The Iron Trial

Holly Black and Cassandra Clare. Scholastic Press, $17.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-545-52225-0
Set in a magic-inflected version of the present-day U.S., this first title in the Magisterium series combines the talents of Black (Doll Bones) and Clare (the Mortal Instruments series) in a thrilling coming-of-age story that embraces fantasy tropes while keeping readers guessing. Twelve-year-old Callum Hunt has been raised to distrust magic. Mages killed his mother, and his father has warned him that the Magisterium, a school where young mages are trained, is a deathtrap. Callum’s attempts to fail the entrance exam go awry, and he is chosen to apprentice under Master Rufus, along with fellow students Aaron and Tamara. As Callum, Tamara, Aaron, and their classmates embark on their first of five years of schooling, Callum realizes how little he knows of his own heritage. The strange, subterranean Magisterium is vividly rendered, and a string of ominous revelations will leave readers eager for future installments. Fans of both authors will enjoy getting to know this well-rounded cast in the first steps of their adventure. Ages 8–12. Agent: (for Black) Barry Goldblatt, Barry Goldblatt Literary; (for Clare) Russell Galen, Scovil Galen Ghosh Literary Agency. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/21/2014
Release date: 09/09/2014
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