Black, Holly & Cassandra Clare. The Iron Trial. Ill. Scott Fischer. (Magisterium series, #1) Scholastic Press, 2014. $17.99 ISBN 9780545522250. 295 pgs. Ages 11-up. P8Q8
A mage training school is testing students for admission to the Magisterium. Callum Hunt has been told all of his life that magic is bad and, if he goes to the school, he will die. He sets out to fail, but his lack of confidence backfires and he is inducted to apprentice under the head mage at the school. Once there, he meets Aaron and Tamara who are to become the first and only friends he has ever had. The rest of the year is a series of misadventures very much like the Harry Potter series, right down to the female that knows a lot that the boys do not know and the male who follows him blindly. I think this book series is a good read, it has a lot more action than the Harry Potter books. I think the YA audience will love this book. I am unfamiliar with Holly Black but Cassandra Clare has a great imagination, as seen in her Mortal Instruments series.
January 2015 review by Kris Cooper.