The Great Reading Challenge : The iron trial student review

  • Title: The iron trial
  • Author: Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Series: Book One of The Magisterium series
  • Available in library?: Yes.

Category – The 1st book in a series that I’ve never read before – The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare reviewed by Jayden Bardrick.

Sometimes heroes aren’t born, they’re reluctantly forced into the role. This is Harry Potter retold, with a new name, a new cover, and a new symbol. Same unlikely protagonist, two best friends, an annoying ‘rival’ at the magic school, a teacher who just doesn’t like him, and an uncanny connection to the antagonist. Alongside the most telling feature, surviving an attack from the enemy as a baby. Call is an ordinary boy, unpopular, bullied and just plain ‘unspecial’. And he can use magic. He is raised knowing and hating magic, as his father blames magic for his mother’s death. He aims to fail the introductory test, to not get to the Magisterium (the school of magic). Despite his best efforts, he is chosen. By the most senior master, alongside the top 2 ranking students. Plot spoilers end here. Despite the obvious likeness to Harry Potter, from the protagonist to the adventures, the book feels quite creative and exploratory. There is quite a lot of character development which is deep and laid out in an exquisite way, and even the school bully seems to actually develop over time – something Draco Malfoy could never do. Don’t even start on the plot twists, though. From the very start, you assume events and then encounter the opposite. It’s very surprising, but in a pleasant way. The background for the story is laid out over time, revealing secrets intertwined with the plot, keeping the truth a mystery until the very end.

The only criticism I have, other than the fact that it is obviously a Harry Potter knock-off, is that after the end, there doesn’t seem to be anything to lead the plot into its sequel. 4/5 stars  ⭐⭐⭐⭐

If you would like to know more about this series check out Holly Black’s Magisterium webpage

Thank you 

Library Team


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