Monday, August 11, 2014

Review: The Iron Trial (Magisterium #1) by Holly Black & Cassandra Clare

The Iron Trial (Magisterium #1) by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
Release date: September 9th, 2014
Publisher: Doubleday Children's Books
Source: ARC from publisher/eARC from NetGalley
Goodreads link: (click here)

What's it about?

The Magisterium is a secret, underground magic school, and any child who possesses any kind of magical ability at all is welcome to try to attend it. Once these magically incined children turn twelve, they must take an admittance test, The Iron Trial, to prove that their magic is strong enough and that they are able to control it and handle the responsibilty of such power. Everyone wants to get into The Magisteruim, well, everyone except for Callum Hunt. Call's father has always told him that magic is dangerous and evil. He blames The Magisteruim and their magic for the death of Call's Mother when Call was only a baby. He warns Call that magic will lure him in and make him think it's all fun and fantastic, but it's actually terrifying and deadly. He tells him about the horrors that would await him in the underground school and about the wars that magic has caused, claiming so many innocent lives. He instructs Call to do everything he can to fail The Iron Trial, and Call doesn't think this will be hard to do. He's no stranger to screwing things up. All his life he's been causing and getting into trouble, so tanking a magic exam he doesn't think he can pass anyway shouldn't be a problem. Unfortunately, Call even fails at failing and gets himself accepted. He has no choice but to spend at least the next year away from his father, learning to use his magic.

At first, Call is determined to get himself kicked out, but when he starts to feel like he's finally found a place to fit in, he decides to give it a try, even though his father warned him about how dangerous it would be. He is teamed up with Aaron, who seems to be good at eveything, and Tamara, a well meaning overachiever, and together they will learn to wield their powers and navigate this strange and enchanting place. At first, everything is seems fine and peril free, but it doesn't take long for Call to see the dark side of magic. There's a lot he didn't know, and the more he finds out, the closer he gets to finding out the shocking truth about the past and what it means for his and everyone else's future. 

What I Thought

Well played, Holly & Cassie. Well played. At first glance, you may think that this sounds just like Harry Potter, but guess what? You're WRONG! Expect the unexpected with this book. Yes, it will appeal to fans of Harry Potter, Septimus Heap or any books involving magic, but it is definitely not just like any of them. It's a fun, magical story with awesome surprises and plot twists. As much as it's about magic, it's also about friendship, growing up and believing in yourself, no matter who you are or what you think you are capable of. There is magic, there are strange beasties and there is a big-bad-evil Bad Guy. You will definitely be surprised as you read The Iron Trial. It's not at all what you expect it to be. I already can't wait for the next book and I'm also excited because I saw that the movie rights have been acqiured. Fans of Holly Black and Cassandra Clare will definitely want to add this to their tbr pile for September. This is technically a Middle Grade book, but adults should not let that deter them from reading it (I'm an adult and I enjoyed it), but it is also a great book to spark the imagination of younger readers. I recommend it to readers of all ages. 

<3 Michelle

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