Book Review: The Iron Trial (Magisterium #1)

Name: The Iron Trial
Holly Black and Cassandra Claire
Number of Pages:
304 in Hardcover
September 9th 2014
by Scholastic Press
Fantasy, Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Adventure, Supernatural


“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 . . .”


Before reading this, I’ve heard a lot of discussions from fellow bloggers that this is somehow a rip-off of the Harry Potter series. I know it is so damaging to compare. Either with books, movies and the like so I’ve decided I won’t compare it in any way. The mere fact that this is from Black and Clare really convinced me that this is something I would love.

The book didn’t disappoint. The writing is good. An easy read really though there are things that so complicated when you think of it, but eventually getting the points the authors want the readers to enjoy. This is totally not inspired with Harry Potter. Don’t be deceive by the rundown or the book cover perhaps. The world is entirely and amazingly different. As well as the characters, but we’ll discuss that later. The world building is something I haven’t read about. Not this amazing if I may say and not that wizards and witches dwell underground right? The concept of the Magisterium and how it works is really intriguing since this is something new for me and for a magic based book. The plot is equally fascinating that I’ve read this until I can’t stay awake anymore. It all started when Call needs to try out for the Magisterium though his Dad, Alastair, didn’t approve. This is because there has been a lot of death before, including Call’s mother. He doesn’t want his son to have the same fate. Not that Call like it, they don’t have a choice. Since this is called The Iron Trial, not everybody who enters are being accepted. That’s what they’ve planned. For Call to fail the trial. And everything goes downhill from there. Or so I believed. The school is situated underground and a lot of magic stuff is going on. There are Masters which are their teachers, there are monsters and weird creatures lurking, a mysterious villain who’s plotting for everyone’s death, I supposed and there are a lot of secrets to unravel. The twist is not what I’m expecting though the book is almost predictable. I won’t discuss the plot any further since the book is short. I’m afraid I might spill some spoilers and honestly, I’m really wanting more. Let’s move on to the characters..

The POV is with the main character, Callum Hunt. He’s the epitome of that kid in school that’s being bullied all the time. Nobody wants to be friends with him because of his disability. Come on. That’s reality. Have you ever seen those big kids at school friends with someone whose appearance isn’t so like a quarterback? That’s sad, but Call is someone you can’t just push around. He’s a smartass, I may say. He wouldn’t let their words gets under his skin. He fights back and that’s what I love about him. He’s brave and regardless of his disability, he always wants to try to fit in. To be normal and to be treated as equal. I love how his friendship with Tamara and Aaron developed from awkward to BFFs. Of course, this won’t be exciting enough if there wouldn’t be a boy version of Regina George. Jasper has reasons why he’s acting so mean to Call and I eventually understands why he’s being a pain in the ass. The other characters are also remarkable. Like Call’s father reminds me of Hugh Jackman while Master Rufus is Denzel Washington. LOL! There’s so many interesting characters on this book and a whole new world to love. I’m definitely excited for the next book since The Iron Trial ended on a thrilling note.

recommI’m recommending this for those adventure seekers and suckers for magic, but please.. don’t compare this to Harry Potter so you won’t have reasons to not like the book. Think of it as something different other than just another magic school. Comparing it won’t help. Okay? 😀

ratingAside from being short and I was left wanting for more, I find the book predictable all in all. I guess, that’s just a minor downfall, but I’m afraid that’s the reason I won’t give it a five star. Plus I want more magic in action so here’s a four. 😀

4 Stars


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