Publication Date: September 9, 2014
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Most kids would do anything to pass the Iron Trial.
Not Callum Hunt. He wants to fail.
All his life, Call has been warned by his father to stay away from magic. If he succeeds at the Iron Trial and is admitted into the Magisterium, he is sure it can only mean bad things for him.
So he tries his best to do his worst – and fails at failing.
Now the Magisterium awaits him. It’s a place that’s both sensational and sinister, with dark ties to his past and a twisty path to his future.
The Iron Trial is just the beginning, for the biggest test is still to come . . .
I picked up an ARC of this book at the very first BookCon (when it became its own event and not just the last day of BEA open to the public). I had the privilege of listening to a panel discussion with Holly Black, Cassandra Clare and Maggie Stiefvater (I know, right!?) and Holly and Cassandra talked about what it was like to write this book as a partnership. If I remember correctly, they said they came up with the idea to write a book like Harry Potter, but with a twist. And boy is it a major twist!
I can’t say too much without giving it away, but it adds a unique element to the overdone kid-goes-away-to-magic-school storyline. Callum Hunt doesn’t want to go to the Magisterium, and so when his trial comes up he fails, and fails spectacularly. Only instead of being rejected, Call finds himself admitted to the strange, underground boarding school, and makes friends with another boy and girl at the school. It is a little darker than the earliest Harry Potter books, but there are many similarities. That is until Clare and Black put their own unique spin on the trope, and you can’t help wanting to read more.