Book Review: The Iron Trial by Cassandra Clare and Holly Black

The Iron Trail
The Magisterium Series
Author: Cassandra Clare, Holly Black
Reading Level: Middle Grade
Genre: Fantasy
Released: September 9th 2014
Review Source: Scholastic Press

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.

The Iron Trial is the new series from Cassandra Clare and Holly Black, and boy am I excited about this series. I’m a major fan of Cassie’s and love her Shadowhunter world so I couldn’t wait to get my grabby hands on this book, which is something different from her. I am ashamed to say that I haven’t read anything from Holly Black, but she is most definitely in my TBR, extremely overflowing pile (why aren’t there more hours in the day!?!).

So we’re introduced to Callum Hunt, your average 12 year old boy, who loved to be a nuisance to adults and was quick witted with his sarcastic remarks. Call lives with his father, Alastair, his mother had died when he was just a baby in a war. And maybe I was not telling the entire truth, Call isn’t just an average boy, he’s a mage, so he has magical power. Right off that bat we know that Alastair is not a fan of magic or the other mages and encourages Call to purposely fail at The Iron Trail. The Iron Trial a test set for young mages to take to hopefully get into the Magisterium, a school for magic.  Call doesn’t have to try hard to fail because he’s doing a pretty great job at it, getting the lowest score out of aspirants, he got a negative score. But that didn’t stop him from getting chosen, and getting chosen by the first senior mage, Master Rufus. This clearly didn’t bode well with Call’s father, some of the other aspirants, and took Call by completely shock. Call was now about learn about a whole new world with Master Rufus, Tamara, and Aaron.

Once everyone arrived to the Magisterium they went their separate ways and began to learn magic. Fire wants burn. Water wants to flow. Earth wants to bind. Chaos wants to devour. The mages pull strength and magic through those, fire, water, earth, and chaos.

With this being the first installment in the Magisterium series there was a lot of back story, a lot of what happened, what could happen, and what they need to do now to stop it. We learned a lot about the back stories of the mages and the past wars they encountered. For me this book was a lot of information that we needed so it kind of went slow for me. The training for the magic took time and patience throughout the book but was greatly rewarded through the test and trial and tribulations the characters went through. Sometimes I think the first book in series tend to go slow because we need to learn about the history and with The Iron Trial it was that,  but man that ending made up for the slow times. I wish I could spoil it for you, well not really, but man it was totally worth it. The ending alone set up for a great series to come. Sometimes you kind of get a feel for what the outcome may be but no way.

So if you’re a fan of either of these ladies pick this up, if you’re a fan of fantasy pick this up, if you want an adventure this series is for you. I can’t wait for the second installment. I can already tell this series is just going to get that much better and twisty.


  1. I really want to read some more middle grade and this sounds like the perfect pick. I will have to pick up my copy of it and read it soon.
    Thanks for the great review!

  2. I've just got my copy and I'm really excied to read it as I love all of Cassandra's woork and I loved The coldest Girl in COld Town by Holly Black so there, that's a good enough reason, don't you think? :P

  3. I'm so glad you liked it! I was starting to feel alone in liking it... :)
    Great review!


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