MAGISTERIUM: THE IRON TRIAL

PrintE-mail Written by Callum Shephard


BOOK REVIEW: MAGISTERIUM – THE IRON TRIAL / AUTHOR: HOLLY BLACK, CASSANDRA CLARE / PUBLISHER: SCHOLASTIC PRESS / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW

First of the new Magisterium series, The Iron Trial is the latest in the long line of attempts by authors to depict young wizardry, yet takes a refreshingly interesting angle with its subject matter.

Many among the latest generation of children dream of possessing the natural affinity for sorcery which will get them selected during the Iron Trial, but not Callum Hunt. With his family shattered by the effects of a magical conflict, Callum has been taught since birth to never tap into his potential. However, when he is selected, despite failing every test, he must now seek to survive within the Magisterium.

While the book wears apparent Harry Potter influences on its sleeve, it soon braches off in a very different direction, using its obvious similarities to subvert that series’ ideas. Magic itself takes on a very different form, and Callum soon proves to be a very different individual from Potter in terms of his destiny and abilities. Better yet, the deconstruction carries over to the main cast and each benefits from a well-rounded character arc, transforming them from their expected archetype into something entirely different.

The ominous threat magic poses and the dangers of the setting are at the forefront of the tale, and the Magisterium proves to be an infinitely more foreboding place than the many schools of mages found in these stories. Magic here is less a whimsical ability than it is a dangerous power which must be controlled.

Despite this, the book is hampered by a few distinct failings. An uneven pace results in engaging and enticing chapters leading into duller affairs, and the novel appears rushed from the start. A great deal of potentially fascinating information is info-dumped, which weakens the impact of the world and leaves it very reliant upon its ideas over atmosphere and presentation to the reader.

The Iron Trial is a troubled but promising start to the series and presents more than enough to get teenage readers going until the last page. Young adults and readers wanting a very different take on magical schooling should take a gander at this one.

SHARE YOUR COMMENTS BELOW OR ON TWITTER @STARBURST_MAG

Find your local STARBURST stockist HERE, or buy direct from us HERE. For our digital edition (available to read on your iOS, Android, Amazon, Windows 8, Samsung and/or Huawei device - all for just £1.99), visit MAGZTER DIGITAL NEWSSTAND.

CLICK TO BUY!

MORE FROM AROUND THE WEB:



Suggested Articles:
Let’s be clear from the start. A Conjuring of Light, the much anticipated third and final novel in
Gwendolyn Bloom is a teenage schoolgirl who, ever since her mother was murdered, has spent her life
From the author of the Revelation Space series comes a tale of interstellar war from the perspective
This Young Monster explores the world of some of modern culture's most beloved monsters, taking a lo
scroll back to top

Add comment

Security code
Refresh

Other articles in Book Reviews

A CONJURING OF LIGHT 23 February 2017

THE SONG RISING 21 February 2017

PSEUDOTOOTH 21 February 2017

THE CRUELTY 20 February 2017

SLOW BULLETS 18 February 2017

THE NINTH RAIN 14 February 2017

THIS YOUNG MONSTER 14 February 2017

THE TIME MACHINE 13 February 2017

THE WAR OF THE WORLDS 12 February 2017

HEARTLESS 10 February 2017

- Entire Category -

Sign up today!
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner