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Iron Trial Review

Iron Trial Review


The Iron Trial by Cassandra Clare and Holly Black


     This is a middle grade novel by two highly acclaimed authors. Our main character is Call, short for Callum Hunt. Call is famous in his town, not in a good way. He is a trouble maker, always talking back to the teachers, being angry at the counselors, released all the white mice from the pet store during a parade and more. Call’s father, Alastair, hates magic. When it is time for Call to take the Iron Trial, a test to get into a magic school called the Magisterium, his father wants Call to fail.


“As he bent closer, he realized they were words -words his wife had carved into the cave ice with the last of her dying strength. As he read them, he felt them like three hard blows to the stomach. KILL THE CHILD.”


     The book opened with a prologue that gave me the goosebumps. In the first chapter, we are introduced to Call. He and his father are going to the Iron Trial. His father despises magic and has not used it since Call was born. In the Iron Trial, Call messes up badly. He makes a pen explode, burns a rubber ball, and molds a piece of paper into a desk. Call receives a negative score. So when it is time for the Masters, or teachers, to pick their apprentices, Call and two other kids his age, Tamara and Aaron, are picked to attend the Magisterium. The Magisterium is located underground. It consists of a great labyrinth of caves which you can easily get lost. In the Magisterium, the food is called lichen, it looks like jelly and has the consistency, but can taste like anything from roast beef to ice cream.


“Fire wants to burn. Water wants to flow. Air wants to rise. Earth wants to bind. Chaos wants to devour.”



     The people of the magic world have been fighting an enemy by the name of the Enemy. The Enemy wears a white mask, to cover the scars of his face. Throughout the story we learn more about the Enemy. As Tamara, Aaron, and Call become close, they reveal more about the Enemy and the magic world, and even encounter him.

     This book was overall very enjoyable. It was filled with many shocking plot twists, heart rending moments, and some action packed adventure scenes. I wish the similarities to Harry Potter were less distinct, such as a trio consisting of two boys and one girl, a magic school, and many other similarities. It was a fun ride and I recommend it.



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John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls' High School

311 N 19th St.

Philadelphia, PA 19103

(215) 563- 8930




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