This is one that Lisa read a while ago that I’d been meaning to read ever since. She described it kind of like Harry Potter but the only thing similar is “magic school” and even that starts to get a bit frayed only a short way in.
Title: The Iron Trial
Series: Magisterium; Book 1
Author: Holly Black & Cassandra Clare
ROTS Setting: EU, Modern, Higher Magic, School
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 . . .
Recommendation: I would recommended this book for teens.
My favorite parts of the book were the magic and the political climate (aka the main plot of the series). The magic being abstract but not mysterious and with affinity and skill being the main limiting factors. The dynamics of the elements and the implementation in the larger world was very nice too.
As for the main plot of the book I’m not saying anything because it’s basically the whole plot of this book. Maybe in the next one I can comment more. I will say the book certainly takes it’s time getting to it so if you start I would suggest at least finishing the book because there are HUGE revelations by the end…….I’m satisfied with what I know at the end.
The main character is Callum Hunt. I found him a bit boring in the middle part of the book because he’s already shown much of his character by that point and we don’t get anything new until the end. The best thing about him is his relationships and interactions with the other characters. There are some good lessons learned about trust and honesty and friendship that are top notch. Seeing where his trio goes will be a highlight of the series…….or so I hope.
There were some minor plot holes…..ok, major plot holes but for the age group I’ve seen much worse and for the story I can see why certain things were done.
In summary it’s a good book and a great start to a series I’ll be interested to read more of. I think it’s perfect for the target age, 12-14 yrs old, and for the whimsically minded older audience.