Review: The Iron Trial by Holly Black & Cassandra Clare

irontrialHonestly, I don’t get the assumption that every magic school story is a HP ripoff. There were wizard school books LONG BEFORE ROWLING. But I do get the initial reaction to this is “HP ripoff” because one of the two authors is Cassandra Clare, who wrote HP fanfic and is known for plagiarism among other stuff, so yeah, I get that a lot of people don’t like her enough to be biased against anything she wrote. I LIKED Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments, despite everything, and I absolutely love everything I’ve read by Holly Black – and even I had reservations about this new series.First, it’s MG, and writing MG is like writing Juntoshi fanfic – often hit or miss, and very hard to do well; Second, sometimes when two popular authors work together the result can be kind of underwhelming, like in the case of Will Grayson Will Grayson; Third, okay, yeah, I admit it – Cassandra Clare. But I still read it with every intention to give it a fair chance, and I have to say that while it DID remind me somewhat of HP, I also kind of liked it. Kind of.

Callum Hunt grew up hearing about the dangers of the Magisterium and the mages there, and when he was sent for the testing, he had every intention to fail. But he failed at failing, landing him as one of three students apprenticed to Master Rufus. Alongside Aaron and Tamara, he learned to control and use magic, as well the history of the war his mother had died in, and the Enemy of Death who was still a threat to the magical community. Mm, see the Potter resemblance? I know these are all common tropes, so it really wasn’t that. And the magic system was different, which I appreciate. The thing that reminds me most of HP is the ending (which I won’t give away here), and the fact that it read like HP fanfic. Not exactly a bad thing, because I did enjoy reading it, but it’s not one of the MG novels that made me crave for more, either. Like the Heroes of Olympus series. Speaking of which, only two more months to BLOOD OF OLYMPUS!


~ originally posted on my own blog. Obviously, before Blood of Olympus was released.

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