Adventure · Children · Fantasy · Middle-Grade · YA

The Iron Trial (Magisterium #1) by Holly Black & Cassandra Clare

Absolutely loved it! Between Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, the first book from the Magisterium series shows a lot of promise and definitely has the material to go far!

What is the story about? Callum Hunt, a 12 year old kid, was born with magic but has always been told by his father that he should never use it. His father tells him that magic is dangerous, that older mages use younger mages for their own sinister purposes and that they will manipulate him. When the time comes for Callum to take his entry test, the Iron Trial at the Magisterium, things don’t go as expected. Instead of not using magic, Callum produces very powerful uncontrolled magic that leaves an impression. When he’s chosen to be an apprentice, he doesn’t know how much his life will change. Living in deep underground caves and tunes, separated from his father, Callum will learn the truth about magic and most importantly, himself.

I highly enjoyed this book in full. Really liked the system of magic and the Magisterium, the Iron Trial and the tasks and the magic teaching system. Very creative and refreshing!
I fell in love with the characters. Callum is a victim of bullying in the “human” world because of a serious leg injury that leaves him limping, probably for the rest of his life. On the contrary of what we read in the Harry Potter saga, Callum doesn’t want to be a mage, he doesn’t want to be an apprentice in the Magisterium. But he fails at failing, completely. He doesn’t trust people and always expects the worse from them but, at the same time, he’s courageous and is eager to prove that his leg doesn’t define him and that he can actually be good at something.
The supporting characters are also very good. Tamara and Aaron really bring some fun and spice to Callum’s life along with Jasper that becomes his rival from day 1.

I don’t have enough words to recommend this book. It’s highly addictive, impossible to put down, packed with adventures, action and magic. A must-read!

5 Stars

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