The Iron Trial (Magisterium #1)

The Iron Trial (Magisterium #1)
Publisher
Age Range
8+
Release Date
September 09, 2014
ISBN
9780857532503
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From NEW YORK TIMES bestselling authors Holly Black and Cassandra Clare comes a riveting new series that defies what you think you know about the world of magic. From two bestselling superstars, a dazzling and magical middle-grade collaboration centering on the students of the Magisterium, an academy for those with a propensity toward magic. In this first book, a new student comes to the Magisterium against his will -- is it because he is destined to be a powerful magician, or is the truth more twisted than that? It's a journey that will thrill you, surprise you, and make you wonder about the clear-cut distinction usually made between good and evil.

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Great New Magic School
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The Iron Trial is about a magic school called the Magisterium where gifted children learn to control their magic. The focus is on Call who’s father always warned him against the mages saying that they are dangerous and not to be trusted. But when Call comes of age he must partake in The Iron Trial, an exam undertaken by all children who may have magic, to determine if they need to go to the Magisterium. This is a great book with lots of magic, mystery and friendship. I like this book better than say the Harry Potter books because I found them to be a little slow. (Note: I had seen the movies first)

Callum Hunt has a deformed leg which he has had since he was a baby so he struggles to do physical movements like trying to keep up with his peers. I found it exciting that the main character had a physical disability like this. It helps to understand what everyday life is like for someone with a disability like this. Though Call struggles he doesn’t let this get the better of him, he tries his hardest at everything and doesn’t just give up and wallow constantly about how hard things are for. Call has learnt how to do things differently and what he can and cannot physically do, though like any young boy he likes to push his limits. There is a mystery about Call’s past which becomes revealed at the end of the book and it was not one I was expecting which was a great change. The twist was excellent!

Call has never had any friends because his peers think he's a freak due to his deformity but finally, he makes friends with Tamara and Aaron at the Magisterium. The three are all apprentices for Master Rufus and live in the same dormitory. These three became fast friends though this is difficult for Call who is unsure if they are real friends at first but soon he realises that they genuinely care about him.

The magic in this book is interesting in the fact that everyone can use earth, air, fire and water and are not limited to just one. However, there is a fifth element, chaos, that very few can use. There are also elementals, magical creatures who are often tied to one element. These are exciting as some of them are created by mages that were consumed by an element.

This is a great book and I can’t wait to read the next one in the series! I really enjoyed the characters and the magic of the world as well as the exciting twists and turns.

*Note: I suffer from a physical disability so could really relate to Call and loved reading about someone in a similar situation who doesn’t let it get the better of him.
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The ending is worth it.
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Move over Harry and Percy, Callum is in the house!

This series is going to be the next big thing. I guarantee it. How could it not with Holly Block and Cassandra Clare as the authors?

I'm almost scared to admit that I almost gave up on this one. Eek. I know. I came so close to putting it aside, but I'm glad I did not. If you feel like this one starts slow, you're not alone. But don't give up. The ending is worth it all.

I can't say much without giving away everything, but the setting of this book is awesome. Okay, I'm a bit biased since I know where the setting gets its inspiration from. I visited the Luray Caverns last summer. So when I read that the Magisterium is in Luray, VA I knew what I was reading! I was able to visualize everything, which sold me on this book. The Luray Caverns are spectacular; they fit perfectly with the mystery and vastness of the Magisterium. (Go ahead and look it up. You'll want a visual.)

For a middle grades book, The Iron Trial is packing a serious punch on the deep themes. Callum has issues. He's not hero material. He's weak, disfigured, and not at all what you would imagine a hero should be. He doesn't even think he's a hero. In fact, he has some major baggage to sort through. This book is certainly setting the stage for a kick butt series that is going to poke around at the meaning of nature vs nurture.

I will definitely be on the look out for book 2!
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