09 October 2014

Title: The Iron Trial (Magisterium #1)
Author: Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Doubleday Children’s Books, 295 Pages (September 9th 2014)
From: Review copy from a blogger event.
Format: Bound paperback
Add to: Goodreads
Order a copy: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, The Book Depository, Amazon UK

Synopsis: Most kids would do anything to pass the Iron Trial.

Not Callum Hunt. He wants to fail.

All his life, Call has been warned by his father to stay away from magic. If he succeeds at the Iron Trial and is admitted into the Magisterium, he is sure it can only mean bad things for him.

So he tries his best to do his worst – and fails at failing.

Now the Magisterium awaits him. It’s a place that’s both sensational and sinister, with dark ties to his past and a twisty path to his future.

The Iron Trial is just the beginning, for the biggest test is still to come ….

Review: 3.5-4 stars - I have heard various opinions about The Iron Trial. Some good, some bad, a lot of people have been “sitting on the fence” about it. So when I initially started reading it, these thoughts were on my mind.

Callum Hunt has just turned 12, due to a leg injury he has been bullied and never really accepted by his peers.

Callum invited to the Magisterium to take part in a test to see if he has what it takes to become a student under one of the great Masters at the school and further his magical education. Callum’s current magical knowledge is non-existent; apart from the fact he knows he has magic. His Father has always taught him that magic is dangerous- it is what caused his Mother’s death and he should avoid it at all costs. So Callum is determined to fail the test, however things don’t always go to plan.

If left untrained, Callum could cause a problem for the magical community and put lives at risk. When he is asked to stay at the school, Callum is sure that if he doesn’t put in enough effort the school will kick him out.

What unfolds is a story of magic, friendship and the realisation that all things aren’t always what they seem.

It would be difficult not to draw comparisons to Harry Potter due to the age of the characters and the setting. However, it does have its differences.

Without spoilers it’s hard to say much, but Callum’s character is different from Harry in respect of something that is revealed in the book (you must read to find out what!!) and although the Magisterium is a school, it isn’t your typical traditional looking school building, it’s miles of underground tunnels, caves and the occasional river, deep within a mountain.

From two accomplished authors such as Holly Black and Cassandra Clare you can only expect great things.

I was not disappointed in this book. It was an easy to follow read, aimed at Middle grade readers. I’ll say honestly that I didn’t appreciate the full story until I’d finished reading it.

I will say that the series has lots of potential and I look forward to reading the next book.

Recommended if you are a fan of Holly Black or Cassandra Clare and dare I say it J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series.


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Hi, I’m Lisa and I'm a proud bibliophile.

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