The Iron Trial (Magisterium Series #1)

The Iron Trial (Magisterium Series #1)

4.6 84
by Holly Black, Cassandra Clare

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From NEW YORK TIMES bestselling authors Holly Black and Cassandra Clare comes a riveting new series that defies what you think you know about the world of magic. 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…  See more details below


From NEW YORK TIMES bestselling authors Holly Black and Cassandra Clare comes a riveting new series that defies what you think you know about the world of magic. 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.

Editorial Reviews

Two bestselling series authors: Holly Black (The Spiderwick Chronicles) and Cassandra Clare (The Mortal Instruments Trilogy). One delicious plot about a young boy (Callum Hunt) who really, really, really doesn't want to go to magic school, but somehow can't succeed at failing.....

School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—All his life Callum Hunt has been warned by his father that practicing magic is a guaranteed death sentence, the only certain way to make sure he doesn't reach his 18th birthday. When Call is summoned to attend the entrance exams for The Magisterium, a more-sinister version of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry, he promises his father he will deliberately fail the test to avoid the dangerous lure of magic school. Unfortunately, magic is in Call's blood, and though his permanent limp and sarcastic attitude do not appear to serve him well during testing, he is selected with two other "Iron Years" to be a pupil of the greatest mage of all, Master Rufus. Black and Clare have created a unique world in The Magisterium, adroitly sidestepping reader fatigue with the many post-Harry Potter "magical academy" fiction series. The underground school's labyrinthine tunnels, mysterious caverns, and strange rivers are an alternately wondrous and creepy setting for this hero's quest. The diverse main trio's multidimensional portrayals leave aside easy characterizations in favor of complex motivations which add depth to each character. Best of all, a late-stage reveal of the novel's true hero and villain neatly turn fantasy tropes on their heads.—Elisabeth Gattullo Marrocolla, Darien Library, CT
Publishers Weekly
★ 07/21/2014
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.)
From the Publisher

Praise for Magisterium Book One: The Iron Trial :

• “A thrilling coming-of-age story that embraces fantasy tropes while keeping readers guessing.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review
“A promising beginning to a complex exploration of good and evil, as well as friendship’s loyalty.” — Kirkus Reviews
The Iron Trial is a fun, heroic narrative. . . . A delicious must-read.” — The Globe & Mail
“This is an incredible book. . . . Once you’ve started reading, it’s hard to put the book down.” — The Guardian

Children's Literature - Lois Rubin Gross
If you have been looking for a “read alike” recommendation for young Harry Potter fans. The similarities are so blatant and numerous, that there is simply no way to deny it. Young Call Hunt is a reluctant recruit to the Magisterium, the school where young mages are trained in the magical arts. Call’s father has encouraged him to throw the entrance exams and, failing to do this, to flunk out of the academy before his first year. This will ensure that Call’s magic is bound and that he will have no memory of it. Call, lamed in the Cold Wars in which his mother was killed, finds that the Magisterium is a surprisingly comfortable match for him and, for the first time, he has friends especially his roommates, orphaned Aaron and fellow mage legacy Tamara. He also has an enemy, Jasper, who was positioned to get Call’s place with the most senior Mage Master, Rufus. While this could be dismissed as just another wizard book, the storytelling is a cut above.Tamara is the requisite strong, intelligent, and self-confident girl who, I hope, will have more of her own story line as the books progress. The American setting is not exactly as fantastical as Hogwarts, but a meal of lichen that tastes like pizza will undoubtedly intrigue readers. There are also a host of reveals that differentiate the book and set up some interesting plotlines. Aaron, not Call, is the “Chosen One,” while Call may, or may not, be harboring the soul of the Enemy of Magic. Animal familiars are a talking Komodo Dragon and a fire-eyed wolf cub. Overall, this new series deserves a chance to rise on its own magical merits. Book one of the “Iron Trail” series. Reviewer: Lois Rubin Gross; Ages 10 to 16.
Kirkus Reviews
Book 1 in the five-book fantasy series introduces the Magisterium, a training school for young mages that is located in underground caverns in Virginia. Admittance is by invitational tryouts. Twelve-year-old Callum Hunt has mage potential, but his father, Alastair—a mage and a graduate of the Magisterium—tells his son to deliberately fail. He has brought Callum up to believe that the Magisterium is evil and he must never attend. But Callum, small, skinny and partially lame from a serious leg injury incurred when he was an infant, is picked anyway, and this kickoff entry details Callum's first year of training under Master Rufus. Harry Potter similarities pop up repeatedly, from the magic-training-school premise to Callum's fellow apprentices and soon-to-be best friends, Tamara and Aaron, and these similarities are distracting at first. But then the twist occurs, and it is a doozy. By the book's end, readers will be chomping at the bit to get into the sequel. Collaborators Black and Clare describe an intoxicating underground setting and give their mostly male characters refreshingly nuanced friendships. The third-person narration, filtered through Callum's delightfully insecure-and-overcompensating-with-snarky-bravado perspective, carries a tone that will likely have readers chortling in recognition. A promising beginning to a complex exploration of good and evil, as well as friendship's loyalty. (Fantasy. 9-13)

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Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Magisterium Series , #1
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
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File size:
14 MB
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Age Range:
8 - 12 Years


Meet the Author

Holly Black is the #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of The Spiderwick Chronicles (with Tony DiTerlizzi) and the Newbery Honor-winning novel DOLL BONES. Her other books include The Good Neighbors graphic novels, and the novels TITHE, VALIANT, and IRONSIDE. She currently lives in the realm of Western Massachusetts.

Cassandra Clare is the author of CITY OF BONES, the first book in The Mortal Instruments trilogy and a NEW YORK TIMES bestseller. Her latest series, The Infernal Devices, has spawned three #1 bestsellers. Born overseas, Cassandra spent her early years traveling around the world with her family and several trunks of books.

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The Iron Trial (Book One of Magisterium) 4.6 out of 5 based on 4 ratings. 84 reviews.
mollymortensen More than 1 year ago
Can I have the next one now? Please? No Spoilers whatsoever in this review. Why is it harder to write a review for a book that I really loved than one I just liked? I was so excited about this book it was hard to write in complete sentences. Hehe! I am very conservative with my 10 star ratings, only books that are my absolute favorite that I know I will read again and again get a perfect score. The Iron Trial gets 10 Stars! Many of the reviews on Goodreads compared this book to Harry Potter. I think fans of Harry Potter will like this book, but this is NOT a Harry Potter copy! The plot, the characters, and the magic are all unique and different. My short summary: (This only the setup for the beginning of the book.) Twelve year-old Callum Hunt, called Call, is always getting in trouble at school and being bullied over his bad leg. Call knows about magic, but his father hasn’t used it since Call’s mother died when he was a baby. It’s now time for Call’s Iron Trial to see if he’s to be trained in magic, but Call’s father has told him that the Magisterium is evil and he has to fail his trial. My Review: Call’s not your perfect protagonist. He has an abrasive personality, always saying the wrong things. He complains that he doesn’t have friends, but when people try to befriend him, he’s mean to them. I think because he’s never had friends he has trouble trusting people. It takes a little while to warm up to Call, but I liked that he wasn’t the usual narrator. Aaron is your typical orphan protagonist. Call calls him Captain America, good looks, nice, talented, and makes friends easily. There are numerous other minor characters and if I had a complaint about this book it was that there were so many minor characters that they were hard to keep straight. Though I got to read the The Iron Trials early I already pre-ordered it. Yes it’s that good! Sorry I didn’t say much about the actual book, I wanted to be careful not to give anything away. Just read it! I only wish it was longer!! I want more!! The Iron Trial: 10 Stars! Point of View: Third (Call)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So first off I am not the target age range for this book but with that being said I very much enjoyed this book. It wad a great story line drew me in at the very start. Going to have my boys read this next.
Splashesintobooks1 More than 1 year ago
Wow - a brilliant new magical series is born! The book is skilfully written, with characters you can easily relate to and settings so brilliantly depicted you feel you could be there, watching the events unfold. Don't be fooled into thinking this is going to be just another version of J.K. Rowling's 'Harry Potter' series . . . there are similarities in that the main character, Call, doesn't fit in to his school and is picked on by others and he is magically talented but that's where the stories part company. Call doesn't want to go to magical school - the Magisterium - because his father has always warned him about how bad it is and how it killed his mother. The Magisterium is an underground school in every sense of the term - it is in a cave system, with no windows and lots of hidden pathways and caverns.  Call has to be tested because his parents were both magically talented. He is determined to fail the tests and really tries to do so. Fairly obviously, he doesn't succeed in that and that's as much as I'll share here because you really do need to read this to find out what happens next - and keep reading to the end because there's a dramatic twist in this tale that will leave you reeling. I can't wait to read the next book in this series, I really want to know what happens next! This is probably aimed at teenagers but it can certainly be enjoyed by adults, too. I hope someone in the film industry also reads it as it could so easily be another brilliant block buster film series if it carries on in the same manner. Thank you, so much, to the authors, publisher and NetGalley for letting me read this brilliant book. I'll volunteer to read any other books in this series as soon as they are published in exchange for reviewing them honestly, as I've done here!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you like magic and action, you should totally read the iron trial. The Enemy Of Death wants to live, so does Call.... sounds a lot like something I know....... The Chaos-Ridden, (people and animals with part of the void in them) created by The Enemy Of Death (Constintine Madden) have been around for a while, during the mage wars and after it. When Call finds a chaos-ridden wolf pup that is friendly to him, he thinks he is one... but he is wrong, and soon discovers the truth.... I will repeat some things Call's father has said about him in the book: "Call, listen to me, you do not know what you are" "Bind his magic!" This is something his dead mother wrote before her death: "Kill the child" I rate it 5 stars because I love the twist ending, sorry if I spoiled something
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think that this collaboration with the Mortal Instruments series writer and the Spiderwick Chronicles writer will create something absolutely great. What I really wish is that there wasn't such a cliffhanger at the end. But that's how you get more readers. Can't wait for book two!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is definetely going to be the next hit magic series, like HP or PJO. But this book, though similar, is a fresh new idea. Keep 'em coming, ladies.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was exited when i found out that my two favorite authers were making a book together. I was not disopointed
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its an awesome book! A must read book! Cant wait for the next one!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was a really entertaining read. I couldn't put it down!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I got it for a bit of light reading on summer break
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you enjoyed Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, this is totally the book for you! I first discovered this book when my honor role teacher gave us an assignment to read a book over February break so we could film a book review for the book fair. When I saw this book laid out amongst the other books, it automatically stood out to me. I had no idea that that would be my favorite book! The prologue is what really captures your attention. If you are not the type of person that likes romance (I don't either), I am happy to inform you that this book has none. This book is a fast paced thriller that will leave you hanging on the edge of your seat, anticipating more. I am positive that most of you readers out there will agree with me after you read this. I hope this helped!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Greatish book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book i hope you make a third one.
Thechemix More than 1 year ago
Best Book ive read ever i think its really cool man... Like So cool Because Magic Im going to I first only read like 10 min of the book at school but now I read it in two days It is so awesome you should totally check it out AND ALSO I WILL SEE ALL YOU DUDES..................................... IN THE NEXT VIDEO!!!! 
SierraKS95 More than 1 year ago
*SPOILERS* I really, really enjoyed this. I loved the world and the characters, especially Havoc. I liked that they made Aaron the Maker instead of the main character Call which is what I thought while reading. I loved the diversity of the characters and how prominent their roles were.  I'm excited to see the development over the next four books (yes four books!!). I really recommend this to anyone that likes Holly Black's Spiderwick series and of course Harry Potter.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cant wait for second book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I LOVE fantasy, so when i looked for a book like the Young Elites, I was intrigued by this book. There it was, sitting right there. So I bought it, read some- AND THEY HOOKED ME! Good readerstry to analize a book and make conclusions about half-way through, and I thimk these authirs gigured that out, because every single chapter after the half-way point is a HUGE plot twister. I loved this book so much, that I'm going to have to say sorry, J.K. Rowling, because these two authors just became the new leaders of fantasy. I was sooooooooooooooooooooooooo mad tonfind out that the 2nd book wont come out until September:(
Blucola More than 1 year ago
I'm already looking forward to the next installment in March. I feel this book is being sadly overlooked, which is a shame. I don't like reviews that give away too much, so I'm going to say that if you're a Harry Potter fan, you'll very likely enjoy this book. It has magic, school and a few surprises along the way.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thought provoking view into a different workd. I enjoyed the whole book
Anonymous 3 days ago
I am a big fan of these authors however it is a crime that this book and it sequel are marred to the point of being completely unreadible! Long horizontal streaks cover the pages. Shame on the publishers and editors for letting this happen. DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY SO SORRY TO SAY! whiterabbit12
Anonymous 24 days ago
Kiss your hand and put this on three different books. Look under your pilliow
passionreader 3 months ago
The Iron Trials was very unexpected story, I have read reviews saying it is a little like Harry Potter so I picked it up of my kids to read. I decided to read it myself and found that it isn't much like Harry Potter at all. Don't get me wrong it is a stand alone exacting story there are many twists in the story that surprised me. Yes it is a book about a boy going to a school for those that can to magic, but some how it doesn't come close to Harry Potter, the stories are very different and fantastic in their own ways. This is a great middle school series 5th grade and up!
Anonymous 5 months ago
Book was awesome. Think its boring? Then read some more. Dont judge a book by its cover. Rating is 1,000,000,000,000 times better than the hobbit. Best book ever. Wait, second best. First best is harry potter. Fasterdisaster once again, OUT!!
Anonymous 5 months ago
Kiss your hand and post this three times then look under your pillow.