The Iron Trial and The Copper Gauntlet (Magisterium 1 & 2) by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare

20 Oct

51k9ftuidnl-_sy344_bo1204203200_ The Iron Trial

In a great middle grade modern fantasy adventure, Callum Hunt has been warned all his life of the dangers of the Magisterium and witches and wizards–despite the fact that he is one, as is his father. Callum is required to compete in the Iron Trial for the privilege of being accepted into the Magisterium, an underground school for mages. Stubborn and reckless, he attempts to fail his exam and does so spectacularly. It comes as a great surprise when the well-respected Master Rufus takes him on as a student, along with Tamara, a smart girl with a rich family who expects her to excel, and Aaron, a gifted orphan with a hidden power. Callum, who has a physical deformity, has never had friends before, and he has never felt accepted anywhere. Now, at the Magisterium, a place he expected to hate, he…actually likes? He even has stowed away a chaos wolf puppy, an animal anyone else would have killed. But everything isn’t all roses and rainbows. Callum has trouble controlling his magic, he discovers his father wants his magic taken away, and always lands into a mess of trouble when he doesn’t follow the rules. Together, Tamara, Aaron and Callum must work on their magic, become a team, and then maybe Callum might survive the year at the Magisterium.

*spoilers below*

91amJrnICGL The Copper Gauntlet

Note: I obtained this book as a free Advanced Reader’s Copy. Some details may be changed in the final version.

In this sequel, Callum had just learned of his supposed true identity; that he was actually supposed to be reborn as the Enemy of Death. Callum doesn’t know what to do with the knowledge. He is home for the summer, and his father is acting weirder than usual. One day he comes home to find his wolf, Havoc, missing. After searching frantically, he finds him chained in the basement with notes about ripping the heart from a chaos creature on his father’s desk and manacles on the wall. Call begins to suspect his father knows of his secret and is trying to kill him and Havoc. He runs away to his friend Tamara’s house, only to discover that Aaron has been living with her for the summer, having been previously outed as a Makar, the only known controller of chaos magic since the Enemy. When they return to the Magisterium, Callum really begins to feel the weight of his secret. If anyone finds out at the Magisterium, they will kill him immediately! When he learns that someone has stolen the Copper Gauntlet, a magical artifact known to control or harm Makars, he believes his father is behind it and manages to talk Tamara and Aaron into helping him track him down, knowing his father will be killed by the other mages if they find him first. In the process, his nemesis Jasper gets in the way and is forced along too. Their party of five embarks on a journey to save Call’s father, but as they get closer to their goal, the stakes rise until Call must choose between life or perhaps his own death…

This is a total Harry Potter read-a-like, but it carries its own unique charm, particularly for middle grade readers. Endless similarities could be drawn, and even some flavor of Clare’s other Shadowhunter world can be found here, but let’s not waste time on that. Callum himself is quirky and not much of a “Chosen One” like his friend Aaron. This is a fun, easy, clean read which twists expectations and will satisfy a few reluctant readers or those just introducing themselves into teen books. It’s also engaging, and rushes headlong into adventure. Older readers may find themselves less interested with the gamut of fantasy tropes (or stereotypes) and the younger characters. Still, it could be a lesser version of Harry Potter for a new generation…novembre-2014-anteprima-magisterium-di-cassan-L-bvHoDF

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Posted by on October 20, 2015 in Fantasy, Young Adult/Teen


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