The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare

Trigger Warnings: Ableism

SynopsisMost 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 . . .

Review: The Iron Trial was a fun read. There have been a lot of comparisons between this series and Harry Potter (shocker) and I definitely saw the similarities. I actually liked Call a lot. I don't generally enjoy main characters, and it gets more difficult to relate to them in middle grade stories in particular, but Call was an enjoyable character. Aaron and Tamara also felt well fleshed out. Aaron is wicked smart, but he's also liked by pretty much everyone and he likes everyone too. He seems to genuinely get along with the other students. Tamara comes from a family that holds her to very high standards, but she has her moments where she knows what the right thing to do is and she'll do it. She also makes a comment about using the internet to goof off, which would not seem typical of her character.

The story was good. Again, it can be compared to Harry Potter because of the magic school. I will say, this series might be better for a child who might be struggling with Harry Potter. In the world of The Iron Trial, all of the kids live their lives outside of the magic world until it's time to take the trial. This allows for little connections to our everyday life that might help children relate to this story more. There's a scene where a kid is eating some Lay's potato chips. There's also the bit where Tamara likes playing on the internet. I do wish there was a bit more about Call and how he lives with a damaged leg. Sometimes, it felt like an afterthought which is slightly unfair to people who suffer from disabilities. There were some decent plot twists which I honestly didn't see coming.

This was a cute book, but a little slow. Definitely a decent introduction to what I'm sure will be a fun series.

3 howls