From two international powerhouses in the young adult genre, Holly Black and Cassandra Clare, comes The Iron Trial– a gripping, magical adventure with just a hint of mystery (for added flavour). As a huge fan of both authors, I have been dying to get my hot little hands on a copy of this ever since I knew it existed! Waiting for it to be published was a killer, but it was definitely worth it.
The Iron Trial – the first book in the new Magisterium series – follows Callum Hunt, an almost ordinary 12 year old boy, as he faces a crossroads in his life- to be a magician or not?
For reasons I will let you discover for yourself (spoilers!) Callum’s father, a magician himself, despises magic and rarely uses it, warning his son away from it at every opportunity. As a “legacy” however, Callum must still face The Iron Trial to see if he is eligible to enter the Magisterium- a sinister, subterranean place where magicians learn their craft.
Deeply suspicious of magic and anyone who wields it, Callum tries desperately to fail the tests and is shocked to find that he has been chosen to go to the Magisterium as an apprentice to none other than the greatest magician there!
Callum is a surly, reluctant hero, full of snarky teenage bravado, that will -in places- have you giggling like a mad person. Add in a hell-hound creature, almost dying a few times, some new friends, THE Enemy and you have an action-packed adventure that leaves you craving more as soon as you’ve finished. (I filled my craving with Nutella…then read the book again!)
Now you’re probably thinking that this sounds all very Harry Potter-ish, and in some respects you may be right- there is a magic-wielding teenager and a sort-of magic school- but that’s where the similarities end. This book has a much darker, almost creepy, vibe. Think of it as the punk-rocking biker of the magical world and you’ve nailed it.
Read it. You know you want to.