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Literary Friday: The Iron Trial

Friday, September 18, 2015

Happy Friday, My Lovelies!  I couldn't be happier that the weekend is upon us.  Shelley and I have been struggling through Piers the Ploughman in British Literature, so I read a fun children's book written by my two very favorite YA writers Holly Black and Cassandra Clare:  The Iron Trial.  It's the first book in their Magisterium Series that will include five books total.  You can visit the fun website over at Scholastic here.

Callum "Call" Hunt has been recruited to take entrance exams to a secret underground school for mages, "The Magisterium."  The competition is stiff as only a few students are accepted.

Call wants to fail.

Every other student is competing as hard as he or she can to gain acceptance into the school, but Callum's father has warned him his whole life about the dangers at the Magisterium, how the mage instructors or masters use their students in experiments to glean knowledge about magic.  Call's mother was killed during a mage war, and to complicate his life even further, he has a disability with a weak leg because he suffered a horrendous injury as a child.  But in spite of Call's horrible performance during his admissions testing, he's admitted to the Magisterium and placed with the mage who had instructed his father years ago.

I enjoyed this book in spite of the fact that the school is underground in a series of caves. The plot is fast-paced, something readers have come to expect from Cassandra Clare and Holly Black.  I had to pay attention to every word so I wouldn't miss anything important.  Call and his teammates Tamara and Aaron eventually bond and work together to face frightening foes in an unexpected climax.  The three friends' characters are well-developed, and I can't wait to read their next adventure in The Copper Gauntlet.

Fire wants to burn
Water wants to flow.
Air wants to rise.
Earth wants to bind.
Chaos wants to devour.

I took the quiz on the website and the element I'd master at the Iron Trial is earth....not surprising, LOL!

PARENTS:  There are some frightening scenes in these books, so you might want to preview before you allow a younger child read this book.   Its target audience is grades 3 - 7.

The Iron Trail book trailer

Magisterium Series trailer

I love getting in touch with my inner child by reading children's books.  Have you read any children's books lately?  Don't forget this is a link party!

Until next time...

Ricki Jill


  1. My oldest son who is 26 would probably still enjoy that book! He always loved every series similar to that.

  2. Hi, R.J. My daughter just reread 1984 for a class, and I did too, because she does not like the third book, but she wanted to take this class, so... We are balancing it with books on meaning... We read Man's Search for Meaning..a book I read in college, and now we are reading Sophie's World a Norwegian young adult book that has been translated to English. I just bought used The Glorious Impossible Madeleine L'Engle. I had to find it, because we went to Giotto's chapel, but no photos were allowed. This book could definitely be a long picture book for kids. Oh and I bought a picture book of Audrey, because it is just so darn cute and sweet. xoxo Su

  3. So it's more middle grade than YA? It definitely sounds fun, and I love fast-paced books that assume the reader is intelligent.

    "I enjoyed this book in spite of the fact that the school is underground in a series of caves."
    Not a fan of caves? :)


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I'm Ricki Jill. Welcome! I'm honored that you're reading my blog. I enjoy sharing my creative lifestyle @ The Bookish Dilettante. For more information about my blog, please read the Start Here page. Thank-you for stopping by, and I hope you'll consider following me via email.

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