The Iron Trial
Author: Holly Black & Cassandra Clare
Series: Magisterium #1
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy
Release Date: September 9, 2014
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Danger and magic.
Death and life.
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.
First Sentence: From a distance, the man struggling up the white face of the glacier might have looked like an ant crawling slowly up he side of a dinner plate.
I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for a honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.
I was probably one of the very few people who wasn’t interested in reading The Iron Trial. The single Holly Black book I’ve read, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, didn’t impress me much and I’m also not a fan of any of Cassandra Clare’s works. The only reason why I picked up The Iron Trial the first place was because my friend Jon from Scott Reads It was beyond excited for the book and managed to spread his excitement for the book to me (thanks Jon). Although I didn’t expect much from the book, I read The Iron Trial anyways.
The boy looked up at him with wide gray eyes and opened his mouth to scream again. As the blanket fell aside, Alastair could see why. The baby’s left leg hung at a terrible angle, like a snapped tree branch. (ARC 4)
The beginning of The Iron Trial was easy and fun to read. It grabbed my attention immediately and kept me interested in the characters. I wanted to learn more about Callum’s life and see how he planned on failing the Iron trial. However, after Callum got accepted into the Magisterium, the pacing of the book started slowing down drastically and became somewhat boring. Things did eventually pick up a bit, but it didn’t have that strong pull that the beginning of the book had.
One problem I had with The Iron Trial was that it was extremely predictable. Right from the very beginning, I predicted every single big twist in the book, even that big twist at the end. There was only one minor plot twist I didn’t see coming in The Iron Trial. However, I would have predicted that minor twist too if I had studied the cover more closely and thought what the authors hinted about in their letter on the cover of the ARC (that’s a hint to you guys).
“I’ll go,” he told his father, turning toward him. “Don’t worry. I don’t know what I’m doing. I’ll get kicked out. They won’t want me for long and then I’ll come home and everything will be the same-” (ARC 44)
There are many diverse characters in The Iron Trial as you can see from the cover (the girl on the cover has caramel skin according to the book). Besides the people on the cover of The Iron Trial, there is also one more diverse character in The Iron Trial from what I can remember. There’s a guy who kind of plays an important role in the book; he is described as being half Asian, half white ethnicity.
Even though I haven’t read Harry Potter (stop with your judgmental stares please – I promise I will read Harry Potter someday!), I did recognize the parallels The Iron Trial had with Harry Potter from the things I’ve heard about Harry Potter. Like Harry Potter, The Iron Trial has magic, there are three twelve year old kids who form a group and are the main characters (at least they don’t share the same personalities as the three main characters in Harry Potter, I think, since again, I haven’t read Harry Potter yet), the narrator was injured by the enemy when he was a baby, instead of belonging to different houses the kids are trained under different masters, and there’s a guy that obviously plays the Draco role. I’m quite sure that there are a lot more Harry Potter parallels that I didn’t recognize since I haven’t read Harry Potter yet and from the things I’ve heard from other people who had read The Iron Trial.
If Lucretia is an earth mage who has crossed three of the gates, how many people can she poison with the deadly nightshade before she is caught and beheaded? (ARC 23)
Overall, I’m really conflicted with how to rate The Iron Trial. In a way, I did enjoy reading The Iron Trial, but I also had my own problems with it. I don’t think I’ll be reading the sequel because I’m not interested in seeing what will end up happening next.