The Iron Trial by Cassandra Clare
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Twelve years ago, Callum Hunt was born to powerful Mage parents. As an infant, he was crippled in a Mage war which also claimed his mother’s life. His father, who blames magic for the death of his wife, was left to raise Call alone.
The rule in Callum’s home is that Magic is evil and should never be performed, but Call has been born with magical skill. Call’s father is adamant that he is never to use this power and wants him to go so far as to purposely fail his Iron Trial, which is the admittance test to magic school at the Magisterium. However, certain destinies cannot be thwarted.
Let me say first that I did enjoy this story. However there are some definite similarities to Harry Potter that are hard to see past.
1. Two boys and a girl are the main characters.
2. A child survives an attack in which everyone else dies, leaving that child with an injury and strange powers.
3. A former magic school student grows up to be the most evil mage in history.
However, I think there are enough differences to make this a series worth reading. Take the Harry Potter plot and scramble it up in a blender- and there you have the Iron Trial. Clare and Black keep you guessing and competently maintain the mystery throughout the book. By the end of the story, I was very engaged and ready for the sequel.
Four out of five stars. Ages 11 and up.