Review: The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare


Hi guys,

who would have guessed that I liked a book that has been co-written by Cassandra Clare after all she has done with the City of Bones series? And yes, this is the book everyone was ripping apart because it was basically a weird Harry Potter one. Kind of true, but let’s read here more about it!

The Iron Trial

Book Information
Pages: 304
Publisher: Scholastic Book Services
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Price: 7,49€ (Paperback)
Buy on Amazon


Callum Hunt is just an ordinary boy with a very unordinary twisted, bad leg. Well, he is not that unusual since he has some magic in his genes and on his way to the trials to test for the Magisterium, a magic school to educate wizards and witches to become soldiers in the Great War agains The Enemy. I’m capitalizing it because it doesn’t have a better name.

Callum’s father Alastair hates the Magisterium because it basically killed his wife and Callum’s mother. He doesn’t want Callum to attend the school and therefore challenges him to fail the trails. Much to Callum’s bad luck, he manages the Trials and has to attend the Magisterium, since untrained magic can be dangerous for literally everybody.

Not having heard a thing about the Wizarding World since his father hated it so much, Callum realizes that there is a big dangerous enemy who needs to be defeated, Constantine Madden. He has been a student at the Magisterium, the best of all, but turned bad and to the fifth element, Chaos. Nobody has seen that wizard in ages, but everyone keeps going on how dangerous it is. While Callum tries to figure out more about him, magic and making friends, while the greater enemy lurks around the school grounds.


Well I liked this unexpectically loads and loads. I was biased on opinions that this might be a Harry Potter rip-off. Yes, it has without a doubt major similarities, but the characters and the Magisterium world were so nicely done, I simply couldn’t hate it. I probably liked it so much because it was similar to Harry Potter and then kind of not.

The Magisterium, the wizard school, is located underground and I just imagined it very cozy even if it has no windows. Although the masters, that teach a certain group of students each, seem to be very strict, that school looks a lot like fun unless you consider the fact that the students learn to be sent to a wizarding war – fun times.

Callum is a bad student, a bad magician and on top of that one of his legs had been broken when he has been a baby and nobody got to fix it. So he seems to be good at nothing except his witty, snippy humour and an attitude that might lead wanting to kill him. Not really, he’s super adorable. He’s becoming slowly friends with Tamara Rajavi and Aaron Stewart, both top students of their year and together they are adventuring around although Tamara really hates it. Not really. Man, this book is twisty.

So yeah, back to that: very similar to Harry Potter, even the villain – COME ON. I mean, okay not so much, because you will see. Like I said, it’s a twisty book that twists itself out of Harry Potter accusations! So the characters are adorable, the setting is nice and atmospheric and I want to read more about Callum, Aaron and Tamara because the end of that book just demands to be continued. The story builds itself up nicely, it has some exciting, some fun and some sad moments, so everything is really balanced. I really can’t complain much.

Okay, I’ve said it a million times already that it’s similar to Harry Potter. BUT – it’s a kind of similar you want it to be after being addicted to Harry Potter and you need a similar but not so similar story to get over your first addiction. Get me? Good.

4 out of 5 stars for The Iron Trials by Cassandra Clare and Holly Black because it positively surprised me.

xo Annina

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(i) The Amazon Links are affiliated Links. I guessed this was the easiest way to establish a store where you can go and buy a book if you are interested in it plus it makes me literally just some cents. Yes I got greedy and I’m gonna bath in my ten 5 cent pieces. You’re welcome.

The cover is from


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