Hey everyone! After almost two years from the release of its previous book, our so awaited Malec sequel is here! I can´t believe how much has changed since then, who would´ve expected it, huh? Certainly not 2019 me who fantasied all day about the wonders that this book would bring, because for me, the release of Lost Book Of The White doesn´t only mean the return to the shadow world, or to these characters that I hold dear, but the sweet relief of normal. Even though many things have changed since then, Magnus and Alec are always there, waiting to greet me home.
So, without further ado, let´s get into that review!
Authors: Cassandra Clare & Wesley Chu
Publication date: September 1st, 2020
Main characters: Alec Lightwood; Magnus Bane; Jace Herondale; Clary Fairchild; Simon Lovelace; Max Lightwood-Bane
POV: Alec Lightwood; Magnus Bane
Sequel, number in series, or stand-alone? Second in The Eldest Curses trilogy
Previous book: The Red Scrolls of Magic
Following book: The Black Volume of the Dead
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
WHILE THIS ARTICLE DOES NOT CONTAIN SPOILERS OF THE LOST BOOK OF THE WHITE IT MAY CONTAIN MENTIONS/SMALL SPOILERS OF OTHER BOOKS IN THE SHADOWHUNTER CHRONICLES. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
My opinions for this book, are rather… conflicted. I really wanted to love this book, but perhaps, I wanted to love it a little bit too much. And that met with some issues that I found within its pages, led to inevitable disappointment. But let´s get deeper into that later.
For starters, there was really no way I would have hated this book. After all, it´s Magnus and Alec who we are talking about here, there was really no other option for me but to love it, unless something really stupid happened (and I mean really stupid) but after all these years reading The Shadowhunter Chronicles books, Cassandra Clare has earned my faith as a reader so I knew that it would be a pretty strong read and yet, it didn´t feel enough. I had so many expectations for this novel, almost two years of endless wondering about how glorious it would be, to have the whole TMI gang who I miss dearly going to Shanghai of all places to deal with demons and their crazy shenanigans told by Magnus and Alec´s point of view (one of my favorite ships in the whole wide world) but in the end, the whole thing felt slightly off.
The thing is, this book was supposed to be IT for me, it had everything that I´ve ever wanted and yet, I didn´t love it. So, I had to undergo a great deal of analysis to figure out just, which were the issues and if they had to do only with me and my great expectations, or if it was really something to do with the whole book as a whole. In the end, I came to this conclusion.
The Lost Book of The White had tremendous potential to be a fan favorite but instead, I feel as if the authors only brushed the surface of it, only grasped a small portion of all that it could be. Even as the events unfolded, villains attacked, as demons followed them at every step, the whole thing felt muffled out, as if it were happening a thousand miles away.
While the whole gang was supposed to be there, I forgot about them most of the time due to their lack of participation, only getting reminded of them when they threw a remark in a conversation or said something. Even Magnus and Alec, the very protagonists of this story felt like they had little screen time. They are supposed to be the main characters of this book, their relationship as an anchor of it all, and yet, I can count their scenes together with the fingers of a single hand. After I finished Red Scrolls Of Magic, I was so excited to get all this Malec content given how in this book they would be more stable as a couple and not in the eve of their break up but ultimately, I was wrong. I feel that I missed the Malec scenes in this book.
However, there are things that I do highlight about this book.
First of all, RAGNOR FELL what a great character, we were (finally) given explanations that we were owed a long time ago already, especially one that I have been waiting for since the end of City Of Heavenly Fire (yes, you know the one 🧛♂️). Then, it was pretty fun to visit the Chinese culture and how it impacts in the Shadow world. Once again, we get to see Cassandra Clare’s exceptional world-building that only knows to become more complex at every turn. This and with Wesley Chu, it can be clearly seen that both of them did their research before writing this book, they didn’t just throw some pretty Chinese names and left it there. They actually appealed to old stories and fables, myths, religion, customs… it really did feel like a trip to China.
I also wanted to remark just how utterly hilarious this book is, I had nearly forgotten how sassy Magnus could be (his boyfriend not getting far behind though) even the villains managed to make me laugh out loud, Shinyun was so ridiculous that most of the times, I couldn’t help myself.
Even though this book was not what I expected it to be, I cannot cease to be amazed at the magnificence of these two characters and how beautiful both of their arcs are. Alec Lightwood, a real force to be reckoned with. It amazes me to see how much he´s grown from that shy and quiet eighteen-year-old who didn´t know his place in the world to this proud leader and parent, a fighter who´s no longer afraid of showing who he really is. And then, I think that I have never read a character with a heart as big and kind as Magnus Bane’s. He is truly the bravest of us all, even after everything he´s been through, even after everything he´s lost, he still dares to bet on love with such compassion that only a few bear.
“So far, life seems to me to be a matter of choosing love, over and over, even knowing that it makes you vulnerable, that it might hurt you later. (…) You choose to love or you choose to live in an empty world with no one there but you.”
–Magnus Bane, in Lost Book of The White
I simply can´t wait for The Black Volume Of The Dead, the next and final book in this trilogy.
I think that is all I have for you today but, if you are interested in my rants, you can follow me on Goodreads, Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram, where I like to get a little goofier. And if you are interested in more Shadowhunter related stuff or other reviews, stay tuned with the blog!
And remember, even if sometimes feels like it, you´re not alone, there´s always something rooting for you. But if you feel that no one out there is, I would happily be that person, here´s my email if you ever need someone to talk to, I will respond. firstname.lastname@example.org