The Iron Trial by Holly Black & Cassandra Clare

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Title: The Iron Trial (Magisterium #1)
Author: Holly Black & Cassandra Clare
Release Date: September 9, 2014
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pages: 304
Source: ARC provided by publisher

Overall: 4 Stars

Summary:
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. 
My Thoughts: 
The Iron Trial is an imaginative introduction to the Magisterium series that promises to only become better and better with time. There is much mystery surrounding the Magisterium, a school for young mages to learn and control their elemental magic. It's both a wondrous and dangerous place, connected to a world that Callum Hunt's father has taught him to fear since he was a child. But after failing to fail the Iron Trial, a test which determines if a mage will be accepted to the Magisterium, Call learns that his father has withheld information from him all his life and now he wants those missing answers.

What I really like about Callum is that he doesn't really meet the conventions of a hero at first. He's a twelve-year-old boy who's wary to get close to others, often readily using sarcastic comebacks as a defense to protect himself. The pronounced limp when he walks has not only limited him physically, but has also, for years, made him a target for bullies to pick on. That's why, despite his father's warnings, Call is secretly happy to attend the Magisterium once he gets past his initial fears. The school offers Call a chance to reinvent himself and find acceptance with other misfits like him.

Joining Call under the training of Master Rufus are Tamara and Aaron, whom both come from very different backgrounds. Aaron is a kind and friendly boy, happy to be learning magic instead of being tossed around foster care homes, while Tamara feels pressured to succeed because of her overachieving family. Together, they form an unlikely friendship that soon strengthens as they face challenges set by the Masters of the school. While their little adventures are often fun and thrilling, the feared presence of the Enemy of Death threatens the safety of all the mages and casts a heavy shadow over the school, hinting at much more seriousness to come in the future.

Reading Holly Black and Cassandra Clare's The Iron Trial is a truly magical experience! I cannot wait to see what adventures are in store next for Callum and his friends in The Copper Gauntlet. While the groundwork has definitely been laid out in The Iron Trial, I'm sure the best is still yet to come in the Magisterium series.

Thanks so much to Scholastic Canada for providing this review copy!

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