The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare

Magisterium #1. Scholastic Press (Sept. 2014) Library
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 . . .

"Fire wants to burn
Water wants to flow
Air wants to rise
Earth wants to bind
Chaos wants to devour"

I've been consuming Holly Black books lately so when I saw the Iron Trial, I couldn't believe it escaped my notice. I instantly got into the story when a major plot twist revealed itself already. I really liked Call was a prankster and had a good heart from the very beginning. He also has a lame leg which holds him back sometimes and other times strengthen his resolve. His father has always warned him about how evil the Magisterium was because magic had killed his mother. He's about to find out what the Magisterium is really about with his own eyes very soon as the book starts.

There are so many obvious connections to Harry Potter. It felt reminiscent of Harry Potter so much it was pretty baffling. For me, I wasn't completely turned off, but other reviewers have mentioned that it's not that original. I agree to some degree and to another degree I don't. Once I got past the similarities I got to enjoy the plot and characters. You see more of Call because he is narrating the story. Call was a bit of a lost soul. He doesn't know what to believe when he gets to the Magisterium. His emotions are between excitement and dread at times. 

"Remember what your father said about magic, boy. It'll cost you everything."

The Magisterium is kind of shady if you ask me. The way kids are recruited is kind of like kidnapping which is not cool. There's unrest in general because our villain is stirring so that contributes to the eye raising things that happen. 

The powers all have to do with elements - air, water, fire, and air. There's also chaos, but no one really has that power. I'm really excited about how the main characters, Call, Aaron, and Tamara develop their powers. The Iron Trial hints at all they can do in the future and I want more of that than anything else. Well.... other than the continuation of that crazy ending.  THAT ENDING. It made me pretty much want to instantly read the second book. It's a good one.

What are your favorite books with magic?


  1. I have heard this was similar to Harry Potter, but I guess it's hard NOT to be if you're writing about a school for magic. haha Glad you liked this one.

  2. Besides Harry Potter my favorite books with magic has to be The Burning Sky! I'm not sure I will be reading The Iron Trial any time soon but I do love that cover!

  3. My favorite book with magic is HP. For sure- love the series. I haven't read this book, but I have seen it around. I wouldn't have guessed from the cover that it has so many similarities to HP. I am definitely curious about it and it sounds like a good read. I will have to check it out. Thanks for sharing. :)

    1. This would be a perfect read for you as long as the similarities don't hold on to your mind too much. It has it's differences too and is a great read.


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