This is book TWO of the Magisterium series.
This review will contain spoilers for book ONE.
To see my review of The Iron Trial (Magisterium #1), click HERE.
The Copper Gauntlet (Magisterium #2) by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Goodreads link: (click here)
What's it about?
Callum Hunt and his friends Tamara and Aaron have just completed their first year at The Magisterium, a school for magic. Call never wanted to go in the first place, but now it seems like home to him, especially since he found out some very surprising secrets about himself and his classmates. He went in hoping to flunk out, but now that he knows he's quite possibly an Evil Overlord and his best friend is destined to destroy him, well, things are a bit more complicated. He needs to get to the bottom of everything and prove to others, as well as himself, that he's not a bad guy. Easier said than done when his pet is a Chaos-ridden wolf named Havoc, he has to keep his secret from those closest to him and the one person who knows the truth, his own father, wants him dead. It kind of takes the fun out of Summer vacation when you're always afraid for life. He never thought he'd want to get back to The Magisterium, but it may be the only safe place for him.
Upon his return, Call discovers that a powerful copper gauntlet called The Alkahest has been stolen. The Alkahest has the ability to separate magicians from their magic, and in the wrong hands, it could spell disaster for the good guys and possible victory for the Enemy. Unfortunately, Call has a feeling he knows who took it, and it's someone who wants to use it on him. So, Call, Tamara, Havoc and an unwitting kidnapee escape the Magisterium and try to retrieve The Alkahest themselves. They have no idea the danger they are in or the monsters they will face as they close in on the dangerous truth about who's after them and what's really going on.
I am definitely enjoying this series! It is a magical adventure for all ages. It's technically a Middle Grade series, but if you like Harry Potter, Percy Jackson or anything like them, you should really pick it up. It's a lot of fun and it's full of surprises, plus, Holly Black and Cassandra Clare's writing is wonderful and does not talk down to it's readers. They use big words and assume that you're smart, which I love. Even if this is a younger person reading it, there's nothing dumbed down about it, they want you to think and maybe even learn something. There are great messages about friendship, sacrifice and acceptance throughout the books/series as well.
I'm now going to assume that if you read this far, you've already read at least book one, since there were spoilers for it in the above synopsis (but no spoilers for book two).
I already talked about how much I loved Holly and Cassie's writing, but I want to talk about their really great concept for this series. They took a familiar idea, a boy in a magic school, and gave it a unique twist and a new life. Nothing is what you expect it to be. The way they use magic in these books is also very cool. They use the elements and depend on each other to balance and ground one another.
As for the Copper Gauntlet, itself, well, it was more action packed than The Iron Trial. It started out pretty dark and got into the action much faster since they already learned about their powers, it was time for them to use them on an unauthorized road trip/mission that nearly kills them all. They face dangerous enemies and learn more about themselves and what they are actually fighting for along the way. The only thing I did miss while reading The Copper Gauntlet was the actual magic school part. I would have liked to see them there more and be able to explore that world further. They finished their first year in book one, but book two barely started their second year, it seems. If only the book could have been longer! I do assume that the next book will focus a bit more on the Magisteruim and their lessons because of how it ended. I just don't want to wait to read it. I'd like it now. If I had magic powers I'd conjure it up, for sure.