What do you get when two well known authors join forces and decide to collaborate on a book series? What do you get when two wonderfully skilled story tellers decide to put their own projects to the side, they put heads together and write down on a paper a brand new magical story? The answer is MAGISTERIUM series. And the two authors are Holly Black ( The Spiderwick Chronicles & The Coldest Girl in Town) and Cassandra Clare (The Mortal Instruments & The Infernal Devices).
MAGISTERIUM book series is a collection of 5 books which tells a story of Callum Hunt, his friends and their adventure in the mystical Magisterium - a school where young magic apprentices learn to become great mages.
THE IRON TRIAL is the first book in the series and it's a wonderful introduction to the story.
Meet Callum Hunt who has been brought up by his father in the belief that Magisterium and magic is something wrong and he shouldn't be part of it. He actually does everything he can, to not enter the world of magic. But faith has other plans and he ends up being an apprentice of Master Rufus. Here he starts to discover that Magic might not be as bad as he thought, but also that there is a lot of things he didn't know. Secrets are revealed, destiny is finding its course. And Callum and his friends, Aaron and Tamara, are in for an eventful ride.
Firstly let's talk about the edition. A wonderful hardback. 295 pages. Great illustrations on the front. Beautifully crafted and there are some wonderful bonuses. Every chapter begins with gorgeous drawing which gives you a glimpse into the story. There is also the interview with the authors and a bonus of the exam every potential apprentice needs to pass.
The story itself.. Well, if you are expecting Harry Potter continuum, you are in for a surprise. The Iron Trial is similar in some ways, but completely different in others. There was a lot imagination going into this book. It always takes my breathe away, when authors go the extra mile and imagine world of wonders and manage to put it on the paper with words allowing you to enter the world too. It's a wonderful skill and the BIG BIG reason why I love reading so much. You will fall in love with the story and the world of magic all over again.
The writing is entertaining. Easy to follow. Easy to read. Thrilling. Exciting. And packed with major twists and turns you just don't expect. You kind of develop a theory, only to read and be completely taken aback with the fact that your theory was completely wrong.
The characters in the book are very truthful to the teenagers as we know it. There is a lot of modern references. The main trio in the book - Callum, Aaron & Tamara reminds me a lot of Harry, Ron and Hermione. Master Rufus is Dumbledore and Jasper is Draco Malfoy. But at the same time they are different. At first, you don't know what to think of Callum, you are suspicious about Aaron and his lack of history and Tamara seems a little bit unapproachable. But as you read on, you are warming up to the characters and you are getting to know them a lot better. I have truly enjoy the character development in this book.
Now, let's talk about the major twist. I am not going to spoil it for you. But wow, I was not expecting it. It literally blew my mind away and I was left with my mouth wide opened. Absolutely brilliant and very very clever. Well Done Holly and Cassie. You have silence with your surprise.
I have really really enjoyed reading this book. It was a joyful, exciting ride packed with beautiful story which kept you on your toes. I am looking forward to the story to develop further and cannot wait for the rest of the books to come out. Browsing online, I discovered that there are four more books to come: THE COPPER GAUNTLET, THE COSMOS BLADE, THE GOLDEN BOY & THE ENEMY OF DEATH. My only hopes are that Holly and Cassie will continue to write in the excellent manner as they did so far. Also I hope that the future editions of the books will match the first one and the publisher doesn't decide to go with a different cover as this one is pretty good.
THANK YOU Holly and Cassie, you wrote a beautiful introduction to the MAGISTERIUM series and I am now hooked. Hurry up with the rest of the books!! ;-)