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The Iron Trial

(Magisterium #1)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  70,939 ratings  ·  7,614 reviews
All his life, Call has been warned by his father to stay away from magic. To succeed at the Iron Trial and be admitted into the vaunted Magisterium school would bring bad things. But he fails at failing. Only hard work, loyal friends, danger, and a puppy await.
Hardcover, 295 pages
Published September 9th 2014 by Scholastic Press
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Lauren No, and I was really pleased by this. The kids were so young, it would have felt out of place.
Cat The USA. Call lives in North Carolina and the school is in Virginia.
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Average rating 3.95  · 
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 ·  70,939 ratings  ·  7,614 reviews

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Sep 22, 2012 marked it as maybe-reads  ·  review of another edition
Cassandra Clare co-wrote this, so obviously, there are Shadowhunters in it.
Where are they?

I can't find them.
is mee... kissa
What's with all the Harry Potter comments? Can authors not write stories about kids and magicians anymore because it's a "rip off" of H. Potter? ...more
Rick Riordan
May 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Callum Hunt does not want to be a magician. All his life, his father has warned him about the dangers of magic, and the sinister ways of the mages who teach youngsters to use their powers in the underground world of the Magisterium. When Callum comes of age and must take his entrance exam for the Magisterium, he tries his hardest to fail. But he fails to fail. He is chosen to train with Master Rufus, the most prestigious mage in the Magisterium. Callum (Call) is ripped away from his normal life ...more
May 30, 2014 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Well, first of all, all of you people SHUT THE HELL UP.

If Cassandra Clare wants to write books about shadowhunters or magic, it doesn't even freaking matter it's her choice on what she wants to write, and wait-you don't like it? WELL DON'T READ IT, GOD.

You were all ranting about her next series about shadowhunters, The Dark Artifices. If I remember correctly, you were all calling her out on "milking the shadownhunter cash-cow until there was nothing left".

Now she writes a series on something
KL (Cat)
A pre-review in Disney Gifs

Initial Impression:

First 50 pages:

All the Harry Potter similarities:

Worldbuilding + Magic system:

The plot:

The very obvious "plot twist":

The convenient info-dumpings:


Sofia Theos
You're all thinking it.

No one wants to say it, but we're all thinking it.

*sigh* Okay fine, i'll say it.

J.K Rowling to Cassandra Clare:


Well, at least this one isn't about Shadowhunters.

Jesse (JesseTheReader)
Sep 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I'm interested to see where the series goes. :) ...more
Jun 02, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, own
I really wanted to love this one, and I could almost give it a 3-star after the fascinating twist at the end, but I just can't. For the most part, I couldn't stop seeing the glaring parallels with Harry Potter which annoyed me endlessly. I'm not one to roll my eyes at similar storylines - I don't curse all MG novels about magic school for being Harry Potter rip-offs, but there are only so many similarities I can tolerate.

So let's see, we have this kid, Call, who was marked at birth by the most e
Steph Sinclair

Why does the blurb read like a Harry Potter re-mix?
Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥
How is it even possible I didn't know about this?!!!

I mean seriously?
A series written by two of my favourite authors?

There's no way I'm not going to add this to my to-be read pile.
Which unfortunately leaves me with 300 books,
which also means that the limit I set for myself is thoroughly broken,
which means I need to READ the hell out of my to-be read,
which means I'm basically screwed! *lol*

Holly Black and Cassandra Clare!!!
I'm doomed! <333
Aug 28, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’m going to try and regurgitate (lovely word) this whole subjective experience in the most objective manner possible.

I’ve heard a lot of this going around:

"I won’t read this because it’s just a repacked Harry Potter."

Sorry to break it to you, but most likely, those that will gravitate the most to this book are those curious enough to see this attempt at a magical school. After the phenomenon that was Harry Potter, one that transcended a series initially aimed at children into a univ
Natalie Monroe
Apr 29, 2014 marked it as never-ever-ever-reading-this  ·  review of another edition
And we all thought Cassie was going to try something new.

Thibaut Nicodème
Sep 10, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: snark
Chapter-by-chapter review on my blog, the Snark Theater.

This is…exactly what it sounds like. Cassandra Clare (and Holly Black, though her influence is basically invisible) wrote a book about a kid going to magic school. There was no other way this could go, really.

If you're not aware (but is there someone on Goodreads who isn't?), Cassandra Clare has a history with the Harry Potter series, and its fandom. She rose to fame by writing Harry Potter fanfiction. Even then, people already accused her
Note: I am fully aware of the fact that Harry Potter is NOT the first ever YA fantasy series with 'a boy goes to a magical school' setting in it, but The Iron Trial is still a Harry Potter ripoff. It's clear as day.

And no, I'm not a Harry Potter fan, so kindly put your 'angry Harry Potter fangirl' comments on hold.

Ms. Holly Black, I'm so disappointed in you, I know you can do better than messing about with the likes of Cassandra Clare.

And believe me...being a Harry Potter ripoff is not even the
Jan 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
More reviews on my blog, Exploring Pages.
"As he bent closer, he realized they were words -- words his wife had carved into the cave ice with the last of her dying strength. As he read them, he felt them like three hard blows in the stomach.

- Holly Black and Cassandra Clare, The Iron Trial

Thank you Doubleday Children's Books for providing me with an advanced reading copy for review.

By reading The Iron Trial, the first book in the Magisterium series, I think I have signed up for a
Tina ➹ Woman, Life, Freedom
4.5 Golden Stars!

omg! this story was amazing & cute! I didn't see that coming!
I literally couldn't stop reading!
I wanna go there! I want to go to Magisterium! I wanna eat those delicious weird food & drinks!
I guess this series going to be in my TOP 10 favorites.
I mean:

amazing Idea

"Elemental Magic School
Our Reality!"
& very Unique! (you'll see!)

with lovable Characters!
exciting Plot!
in an interesting world building wrapped up in our reality.
all I need to love a series.

one of the best middle g
WOW. That's my first reaction after finishing it. WOW. READ IT PEOPLE. So yes,it was similar to Harry Potter. So yes,it was REALLY similar to Harry Potter. But you know what? I haven't read a Harry Potter book for what? 7 years? So you bet your sweet as* that I loved this one!!! I missed magic ♥

I can actually imagine Cassie writing this,all happy and excited because she began her career writing HP fan-fiction,so this book is like a dream come true to her. xD I love Cassie,and i'm really pissed o
Whitney Atkinson
Jan 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
Very solid start to a series. I feel like there were some things that were under-explained, but overall I love the world!
Hailey (Hailey in Bookland)
REVIEW: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-WWG...

It was entertaining enough and I will probably continue with the series
It felt like more of a 5 star book at the end, but since the first 200 pages were lacking, I'm sticking with a 3.5
This review is also can be found on my blog


I want to preface my ramble with the fact that I know this is basically a mash up of Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan and Harry Potter by JK Rowling. The thing is, though, those are two of my favourite series that exist. Because of that, it doesn't take a genius to work out why I loved this book. 

The Iron Trial also isn't the same recycled plot line we have seen with books trying to be the next Percy Jackson or Harry Potter. This book doesn't in
Feb 19, 2021 rated it really liked it
3.75 Stars
I had a lot of fun reading this little book. There are some obvious comparisons to Harry Potter. The group of friends is 2 boys and a girl at a magic school, but beyond that, I don't think the comparisons go that far.

We are brought into this mysterious world of the Magisterium, a collection of mages. (Why is mage so popular? Carry On by Rainbow Rowell also uses the term Mages.) Callum is told by his father that this world is horrible and he is brought up to hate it. He tries to fail his test to
Kayla Dawn
Predictable, unoriginal, boring. Absolutely boring.
See more reviews at YA Midnight Reads

1.5 stars

When reading a book, one expects the following: 1) an original storyline and 2) one that will not make you fall asleep one chapter in. The Iron Trial, despite being co-written by two totally capable authors, just didn’t make 1) or 2) happen.

Harry Potter, anyone? I bet we all saw this one coming, regardless whether you’ve read the book yet or not. It’s about tweens, it’s got magic, it’s got 3 freaking kids on the front cover and in the background, the
Claudia Lomelí
Sep 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
4.5 stars!
Dylan Williams
Oct 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I haven't had that much fun reading a book in a very long time, fantastic! ...more
Jessi ❤️ H. Vojsk [if villain, why hot?]
Actual rating: 3.6 ⭐️

Story ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
All his life Calls father told him how bad the Magisterium was. How people died, how his mother died because of them.
So when the day came to get into the Magisterium, Call tried really hard to fail.
But he still got a place in the strongest team of the Magisterium and begins to learn how to control magic.
A few things I could guess, but the ending, Guys 👌🏻👏🏻 that was something I haven’t seen coming.

Characters ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
In the beginning I was a little bit annoye
Sep 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2014

This was really entertaining, if not somewhat derivative. I've got a lot too say about this one so I'll be uploading a book talk about it!
Jun 16, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
So, a while ago I came across the freely available excerpt for this book, which has 21 pages in PDF format, 15 pages of story and contained the prologue and the first chapter. So I figured, let's see whether it can catch my interest. And did it? Not in the least. As a matter of fact you would need to give me a damn good reason to ever actually read it because I am sure as hell not going to waste any more time on this book than absolutely necessary.
Sure considered who one of the authors is I coul
aileen  |  dorian's version ✾
DNF at 20%


I don’t really have much to say, so I'll keep it short: this book is clearly written for a younger audience. The plot is simple and the characters lack depth - which is okay, in my opinion, just not what I'm used to from Cassandra Clare. I lost interest pretty fast and probably won't finish the book any time soon. No hard feelings!


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Holly Black is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of over thirty fantasy novels for kids and teens. She has been a finalist for an Eisner Award and the Lodestar Award, and the recipient of the Mythopoeic Award, a Nebula, and a Newbery Honor. Her books have been translated into 32 languages worldwide and adapted for film. She currently lives in New England with her husband and son in a house ...more

Other books in the series

Magisterium (5 books)
  • The Copper Gauntlet (Magisterium, #2)
  • The Bronze Key (Magisterium,  #3)
  • The Silver Mask (Magisterium, #4)
  • The Golden Tower (Magisterium, #5)

Articles featuring this book

Holly Black is one of the YA world's premier experts on faeries (she also has the pointy ears to prove it). Her enchanting books include The...
190 likes · 34 comments
“Fire wants to burn
Water wants to flow
Air wants to rise
Earth wants to bind
Chaos wants to devour
Cal wants to live”
“They all yelled in excitement. Tamara yelled because she was happy. Aaron yelled because he liked it when other people were happy, and Call yelled because he was sure they were going to die.” 125 likes
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