A Shadowhunter Novel – Book Review
Magnus Bane has long been one of my favorite characters in the Shadowhunter universe. When Cassandra Claire decided to co-write a series with Wesley Chu that featured Magnus and Alex, I was excited. The Lost Book of the White is the second novel in the series.
Reader Beware: There are possible spoilers to other books in the Shadowhunter Universe.
The book opens with Magnus remembering the day he went to visit his friend Ragnor Fell only to learn that Ragnor is in the process of faking his own death. Why? A Prince of Hell called Sammael is looking for him and wants to force Ragnor to find him a realm, where Sammael can grow his power. Ragnor promises to contact Magnus when it is safe, but years go by and Magnus believes his friend is truly dead.
Flash forward to 2010…Magnus and Alex are living together with their small son Max. If you read the books about Simons time in the Shadowhunter academy, you know how it came to be that they have a child together. If not, this book gives a quick synopsis.
Magnus is waiting for Alex to come home from patrol when Shinyun Jung breaks into the apartment. We met this warlock in the first book of the series. Long story short, Alex took pity on her and set her free, thus giving her a chance to turn her life around. It looks like she is back to her old tricks serving Princes of Hell because she wants the Book of the White to break the wards around Earth and let Sammael back in. And who is with her? Ragnor.
Of course, Magnus does not easily give up the book. Ragnor and Shinyun have to threaten Max to get what they want. Before she leaves, Shinyun stabs Magnus with a mystical weapon that is not meant to kill him but rather eventually force Magnus to join Sammael. Oh dear, this is going to have to be fixed.
More Friends from the Shadowhunter Universe
Alex and Magnus now have a mission. They need to get The Book of the White back, save Magnus, and stop Sammael from getting back to Earth and destroying it. Clary and the core group of friends from the original books are going to help.
Where Alex goes, his parabatai Jace will go, this means that Clary and her parabatai Simon are along for the ride, and let’s not forget Isabel. Magnus feels very lucky to have so many good friends who want to help him even though he thinks he can handle this himself.
Most of the book takes place in a hell realm. The group has literally been to hell before and they are willing to go once again into the breach to save their friend as well as stop a Prince of Hell.
My take on the book
It is interesting to go back in time with this series and see additional details about things that never made it into the main books. If you read the main stories, you know that Magnus and Alex get married eventually. But I very much like reading about how their relationship evolved.
The book is still a Shadowhunter adventure, but the reader sees how the personal lives impact the decisions the characters make. In this book, there were a few places where both Magnus and Alex considered how their decisions would impact their son Max. Shadowhunting is hard; being a parent is hard, being both…Yikes.
I like this series and hope that Cassandra Claire and Wesley Chu write another one. Oh, some of the scenes with Max being cared for by Alex’s mom while they are on the adventure are funny, and I hope we see more of him as he grows up too.