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 . . .From the remarkable imaginations of bestselling authors Holly Black and Cassandra Clare comes a heart-stopping, mind-blowing, pulse-pounding plunge into the magical unknown.


 PJV Quickie: The fact that The Iron Trial: Book One of The Magisterium was written by Cassandra Clare and Holly Black absolutely astounds me. From these authors I would at least expect a good story-telling. From Holly Black at least I would expect an original idea. Her books are so original. But, maybe this was a writing team that shouldn’t have happened, because the Iron Trial just wasn’t what I expected of these two very seasoned writers.

Review: The main gist of my negative feels over this book is the elementariness of the whole affair. From the plot to the characters and then the unoriginal overall idea, the book was just a bore. Been there, done this, I’ve ridden this ride a few times. Just reading the synopsis, the first thing that pops into your head is HARRY POTTER. Three characters, two boys, one girl. Magic School. The similarities are rather obvious, there is even a very Voldemort type antagonist, the mother dying while protecting young Call, the ending, which I won’t say – but was an almost direct rip-off of HP.

Aside from the similarities to Harry Potter, there was also nothing special about the plot, characters or writing. You can look past an unoriginal idea with a good telling. But the characters were two dimensional and stereotypical, the whole book was full of the “tell me” situations, in that passive voice that is so overused in Middle Grade, but highly overused in The Iron Trial.

If you’ve followed this blog for a time or two, you understand that Cassandra Clare is not an author that I usually enjoy. Clare had started out in the Harry Potter fandom niche, writing fanfiction of the popular series by JK Rowling. The fact that she got a favorite author, Holly Black to write this with her, astounds me. Black who is known for her ridiculously original ideas. Girl, why didn’t you stop after awhile and go, “Whoah – are we writing fanfic again, Cassie?” And call an All Stop. Or am I ridiculously naive? The fact that this is published through Scholastic with two great name authors, leads me to believe that they were only in pursuit of the next Harry Potter. Hate to say it though…this ain’t Harry Potter.