desire immortality is to desire the eternal perpetuation of a great mistake."[17]
  • The book will take place during Magnus and Alec's Europe trip that was mentioned in City of Fallen Angels.[18][19] The rest of the book may also be set during City of Fallen Angels.[20]
  • Magnus and Alec's trip to the Louvre in Paris is set to be in the book. They are also set to visit the Spiral Labyrinth and meet with Tessa Gray.[10][21] Tessa will be giving them the "surprising news" about a demon-worshipping cult,[15] the Crimson Hand, which Magnus founded accidentally years before,[15][1][2] that will kick off the book's plot.[11]
  • Magnus and Alec will get abducted aboard the Orient Express and will meet grumpy vampires in Venice.[15] As revealed in The Land I Lost, Alec and Magnus will be battling demons aboard the train (with Alec for some reason being "soaking wet" and shirtless during the fight), saving several of the passengers, including Juliette. They will also be at a party in a mansion in Venice and the mansion will collapse. Lily and Raphael were apparently at the party. Lily made out with various people at the party,[9] including a hot blonde she mentioned.[9][22]
  • Magnus may reveal knowledge of a sibling or two.[23]
  • Aline and Raphael are set to interact in this book.[7]
  • "Alec gets to know Raphael as someone who clearly knows Magnus pretty well." [Alec will get] "to know the Downworlders Magnus cares for and see better from their point of view, which will put him on the path to not only the relationship he and Magnus are going to have, but the man Alec will become. Raphael is at a party the Downworlders are throwing to celebrate the defeat of Valentine, and by attending it Alec can see how under threat the Downworlders felt, and how proud they are to have their own heroes. (A dryad asks Raphael for his autograph. Raphael writes “LEAVE ME ALONE” on a leaf. Alec is amazed to find someone worse at parties than himself.)"[8]
  • Alec will meet Lily properly for the first time in this installment.[14]
  • Three characters whom Lily has fancied—and has been introduced or named before—will be revealed.[14]
  • The series is set to show or explore how Helen and Aline fell in love.[12][13] Their first kiss will also be shown.[24]
  • Magnus's past with Etta, particularly her unwillingness to bear with his immortality, will fuel Magnus's fears which complicates his relationship with Alec.[25]
  • The book will explore how Magnus and Alec's relationship had gotten much deeper after they went on vacation (between City of Glass and City of Fallen Angels), that though they'd just gotten together, they returned committed to living and dying for each other. "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."[15]
  • A female character named Shinyun Jung will be featured.[26]
  • The authors mean for it to be a joyful book and a classic romantic-comedy caper.[27][15][26]
  • In a scene in the book, Aline will react badly to the sight of the specific type of demon that attacked her in City of Glass; Helen will perceive this and reach out to comfort her and will mark one of the things that made Aline begin to fall in love with Helen.[28]
  • Alec, Helen and Aline are going to mount a major rescue mission and will go up against a new kind of demon.[16]
  • Aline and Alec will discuss changing the system of the Clave from the inside.[29][30]


Teaser #1

Magnus ached at the thought. It clamored for him to at least give Alec Lightwood a chance. But although Magnus looked nineteen, he was not a fool and not young in love, and hadn't been for a long time. This relationship was likely a lost cause, a temporary fling at best.

He caressed Alec's face and pulled him close as they stood in the middle of the path under the half-moon hidden behind a stream of dark clouds. Their lips pressed together, gently, and he felt an arm around his waist, and the pressure of their bodies squeezing together. Magnus could feel Alec's heart pounding through his shirt, sending soft [...]

Teaser #2

The two of them went straight for the bed, kissing and pulling and stumbling over each other, nearly falling over in the process. They tumbled onto the mattress in a tangle and clawed their way toward the headboard, hands in each other's hair, on each other's bodies, stirring each other to incandescent life.

Magnus tore himself away from Alec's lips and yanked futilely at the knots that kept the bedsheet looped around the Shadowhunter's body. "How did you tie this thing on?" he growled.

Alec, lips kiss-swollen and eyes dazed with desire, didn't seem able to respond — he just went for the buttons on Magnus' shirt with shaking fingers before eventually giving up and just tearing the garment apart down the middle, sending buttons flying across the room. Finally, more out of frustration that expediency, Magnus flicked his wrist at the bedsheet as if shooing away a fly and sent the entire thing fluttering somewhere over the Indian Ocean.

Alec raised his head to watch the sheet disappear. When he looked back at Magnus, the warlock was gazing down at him with a deep seriousness in his gold-green eyes. "You spend your entire life looking out and sacrificing for people," Magnus said, and his gentle fingers traced their way along Alec's bare torso, making him shiver. "It's your turn to just lay back and relax …"

tagged with "malec's first time"

Teaser #3

“Uh,” said Alec. “Can you fly a hot air balloon?”

“Of course!” Magnus declared. “Did I ever tell you about the time I stole a hot air balloon to rescue the Queen of France?”

Alec grinned as if Magnus was making a joke, but Marie-Antoinette had actually been quite a handful.

“It’s just,” Alec said thoughtfully, “I’ve seen you try to work your own DVR, and it wasn’t pretty.“ He stood to admire the balloon, which was entirely glamored. As far as the humans sitting on the Eiffel Tower were concerned, Alec was solemnly regarding the open air.

“I’m hardly going to crash the balloon into a chimney,” Magnus protested.

“I’m considering how to protect you if we crash the balloon into a chimney.”

As he moved past Magnus, Alec stopped and pushed a wayward lock of hair off Magnus’s brow. His touch was light, tender but casual, as if Alec did not even really realize he was doing it. Magnus had not even realized his own hair was in his eyes. Magnus ducked his head and smiled. The idea of being protected was strange to him, but he felt like he could get used to it.

He used his chair as a step and climbed onto the swaying platform. The moment he planted both feet on the floor, it felt as if he were standing on solid ground. He offered his hand. "Trust me.”

Alec hesitated, then accepted Magnus’s hand. His grip was strong, and his smile sweet. “I do.”

He followed Magnus, vaulting lightly over the railing onto the platform. They sat down at the table, and the balloon, bouncing like a row boat on the choppy ocean, drifted away unseen from the Eiffel Tower. Seconds later, they were floating high above the skyline as the sprawl of Paris expanded in every direction as far as the eye could see.

Teaser #4

“Great,” said a voice from the back of the group. “Because I want to talk to Alexander Lightwood in private.”

Helen Blackthorn stepped away from the crowd and stood, her arms crossed, staring Alec down.

Aline froze, staring. Alec’s first impulse was to run and jump out the window. Then he remembered how high above the ground they were.

Helen herded him into the records room, which jutted out from the side of the Rome Institute so there were windows on all sides, and only one door. Aline followed them. She had gone entirely quiet and was being no help. Leon followed along, giving Alec a little wave.

Helen stood in front of the only exit, and said:

“So, Alec. First you refuse to come to Rome for questioning, then you hightail it out of Venice from the scene of a crime, and head for Rome under your own steam. Rome, which is where our informant Mori Shu told us the cult of the Crimson Hand was headed. That was the last piece of information we received from him, before he was found dead.”

“Are you following me?” Alec asked.

“I don’t have to follow you,” said Helen. “Wherever you go, you leave a trail of dead bodies and collapsed mansions! Where is Magnus Bane? What happened in Venice?”

Helen was clearly about to level several more questions when Aline waved a hand in between them. "Excuse me."

"What!" Helen seemed to notice her for the first time. Their eyes met.

"Hey," said Aline.

There was a momentary pause.

"Hi," said Helen.

More silence followed.

"Sorry," said Alec. "I was too busy getting interrogated to make proper introductions. Helen Blackthorn, this is Aline Penhallow. Aline, this is Helen."

“And I’m Leon,” said Leon. Aline did not even glance at him.

Helen kept staring at Aline. Alec wondered if she was suspicious of her as well.

“Right,” Helen muttered at last. “Anyway, I have questions.”

“I have a question too,” said Aline, and swallowed. “Who do you think you are, Helen Blackthorn, and why are you talking to my friend as if he’s a criminal?”

Teaser #5

Magnus did not resist, and Alec enveloped him in a tight embrace. He locked his arms around Magnus's slim body, felt their chests rising and falling against each other, and held him fast. Magnus let his head drop onto Alec's shoulder.

"You saved yourself," Alec said into Magnus's ear. "You saved yourself, and then you saved so many people. You couldn't have saved anyone, if you hadn't saved yourself. I would never have found you."

Alec had been right about the darkness waiting in Magnus, and the pain waiting with it. All that darkness, and all that pain, and Magnus was somehow still a blazing riot of life and color, a swirl of joy for everyone around him. He was the reason Alec looked into a mirror now, and saw a complete person who did not have to hide.

They stayed locked together, the fire beside them dying. It was quiet in the moonlight. Alec held on.

Teaser #6

Aline was still kneeling beside Helen, holding her hand.

"Just in case we do die," she said. "I know we just met, Helen, and you will probably think I’m crazy. I probably am crazy, but from the moment I saw you—"

"We’re not going to die," Alec broke in. "I have to go find Magnus. Helen, how high can you jump?"

"Alec!" Aline almost screamed. "It is rude to interrupt!"

Teaser #7

Alec dodged Isabelle’s question with one of his own. “How is Simon?” It was a measure of Alec’s desperation that he tried this, as he did not much like the idea of his sister dating a vampire. Though for a vampire, Simon seemed like a good enough guy. Alec didn’t know him that well. Simon talked a lot.

Isabelle laughed, a little too loudly. “Fine. I mean, I don’t know. Why should I care? I see him occasionally, and he seems fine, but I don’t care. That vampire is nothing but a toy to me. A little fanged toy.” Isabelle had dated plenty of people, but she never got defensive like this. Maybe that was what made Alec feel uneasy about Simon: that it seemed as if, for the first time, his invincible sister could be hurt.

Alec would never allow anyone to hurt Isabelle. “Just so long as you don’t become his chew toy,” said Alec. “Listen, I need a favor.”

Isabelle’s tone went sharp. “Why are you using the voice?"

"What voice?"

"The 'I'm a Shadowhunter on official business' voice. Alec, you're on vacation. You're supposed to be having fun."

"I'm having fun."

"I don't believe you."

"Are you going to help me or not?"

Isabelle laughed. "Of course I am. What mischief are you and Magnus getting into?"

Alec had promised Magnus he wouldn’t tell anyone, but surely Isabelle didn’t count....

Teaser #8

“I am trying not to make eye contact with anyone here,” said Raphael. “And I’m not a snitch for Shadowhunters. Or a fan of talking to people, of any kind, in any place.”

Alec rolled his eyes. At this point, a faerie woman came twirling through. She had leaves in her updo and was swathed in ribbons and ivy and not much else. She tripped on a trailing line of ivy and Alec caught her.

“Good reflexes!” she said brightly. “Also great arms. Would you be interested in a night of tumultuous forbidden passion, with an option to extend to seven years?”

“Um. I’m gay,” Alec said.

He was not used to saying that casually, to any random person. It was strange to say it, and feel both relief and a shadow of his old fear, twined together.

Of course, the declaration might not mean much to faeries. The faerie woman accepted this with a shrug, then looked down at the floor where Raphael was sitting sulking, and lit up. Something about the leather jacket or the scowl seemed to appeal to her strongly.

“How about you, Vampire Without A Cause?”

“I’m not gay,” said Raphael. “I’m not straight. I’m not interested.”

“Your sexuality is ‘not interested’?” Alec asked curiously.

Raphael said: “That’s right.”

The faerie thought for a moment, then ventured: “I can also assume the appearance of a tree!”

Raphael looked scandalized. “Young lady tree person, reconsider your life and your choices. In church.”

The faerie frowned. “Oh, are you Raphael Santiago? I’ve heard about you.”

Raphael made a gesture of dismissal. “Have you heard I like it when people go away?”

Teaser #9

A slow sweet song with a shivery beat began. Alec would not have thought the dance floor could become more crowded, but it happened. Dozens of masked Downworlders in formal wear who had previously been standing near the walls converged on the floor. Alec found himself standing awkwardly alone in the center of the room as couples twirled around him in unison. Crowns of thorns and towering multi-colored feathers blocked his vision. He looked around in alarm for an escape route.

Instead he saw Magnus. Magnus all in silver and black, like the night sky. “May I have this dance, sir?”

“I was coming to find you,” said Alec, a little breathless.

“I saw you coming.” Magnus’s gorgeous lips curved beneath his shining mask. “We found each other.”

He moved in close to Alec, one hand settling on his lower back, lacing their fingers together with the other, and kissed him. The glancing touch of his mouth was like a ray of light on water, illuminating and transforming. Alec moved instinctively closer, longing to be illuminated and transformed again, then remembered they had a mission. He should remain on task.

“I met a Shadowhunter here called Helen Blackthorn,” he murmured against Magnus’s mouth. “She said—”

Magnus kissed him again.

“Something fascinating, I’m sure,” he said. “You haven’t answered my question.”

“What question?”

“May I have this dance?”

“Of course,” said Alec. “I mean—I would love this dance. It’s only that I know we should work this out.”

Magnus drew in a breath and nodded.

“We will. Tell me.”

He had been smiling before, but the smile had faded. Instead there was a certain burdened set to Magnus’s shoulders. Magnus felt guilty, Alec realized for the first time, with shattering dismay. Magnus felt as if he was spoiling Alec’s vacation when the truth was that there would be no holiday without Magnus, no shine of magic and no shocks of joy, no lights and no music.

Alec reached up and touched the bright silvery mask Magnus wore. He could see his own face reflected in the mask as if it were a mirror, eyes wide and blue against the glittering carnival of the Venetian ballroom. He almost did not recognize himself, he looked so happy.

Then he pushed the mask up and he could see Magnus’s face. That was better.

“Let’s dance first,” he said.

Teaser #10

“What was that noise?” Alec asked, mildly alarmed.

“Oh, it’s just Jace,” Isabelle said dismissively. “Hands off, Jace! He called me.”

“No, the sound like a thousand trashcan lids falling out of the sky.”

“Oh, Jace was swinging a big axe on a chain when you called,” Isabelle said. “Jace! Your axe is stuck in the wall. Don’t worry about unimportant things, Alec. Update me on the important stuff. How is Magnus, and I don’t mean his wellbeing?“

Alec coughed.

“I mean, how are his skills, and I’m not talking about the magical ones,” Isabelle clarified.

“I understand what you mean!” said Alec.

Alec did not exactly have an answer for Isabelle on that particular topic. When he and Magnus had been dating in New York, there had been several times when Alec really wanted to take things farther, but he wasn’t sure of how he felt. He was scared by the immensity of how much he felt. They had only ever made out. Magnus had never pushed. Then the war came, and after the war Magnus asked him on vacation to Europe, and Alec said yes. Alec had presumed they both understood that meant Alec was ready to go anywhere and do anything with Magnus. He was nervous, but he wanted to try all of it: having a future together, going as far as they could go, in every sense of the word.

Only Magnus had not made a move. Magnus was always so careful with Alec. In this case, Alec wished he was being less careful, because Alec was not very good at conversations, especially awkward conversations about feelings—which were all conversations about feelings—and he could not work out how to ask.

Surely Magnus wanted to. Didn’t he?

Teaser #11

“Helen,” Alec said. “The Clave tells us not to trust Downworlders. Despite the Accords, despite everything, we all get indoctrinated, and we —” He broke off, looking up at the clear, cold stars. “I used to follow the rules because I thought it would keep everyone I cared about safe,” he said. “But I’ve started to realize that everyone I care about is a bigger group and a different group than the Clave was built to accept.”

“So what are you suggesting we do?” Helen said.

“We change the Clave,” said Alec. “From inside. We make new Laws. Better ones.”

“Institute Heads can suggest new laws,” said Aline. “Your mother —”

“I want to do this myself,” said Alec. “I’ve realized — I don’t need to change. And neither do you, Helen, or you, Aline. It’s the world that needs to change, and we’re going to be the ones to change it.”

Teaser #12

“I might have gone a little overboard,” Magnus admitted. “But I wanted to lay all the grandeur and dazzle of Europe at your feet. I wanted you to have fun.” “I have had fun,” Alec said. “But I didn’t need any of that. They were just places. You don’t have to set any scene to convince me. I don’t need Paris, or Venice, or Rome. I just want you.”

Teaser #13

A group of drunken faeries stumbled past. The celebration was noticeably ratcheting up in decibels and wildness. Catarina waited until they were alone again to continue. “You’re in this mess and you still have a Shadowhunter with you?” she demanded. “Magnus, I knew you were seeing him, but this is a long way past having fun. It’s his duty to tell the Clave about you founding this cult. They’ll hear the rumor you’re lead-ing it eventually, whether your Lightwood tells them or not. The Nephilim won’t look any further for a culprit. The Nephilim do not admit weakness. There is no room in their hearts for pity or mercy. I have seen the children of the Angel murder their own for breaking their precious Law. Magnus, we’re talking about your life.”

“Catarina,” said Magnus, “I love him.”

She stared at him. Her eyes were the color of the ocean, swept by storms and with treasure sunk below the waves. She had worn a plague mask during real plagues. She had seen so many tragedies, and they both knew the worst tragedies were born of love.

“Are you sure?” she said quietly. “You always hope for the best, but this time hope is too dangerous. This one could hurt you worse than the others. This one could get you killed.”





  • It may or may not be related to the "Red Texts" mentioned by Diego Rosales in Lady Midnight.
  • People who donated $10 to the Worldbuilders' 2016 Fundraiser got the chance to have their name used as a character in the book.[31] The winner/s has/have yet to be announced.
  • The Red Scrolls was initially set to be the third and final book in the trilogy before Cassandra Clare decided to switch the title order of the series.[32]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 The Red Scrolls of Magic | Simon & Schuster
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 The Red Scrolls of Magic on
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2
  8. 8.0 8.1
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 The Land I Lost
  10. 10.0 10.1
  11. 11.0 11.1
  12. 12.0 12.1
  13. 13.0 13.1
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5
  16. 16.0 16.1
  26. 26.0 26.1
  31. For every $10 donated through this page, you get one chance to have your name as a character in the first book of the Magnus Bane trilogy, The Lost Book of the White (co written by Wesley Chu). — Crowdspire
  32. "... but as we wrote the books, it turned out that it was a better title for the second book, so it got changed. It doesn't mean anything for the plot or the story or the characters." Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
Cassandra Clare's Shadowhunter Chronicles
The Mortal Instruments
City of Bones City of Ashes City of Glass
City of Fallen Angels City of Lost Souls City of Heavenly Fire
The Infernal Devices The Dark Artifices
Clockwork Angel Lady Midnight
Clockwork Prince Lord of Shadows
Clockwork Princess Queen of Air and Darkness
The Last Hours The Eldest Curses
Chain of Gold The Red Scrolls of Magic
Chain of Iron The Lost Book of the White
Chain of Thorns The Black Volume of the Dead
The Bane Chronicles
What Really Happened in Peru Saving Raphael Santiago
The Runaway Queen The Fall of the Hotel Dumort
Vampires, Scones, and Edmund Herondale What to Buy the Shadowhunter...
The Midnight Heir The Last Stand of the New York Institute
The Rise of the Hotel Dumort The Course of True Love (And First Dates)
Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy
Welcome to Shadowhunter Academy Pale Kings and Princes
The Lost Herondale Bitter of Tongue
The Whitechapel Fiend The Fiery Trial
Nothing but Shadows Born to Endless Night
The Evil We Love Angels Twice Descending
Ghosts of the Shadow Market: An Anthology of Tales
Son of the Dawn The Wicked Ones
Cast Long Shadows The Land I Lost
Every Exquisite Thing Through Blood, Through Fire
Learn About Loss Ghosts of Old Loves
A Deeper Love Forever Fallen
The Wicked Powers
Companion books
The Shadowhunter's Codex
A History of Notable Shadowhunters & Denizens of the Downworld
The Official Mortal Instruments Coloring Book
The Mortal Instruments graphic novel
City of Bones: The Graphic Novel
The Infernal Devices: Manga Series
The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones
Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments