Magisterium – Books 2-5 – By Holly Black & Cassandra Clare

Most of these quick reviews were written two years ago and never got published. Instead of posting them individually I’ve combined them and then added my thoughts about what I can remember about the last book. This doesn’t mean I’m back, just doing some house cleaning.

Book 2: The Copper Gauntlet

Honestly, I didn’t enjoy this one except for the very end. This is mostly because I was expecting something more along the lines of the first book but this one is WAY more emo. Call, his dad, his friends, everyone. We also get very little Magisterium considering that’s the series name. There’s a ton of time before they arrive at school, are at school for maybe two weeks, and then the main plot hits and they’re gone.

Not enough magic and too much emotion.

I’m also concerned with the addition of Jasper to the group. It already felt a little character heavy so adding a fourth could really unbalance things.

In summary, it was meh for 90% and it was only at the end 10% that I really enjoyed myself.

Book 3: The Bronze Key

Much better than the last one.

This felt way more Magisterium-y than the second book. First, we get more of the actual Magisterium.  Second, it’s paced better. The plot is a bit simpler, drawing more on previous events, which works better with the short length of the books. Third, it was a team effort when the second book was a little too tightly focused on Call needing to do everything.

My problem is with the ending. It’s too dramatic and the cliffhanger is just too steep to see what’s at the bottom or what might be on the other side. There are some huge risks being taken and it could go really wrong all too easily. But we’ll see. This is the middle book so there’s still plenty of rope for the series to hang itself or pull off a daring rescue.

In summary I liked this book almost as much as the first but I’m still left a bit listless about how/why this book is about a school when very little schooling actually happens. This would work better set as a “summer school” or “summer camp” sort of thing but whatever. On to the next book.

Book 4: The Silver Mask

Ummmm….. Why is there another book? This should have been the end….. This was a REALLY GOOD end…… I….I don’t understand!

I really didn’t like how this book started but since it wasn’t horribly written I kept going. Then the romantic subplot hit and I rolled my eyes so hard they got stuck for a second and was wondering if Lisa was going to find me slumped in a chair looking like I was having some kind of seizure. But again, it wasn’t horribly written even if it was a massive cliche wrapped in a trope…….So I kept reading. And BAM! The most epic well rounded perfectly setup satisfying ending to the series I could have hoped for. The only problem? There’s a whole ‘nother book literally coming out in a couple of days.

So what do I do? Should I accept this wonderful ambrosia that the literary gods have placed before me as the final book in the series? Or do I condescend to the evil twisted vile gotta-have-one-more-book money-grabbing cretins and read the “fifth” book? I’m honestly getting some post-seventh book HP vibes and I really don’t want to soil my brain again.

Then again, I can be a bit of a bookish-masochist and if my pain can prevent others from that same fate then it would be worth it. So I’ll get around to the new book eventually (since I ain’t buyin’ it) and will let you know how much of dumpster fire it may or may not be.

Anyway, it’s a good book and I was extremely satisfied with how it all worked out. Call developed in all the right ways and struggled as a real person would. Even though I didn’t like how it started or initially went there wasn’t any reason not to keep going and it paid off. It was a perfect ending to the series…..Ya, I don’t get it either. Every instinct and every bit of book knowledge I possess screams that this is the end, but the epilogue and the metals in the title and the number of years at the Magisterium and the book coming out in mere days all say it’s not.

So somebody done messed up…… big time.

Book 5: The Golden Tower

And I was right.

This is being written years after the fact, so details are going to be off. However, I do remember how out of place it all felt when considered with the rest of the series. As a standalone alternate ending it wasn’t bad. In fact it’s a pretty good book. But this is the end to a series and it just felt superfluous. It did nothing for the characters that hadn’t already been done. If anything if felt like….. like…… Rogue One. A decent story that wasn’t really needed but someone wanted to “fix” things and they could make some extra money.

Anyway, this review is years late but I’m never going back to reread it so this is what you get.


Magisterium – Books 2-5 – By Holly Black & Cassandra Clare

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