Tuesday 28 October 2014

The Iron Trial by Holly Black, Cassandra Clare (Magisterium #1)

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publication Date: September 9th 2014
POV: Male - Third-person, Past tense
My Rating: 3 out of 5


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...


After all the negative reviews I have read, and all the claims that this is a Harry Potter rip-off, I was expecting it to be a lot worse than it was. Really, the only comparisons to Harry Potter that I saw were the basic setup of the story. The fact that it takes place in a magic school, featuring a young boy whose best friends are a boy and a girl. But the Magisterium is absolutely nothing like Hogwarts; the mages are nothing like the wizards of the Potterverse; Callum, Aaron, and Tamara are absolutely nothing like Harry, Ron, and Hermione. The Enemy of the Magisterium may have been corrupted by his desire to defeat death, like Voldemort, but really, what else is going to turn someone with magic to evil? It was the same desire that turned Darth Vader to the dark side. Did JK Rowling rip-off George Lucas? I don't think so. I actually see much more of a basis for comparison between the Harry Potter series and The Mortal Instruments.

As of now, Callum is far from the hero that Harry was. He is actually extremely cynical for a 12 year old. He seems to think the whole world is out to get him. He was a bit annoying and there really wasn't much that was special about Aaron or Tamara either. Although they are better together, and having people actually care about him for the first time in his life, not counting his father, seems to be making Call less bitter. He seems to have the potential to be a better person, and proved that when he risked his life to save Aaron. But how will the revelation that he learned at the end affect him?

I really did not see that revelation coming and it definitely changes things. It changes the direction of the whole story and tells us that things are not as simple as we first thought. Call is not who we thought he was. Is he even the hero of this story, or is it Aaron? It brings into focus a lot of things that a 12 year old shouldn't have to think about, and that is the main reason why, for the time being, I will be continuing with this series. I am very interesting in where this will take us.

Although, I have to admit, I did a good deal of skimming. The characters are pretty flat, the writing is not engaging, and it was overall pretty boring. But the story was original enough to keep me interested and wanting to know what happens next.

“They all yelled in excitement. Tamara yelled because she was happy. Aaron yelled because he liked it when other people were happy, and Call yelled because he was sure they were going to die.”

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