Warned away from magic all of his life, Callum endeavors to fail the trials that would admit him to the Magisterium only to be drawn into its ranks against his will and forced to confront dark elements from his past. By the best-selling co-author of the Spiderwick Chronicles and the best-selling author of the Infernal Devices series. Simultaneous eBook. 100,000 first printing. - (Baker & Taylor)
Warned away from magic all of his life, Callum endeavors to fail the trials that would admit him to the Magisterium only to be drawn into its ranks against his will and forced to confront dark elements from his past. - (Baker & Taylor)
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.
It's a tall order in this day and age to write a book about a young boy in magic school without being held to the Harry Potter standard, but that's exactly what Black and Clare attempt in their first collaboration (and Clare's first middle-grade offering). The premise is simple: 12-year-old Callum Hunt has been warned about the dangers of magic for as long as he can remember by his father, a former mage, who blames the Magisterium, a magic academy, for the death of his wife. Despite Cal's best attempts to fail the entrance exam into that academy, his inherent magical ability gets him accepted, and he begins the first of five years of his training. Occasional comparisons to Harry Potter are inevitable, but Cal isn't the Boy Who Lived—although his friend Aaron might be—and the Magisterium isn't Hogwarts. Expectations are bound to be high for this powerhouse duo's first cowritten effort, and although it doesn't quite live up to the authors' respective works (Black's Doll Bones was a 2014 Newbery Honor Book), and there are several missed opportunities, the end offers a few intriguing twists and perspectives that hint at what's to come in the next installments. And with four Magisterium volumes still in the works, Black and Clare have ample time to hit their stride as a team. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: The six-figure initial print run may still be shy of the demand from the fans of these two wildly popular authors. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.
Callum Hunt is ready to go back for his second year at the Magisterium, and not just because his dad might be trying to kill him. Call is (secretly) the magical reincarnation of mage Constantine Madden, by all accounts a pretty bad guy, but he is trying really hard not to be evil. He has got a mental checklist of the things an Evil Overlord wouldn't do as he heads to school. But all is not well there, either: an artifact that can split Chaos mages, like Call's friend Aaron, from their magic has been stolen, possibly by Call's dad. Call worries his true identity will be discovered, but he is more concerned about Aaron, so the boys and their friend Tamara—plus one rival—set out into an increasingly dangerous world to try to save the day. This second installment in the Magisterium series is much more effective than its predecessor (The Iron Trial, 2014): the plot is tighter, the stakes are higher, and Call's struggle with whether or not he is destined for evil adds to the tension. Shades of Harry Potter still linger, but this has a personality of its own. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Enthusiasm hasn't flagged for these two best-selling authors, and this stronger volume will just fan the fire. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.
School Library Journal Reviews
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
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School Library Journal Reviews
Gr 4–7—In their follow-up to The Iron Trial (Scholastic, 2014), Black and Clare again return to the magical, alchemical world of the Magisterium, a school that neatly plays with the tropes of the magic school genre. At the conclusion of the last book, readers learned that the ostensible hero, Callum, was in fact the Enemy of Death—the villain who terrifies everyone in his magical world. When he discovers a plot seemingly orchestrated by his own father against the Magisterium, Call and his friends run away from school to try and save the magical world they love. Much of the action in this second installment takes place outside the claustrophobic caverns of the Magisterium, expanding the world Call and friends Tamara and Adam inhabit with mixed results. Credulity is stretched whenever any member of the group enters our mundane world—would giant wolves with glowing eyes and four 13-year-olds hot-wiring a car really go unnoticed by average people?—but other big set pieces, especially an epic battle against an ancient monster, thrill. There's plenty of action, adventure, and pathos here to even out the rough patches. VERDICT Fans of the previous volume will relish the continuing adventures of Call and his friends.—Elisabeth Gattullo Marrocolla, Darien Library, CT
[Page 87]. (c) Copyright 2015 Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.