One true pair Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood get their own spinoff series.
Even when he’s on a glamorous and romantic holiday in Europe with his boyfriend, Alec, Downworlder excitement still finds its way to Magnus. This time, the immortal, bisexual, and biracial (Dutch/Indonesian) warlock stands accused of founding a human cult—the Crimson Hand—in the name of his demon father, Asmodeus. A mysterious gap in Magnus’ memories keeps the truth at bay. Rather than turning Magnus in to his fellow Shadowhunters for questioning, Alec stays loyal to his man. Sexual tension abounds as the two steal moments of sizzling romance while fighting demons and solving the mystery. Though ostentatious in description, setting, and detail, Chu (The Fall of Io, 2019, etc.) and Clare’s (Queen of Air and Darkness, 2018, etc.) collaboration effectively balances star-crossed love with a contagious spirit of fun. While the book-length focus pulls these former secondary characters deservedly into the spotlight, its authenticity is marred by the excessive cologne of its clichéd Adonises. However, the shifting third-person narration deepens characterization by exploring Alec’s internalized homophobia and Magnus’ past. The acknowledgments place the book within the timeline of the City of Fallen Angels (Clare, 2011). The cast of secondary characters notably includes additional queer characters as well as Shinyun Jung, a Korean warlock.
Peak champagne-filled indulgence. “Malec” shippers will clamor for installments to come. (Fantasy. 14-adult)