The Iron Trial [Magisterium #1]
by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
Format: Hardback / Paperback / E-book
Nr of Pages: 400
Publisher: Random House Children’s Publishers
Most people would do anything to get into the Magisterium and pass the Iron Trial.
Not Callum Hunt.
Call has been told his whole life that he should never trust a magician. And so he tries his best to do his worst – but fails at failing.
Now he must enter the Magisterium.
It's a place that's both sensational and sinister. And Call realizes it has dark ties to his past and a twisty path to his future.
The Iron Trial is just the beginning. Call’s biggest test is still to come . . .
(You can read a small preview on the Waterstones website here.)
MINOR SPOILERS ahead!
They are crossed over.
MINOR SPOILERS ahead!
I have to admit that I was worried about how this book would be planed out. I love Holly Black’s writing, her plots and character development. I also love how conflicted she tends to create her characters and how you can sense the humanity in them even when they are at their worst. As for Cassandra Clare I did enjoy the first three books on The Mortal Instruments series but when I tried the first book of The Infernal Devices I didn’t enjoyed it as much as the characters didn’t seem very different from the ones in the previous books.
So what I really hoped to find in this book was Clare’s imagination regarding myths and world building and Black’s characters so I could have more or less the best of both worlds. Magisterium: The Iron Trial is the first volume on a saga of Children’s Fiction/Young Adult books that will follow Callum’s journey through his magical school and lead him to his fate
which is quite unsentelling. The first book has a strong focus on the young in Young Adult since the main characters are all twelve but is also full of adventure and diversity.
I like that Clare and Black have created a diverse main cast where among the three main characters we have a POC and a character with a disability (Callum’s leg was broken when he was a baby and he has had several operations meaning he can’t run or walk properly), I would also like to note that although Callum is the main character he is not the one in front of the cover which I found interesting.
Most people tend to compare all magical school books to Harry Potter which I don’t agree with, I believe books can stand on their own and The Iron Trial is no doubt a book that stands on its own even though it is about a young boy in a magical school with a shady past and unforeseeable future.
I enjoyed reading about the Magesterium and how this magical school operated, I found the admission tests quite interesting, specially the written one that sounded like a math test.The story also tacks bullying and making real friends who can see beyond what you are capable of doing and treat you normally. It tackles being a hero and and anti-hero and how you can be nice even if you are a jerk which I found quite reinvigorating.
You can read it in full at the end of the book and it's a blast! I liked how it operated more like a sort of cooperative than a boarding school. As the teachers are always changing and each one has a different way of teaching their apprentices.
The story is easy to read and follow and I read half the book in a day which shows how interested I was in following Callum’s adventures. I would recommend this book for young readers or people who like me enjoy Children’s fiction. I imagine that like in the Harry Potter and Percy Jackson books as the series goes on it will became more mature and aboard more complex and maybe darker themes but for now it’s a good adventure book for young readers.