Title: THE IRON TRIAL
Authors: Holly Black & Cassandra Clare
Narrator: Paul Boehmer
Series: Magisterium, #1
Publication Information: Scholastic/Listening Library, 2014
Source: Library (Audiobook) – student recommendation
Genre: Middle Grade – Fantasy
Warnings: Mild violence
Rating: 2 Stars
Recommended For: Younger fans of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson.
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 . . .
(Summary from Goodreads)
THE IRON TRIAL was okay. It was entertaining enough, but I think I would’ve enjoyed it more if it didn’t feel like I’ve read this story before. The characters – a trio with two boys and a girl – and the premise – characters with magical abilities going away to a school for others with their abilities and being “sorted” into “houses” – were too similar to Harry Potter and Percy Jackson for me to really LOVE this story. I think the most exciting part of the book, for me, was the twist at the end because, while I’d sensed while reading that Call was ~different~, I hadn’t managed to guess the nature of this difference.
I listened to THE IRON TRIAL on audio, and I probably enjoyed it more in this format than I would’ve in print. Paul Boehmer is very expressive, and does a great job performing all of the different character roles. As an audiobook to have on while doing other things, I think this one would be a solid pick.
Despite the fact that I personally didn’t enjoy this book, I’d still recommend it to students. I think there are a lot of elements that elementary school students would enjoy, such as adventure and friendship, and fantasy readers will probably eat it up. I think Percy Jackson lovers in particular will enjoy this one – Call is very sarcastic, so the voice is very similar.