The Iron Trial

The Iron Trial (Magisterium, #1)

Authors: Cassandra Clare and Holly Black
Publication: September 9, 2014
Source: Purchased (at Boston Book Festival)
Summary from Goodreads: 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 . . .

Rating: êêêê

This book had me hooked from the beginning. Any book that starts out with "KILL THE CHILD" carved by a mother is going to be good.

I loved the characters. Each was well developed with their own personality. I love Callum and his inability to hold his tongue. The other Iron Year students were also well written. Tamara and Aaron compliment each other and Callum well. The supporting characters were perfect for their roles in the story: Celia, Warren, Drew, Jasper, Rufus, Alistair and Havoc.

The plot moved at an inconsistent pace. There weer a few parts that dragged but them there were other parts that moved at an excellent pace.

I loved the world building. I felt like I was in the Magisterium and I loved it's uniqueness. The history/background is a bit spotty, but I think that was intentional because Callum is still learning about the history and so it feels as though the reader learns with him. I'm really interested in the bands that show the different years and accomplishments.

I enjoyed the lessons/training. I felt that they served a purpose and that the students were truly learning something practical when it came time to demonstrate and use those skills.

The ending was epic! I thought I knew where things were heading, but there is a fantastic twist that  really has me dying to read future installments.

This book is perfect for it's intended audience: middle grade students! The world is a bit darker than what is typical of middle grade reading, but that it OK, it works. As a teacher, I loved that the vocabulary was a bit higher than what is typical in middle grade books.

I am definitely in it for the long haul with this 5 book series! I am looking forward to the next book in the series.


  1. Great review! I am huge fans of Cassandra Clare and Holly Black so I've been waiting for this for aaagggeeess! I'm getting it for christmas and I can't wait :)

  2. Awesome review Emily! I'm glad you enjoyed it! I don't know if I'll go out of my way to pick this up, but if the rest of the series is just as good then I might try it!

  3. I loved reading your review and I can't wait to get to this book :)

    I have nominated you for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award and you can check out the post here:

    Enjoy your day :)



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