by Holly Black
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& Cassandra Clare
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Publication Date: September 9th 2014
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Genre: Middle Grade | Fantasy
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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. (Goodreads)
Once a year, a few chosen children with magical abilities receive an invitation to participate in a special test called The Iron Trial. All of the children that participate in the trial want nothing more than to pass, and gain admittance into the Magisterium, a school of magic. All expect for Cullen Hunt, who has been told all his life by his father to stay far, far away from magic. But even though he purposely fails all of his tests at the trial, he still manages to gain admittance into the Magisterium, and once he is there, he begins to question everything he’s ever been told about magic.
The three main characters in the story, Callum, Tamara and Aaron, are all really well written characters. I found Call to be the most relatable character, as he was snarky and sarcastic most of the time, and I really love that in a character. I enjoyed following the journey with these three characters and watching them grow and mature throughout the book. Also, they were all pretty funny. I laughed so many times while reading this book, and I absolutely adore books that make me laugh.
I really liked how creative the storyline was for this book. I was worried that it would have the same feel as the Harry Potter books, but I didn’t really get that feeling at all as I read the book. I also liked that while the book was a fantasy, it still dealt with issues that kids deal with today; with bullying being a big part of the storyline. It definitely makes the book more relatable. Also, the world-building for the novel was awesome. I loved the world that Clare and Black created! At only 304 pages, this book made for a really quick read. Besides that, the storyline was so engaging that it kept me hooked as I turned the pages.
Overall; The Iron Trial is a wonderful beginning to what should be a spectacular series. I really did not expect to like this book as much as I did. It was a really great read. I’m really looking forward to reading the rest of the books in this series in the future!