Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Review: The Iron Trial - Holly Black and Cassandra Clare

The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare, published by Doubleday on 11th September 2014

Goodreads synopsis:
Twelve-year-old Callum Hunt has grown up knowing three rules by heart. Never trust a magician. Never pass a test a magician gives you. And never let a magician take you to the Magisterium.

Call is about to break all the rules. And when he does, his life will change in ways he can't possibly imagine.

A double team offering from bestselling authors Cassandra Clare and Holly Black.  I've never read anything by the latter before but I love Cassandra Clare so I was dying to get my hands on this book which sounded brilliant.

It's the first in a new five book series which will follow the main character Call through each year of his life at the Magisterium.  Callum Hunt, or Call as he is known, reluctantly enters the Magisterium against the wishes of his father.  He must learn to hone his magical skills and abilities, even though he has always been told that magic is dangerous and must never be used. 

I loved seeing life at the school.  Everything from the training lessons, to the friendships which are formed between Call, Aaron and Tamera, to the magical foods and challenging tests were a treat to read about.  It was also great to see Call gradually embracing his magical gifts and learning more about his past, as he becomes someone at the Magisterium that the others can begin to rely. 

There is a brilliant twist near the end which was very unexpected but definitely changed some of my opinions about the characters and the direction of the series in an extremely positive way.  I'm excited to see what will happen to Call and his friends next.     

Yes, there are similarities to Harry Potter but so what.  It didn't bother me at all.  This is still a fantastically entertaining and magical read which I really enjoyed and which swept me away for a couple of hours while I became totally immersed in the intrigues of the plot and the struggles of the characters. 

The second book in the series is due for release in 2015 and I for one will be first in the queue to get a copy. 


  1. What age group is the intended audience? High School or Middle School?

    1. I'd say that it's probably intended for a middle-grade audience but would still appeal hugely to slightly older readers.


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