Title: The Iron Trial
Author: Holly Black, Cassandra Clare
Series: Magisterium #1
Genres: MG, Fantasy, Magic
Published: September 9th 2014 by Doubleday Children's Books
Source: eARC via NetGalley
Description from Goodreads
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.
From two bestselling superstars, a dazzling and magical middle-grade collaboration centering on the students of the Magisterium, an academy for those with a propensity toward magic. In this first book, a new student comes to the Magisterium against his will -- is it because he is destined to be a powerful magician, or is the truth more twisted than that? It's a journey that will thrill you, surprise you, and make you wonder about the clear-cut distinction usually made between good and evil.
I wasn't sure how to rate this book. In the end I decided to give it 3 stars, because although it reminded me a lot of Harry Potter, I ended up enjoying it. I haven't actually read the Harry Potter series, but I know the movies well (I'm a big fan of them) and so I couldn't help but notice the similarities.
Okay. So, let's discuss this book. The Iron Trial is about a kid who enters a magic school. Sounds familiar? I thought so. But wait. The similarities don't end here, there is more. So the main character is Call, and he is special; he's the only one who survived the Cold Massacre. He's the boy who lived, you see. Though in this book, Call doesn't lose both his parents like Harry Potter, only his mom dies. Another thing that bugs me is that the antagonist in this book (the Enemy of Death) sounds a lot like Voldemort, especially because he craves immortality and leaves Call with a mark during the Cold Massacre. Also, shall I mention that when Call enters the school of magic, he is deliberately grouped with two other kids, a boy and a girl to be specific. Ron and Hermione, perhaps?
So, yeah. My initial thought was this:
However, even though I hated the fact that it was very much like Harry Potter, I must confess that I found it quite addicting. I truly liked the writing, and there was all this mystery going on, which was really compelling. And to be honest, towards the second half of the book I could kind of put aside the similarities. kind of. And the ending! THE ENDING JUST BLEW MY MIND! It was very shocking and completely unexpected.
Therefore, I'm very conflicted about this book. I hate how it isn't original, but I can't deny the fact that I was captivated. And because of that fantastic ending, I'm quite intrigued to know what happens in the sequel.